Tag Archives: Denis O’Brien

From top: Bill Clinton’s portrait; from left Denis O’Brien, artist Colin Davidson and Mr Clinton at its unveiling yesterday

As does the nose strangely.

Yesterday.

Clinton Foundation HQ, Manhattan, New York.

Standing beside the painting, Bill Clinton said: “This actually captures a part of my personality I often try to keep hidden because I try always to be upbeat, I always try to be positive I always to think that the best is around the corner.”

…Irish businessman Denis O’Brien was among the guests at the function and he was thanked for supporting the role of the Clinton Foundation in a number of countries.

FBI Agents (out of picture).

Clinton moved by a ‘very Irish portrait’ Tommie Gorman, RTÉ)

Previously: Shaky Foundation

Pics: RTE



From top: Denis O’Brien and Siteserv (now Actavo); Island Capital Management seeking a judicial review of Justice Brian Cregan’s

The Commission of Investigation into debt write-offs by IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, has published its SIXTH interim report.

And it is requesting a further extension to allow for judicial review (above) by Denis O’Brien’s Island Capital Management to be heard.

The commission is tasked with examining 38 transactions which cost the State €10million or more each – or a total debt write-down of €1.88 billion.

The transaction in question is the 2012 sale of Siteserv to a company controlled by Denis O’Brien.

The High Court will give a ruling over a claim of privilege over a legal document and to objections to the commission’s mention in their terms of reference to Siteserv being ‘not commercially sound’ at its sale.

Set up in 2015, the commission, was originally meant to report by the end of that year, this was extended until April 2016, then until the end of 2017, and then until the end of 2018, and then by June of this year and is now scheduled for sometime beyond March 31, 2020.

Good times.

Read full report here

Previously: Inactavo

Rollingnews

Denis O’Brien in New York in 2012

‘The O’Reilly family’s stranglehold on most of Irish journalism is over and that can only be good….I’m delighted that businessman Denis O’Brien, much admired here in America, is taking over effectively as the chief shareholder of Ireland’s largest newspaper group, Independent News and Media.

Denis O’Brien will bring a very different set of values to the newspaper world in my opinion. He is a creator not a destroyer, who has pumped tens of millions of his own funds into Haiti and other impoverished countries where his company Digicel does business.’

Niall O’Dowd, Irish Central April 25, 2012.

Denis O’Brien, a billionaire with a mission not just to make money (Niall O’Dowd, Irish Central, April 25, 2012)

‘…A public tribunal set up by the state had found in 2011 that O’Brien had paid over €1 million to a government minister who had facilitated him in winning the cell phone license in Ireland that was the basis of his fortune. And there were other worrying aspects about O’Brien which raised questions about his suitability as a national newspaper boss.

O’Brien’s seven years in control of INM have been characterized by cutbacks and confusion as a way to halt the decline was desperately sought. Many of the best journalists at INM left and staff pensions were cut almost in half.

On the plus side, the development of Independent.ie was impressive, resulting in unique visitor numbers for the site that ran into millions a month. But as noted above, this never translated into significant revenue and the sour mood among staff at INM has become even more depressed in the last few years.’

John Spain, Irish Central yesterday

What’s next for declining Independent News and Media after sale (John Spain, Irish Central)

Pic via Irish America magazine

eoin writes:

That National Broadband Plan can’t come quickly enough for Denis O’Brien. Bonds in his Digicel business are trading at 33c in the dollar. Thanks Fine Gael, you’re the best!

Last night: ‘€12,000 Per House; €7,000 Per Farm; And €15,000 Per Business’

Yesterday: When It Rains

From top: Minister for Communications Richard Bruton; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and junior minister with responsibility for rural digital development Seán Canney ;Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring; Mr Canney; Mr Vardkay, Mr Canney and Mr Bruton

The estimated cost to the Exchequer of the National Broadband Plan increased from €1 billion to €3 billion between December 2015 and April 2018, according to new information about the tendering process from the Department of Communications.

Under the revised plan passed by Cabinet today, connecting high-speed broadband to more than one million people in rural Ireland will cost, on average, €12,000 per house; €7,000 per farm; and €15,000 per business.

The total cost to the taxpayer, which is less than half of the cost of the total plan, is capped at €2.97 billion – a figure which includes €545 million for contingencies….

If you tolerate this, etc.

