The news that the Weston family-owned Selfridge’s is making €11 million available for further refurbishment of Arnotts is welcome news for the distinguished Dublin city centre retailing institution. Its future looks secure.
But what does the future hold for its erstwhile north city centre rival, Clerys? The ongoing rumour about town is that the consortium led by Dublin developer Deirdre Foley is unlikely to be the group that brings the project to fruition.
Property industry sources think it might be better if Clerys is sold on to another development group with less reputational baggage connected with the project. Foley’s consortium sparked public fury in 2015 when the store’s employees were quite literally put out on the street when the store was shut in breathtakingly cynical fashion.
Clerys is a prime redevelopment play. A lot of people will make a lot of money from its redevelopment. Even if they don’t redevelop it and choose to sell it on, Foley’s consortium will be members of that coterie.
Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg’s, appearance this week before US parliamentarians to answer questions about its sketchy management of users’s private data was essential viewing. The level of his personal discomfort at facing such uncompromising public scrutiny, as he supped water and wore a shell-shocked facial expression, was almost enough to make you feel sorry for him. Almost. Zuckerberg has so far rebuffed similar requests to appear before UK parliamentarians to answer questions on data. So it is probably too much to hope that, one day, he might appear before an Oireachtas communications committee to answer questions fielded on behalf of the citizens of the State that is home to Facebook’s international headquarters, and where it has made much of its money. But, oh, wouldn’t it be box office to watch Zuckerberg’s puzzled expression as he faced off against the likes of Michael Lowry, Timmy Dooley, Bríd Smith and their committee colleagues.