Monday 19 February 2018

CRH 'link' to West Bank wall without foundation

ONE of the most original stunts in recent years has come from the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign which published an 'Alternative CRH Annual Report' this week highlighting the company's stake in Israeli company Mashav.

The glossy 16-page report contains all the usual corporate guff about corporate responsibility alongside graphs and tables with unusual headings, such as 'Key Financial and Human Rights Figures' as well as photographs of concrete bags used to construct controversial settlements on the West Bank.

The spoof annual report is also embellished with many pictures of various walls being constructed in the Occupied Territories (or Liberated Territories as they are sometimes described) alongside a rehash of the worries expressed by the Church of Ireland and other shareholders five years ago when they said they would review their holdings in CRH because of the company's alleged involvement in the construction of the Israeli security wall in the West Bank.

Back in the real world, CRH has previously denied the allegations against them, saying Mashav subsidiary Nesher has no involvement in supplying cement for the wall that separates Israel from the West Bank.

"They have no contracting activities and therefore are not directly involved in the construction of the fence or any other building or civil engineering projects in the country," the company has told this newspaper.

Nuclear winter

A RECENT briefing document circulated to journalists on EBS bidder Cardinal Capital Group noted vice-chairman James B Lockhart III's varied career included a stint serving "as an officer aboard a nuclear submarine".

If the building society bid fails he could do worse than switch one letter and try to put his nuclear experience to use at potentially on-the-market ESB.

Mr Lockhart's other experience is a little more relevant and includes working as director of the US Federal Housing Finance Agency and chairman of its Oversight Board and director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

A new asset

CAPITAL Assets, the Limerick-based property asset management company, has named Keith McGuigan as finance director.

The University of Limerick-educated chartered accountant previously worked for Horwath Bastow Charleton and companies overseas.

"Keith's appointment will ensure that Capital Assets strengthens its overall service offering to clients," said his new boss and Capital Assets founder Michael Hogan.

Mr Hogan will be known to some readers as a former managing director of Alchemy Properties and head of property with Shannon Development.

Former envoy moves on

PAULA Dobriansky, a former US special envoy to Northern Ireland under former president George Bush, has quit Chinese printing-equipment maker Duoyuan Printing after the company's audit committee dismissed Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu as its auditor, sending its shares down as much as 56pc.

Ms Dobriansky, who has served as a diplomat under five presidents and now works for Thomson Reuters, left the company along with chief executive Christopher Holbert and chief financial officer William Suh.

Ms Dobriansky served in the North three years ago and received the the State Department's highest honour, the Secretary's Distinguished Service Medal, for her work there on behalf of the US administration.

Irish Independent

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