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Businessmen to receive Killarney’s highest honour




Two very prominent and successful businessmen are to be honoured in Killarney with the prestigious Order of Innisfallen Award.

The award is in recognition of the enormous contribution they and their families have made to the economic and social fabric of the community.

Brothers-in-law Donal Ring and Michael O’Donoghue will be honoured at a ceremony to be held in Muckross House, Killarney on Wednesday, December 14 at 4pm.

The Order of Inisfallen is the highest honour Killarney can bestow and the awards scheme is administered by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Kerry County Council.

Entrepreneur Donal Ring is the founder of Munster Joinery and the O'Donoghue Ring Collection. He and his brother, Patrick, established Munster Joinery in 1973 with a small operation at their family home in Ballydesmond, on the Kerry-Cork border.

The company has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of windows and doors in Europe and next year Munster Joinery will celebrate a landmark 50 years in business.

The family-run company employs 1,800 people with a further 900 on the payroll in the UK.

With operations in Ireland, north and south, and the United Kingdom, the hugely progressive company has a 960,000sq ft production facility on an 80-acre site in Ballydesmond with another 280,000sq ft plant on a 28-acre site in Wellesbourne in the UK. Both plants serve the Irish, European and international markets.

Close on 50 years after setting up the business, Donal Ring is still at the helm and continues to oversee all aspects of the business.

In 1978, Donal and his wife, Noreen, purchased the property then known as the East Avenue Hotel – now the 66-bedroom Killarney Avenue Hotel.

Noreen’s brother, Michael O’Donoghue, joined his sister and brother-in-law in the hospitality business and became one of its most successful and respected operators for over 40 years.

In 1986 Michael launched Revelles nightclub in the East Avenue and attracted many top acts, from Johnny Logan to Sinitta, to perform there while countless marriages and relationships can be traced back to a chance first encounter in Revelles.

The company expanded in 1989 with the purchase of the former Imperial Hotel which is now known as the Killarney Towers Hotel with 182 bedrooms.

Also in 1989, Michael developed a hugely successful business in his birthplace of Castleisland with the building of the 52-bedroom River Island Hotel.

The flagship town centre Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa opened in 2002 with 198 bedrooms.

Michael was at the helm as managing director of the O'Donoghue Ring Collection until his recent retirement and the O'Donoghue Ring Collection is now one of the largest employers in Kerry.

He is and always has been a stalwart supporter of hospitality and all things Killarney.

Michael also led the town’s relationship with tour companies who have brought a vast amount of business to Killarney and Kerry.

Donal and Michael also expanded into the UK hospitality market with Centre Island Hotels which now has hotel properties based in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.


Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher, said both Donal Ring and Michael O’Donoghue are prime examples of what can be achieved in life through hard work, sheer determination and a solid business plan and they have set a great example for future generations to follow.

“The employment they have created in Kerry over five decades has been incredible and, given the ongoing success and growth of both Munster Joinery and the O'Donoghue Ring Collection, it shows no sign of abating,” he said.

“Through their hotels they have certainly helped to put Killarney and Kerry on the map, both nationally and internationally, and it is wonderful to see that, even with the enormous success they have enjoyed, they both have their feet very much on the ground,” the mayor added.

Cairde Chill Áirne Chairman, Conor Hennigan, said he is looking forward to Donal and Michael being inducted into the Order of Inisfallen as they are both very worthy and popular recipients.

“Collectively, Killarney Municipal District Authority and Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce are delighted to bestow Killarney’s highest honour on these two fine gentlemen and to recognise them for the tremendous contribution they have made,” he said.

The Cairde Chill Áirne Order of Inisfallen awards scheme was established in 2005 to recognise outstanding contributions by people to the economic development of the town and its tourism industry.
Previous recipients include actor Michael Fassbender, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, industrialist Isolde Liebherr, Charles, the former Prince of Wales and now King of England, entertainer Daniel O’Donnell, tour operators Brian Stack, Linda Roberts and Brian McColgan, travel writer Susan Poole, former ministers John O’Donoghue and Jimmy Deenihan and tourism official Margaret Cahill.

Inisfallen Island is one of Killarney’s best-known and most historic heritage sites. It began as a place of healing and became a major centre of learning where the Annals of Inisfallen, the oldest contemporary source of the history of Munster, were scripted.

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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.


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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.


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