Opening Bell: Irish websites hacked, Ryanair shares down, Draghi vs Trump & Le Pen

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The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) was forced to shut down its website on Monday as a large number of Irish websites were attacked by a Kurdish hacker expressing anti-Islamic State views.

According to the Irish Times, the online presence of the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O'Donovan, Enterprise Ireland, Irish Distillers, the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics and singer Paul Brady were all hacked over the weekend by "MuhmadEmad".

Most of the sites were altered to feature a Kurdish flag and the statement "long live Peshmerga", referring to the Kurdish army of the anti-Islamic State located in Iraq.

Several European sites, including ZDnet, were also hit.

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The President of the European Central Bank has said that "the euro is irrevocable", in response to French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen saying that she would take France out of the single currency if she was elected.

Speaking at the European Parliament on Monday, Mario Draghi also slammed US President Donald Trump's Wall Street deregulation as "the last thing we need".

He told MEPs:

"The idea of repeating the conditions of before the [global financial] crisis is very worrisome."

Trump signed an executive order last week that relaxed the post-crisis Dodd-Frank legislation which curbed the risk-taking of US banks.

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Ryanair shares dropped by almost 4% on Monday, as it reported on an underwhelming third quarter profit performance and offered a "cautious" outlook for the rest of its financial year.

Net profits plunged 8% to €95m and earnings per share shrunk by 2%, hurt by a 17% decline in averages fares, to €33.

Ryanair is also threatening to change its rules on cabin baggage, due to some passengers are causing delays.


Chief Financial Officer, Neil Sorahan, said punctuality has suffered, partly due to passengers abusing their allowance of a free second carry-on bag:

"We're seeing massive backpacks coming onboard and with the best will in the world they won't fit in overhead bins. This leads to delays at the gates, it leads to a number of bags having to be taken off before we can take off, which can delay the departure. So we're saying to our customers, please play by the rules."

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An Oireachtas delegation is heading to Brussels today to meet with the EU Commission's chief Brexit negotiator.

The meeting with Michel Barnier is part of a two-day mission by the Joint Committee on EU Affairs.

The group say they want to emphasise Irish concerns about the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union.

Elsewhere, President Michael D Higgins is embarking on a 12-day state visit to Peru, Colombia and Cuba today, where he will meet with the leaders of each country, foreign dignitaries, universities and members of the Irish community. 

It will be the first time a sitting Irish head of state has visited each of the countries.