Connect with us


“A lot of it is greed”




By Sean Moriarty

Hotels accepting large amounts of refugees and asylum seekers into their premises risk destroying the town’s tourism industry - councillors said this week.

Concerns have been raised as to the future of the town's tourism industry come March or April next year following the large influx of refugees which they say is having a detrimental effect on businesses in the town centre.

Councillors raised the issue during a respectful debate at Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District meeting.

Killarney is currently home to 572 International Protection applicants, and a further 1,300 Ukrainians fleeing from their war torn country also housed in the town.

This marks an approximate 10 percent increase in the town’s population, putting core services like schools and healthcare facilities under considerable extra pressure.

Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan asked the meeting if Killarney Municipal District would: “Write to the relevant Minister to ask for a plan in relation to the resettling of asylum seekers to Killarney and the support structures that are in place as our town is struggling to cope with the influx in terms of GP services etc.”

He also asked if the KMD would: “Write to the Minister for Finance to ask for a plan for the business community in Killarney that is struggling to survive after the Government decision to remove more beds from the tourism system and thus reducing the footfall and spending power. This is a decision taken by this Government that directly affects our business.”

These two requests prompted a lively debate within the Council chamber. While all elected members understood the need to offer help to those fleeing difficult circumstances in their home countries, they said something needed to be done too to protect Killarney’s tourism offering in the future.

“Where are they going to go? The country can’t cope right now and more people are coming. What’s going to happen in March or April? Are these businesses going to put these people out?” Cllr Brendan Cronin said.

“We must look within at our business sector also because you can’t take with one hand and expect it’s all going to be rosy next March or April.”

Cllr Marie Moloney warned that the system is at breaking point and that the town will not be able to cope. She said this is not fair on both those seeking refuge and town’s residents.

“We cannot bring people from the Ukraine into Killarney and then not be able to provide the services. They are going from one hell to another,” she said.

However, she pointed equal blame at the business people of the town who are continuing to accept refugees – a potential off season boost for such businesses – but one with long-term ramifications for the tourism industry.

“They are the ones that are actually destroying the tourism trade in town by cutting down on the bed nights,” she added.

Cllr O’Callaghan warned that the influx of refugees is having a knock on effect on smaller businesses, like cafés and bars who are not getting the same footfall as usual. He cited the recent closure of two town centre cafés as an example of how businesses are suffering.

“The decisions being taken are taking more bed nights out of the town. A lot of it is greed,” he said.

Continue Reading


Five questions to ask yourself before buying a stock

By Michael O’Connor, When it comes to investing, nothing is certain. There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy. […]




By Michael O’Connor,

When it comes to investing, nothing is certain.

There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy.

The truth is, investing is hard, and building a portfolio of top stocks that beat the market is something that even financial professionals have trouble doing consistently.

For most people, investing in index funds is the perfect hands-off approach, providing broad exposure to the stock market at a very low fee. Even my own personal portfolio is made up of roughly 70% ETFs despite the fact I invest in the market for a living.

But I believe some stock picking is a good strategy for many hands-on people.

Taking a small portion of your overall portfolio and diligently selecting a small number of companies to invest in gives you an opportunity to learn about the investing process and fully understand the businesses you are investing in, which helps to build conviction in your positions.

From a psychological standpoint “collector’s instinct” kicks in, enabling people to participate and invest more money over time.

Lastly, for Irish investors, there are tax benefits to consider. If you invest in individual stocks, you are taxed at the CGT rate of 33%, and the first €1,270 of your gains are exempt from CGT each year. When investing in index funds or ETFs, you are taxed at the exit tax rate of 41% with no annual exemption.

For those interested in picking individual stocks, here are five questions you should ask yourself before investing in any company.

Do I understand the business?

Too many people invest in businesses they don’t understand because it ‘sounds good’. If you have no idea how the company works, you won’t have the conviction needed to hold onto the stock when an inevitable downturn comes.

Can the balance sheet withstand severe, temporary adversity?

This seems obvious, but so many people invest in companies without understanding how much money a company holds and who they owe money to. Economic cycles are guaranteed. You must ensure that the company has enough cash-on-hand to avoid becoming obsolete when activity slows.

Will the company benefit from long-term trends?

Make sure the company will remain relevant into the future. If the stock is cheap now, it may be cheap for a reason.

Is the company enjoying profitable growth?

Not growth at all costs, but a combination of sustainable growth and value. All this information can be found online at sites like

What are the risk factors?

Is the company trying something new and untested? If yes, who are its competitors and how successful are they? If other players are more established, this company may have a tough time breaking into the market.


Continue Reading


Ballyspillane staff open up mental health conversation

By Michelle Crean “Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign. It’s all in partnership […]




By Michelle Crean

“Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign.

It’s all in partnership with Mental Health Ireland (MHI) and the centre will host an information/coffee morning on Thursday next (March 30) at 12.30pm at their centre and all are welcome to attend.

The campaign initiated by MHI identifies the need for positive engagement and connections with the people around us.

It asks people to engage in open conversations about mental health and prompts us all to ask the question “How Are You?”

The word HELLO is a useful acronym to guide everyone through such conversations, H: Hello, E: Engage positively with the person, L: Listen actively, L: Learn about the person and O: seek options to assist the person if required.

“We all need a listening and compassionate ear sometimes to get us through some challenges in our lives and I think the pandemic has opened a new way of looking at the world, where we can all recognise the challenges that people experience more readily,” Derek O’Leary, Manager of Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre, said.

“Our team here are in the business of supporting families and individuals across the Killarney area and beyond and see the challenges that people face first hand. We also see the positive impact that a caring person can have in such circumstances and this campaign that encourages positive engagement, regarding mental health is a great reminder to us all, the role we can play is assisting others who are struggling.”

Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre provide a suite of support and intervention services including family supports, social prescribing/community connection services and physiotherapeutic services across the Killarney municipal area and beyond.


Continue Reading


Last News