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Driving test backlog

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The COVID-19 pandemic has created severe backlogs for driving test waiting lists. Currently there are 64,544 people waiting to receive a date to sit their driving test of which 9,513 are deemed essential workers.

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There are also 116,000 people waiting to take their theory test. It is estimated that it will take anything up to 18 months to clear this backlog. At the present time the National Driver licence service have extended the validity of expired licences and learner permits as follows:

Driving Licences that expire from 01 September 2020 to 31 October 2021 will be automatically extended by 10 months in total.
All Learner Permits that expired from 01 July to 31 October 2020 were automatically extended by 14 months in total.

All Learner Permits that expired or are expiring from 1 November 2020 and 31 July 2021 are being automatically extended by 10 months.

By way of example of the above, where the date of expiry on the physical learner permit, which can be seen at opposite number 4b on the permit shows

 5 March 2020, the new expiry date is 5 September 2021.

 5 July 2020, the new expiry date is 5 September 2021.

 5 December 2020, the new expiry date is 5 October 2021.

Please refer to www.ndls.ie for full details and expiry extension dates.

From an insurance perspective a full licence holder can get better rates than a learner permit. This is especially true for younger drivers. At Healy Insurances we have negotiated discounts with a number of insurers once the learner driver has completed 12 lessons

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Photos from Kerry Ladies Football team homecoming at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday night

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Danny Healy-Ray, Patrick Connor-Scarteen, Minister of education Norma Foley and Francis Flynn pictured at the Kerry Ladies homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Kerry Ladies Senior Football managers Declan Quill and Darragh Long pictured with Elaine Kinsella Radio Kerry at the Fitzgerald stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGogh
Kerry Ladies Homecoming. Photo : Tatyana McGough
Kerry Ladies Homecoming. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Kerry Ladies Homecoming. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Faces in the crowd. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Faces in the Crowd. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Cllr Donal Grady and John Francis Flynn at the Kerry Ladies homecoming. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Kayleigh Cronin (2nd from left) pictured with her teammates at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Selina Looney Kerry Ladies Chairperson (front centre) pictured with Kerry players at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough
31 July 2022; Kerry supporters during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final match between Kerry and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
31 July 2022; Kerry supporters during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final match between Kerry and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
31 July 2022; Kerry supporters during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final match between Kerry and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Photos from Kerry Ladies Football team homecoming at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday night
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Keep indoor plants out of full sun

By Debby Looney, gardening expert I was sitting in the dining room looking out at the garden through sheets of rain, when something caught my eye; a dead plant. I […]

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

I was sitting in the dining room looking out at the garden through sheets of rain, when something caught my eye; a dead plant.

I shifted my focus, looked around me, and observed quite a few plants close to the point of no return! Indoor plants are easy to forget about, especially when the weather is fine. It is hard to believe but several spider plants, an orchid and a Saintpaulia ended up on a certain compost heap this week.

Houseplants do not need a huge amount of care during the summer months, but there are a few things we must not forget! For example, the most obvious is watering. This is the main growing season for houseplants, so watering is essential as is adding some fertiliser. I use specific feeds for my plants, as the balance of nutrients needed can vary hugely depending on the type. As you can imagine, a large, leafy plant will have different requirements to, say, a cactus, or a gerbera. Most plants prefer to dry out slightly between watering, though not as much as I had let them dry out.

Most indoor plants prefer to be out of full sun as they scorch easily. In particular, leafy plants are susceptible to this. Cacti and succulents are ideal for south facing windows during the summer months. Move any leafy plants to a spot away from south facing windows where they can enjoy a more stable temperature and a slightly shaded light.

Often when plants are under stress, both indoors or outdoors, they become prone to disease, a bit like ourselves. For example, plants which dry out frequently are a prime target for whitefly. They often go unnoticed until there is an infestation, at which point you will see woolly cocoon like clusters, as well as clouds of tiny white flies. Blackfly and greenfly are also common pests indoors. The best course of action, after prevention, is to spray the plant at regular intervals with a pesticide. As it is indoors, I would strongly recommend the use of organic spray, or even soapy water. Alternatively, use a pesticide which can be watered onto the soil, such as ‘bugclear ultra’, as this will have a systemic effect.

This time of year is also suitable for repotting your houseplants, if not done in spring, as they will still get a few months of benefit and strong growth. I mix my own compost as I generally have quite a few to repot. I mix four parts good quality compost, one part sharp sand, one part perlite and one part vermiculite by volume. When repotting cacti and succulents I reduce the compost to two parts, and when repotting orchids, I substitute the vermiculite and perlite with two parts fine bark mulch. I never use homemade compost, as I find there are a lot of insects and ‘other creatures’ in it which is fine used outdoors, but I don’t want to invite too much wildlife inside! It is possible to sterilise homemade compost by steaming it, but this is quite an operation, one which I have never undertaken. Alternatively, there are specialist composts available for every type of houseplant. When repotting, use a pot which is about two sizes bigger, unless the plant is a very vigorous one.

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