93 thoughts on “De Sunday Papers

  1. eoin

    What was Denis O’Brien’s Digicel, “the main source of his wealth” profit in the first three months of 2019?

    No-one appears to have a clue about the net profit after tax (it was a loss of $23m the previous quarter)

    But the Earnings Before Interest Depreciation Taxation Amortisation (EBITDA) has been reported by several newspapers based on leaked info given to bondholders.

    First up, the Irish Times says the EBITDA was $210m.
    Then, the Independent says the EBITDA was $230m.
    And now, today, the Sunday Times says the EBITDA was $218m.

    None of the press at all seem to know what Digicel’s debt was in March 2019. Given, it was $6.8bn by common agreement in December 2018, and $600m of debt was issued in the March quarter and it had $279m of cash on hand at March (up from $96m in December), I’m estimating its debt was $7.1bn+, which would place debt:EBITDA for 2018/19 at 7.5 (using EBITDA of $210m in the March quarter, or 7.3 using $230m).

    Despite the awful reporting of Digicel’s finances (seriously, do none of ye know a rep from the large bondholders?), everyone is agreed that Digicel’s bonds are trading at record lows, some at just 20c in the dollar according to the Sunday Times today, which tells you the market thinks the company is gone and not coming back.

    So, someone needs to sign that National Broadband Plan pretty damned quick.

    1. eoin

      The Sunday Times today has details from a Deloitte report into what is now being openly called by the Sunday Times “hacking” at INM.

      “Independent News & Media (INM) has told current and former staff journalists, executives and advisers whose data was allegedly accessed without their knowledge that a hacking operation in the group may have continued for longer than previously thought [until Dec 2015, instead of 2014, with regular updates which Deloitte has been unable to get hold of…..]

      INM also said “certain key individuals” had refused to engage with its investigation, which also found the purpose of the data hack was not a cost-reduction exercise, contrary to what the company’s board had previously been told… It emerged in court documents last year that [ex-chair Leslie] Buckley was refusing to meet investigators.”

      Denis O’Brien, a 30% shareholder in INM, paid for the hacking through an Isle of Man company. Sidekick Leslie Buckley, the ex-chairman, was fully aware of the hacking. Are we seriously saying that no criminal offences have been committed?

      But let’s lash up to €3 billion in Denis’s way through the National Broadband Plan. Sure he hasn’t been arrested since the Moriarty report was published eight years ago, CAB are still investigating
      and the Siteserv commission is going nowhere fast.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        FG needs to look after its leader! Redacted will get his broadband plan, mark my words.

    2. Truth in the News

      Who in their right mind would allow O’Brien to be included in any consortia to
      be given a contract to provide NBP Network which can be delivered considerbly
      cheaper than 3 Billion, has anyone found out what Eir are providing theirs
      for, a few clicks on a Revenue Computer would soon find out, since Eir are
      unwilling to and Gov in their Technical Report won’t provide a breakdown for
      the NBP eithe……down to basics, how much does a Mtr or Km of 36 strand
      fibre cost these days….?

  2. eoin

    This will be the last week for the TDs before they take a well-earned 2-month break. It’s another travesty for our legislative process that the Bill to create a lay-person led commission to appoint judges away from the traditional political patronage still hasn’t been passed, despite being the subject of 100+ hours (it was 70 hours last December https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2018/1220/1018420-seanad-defers-judicial-appointments-bill-debate/ ) of debate in the quasi elected Seanad.

    What does it say about our democracy if the Seanad can delay legislation like this?

    If the Bill is not passed this week, will Shane Ross call it a day and conclude the govt isn’t serious about delivering his key legislative demand which was a condition of him supporting the govt in 2016? He probably won’t but I hope he gets the stick he so richly deserves for weaselling out of this.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Would you think that, because of Brexit (so important, that Michilín continually uses it as an excuse not to call a halt to C&S agreement) the two months holiday would be foregone this year? Especially as a hard brexit is on the cards in October, four months away.

      1. eoin

        With Boris being a near dead cert to win the Tory leadership in two weeks, yes, you would think that we’d be seriously ramping up no-deal contingencies.

