Thursday 14 November 2019

The Punt: Áine gets all in a spin

Aine Collins, Fine Gael deputy for Cork North-West at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke
Aine Collins, Fine Gael deputy for Cork North-West at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke

Politicians are interested in boosting their profiles. It's in their nature.

But one TD's efforts caught the eye of The Punt.

Normally press releases from TDs affiliated to a particular party come through their party press office, or from their own local office.

But so keen is Fine Gael's Áine Collins to get noticed, that she has sought the assistance of a professional PR firm.

Cork-based Fuzion PR sent out a press release yesterday pushing Collins' message that "populist proposals to increase tax on high income earners do not make economic sense."

The press release went on to claim that our income tax system is fair and progressive, and then to criticise those on the Left for proposing tax hikes on those earning more than €100,000

Fuzion PR partner Deirdre Waldron said she's just helping out the local TD, and talked the latter up as having business experience and knowledge, having trained as an accountant and previously owned businesses.

The strategy worked. We probably would have ignored the comments otherwise.

O'Boyle new blood at CityJet

There have been lots of changes at Dublin-based airline CityJet over the past year: its acquisition from Air France-KLM by Germany's Intro Aviation; plus the sudden departures of chief executive Christine Ourmieres, and Michael Collins, the deputy CEO and chief financial officer.

In February, CityJet founder Pat Byrne took over the reins, having rejoined the airline as executive chairman.

Now the carrier has hired a new chief financial officer - Declan O'Boyle from Drogheda.

He was previously the chief financial officer of a company called Rainmaker, which provides a suite of systems designed to give airlines an in-depth analytical view of their operations and how they're performing. That can help drive performance management and cost control.

Pat Byrne is on the board of Rainmaker and he also owns a stake in the company along with chief executive Brendan Fuller.

O'Boyle will have plenty to keep him busy at the airline, which faces an extremely challenging environment.

Just this week, CityJet said it's ditching its services from Cardiff to both Edinburgh and Paris, blaming "favourable" support by Cardiff Airport for FlyBe to establish the same routes.

Will Davos man stay at helm?

The annual gathering of plutocrats looking to put to world to rights in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos was memorably described as 'The Agony of Mammon' by American author Lewis Lapham.

Written in the run-up to the introduction of the euro, when the event had already been going on for two decades, Lapham's book set out to fillet the delusions of the great and the good for coming together in a yearly attempt to steer a more benign course for the world economy.

But, even at his most caustic, Lapham is drawn in by the sheer optimism involved in bringing together thousands of corporate titans, political leaders, Nobel Prize winners and thinkers for an event whose aim is simply to improve the state of the world.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), or Davos, is the brainchild of German-born academic Klaus Schwab, who has presided over the event and a growing organisation for 44 years, till now.

The 77-year-old is reported to be considering splitting his current role of chairman and chief executive of the WEF, and transferring some oversight functions to a group of heavyweight trustees, including International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde,

The move is a testament to the remarkable success of the WEF, which especially since the end of the Cold War, has developed into a remarkable global phenomenon.

Irish Independent

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