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Fr Tom Looney celebrates 50 years in the priesthood

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50 YEARS: At the Golden Jubilee celebration Mass for Fr Tom Looney at the Prince of Peace Church Fossa were from left: Fr Donal Looney, Fr Liam McCarthy OFM, Bishop Ray Browne, Fr Tom Looney and Deacon Thady O'Connor. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

By Michelle Crean

For 50 years he has dedicated his life to the church and its people – and on Saturday night it was the turn of the parish to celebrate Fr Tom Looney’s commitment.

A ceremony to mark his Golden Jubilee took place in Christ, Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by a night of celebration in the local community centre.

The Eucharist ceremony was organised by Fr Tom, while the Parish Pastoral Council along with help from other church groups co-ordinated the rest of the event. The Mass was concelebrated by Fr Tom, his brother Fr Donal, Bishop Ray Browne, eight priests, one deacon and a team of altar servers and was enriched by the choir, vocalists and organists.

“A special thanks to Catherine McCarthy for providing and preparing the food, Fossa School Parent’s Council helped to serve the food on the night and also decorated the hall for the occasion which was adorned with art work produced by each class from the local school,”Paudy O’Sullivan, a member of the Parish Pastoral Council, told the Killarney Advertiser.

Fr Tom’s family presented the gifts which included his love of history and sport, Paudy added.

“Fr Tom referred to his 50 years in ministry since 1969 and he produced the first hat he wore when he started his Seminary training in Maynooth in 1962 to the applause of the packed congregation in the church. This hat had been purchased in Cleary’s and gifted to him by family. He catalogued his life from his ordination in St Brendan’s College in 1969 by Bishop Moynihan through his parish ministry from Kerry to London and Peru and then back to Kerry, and finally to Fossa in 2015.”

The Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Billy Mangan welcomed Fr Tom’s family to the celebration in the community centre and commended him on his 50 years dedication to the priesthood. He was then presented with a gift of a landscape painting by Olivia Ní Carra from the people of Fossa Parish and afterwards Fr Tom cut a beautifully decorated Golden Jubilee cake, baked by Margaret Myers.

The Kelleher family provided the music and Fr Tom gave a beautiful rendition of ‘Óró, Sé do Bheatha Bhaile’, which was enjoyed by all. The entertainment continued with music and dancing to the “Sliabh Luachra” set.

“A special word of thanks to the voluntary organisations in the parish who financially supported the purchase of a gift for Fr Tom. The community wish Fr Tom a full recovery and continued success with his upcoming treatment. Comhghairdeas le Fr Tom. Go bhfága Dia do shláinte dhuit.”

[caption id="attachment_26920" align="aligncenter" width="2000"] GATHERING: At the Golden Jubilee celebration Mass for Fr Tom Looney at the Prince of Peace Church Fossa were front from left: Fr Donal Looney, Fr Tom Looney, Bishop Ray Browne and Fr Tadhg Ó Dochartaigh. Back from left: Deacon Thady O'Connor, Fr Paddy O'Donoghue, Fr Luke Roche, Fr Micheál Ó Dochartaigh, Fr Joe McCarthy and Fr John Ahern. Picture: Eamonn Keogh[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_26922" align="aligncenter" width="2000"] FAMILY: At the Golden Jubilee celebration Mass for Fr Tom Looney at the Prince of Peace Church Fossa were from left: James Looney, Fr Donal Looney, Mary Looney, Fr Tom Looney and Sean Looney. Picture: Eamonn Keogh[/caption]

 

 

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Is it a good time to sell your property?

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year. The MyHome.ie quarterly report found the market had held up […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year.

The MyHome.ie quarterly report found the market had held up better than evidence had suggested in 2022. The number of vendors cutting asking prices remained at low levels, while many house prices were being settled above asking prices.

However, the report warned that the resilience of the housing marking is set to be tested this year. It found annual asking price inflation slowed to six percent nationwide, meaning the asking price for the average home in Ireland is now €330,000.

There were 15,000 available properties for sale on MyHome.ie in the fourth quarter of the year – an improvement on the same time last year but still below pre-pandemic levels.

Average time to sale agreed was 2.7 months nationwide which the report said is indicative of a very tight housing market.

The report said it expects to see 28,400 house completions in 2022, exceeding its previous forecast of 26,500 finished units.

The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at stockbrokers Davy, said it appeared the market had held up better than evidence had suggested.

“The number of vendors cutting their asking prices is still at low levels. Also, transactions in Q4 were still being settled above asking prices, indicative of a tight market,” he said.

Recent months had seen worrying trends in the homebuilding sector, with housing starts slowing, and the construction PMI survey pointing to the flow of new development drying up.

“We still expect housing completions will pick up to 28,400 in 2022 and 27,000 in 2023. However, the outlook for 2024 is far more uncertain. The Government’s ambitious plans to expedite planning processes are welcome although, as ever, the proof will be in the pudding,” he added.

Locally, and unsurprisingly, the lack of supply of new and second-hand properties remains the dominant issue. There has been very little new construction due largely to the rising cost of construction, labour, materials and utilities which in turn is putting pressure on the second hand market.

This market proved particularly strong in 2022 with active bidding experienced on the majority of house sales and a large proportion of guide prices being generally exceeded.

The detached family home end of the market is particularly strong with increased competition for a limited number of available well located family homes.

So, what lies ahead and is it a good time to sell your property?

The answer is a tight market with scarcity of supply being a factor. If selling now you will benefit greatly from a lack of supply of available homes (therefore less competition) provided your property is marketed correctly of course!

For anyone considering placing their property on the market, contact DNG Ted Healy 064 6639000 killarney@dng.ie for genuine honest advice on how to achieve the best possible price for your home.

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Tourism VAT rate should be “continued indefinitely”

A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its […]

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A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its customers”.

The reduced VAT rate of 9% was introduced by the Government in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the hospitality sector.

“I believe a return to a 13.5% Tourism VAT rate would be counterproductive at this stage, to small and medium businesses that welcome visitors to our country and our county,” Councillor Michael Cahill said.

“Catered food is already charged at 13.5%, alcohol at 23% and accommodation presently at 9%. This sector is providing pretty decent returns to the Exchequer and should be supported. All parties in this debate, including the Government and accommodation providers, should review their position and ensure their actions do not contribute to ‘killing the Goose that laid the Golden Egg’.”

He explained that the tourism industry is “in a very volatile market”, as can be seen by the enormous challenges “posed by COVID-19 in recent years”.

“A grain of rice could tip the balance either way and great care must be taken not to damage it irreparably. We are all aware that the next six to 12 months will be extremely difficult for many businesses with the increase in the cost of oil and gas, etc,, and a return to the 13.5% VAT rate will, in my opinion, close many doors. If a minority are ‘price gouging’, then it should be possible to penalise them and continue to support the majority who offer value for money to our visitors.”

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