National Broadband Plan to cost €12,000 per home – Govt (RTÉ)

Earlier: When It Rains

Rollingnews

From top: Denis O’Brien in Haiti, 2010; Part of an FBI affidavit in a Haiti bribery case to be heard next month

In January 2007, Denis O’Brien’s Caribbean mobile phone company Digicel become the first company to be awarded a license to operate a GSM network in Haiti.

The company described the contract as a ‘milestone’, and said it came about as a result of a tender process entered jointly with onefone, a subsidiary of Haitian GB Group.

Next month in New York, retired US Army colonel Joseph Baptiste faces charges for his alleged role in a bribery and money laundering scheme in connection with a planned $84 million port development project in Haiti.

Mr Baptiste was the president of a Maryland, USA-based non-profit organisation with the stated mission of ‘helping the impoverished in Haiti’.

He allegedly told FBI agents during a recorded meeting at a Boston hotel that he would funnel payments to Haitian officials through the non-profit.

In an affidavit from an FBI agent – part of the criminal complaint – Mr Baptiste also boasts of he and his affiliates having delivered the licence to ‘build a cellular network in Haiti’.

Mr Baptiste claims ‘he had used a Haitian company to facilitate payments to government officials for the telecommunications deal..’

He described it as one of “his most successful personal investments”.

Last month, Mr Baptiste, who had signed a plea deal, filed a motion to suppress the statements made to the FBI agents and asserted that they were taken in violation of his rights.

Digicel, meanwhile, remains an alleged “co-conspirator” in a lawsuit taken by US-based Haitian emigrants concerning a $1.5 billion ‘scam’ to divert cash that was meant to fund education. Denying any wrongdoing, the company last month, stated:

“Digicel has always conducted its business in Haiti consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.”

Checking In On The Baptiste Action (FCAProfessor)

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Indicted for Conspiring to Bribe Senior Government Officials of the Republic of Haiti (Us Department of Justice)

Full page ad in today’s newspapers from NewsBrands Ireland

In a statement, the Chairman of NewsBrands Ireland said “NewsBrands Ireland along with many other organisations, made submissions to the Department of Justice in January 2017.

“To date, the review has not been completed,” Vincent Crowley said. He called on the Department to complete it “as a matter of urgency”.

“At a time when democratic values are being threatened and undermined throughout the world, it’s in the best interest of democracy that our defamation laws are updated,” he added.

Calls for urgent reformation of Irish defamation laws (RTÉ)

The €145.4m price represents a 44% premium on its share price before INM announced it was in takeover talks.

Founded in 2013, Mediahuis is a private European media group with a strong portfolio of news media and digital brands.

It has grown rapidly through acquisitions to become a leading media player in both Belgium and the Netherlands and currently employs more than 3,200 people.

Mediahuis agrees €146m deal for Independent News & Media (RTÉ)

Social Democrat co-leader Catherine Murphy and Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty TD on the plinth of Leinster House following yesterday’s Supreme Court victory.

Further to Denis O’Brien’s loss in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Michael Clifford in The Irish Examiner writes:

‘Mr O’Brien was looking to assert what he saw as his rights as a citizen in a democracy. His action was based on asserting a principle.

The 19 individuals [who had their private data removed from email servers in Independent News And Media and taken to the Isle of Man where the data was “interrogated” and costs covered by a company controlled by Mr O’Brien, Blaydon Ltd,] all of whom are undoubtedly people of high principle, will more likely be interested in receiving monetary compensation rather than a legal declaration.

If they can prove their case, they will be entitled to be well-compensated for a breach of their privacy. In such an eventuality, the money will have to be paid out by INM.

It would be something of a bitter irony for Mr O’Brien if, as the main shareholder, he had to stump up for a privacy breach on a court ruling, having experienced, in his own case, a ruling that his privacy was legitimately breached in parliament.’

Bitter irony for O’Brien if INM has to stump up over privacy breach (Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner)

Listen: Kildare TD Says Supreme Court Decision Puts Any Questions On The Strength Of Parliamentary Privilege Beyond Doubt. (KFM)

Yesterday: Dismissing Denis

Previously: We Shall Fight Them On The Breaches

Meanwhile…

Flashbackageddon!

The first in a bowel-loosening series of emails from Denis O’Brien’s solicitors after the posting of Ms Murphy’s speech in the Dáil, May 26, 2015.

Good times.

Previously: [REDACTED]’s 1.25% Interest Rate