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1.5m viewers watch Michael on Late Late Toy Show

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Killarney boy Michael O’Brien (11), charmed over 1.5 million viewers during his appearance on Friday night’s Late Late Toy Show – the most-watched programme on Irish television for 2018.
Visually impaired Michael, who said appearing on the country’s most loved show was “a dream come true”, was left stunned when he met his sporting hero Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald live during his planned book review.
Michael, son of Michael and Noreen from Woodside, was chatting to presenter Ryan Tubridy explaining that Davy was his sporting hero, when the sportsman appeared on the set and presented the youngster with a GAA jersey and tickets to the All-Ireland final next September.
This week, RTE revealed that ‘The Greatest Showman’ themed show was watched by an average audience of over 1.3 million live on the night, while a further 141,700 viewers watched their recording of the show on Saturday, and 51,9000 viewers did the same on Sunday. In addition, 113,000 watched the repeat viewing on RTÉ One on Saturday.
On the RTÉ Player the show had record numbers, with 116,000 live streams, up 33 percent on last year, and over 100,000 watching on catch-up. The show was watched in over 100 countries outside of Ireland, with viewers logging on across the globe including Myanmar, Burundi, Haiti and Mongolia.
Rory Darcy, Principal of St Oliver’s National School in Killarney, where Michael is a pupil, said that all staff and pupils are so proud of Michael.
“We are so proud of him,” Rory said. “I’ve never seen him speechless before.”
He said Michael is a fantastic young man and a pleasure to be around.
“He has an infectious sense of humour and an encyclopaedic knowledge of sport, particularly Gaelic football, darts and boxing.
“He’s the type of young lad you’d feel better around.”
And before Michael departed for Dublin, the school treated him to a mini toy show.
“We practiced it in assembly and the Parents Association gave him a hamper full of treats for his journey.”

He added the work Michael’s teacher Ciara O’Sullivan, Shirley McGough and Special Needs Assistant (SNA) Olive Horgan, do is just brilliant.

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Lissi’s love of nature nets prize

After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]

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After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.

Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.

Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.

This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.

“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:

“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”

Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.

“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”

Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.

The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.

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The only certainty is uncertainty

By Michael O’Connor    “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]

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By Michael O’Connor   

“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.

At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.

Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.

History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.

Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.

Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.

Lean into the uncertainty

Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.

In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.

Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.

My advice

Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.

The solution

Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.

In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.

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