        The Sun reported yesterday “A source told the Sun: ‘The PM didn’t think Boris could be trusted because he had a loose tongue. He made the agencies anxious. He wasn’t told everything because of that. ‘Pre-meetings would be arranged without his knowledge before he’d come over to No 10.”

        When Boris was UK foreign secretary, the PM withheld info and it was only provided on a “need to know” basis. Boris doesn’t just have a public persona of a bumbling posh-speaking chap, his closest colleagues think he’s a loose cannon.

        1. Charger Salmons

          It’s irrelevant what some disgruntled Remainers from the overwhelmingly anti-Brexit Foreign Office think and frankly a waste of time.
          Boris is cantering home to become next PM.
          Standby for a general election and Tory- BXP coalition to ensure Brexit is delivered as promised.
          All you can do here in Ireland is gawp through the window at the real power brokers and wonder how you let this country be so fooled by the EU once again.
          The Peacock Taoiseach has been a woeful leader and you’d best pray that the folk on the mainland don’t have long memories about the ingratitude shown after the UK responded in your hour of need.
          Because when you farming businesses go belly- up Ireland has no-one to blame but itself.
          Have a great Sunday folks !

          1. bisted

            …of all the possible outcomes of the brexit betrayal on the UK electorate the only certainty is that it will not be a ‘no deal’ exit…why do you persist with this fallacy?

          2. V

            If yer promising to funt the DUP out’ve it with a ToryBexit coalition
            What’s not to like Carage

            Hup’ ya ould’ Bhoyo

          3. GiggidyGoo

            Oh the shame of it. The Conservatives relying on the support of Nigel Farage.
            Time was when Labour or the Conservatives won overall majorities, in latter years relying of small numbers of other parties to get into power. But now, you have the modern day Barnum and Bailey of Johnson and Farage to contend with. Oh what a circus.

          4. Charger Salmons

            And which party does Fine Gael rely on to keep it in power ?
            I know you’re not bright but I never considered you clinically stupid before now.

          5. GiggidyGoo

            Maybe you need a holiday Charger. Maybe book a week in a B&B in Norfolk? I’m sure Nige can get you a deal at HQ (which is in a B&B there). ROFL. While you’re there, maybe you could learn about the real John ‘Charger’ Salmons.

          6. Charger Salmons

            You think it’s droll that Britain might soon be governed by a coalition between two pro-Brexit parties.
            And yet you’re posting from a country where government can only survive by being propped up by the opposition and some flat-capped gombeens selling their souls for a few baubles and trinkets to show the voters back in the sticks ?
            Even you must wonder at your own stupidity occasionally.

  3. eoin

    The slimmed-down SBP is a new brand every week. Lots of unfamiliar writers. More and more rural “southforks” for sale. Looks like editorially, they’re backing Eir against Granahan McCourt.

    Some refugees from the Times Ireland edition are trying to get some real news crow-barred into what has become a declining platform to promote one business or policy or other.

    Aaron Rogan (ex Times) reports “Cost of proposed direct provision centres [in Kildare] soars 70 per cent”
    70% is the same “soaring” as reportedly happening at the Dunkettle Interchange, but at least it’s better than the 100%+ soaring at the National Childrens Hospital or 500% soaring at the National Broadband Plan. FG, ladies and gentlemen, the former party of fiscal probity.

  4. eoin

    The Sindo is all online free here (without registration and given the INM hacking story above, you really would think twice about giving INM your deets!)


    “Fine Gael swing fall probe finds Maria Bailey’s claim overstated impact of injuries” says the Sindo Philip Ryan who’s led on this scandal. No word about Josepha Madigan’s role, if any, in the dodgy compo claim.

    What consequences for Maria? The same (non) consequences as for Alan? 4% of FG TDs have pursued dodgy compo claims in the past year. Party of financial probity?

      1. Junkface

        Has Sinead O’Connor been through all of the major religions by now? She must be close. Next year she will be dressed as a Jedi.

          1. Lilly

            I dunno Janet, in between her bad spells, she can be extremely astute. Always exploring, always learning and so far thankfully, always alive.

