17 thoughts on “De Saturday Papers

  1. eoin

    The Phoenix magazine really does have the inside story on the DOBvSBP settlement that never was, some great snippets in the current issue in the shops. In its main story this week, The Phoenix concentrates on DOB’s gamble that didn’t pay off, but the more significant media issue is the lack of involvement by the current management/owner of the SBP in the case.

    Remember last Sunday, the Times claimed there had been informal cattle trading in the case after a couple of days hearing, between DOB’s lawyers and Chubb (the SBP libel insurance company) and the SBP? It was claimed there was a €50,000 difference between the “low six digit” compo that DOB was seeking and what Chubb/SBP were willing to pay.

    Well, the Phoenix has what it claims are the details. It says DOB wanted €150,000 damages plus his legal costs. On the other side of the negotiation table was Chubb and…… NOT the SBP, but Conor Killeen of Key Capital, the *former* owner of the SBP until it was sold to Kilcullen last year (The Phoenix says that Chubb was paid around €30,000 a year by the SBP for libel insurance). In other words, the current management of the SBP weren’t involved in the negotiation at all, it seems. So much for the SBP portraying itself as valiantly defending its journalistic work! It was the former owner and the insurance company, along with Tom Lyons/Ian Kehoe (who both left the SBP after Kilcullen took over) who were doing all the defending. What was Siobhan Lennon, the blonde-haired (so you’ll recognise her) CEO of the SBP doing in tears alongside Tom and Ian after the jury’s decision; as far as I can tell, she had bugger all involvement with the case.

    And why didn’t the negotiation with DOB succeed? The Phoenix claims it wasn’t about the €50,000 difference between the €150,000 damages DOB wanted and the €100,000 that Chubb/Killeen were offering, the Phoenix claims that DOB wanted his legal costs as well but wasn’t prepared to put a figure on those costs. It was the lack of clarity about the pig-in-a-poke legal costs that resulted in Chubb/Killeen walking away.

    Bottom line, it wasn’t the SBP that defended the case, it was the libel insurance company, the ex-owner and two ex-journalists.

    And the Oscar for best actress shouldn’t have gone to Olivia Coleman, it should have gone to Siobhan Lennon who insinuated herself into the TV pictures of people coming and going from the proceedings, and she even managed to insert herself into the interview with Tom and Ian after the jury’s decision. You were robbed Siobhan!

      1. eoin

        Just to add, (1) while the SBP seems to me to be a shadow of what it was a year ago, it still has a handful of quality journalists and some of the best in their field in the country and (2) the defamation proceedings arose about an article in 2015 when the SBP was still owned by Key Capital and presumably it was a term of the sale of the newspaper by Key to Kilcullen, that Key would cover any outstanding litigation; that would explain why it was Key that was doing the negotiating for a settlement.

        And yes, the DOBvSBP litigation was bizarre but there’s yet another dimension. It’s very worrying that Chubb/Key were so close to capitulating but that just shows you what the media is up against in this country (no need to tell you, I’m sure!)

        1. Johnny

          Latest Fitch report on Digicel’s new 600 million fully secured debt.

          Pressured Liquidity: DIFL had USD71 million of cash as of Dec. 31, 2018, with the proceeds from the notes adding approximately USD140 million to the balance sheets. The company’s liquidity position is pressured by persistently negative FCF, as operational performance remains stagnant and financing expenses consume most of the operating income. Furthermore, cash upstreams to service DL debt will constrict financial flexibility.


          1. eoin

            So, as a result of issuing $600m of new debt and repaying $400m of existing debt, the overall debt for Digicel increases from $6.8bn to $7bn, and there’s an additional $53m of interest on the new debt (which will be reduced by repaying some older debt, but that $400m of retired debt is from a time when borrowing costs were lower!). Borrowing $100 from Peter to pay $67 to Paul and increasing the interest rate? He’s such a business genius is DOB!

            Instead of the plan of reducing debt:EBITDA from 6.7 to 5.7 this year, Digicel has somehow managed to increase it to 7.0 (assuming EBITDA remains stable at $1bn).

            Meanwhile the Haiti currency falls to another record low as the simmering tension threatens to boil over into another coup in which Digicel can bid “orevwa” to its mobile licence.

            As regards the capital stack, Fitch seems to think these “fully secured” bonds are better quality than existing bonds, which suggests there’s a bit of ducking and diving by whoever is stumping up the $600m, for which they’re getting handsomely rewarded with 8.75%.

            “Deathwatch” is right!

    1. Frilly Keane

      More interesting
      For this Phoenix reader anyway
      Is in the other side of that page

      It opens with
      THE MEDIA CHILL – or unbridled paranoia – that grips RTÉ management at the very suggestion of broadcasting coverage of Denis O’Brien …./I>

      And it ends ….cited his charitable efforts is Haiti as an example


      1. Frilly Keane

        Charge died and didn’t get back in to tidy up the html

        SBP matters are one thing and helpfully provided by the big E

        The other story – Boom moment
        There are many journalists that have been told by RTÉ to zip it about O’Brien …

        No real news to anyone here
        But fair play to Goldhawk
        It’s officially and firmly out there
        zip it
        No more

        It’s game on
        So away with it Johnny

  2. eoin

    Talk about owners resembling their dogs, that could Mr and Mrs on the front page of the Times.

    1. Frilly Keane

      Don’t be such a meanie boo Eoin
      He’s a lovely doggie
      Giving his Mammy a lovely huggie
      What’s wrong with ya ah’ tall

      ‘must be a cat man

  3. eoin

    The Irish News (the North’s best-selling daily newspaper) has this snippet today about Karen Bradley and her appearance at a committee at the House of Commons last November.

    “During a discussion about the introduction of a statute of limitations – which would protect British soldiers from prosecution – Tory MP and former soldier Bob Stewart said: “I think we have got to find a way of getting our soldiers off this hook.

    “I think it’s up to political people like ourselves to sort it and change the law if necessary.”

    Ms Bradley replied: “That’s what I want to do and I absolutely want to do that but we have to do it in a way that there aren’t unintended consequences, and that we do actually help to resolve the situation.””

    Why hasn’t she been “resigned” yet by Theresa May?

    1. bigx

      I suppose it must be galling for the military to see the ira/uda get an effective statute of limitations while they dont

  4. Johnny

    ‘Brexit’s impact on Ireland and the US-Irish economic relationship will be discussed on Friday at a New York conference addressed by Richard Neal, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Senator George Mitchell among others.‘


    Looks like a lovely day out at The Harvard Club,among others just happens to include Suzanne Lynch, Washington Correspondent for the Irish Times…………
    Lynch already came in for withering critism regarding her overly friendly relationship with the Ireland Fund,is it asking too much for the IT to disclose when its correspondent is a featured and advertised speaker,when promoting this event.


      1. johnny

        Mitchell is still masquerading as a statesman,he last held elected office in 1994 !
        Worked for Jimmy Carter FFS, he’s 86 and headlining this conference on “Brexit” while also having a side hustle as senior advisor to Alan Kelly bros,shady lobbying outfit Teneo.


        Its long been rumored that Dennis O’Brien is the mysterious financier that kept Niall O’Dowd afloat, lets all hope he doesn’t get too ‘tired and emotional’ as usual at this event……….
        O”Dowd has been condemned many times for spreading fake news and misinformation,but that doesn’t stop Minister Flanagan endorsing him and headlining his event.

        “To begin let’s review the propaganda about “white Irish slaves” that O’Dowd and Irish Central have been feeding to the general public and Irish America in particular.”


  5. bigx

    I suppose it must be galling for the military to see the ira/uda get an effective statute of limitations while they dont

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