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Betty’s record Rapunzel donation




By Marie Carroll-O’Sullivan

Not content with a hat-trick, Betty O’Farrell went for four in a row on Thursday last as she once again selflessly donated her hair to charity.



FOUR IN A ROW: Hairdresser Triona O’Shea pictured with Betty O’Farrell who cut her hair for the fourth time for the Rapunzel Foundation. Photo: Marie Carroll-O’Sullivan

Hairdresser Triona O’Shea is ready to cut Betty O’Farrell's hair for the Rapunzel Foundation. Photo: Marie Carroll-O’Sullivan

I was tipped off by restaurant owner Johnny McGuire, husband of the ever giving Betty O’Farrell, who sat next to the equally charitable Triona O’Shea, at Ruby Tuesdays, as they discussed Betty’s 12 inch quota to suffice the partial make up of one child’s wig through the Rapunzel Foundation in Waterford.

Once confirmed, the conversation drifted to Betty and her sister’s recent appearance on TG4 ‘as gaeilge’ ar Cois Mhuire, to that of Triona O’Shea’s daughter Ashten’s up coming appearance on First Dates Ireland in the coming weeks.

Equally supporting the Rapunzel Foundation in Waterford, these ladies are somewhat pros!

Hairdresser at Ruby Tuesdays, Triona, has been offering this service free of charge to the wider community in Killarney for over 20 years now. The requirements are specific in that each plait must be 12 inches between each band, it must be in good condition and not coloured, permed, highlighted, bleached, or dreadlocked. The Rapunzel Foundation gather braids from all over Ireland and ship to New Zealand where the hair is made in to wigs. Depending on the size and density, it will take between five and 25 ponytails to make one hair piece.

“Betty is an amazing lady,” Triona said.

“It’s a new record for me. Betty has now set the bar at four for the number of times she has donated her hair to the Rapunzel Foundation which is truly amazing. Laura Sheehan, Rathmore is a close second, donating her locks three times to date. People are great!

Betty explained that it has taken between two and two and a half years to grow the 12 inches leaving her with a bob hair style each time.

"I love swimming so it needs to be long enough to tie back," she said.

"I have visited Triona twice on High Street and twice at Ruby Tuesdays. The first time on High Street was with my son Frank, who at the time, also donated 12 inches of his hair to the Rapunzel Foundation,”

Dealing with illness down through the years, I could see how important it was to Betty to donate.

“It might be the last time I donate as I believe grey hair is not acceptable,” Betty laughed.

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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 quarterly report found the market had held up […]




By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

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

The 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 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 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 […]




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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