          2. Been caught stealing

            100% Lilly
            I got to interact with her in the past
            She was sociable, humble and generous of spirit.
            Nothing at ALL like the person we hear reports of

  5. eoin

    I don’t listen to Marian but did she give a platform yesterday to the controversial genomics group yesterday, and did she mention there’s a genomics motion being debated in the Dail this week and there’s 10s of millions of private sector money at stake?

  6. ReproBertie

    I was kinda hoping for a “Meanwhile in Naas” thread because yesterday at Forever Young was an absolutely fantastic day. No hassle, great buzz and banger after banger for 8 hours or more.

    My knees may never forgive me.

      1. ReproBertie

        Jimmy Somerville was outstanding. It’s as if they teleported him from the 80’s. Voice was perfect and he was as snake hips as ever.

        Midge Ure a very close second. Every song was lapped up by the crowd (If I was, Fade to Grey, Dancing with Tears in My Eyes, Vienna Hymn, Boys are Back in town) and he seemed to get a bit emotional when everyone was singing Vienna.

        Middle of the day they flew through the acts so we only got 20 minutes of Hazel O’Connor and that just wasn’t enough. Same is true of Kim Wilde and the Hot House Flowers but it was so good it feels churlish to complain. Great set up for the stage and everyone in the crowd just delighted to be there (and away from the kids!).

        It’ll be back next year and so will I.

        1. martco

          nice 1 @Repro

          have heard that about Jimmy Somerville that he’s still got it. I have a very clear memory of catching the Communards doing You Are My World at some summer yoke in Essex of all places in the late 80’s…full on proper live with an orchestra & brass backing…very very impressive

          Midge Ure apparently made most of his money from, of all things, the theme tune he wrote for Top Of The Pops…amazing given all the hits

          1. ReproBertie

            Jimmy seamlessly mixed “Highway to Hell” into “You make me feel”. Man’s a genius.

            Mrs Repro heading along again today and I’m more than a little jealous.

          2. ReproBertie

            Ah, a snide slightly homophobic comment when Jimmy Somerville comes up in conversation. Now it really does feel like the 80’s.

          3. Been caught stealing

            That’s ok.

            What I meant was it would take considerable skill in arrangement to juxtapose those particular numbers consecutively- great if it works though

          4. ReproBertie

            (Ah here, I was way off, sorry about that.)

            And yet it worked brilliantly. There was a moment where everyone was singing along and suddenly we were all chorusing “I’m on a highway to hell” without skipping a beat. He even threw in an Angus Young air guitar hop across the stage.

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      I felt so old yesterday checking out the young wans clobber… florescent underwear basically
      I guess we were equally hideous :)

    2. Charger Salmons

      You can’t bate a good dose of British retro-pop to keep the old Irish heart beating.

  7. eoin

    In media news, the reviews-for-freebies “media” group Love In is putting itself up for sale says the Sindo.

    Doesn’t that “media” business have a similar reach to Broadsheet’s?

  8. Ron

    The angry face emojis on social media are coming as the Irish electorate realise they were conned by Varadkar again regarding his decision to not publish the Bailey report! It’s the closest Varadkar gets to publicly sticking his middle finger up to you all and the dimmer than Varadkar voters look on with bewilderment as they continue to obsess over how inept the Bristish Government are regarding Brexit. lol. You couldn’t write comedy like it. Ireland, one of the most inept, dysfunctional and incompetent Governments the country has ever had and the Irish electorate are in a big glass house lobbing stones over at the UK!!!! pmsl…

    Broken processes and programs can be fixed but you can’t fix stupid. It’s like taking candy from a child for Varadkar when you have an electorate as dim and as lazy as Irelands majority. Electorate should be embarassed but mostly ashamed of themselves.

    1. Junkface

      I would agree with some of that. The Irish electorate repeatedly vote for FG or FF, who are both inept and corrupt. Something is very wrong indeed.

      1. Charger Salmons

        Far be it from me to comment on the gullibility of the Irish electorate.
        But as a country you’ve become used to being duped and controlled.
        The British did it successfully for centuries then after us the Catholic Church took over.
        It’s now the turn of the EU to whip you lot into shape and tell you how to do things.
        It”s the Irish pysche of follow rather than lead.
        Anything for a quiet life and a few scoops.
        The inevtiable outcome of all this gullibility and laziness is what you get now – unaccountable politicians wasting amounts of money and big business and developers going largely unchecked,untaxed and being held unaccountable.
        Ireland is still a nation of boggers at heart and the fight was knocked out of the little man a long time ago.
        Cheer up lads and order another pint.

