Digicel seeks debt repayment delay, EY awards and Musk’s feet of clay

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Denis O’Brien’s Digicel is in talks with some of its large bond investors to try to postpone repayment of $925 million (€896m) of debt that falls due in March, in what could result in the telecoms group’s third debt restructuring in four years, according to sources. Joe Brennan reports.

The Beacon private hospital in Sandyford, Dublin, swung back into profit last year as the costs associated with Covid-19 fell and turnover rose. The latest accounts for Beacon Medical Group Sandyford show that it made a profit of €12.4 million for the year to the end of December 2021. This compared to a loss of just under €2 million in 2020. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.

At the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards last night Martin McKay, founder of Antrim-based educational technology company Texthelp, was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year at the annual awards ceremony in Powerscourt Hotel in Co Wicklow. Tom O’Connor and Kieran Cusack, co-founders and joint managing directors of Conack Construction, have been named best established entrepreneurs at the awards. Fionn Lahart and Christoph Hennersperger, founders of Irish medical technology company OneProjects, were named best emerging entrepreneurs while Stephen Nolan, managing director of food tech company Nutritics, has won the inaugural sustainability prize. Social entrepreneur Mary Davis, chief executive of Special Olympics International, received a special recognition award at the event.

As the strange opera that is Elon Musk’s Twitter continues to reveal its latest you-must-be-joking plot twists, we can at least be thankful for one thing, writes Karlin Lillington. Never has a single action by one individual done so much in such an astonishingly short period of time to expose so many of the ethics and talent-constrained technoboys of Silicon Valley and the powerful fiefdoms ruling the tech sector.


After Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe’s surprise move to ease restrictions on pay and bonuses in the banking sector, our Inside Business podcast looks at what it might mean for the three domestic banks and their international competitors. Markets Correspondent, Joe Brennan, also takes us through the rest of the headline-grabbing details in the 220 page Retail Banking Review. Presenter Ciarán Hancock is also joined by The Irish Times’ Karlin Lillington to discuss the €265m fine handed down to Meta this week over its data protection breach. With fines now totalling over €900m, will it have made Mark Zuckerberg sit up and notice?

Cantillon wonders where the whole crypto thing will end up and why Argentina’s defeat to Saudi Arabia topped RTÉ’s streaming ratings.

Chris Horn tells us that the Cyber-resilience Act signals a big change in commercial software development while Ciara O’Brien has a look at the tech suitable for every Christmas stocking. She also reviews the Google Chromecast HD with Google TV.

Olive Keogh meets the couple behind Prepsheets, a recipe management tool aimed at chefs that maps recipes to ingredients to ensure accurate ordering and minimal waste.

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our Business Today daily email news digest.