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The wait is almost over for the Class of 2020

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What a year, what an end and what a class group! As Leaving Certs you have weathered the storm created by COVID-19 with a collective strength of character that has earned you the respect of your teachers, parents and so many others besides.

 

For so many of you the disappointment of not being able to celebrate the traditional milestones in your final year in secondary school still lingers; that’s completely understandable. You have been exceptionally patient considering that your results are being issued almost four weeks later than every other year, but thankfully the wait is almost over.

Tomorrow (Monday) at 9am, the results of your Calculated Grades will be available online via your Student Portal on https://lc2020.education.gov.ie/. As this is a big milestone in your life in a year that has denied you many more of them it would be a good idea to have someone with you when you get them to share in the experience of it with you. You will need your exam number, student portal password and PPS number to access the results. Your points will not be listed on the certificate that you get so you will need to calculate them yourself. It’s a good idea to download the Points Calculator App from Careers Portal to your phone beforehand. It is very simple to use and does the calculating for you. You then have another wait for CAO Round 1 offers which will be available online at 2pm on Friday, September 11. You won’t know the points for 2020 until the Round 1 offers are issued. On Monday (September 14), the estimated mark given by the school will be available online via the Student Portal. Students will be able to appeal results from September 14-17, and details of the process will be published on the Student Portal. Available Places will also open on September 14 on www.cao.ie. You will have up to Wednesday September 16 at 3pm to accept your Round 1 offer online. Second round offers will be made on September 23 for acceptance by September 25. For the most up-to-date information on dates and details always check www.cao.ie and https://lc2020.education.gov.ie/.

WRITTEN EXAM

Students who are disappointed with their results will have the opportunity to sit the written Leaving Certificate Exams in November. You may choose to sit some or all of the exams and you will be able to use the highest grade that you receive from either the exam or the calculated grade to apply to CAO for entry to college in 2021/2022. The exams are due to begin on Monday, November 16 on evenings and weekends, subject to public health guidelines at that time. Details such as timetables, registration and procedures will be issued closer to the time. Schools have been asked to ensure that Guidance Counsellors are available to students on the day of the results so if you have questions contact your school by phone or email. The National Parents’ Council Post-Primary in conjunction with the IGC will provide a Freephone helpline on 1800 265 165 on September 7 and 8 from 11am to 8pm, on September 9 and 10 from 11am to 2pm, September 11 from 12pm-8pm and September 12 from 11am to 5pm.

EMOTIONAL

Leaving Cert Results day is always a day filled with lots of different emotions for students and no doubt they will be amplified even more because of the year that you have had. So take time to process your feelings about the results, try not to compare yourself to others and enjoy this for the event that it is – a milestone in your life. That said, it is a well-worn cliché at this stage but never so important to remember you that you are not defined by your Leaving Cert results. They are a mark in the sand, an end of one part of your journey. What lies ahead is a very exciting next stage, one which if you make the right choice for yourself will allow you to flourish far beyond COVID-19. Congratulations to the class of 2020 – I am in awe of how you have coped with the impact of a global pandemic in your Leaving Cert year – Maith sibh! It may not feel like it but you are stronger, more capable and more resilient as a result. The best is yet to come!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and PRO of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie.

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Further rise in house prices forecast for 2022 as average price of a resale home in the capital reaches €500,000

According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values recorded in 2021. At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG) recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand […]

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According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors
DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values
recorded in 2021.

At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG)
recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand home of 13.6% last year, a marked
acceleration in the rate of inflation compared to 2020 when prices rose by 1.4%.
At the national level (including Dublin) the overall rate of price increase last year stood at 12.0%. The NPG, which tracks house prices across the country on a half yearly basis, recorded growth of 5.3% in the six months to December 2021, compared to an increase of 7.9% in the first six months of last year.
All regions of Ireland recorded double digit price growth in 2021, except for Dublin (+9.9%).
Nationally, the strongest rate of house price appreciation was in the Mid-West region (+17.2%)
followed by the Midlands (+14.2%) and West (+13.8%) whilst the South East region saw the
lowest rate of growth in prices last year (+11.0%).
Outside the capital the highest average price was found in the Mid-East (€349,259) followed by the South West (€279,844).

Looking at the outlook for the year ahead, the agency forecasts further growth in prices both in
Dublin and nationally, with regional price gains set to outstrip those in the capital where nominal
values are already elevated, and affordability is more challenged.
The agency is forecasting an average uplift in regional markets of 12-13% this year whilst price growth in Dublin will more likely be high single digits, in the order of 6-8%.
The factors underpinning the forecasts include continued strong economic and wage growth, the heightened household savings levels seen in 2020-21, the extension of government initiatives for first time buyers announced in the budget, strong demand from this cohort evident in the mortgage approvals data and the prevailing low interest rate environment.
On the supply side, whilst the supply of new residential completions is set to increase to around 26,000 units this year, this will still be well below the estimated 30-35,000 new units required each year to meet demand thereby putting upward pressure on prices in the market.
“Whilst Covid-related issues rightly dominated the news agenda in 2021, housing undoubtedly came a close second, given the emotive nature of the housing debate and the current market dynamics of
rising house prices and rents and a shortage of accommodation available to buy or rent, not only
in Dublin but across the country.”, said DNG’s Director of Research Paul Murgatroyd said “Price growth was clearly very robust last year across all regions and the factors that drove those increases continue to be evident in the market as we enter 2022. The stock of homes for sale in the second hand market remains very low by historical standards and this, combined with the elevated level of demand, brought about in part by factors linked to changing behaviours throughout the pandemic, will mean further price appreciation will be evident as we progress through the year ahead.”

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Iarnrod Eireann refuses plans for footbridge at railway station

By Sean Moriarty Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station. Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station.

Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two public transport hubs.

Currently rail passengers must walk from Killarney station, via the front entrance of the Great Southern Hotel and then walk the entire length of the Outlet Centre before reaching the bus station.

“It’s an anomaly that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other European country,” said Cllr O’Donoghue in November.

Iarnrod Eireann has responded to the letter sent shortly after the November meeting.

In reply the railway company said that in October 2019 it carried out a study which included the possibility of a either an underpass or a footbridge.

The study revealed that passenger would face a short four to five minute walk when trying to access one hub from another.

“Iarnrod Eireann would regard this as scheme as a low priority investment,” said chief executive Jim Meade in the letter.

Cllr Donoghue said the response was “ludicrous” and that he had often witnessed passengers lugging suitcases through the Outlet Centre.

“You would not jog it in five minutes,” he said.

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