  9. Junkface

    The Sunday Express headline comes across as completely deluded! “Britain will Boom under Boris”. I think not. More like Britain will break apart, Scotland will vote for independence, the UK economy will sink taking in everyone else who is connected to it. Boris knows nothing about running a country. He is a narcissist fraud like Trump, but one who can actually read. Watch any interview with Boris and by the 2nd or 3rd sentence he has waded into jibberish.
    Ignorance is SO HOT right now!

    1. Charger Salmons

      Scotland will vote for independence ?
      Virtually every opinion poll since the Brexit referendum has Scotland voting to remain in the UK.
      You think the Jocks are going to leave the comforting embrace of Britannia and the billions of pounds it gets from London to join the Irish and all those other insignificant countries in waiting for the crumbs from the EU table ?
      They can’t even run their education and health services properly.
      Why do you think the SNP lost a third of its MPs at the last election ?
      My goodness,the level of stupdity on here today is astonishing.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        And in the most recent election in Scotland, the Euros, the pro-remain SNP wiped the floor with the Torres and Labour. There was only one Tory, with a delightful British name (Nosheena Mobarik), elected. One Brexit Party member, One Liberal Democrat and no labour.
        You’ll find that the Scottish health service surpasses the English one.
        You’ll also find that Scotland is the place where the UK’s oil reserves mostly are, as well storing the UK’s nuclear subs. Nice income out of those.
        Funny isn’t it that 62% of Scots actually voted (not opinion polled) to remain in the EU.
        Yes, the level of stupidity here today is confounding – by yourself.

        1. Charger Salmons

          It’s Wee Jimmie Crankie herself who lays the blame for their huge losses in the general election.
          Alex Salmond got crushed,Angus Robertson shown the door.Both by Tories.
          She knows it’s unpopular which is why she keeps quiet about it now.


          So you resort to racism with a snide jibe about the Tory MEP with ” the delightful British name (Nosheena Mobarik) ”
          Would this be like the delightfully British name of another SNP casualty on the night – Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh – again defeated by a Tory.
          You’re no good at this game.I’d stick to painting wode on your face if I was you.

          1. GiggidyGoo

            I take it then that you have no come back on the points I refuted then.
            EU election, SNP wiped the floor with your lots
            Scottish health service far superior to the English one
            Oil riches

            Keep on running

  10. Lilly

    Is Brian Cowen dying? Marian said just now on air, ‘if Brian Cowen is dying…’ I know someone a lot older than him who had a brain hemorrhage and lived to tell the tale, albeit with an impressive scar. I had assumed rumours of his demise were exaggerated when the Beacon was chosen for his treatment but who knows.

    1. eoin

      A “brain hemorrhage”? Is that what it is? Is that the same as a stroke?

      Like you, I thought the Beaumont would have been the #1 destination for anything to do with the brain, even for people with private medical insurance. Brian is a director of the Beacon (owned by Denis O’Brien) but it surprises me he is being treated for something that serious there.

      And good luck to him, I hope he does have a full and speedy recovery.

      1. Lilly

        I’m no medic Eoin but AFAIK one is a bleed and the other a blockage. Neither good, I suspect. And yes, hope he bounces back, poor fella.

      2. martco

        Question for ye all:
        Do you believe Brian Cowen got what he deserved, that is, to be singled out & pillioried for the crash?

        Was he not just the one left handling the bomb?

        Or was he indeed very much part & parcel of it, a large contributor?

          1. Been caught stealing

            There was a pair of them in it

            Personally I feel the Ferriters of the future will earmark that era as the time when institutionalization of kleptomania in all of the public sphere became embedded

            Prior to that the public rapes mostly occurred in the religious orders and the semi-states

            Please discuss

          2. martco

            fair play @Lilly

            you’re the only one to mention that lying conniving bent accountant Ahern (I won’t use terms like Bertie as that lends itself to endearment etc)

            CJ’a finest Ahern the architect slithered off site when the writing was on the wall personally & economically imo. BUT worse in fine Tony Blair style seems to have somehow re-emerged as a noteworthy society person giving sage advice & guidance on current matters on the circuit.

