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Biggest-ever National Women’s Enterprise Day taking place this October




Female entrepreneurs and budding businesswomen from across the Local Enterprise Office in Kerry and Cork are being encouraged to look to the future and register for this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day.

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) initiative, now in its 16th year, National Women's Enterprise Day celebrates female entrepreneurs’ success and inspires female start-ups to help build 'Our Future, Our Way', the theme for this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day 2022.

16 major entrepreneurial events are planned across the country on October 13, including a lead event at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney hosted by Kerry County Council Local Enterprise Office.

This initiative is led by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, and funded by the Government of Ireland, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and Local Authorities.

The event will kick off with a welcome address by Moira Murrell, Chief Executive of Kerry County Council followed by a network event facilitated by Marie Wiseman, Wiser Marketing allowing attendees to meet with other female entrepreneurs present. The keynote speaker will be Sonya Lennon, designer, broadcaster, social entrepreneur, and successful businesswoman. It will also include an interactive panel discussion of Kerry and Cork leading lights hosted by MC Elaine Kinsella, Radio Kerry presenter and RTÉ broadcaster. This event will also include an Afternoon Tea style networking lunch.

Kerry County Council Local Enterprise Office’s leading light for the event is Emily Brick who founded Athena Analytics after returning to Ireland from Australia where she worked as a Senior Data Scientist for the Department of Education. Although Emily has a strong passion for the role of machine learning in solving data problems, simplifying reporting, informing decision making; she also understands how machine learning and web-based software combined can be powerful in solving practical and logistical problems for end users in a timely and simple fashion. In late 2017, she saw an opportunity in the education market in Ireland for such a tool and so began Athena Analytics, an edtech company based in Tralee. The Athena Tracker is currently used in over half of Ireland’s secondary schools and in a growing number of schools in both the UK and South Africa.


“The ‘Our future, Our Way’ message for National Women’s Enterprise Day has never been more important," Moira Murrell, Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, who will be delivering the opening address on National Women’s Enterprise Day, said.

"I look forward to addressing this year’s event and hearing from inspiring female business leaders on how they have managed the past two years, which have been extremely difficult for all business owners and their staff. The Government is determined to help more women pursue entrepreneurship as a career and I’m encouraged to see such a significant increase – 58%, taking up the training programmes that are available. Training and mentorship can make a huge difference to any entrepreneur starting out, on what can often be a lonely journey, and I encourage all women considering setting up their own business to contact their Local Enterprise Office to see how they can help you.”

Fiona Leahy, Kerry Local Enterprise Office said “National Women’s Enterprise Day has always been a day of celebration of the very best in female entrepreneurship and highlighting the strength of that community".

"This year is no different, but we are very much looking forward. How can we help female entrepreneurs in Kerry and the southwest sustain and develop their businesses and ideas going into the future. Don’t miss out on this inclusive, creative, inspirational, unique event with plenty of networking, celebrating women in business. All sectors are welcome from entrepreneurs with a business idea, to start-ups and well-established businesses.”

To book a place for the Kerry event, which costs €30 please visit

All enquiries to Fiona Leahy, Kerry Local Enterprise Office or 066 7183502.

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The Irish investment market is pathetic

By Michael O’Connor,    I lived abroad for years, so all the investment strategies I created were typically outside of Irish tax considerations. But over the last few weeks I […]




By Michael O’Connor,   

I lived abroad for years, so all the investment strategies I created were typically outside of Irish tax considerations.

But over the last few weeks I have been putting together several investment strategies for Irish-domiciled clients. It has been eye-opening, to say the least.

In short, most of the Irish market appears to be dominated by a handful of life insurance companies that offer ‘wrapped’ Multi Asset Funds. This means they offer a basket of stocks, bonds, property etc., all within one investment.

Irish Life’s MAPs 4 multi-asset fund states a standard annual management charge of 1.15%. A bit on the higher side for my liking, but this is still manageable.

But when you dig a little deeper, the KID documents (where all fees have to be fully disclosed as part of UCITS regulations) show the fee as 2.2%.

Double the quoted price

As an added bonus, they lock your money up for seven years, where an early encashment charge is waiting for those who wish to withdraw their money early. That’s right, they charge YOU for making your money inaccessible.

This lock-up period is a shrewd business tactic. An exit charge is an excellent way to ensure customers don’t leave when they realise how poor the performance is.

Too late, you’re trapped.


Fees become more digestible provided the performance is strong, but unfortunately, the misery continues.

The Irish Life MAPS 4 Portfolio has an annual return of 1.63% a year over the last five years. Granted, this was a challenging market climate to navigate, but falling below even the lowest expectations of inflation means that this fund has returned negative real returns after inflation over the last five years.

A similar 60/40 portfolio made up of passive index funds (S&P 500 and US T bonds) would have returned roughly 6.5% a year over the same period for a fee of roughly 0.1%.

We can go round and round in circles regarding the ‘risk adjusted’ approach and the added ‘diversification’ of the multi-asset fund versus the 60/40 portfolio I have shown. But the reality is much of this so-called diversification is over-engineering for an extra cost for many long term investors.

So, how can such pathetic offerings still exist in a system where low-cost operators such as De Giro are providing endless ETF options and commission-free trades that provide access to market returns at a fraction of the price?

Two reasons spring to mind

Firstly, the Irish retail investment scene is built on a financial broker commission system where unsuspecting customers are shoved into these products by ‘financial planners’ who receive kickbacks and commissions from these investment companies. You think you’re getting free investment advice; believe me, you’re not.

Second, the tax treatment of ETF structures is comical in Ireland, and US ETFs aren’t even an investment option. A 41% exit tax and an eight-year deemed disposal rule leaves investors stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Choose an overpriced, underperforming product that locks your money away for multiple years or choose the cheaper, better-performing product and suffer the tax consequences.

Bizarrely, investors are forced to make decisions based on preferential tax treatment rather than on the underlying investment’s merits.

I have gone into much more detail on the tax treatment and investment options in Ireland on my website. Just scan the QR code.

If you would like me to independently review your investment portfolio, just send me an email at


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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]




By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.


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