The Punt: Fine Gael blanking Labour on jobs
It's official: Fine Gael is the Government's designated New Jobs announcement section. Or such is the impression that The Punt is being left with.
The announcement of 300 new jobs for Limerick by internet company Uber is attended by presiding ministerial endorsements from the Taoiseach (FG), Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton (FG) and Finance Minister Michael Noonan (FG).
"Uber's investment is a massive boost for Limerick and for the IT sector in Ireland," stated Noonan, proudly. "Limerick has a history of attracting innovative technology companies due to our well-educated university graduates."
When it comes to universities and graduates, local Labour TD and Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan often has something to say. Bafflingly, she appears to have missed the final draft deadline to get any comment of her own, or that of her party, in the press release about the new jobs being created in her constituency.
But The Punt is confident that there is no way that this is the result of Fine Gael cuckooing Labour a year ahead of an election. The senior party would never be that cheeky.
Ryanair looks to get personal
Ryanair's "cuddly Michael effect" has been paying off dividends for the Dublin-based carrier in recent months.
Since the launch of the company's "Always Getting Better" customer service programme last year, Ryanair has managed to tweak and improve many of its more user-unfriendly features such as its airport check-in fees.
One element still associated with Ryanair's pre-cuddly image is its notoriously clunky website. While much improved since the launch of the airline's programme, the carrier looks to be trying to take it a step further with the launch of a personalised website in October.
A Ryanair spokesman told the Punt that the site will use previous bookings and available customer data to improve target offers to its customers.
"It will look to see where customers' interests are and will serve suggestions based on that," he said.
"For example, if you go to Malaga every year, it will expect you to be going back to Malaga the following year so you would see deals for Malaga."
He said that more details would be announced in the coming weeks.
The Punt can hardly wait to be presented with the perfect cheap Malaga package for its annual winter break.
Winston's Irish PR goes for spin
'Dear Brendan," as Winson Churchill refered to him, will be moving to new digs with the rest of the 'Financial Times' (FT), when the paper leaves its current offices after being taken over by Japan's Nikkei, the Punt understands.
Former FT chairman Brendan Bracken died back in 1958, but his statue has long held "pride of place" in the lobby of 1 Southwark Bridge, as his near relative, also Brendan Bracken - a well known Dublin PR man - pointed out in a letter to the pink newspaper published yesterday.
Templemore, Co Tipperary born Brendan Bracken (snr) was one of the most unusual Irishmen to ever make it big abroad.
The son of co-founder of the GAA, he became more Tory than the Tories themselves.
As Churchill's PR man, and a British minister, during World War II, Bracken was elevated to the House of Lords as Viscount Bracken.
It was once claimed that everything about him was fake, including his hair, which looked like a wig but wasn't.
But Bracken was a bona fide press baron; creating the FT Group by combining the newspaper with market publications like The Investors Chronicle and The Banker and a stake in the Economist. We hear the statue will go wherever the pink paper does.