            If you ask me the wrong lad “got what he deserved”

          3. Been caught stealing

            Fair enough
            Has Cowen been singled out though?
            For me if there is blame to be handed out it should start and end at the Central Bank.
            Wtf does any politician know about this stuff?

  11. Catherine costelloe

    Garda Corruption: unsolved murders and disappearances compromised by dirty cops. The dogs on the streets know the station involved . Word on the streets/estates for years is that if you give information on a serious crime to this station you will be targeted, a severe beating or worse as dirty cops feed information back to named criminals. And we call our country a democracy. It’s loyalty before honesty and absolutely disgraceful.

  12. eoin

    English “patriot” Tommy Robinson was convicted on Friday at the Old Bailey in London for contempt of court after he previously broadcast on Facebook, an encounter with defendants in a British child abuse court case before a verdict had been reached. On Friday last, two High Court judges found Robinson in contempt and said they’d decide the punishment with reasons, at a later date. Robinson faces up to two years in prison.

    Tomorrow, in Dublin, the publishers of the Irish Daily Mail and editor Sebastian Hamilton will find out what the punishment is for their contempt in reporting the Lucan child murder trial. Remembering the conclusions of the Charleton Tribunal last year which found the Daily Mail had a strained relationship with the truth and public duty, and reflecting on the gutter press reporting of the Lucan trial, I hope Judge McDemott throws the book at them tomorrow.

    1. Charger Salmons

      Here’s hoping Robinson gets the book thrown at him and he gets the full two year’s porridge in the slammer.
      Ironically he’ll be joining the 26% of non-white ethnicities who make up the prison population compared with 13% of the general population.
      He could enlighten them of his views at length.
      An odious piece of work.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        Are you suggesting the UK justice system is biased against those of BAME background?

        1. Charger Salmons

          Or statistically they could just commit more crime.
          The majority of victims and perpetrators of murders in London are BAME, usually drug and gang-related.
          As is the case in every major US city where 70 per cent of black children are brought up in a single parent family,that parent being the mother.
          Either way I hope they give the bold boy Tommy a good welcome in Her Majesty’s sneezer.

    2. eoin

      €4,500 fine for Sebastian Hamilton. RTE’s Órla O’Donnell tweets “Editor, Sebastian Hamilton fined 4,500Euro – Mr J McDermott said directions Mr Hamilton had given in relation to court copy, were ignored by senior editorial staff but he as editor was responsible for this systems failure.”

      Pity it wasn’t 10x

    1. Been caught stealing

      the emphasis on amateur
      But why should bodger do any work when others are all too willing to do it all for him for nothing?

        1. Been caught stealing

          On the contrary having been on naughty step all day: I have learned that Eoin is without doubt among the best broadsheet commenters ever. Indeed this fountain of knowledge is both a totemic figure, a giant of gandering if you will, and an inspiration with whom it is both an honour and a privilege to share precious, rare cyberspace.

          Also, changing my username to escape the naughty step is tedious and will soon get me deleted.

  13. eoin

    No Francesca Comyn articles in this week’s SBP? That’s a pity because she’s about the only journalist who’d publish the fact that last week, Stephen Rae sued RTE along with Sunday Times journalist, Mark Tighe, and that in a separate set of proceedings, Stephen Rae sued the Sunday Times itself along with Mark Tighe. Presumably, this is all to do with the reporting of shenanigans at INM.

    But none of our brave media is going to report it at all?

  14. Lilly

    Jeez, the Indo would do anything to claw its dominion back. Unregulated social media platforms indeed. As opposed, we can only suppose, to the Wild West hacking fest in Talbot Street.

    ‘The vast majority of people have been sending Mr Cowen their well wishes during a very difficult time for him and his family. However, comments by some individuals on unregulated social media platforms were yesterday branded “disgusting” and “nasty” by senior Fianna Fail TDs.’

  15. Junkface

    Has Sinead O’Connor been through all of the major religions by now? She must be close. Next year she will be dressed as a Jedi. That would get her the Front Page!

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