Tuesday 25 September 2018

Richard Curran

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Mark Schutte of Dublin in action against Killian Burke of Cork in the hurling league – a recent study found there were only two hurlers on the Cork panel based outside the county and none in Dublin, but not every county has the jobs and educational infrastructure to keep its young men so close to home. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Richard Curran: Battle for soul of country as hard choices between cities and rural Ireland lie ahead 

In Ireland we don't do planning very well. It may be a cultural thing or a political mindset borne out of politicians worried about making it through the next election. It could simply be a case of "don't put off until tomorrow what you can put off until next month". The other great weakness in our future proofing is when we come up with excellent plans but never actually put them into practice.

It’s been a very good year for senior executives at Eir, in particular chief executive Richard Moat, following the company’s buyout. Photo: Chris Bellew/ Fennell Photography

Business year was more good than bad and just a bit ugly 

It has been a year more about good news than bad in the business world. The economy continued to power ahead, and exporting businesses were firing on all cylinders despite the weakness of sterling. The commercial property market was ebullient and some businesses saw a chance to cash in on the positive wave. But it wasn't good news for everyone, as even mature Irish corporate giants had a few banana skins along the way, while international threats to Ireland's competitiveness and dark clouds around Brexit still hung around.

French President Emmanuel Macron delivering his speech to set out plans for reforming the European Union at the Sorbonne in Paris Photo: REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

Macron speech shows how 'big boys' of Europe are gunning for us 

There is no sign of our European partners giving up on the idea of getting global multinationals to pay more tax in Europe, most likely at the expense of Ireland's investment proposition. In a week when US President Donald Trump was sounding off about slashing American corporation tax, the more ominous signs for us were coming from the Sorbonne University in Paris, compliments of a speech given by French President Emmanuel Macron.