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Canada meets Ireland in new real estate venture

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By Sean Moriarty

A new estate agency in Killarney town centre promises “a fresh set of eyes” on the local property market.

O’Callaghan Town and Country Real Estate was set up by Canadian Sherry O’Callaghan just over a month ago. Operating from a prime location on New St one of the town’s newest businesses is already making a mark.

Sherry and her Millstreet husband arrived here last autumn after Patrick decided the time was right to move back to Ireland after over 10 years at the other side of the Atlantic.

She has over 12 years’ experience in the Canadian real estate business and brought that wealth of knowledge with her when she joined her husband in Millstreet late last year.

How did a woman from Newfoundland met a man from North Cork?

“Simple, I sold him a house,” she said.

Her experience includes several qualifications and diplomas in areas as diverse as real estate law, ethics and marketing.

“When I applied for my Irish [real estate] licence, I had 28 attachments on the application,” she adds.

Her licence arrived on Christmas Eve last year.

“I did not need any more presents or parties last Christmas,” she said.

Once she had identified 18 New Street as a suitable business location she and her carpenter husband and a local engineer set about readying the premises for its new role.

“The engineer was a blessing, he introduced me to a local builder who is behind a new nine-house development on Ross Road,” she added. “That was my first client, he said he likes what I do and that I offer a fresh set of eyes on the property market.”

One of the key differences between the Irish and Canadian markets is that real estate agents in Canada act either on behalf of the buyer or seller where here in Ireland new buyers face the daunting task of facing an agent on their own.

“As I am new to Ireland I feel I can offer that service too, everything is new to me so I can really see everything from the buyer's point of view too.”

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Kerry base confirmed for Rás Mumhan

By Sean Moriarty Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster. The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster.

The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in Castleisland and will run from Good Friday until Easter Monday.

The final route has not yet been revealed but it is expected to follow a similar path to the 2022 edition.

Last year, due to organisational difficulties, the Rás Mumhan committee asked local clubs to take charge of each day of the race.

Killarney Cycling Club hosted the Easter Saturday leg of the race, including managing the stage start in the town centre, the Category One mountain climb at Bealach Oisin Pass and the stage finish in Sneem.

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Easter and we wish all the riders the best of luck in their preparations for the event. Further details to follow as they are confirmed,” said Race Secretary Sinéad Moriarty.

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Showcasing Killarney to an influential audience

Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night. It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it […]

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Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night.

It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it was also a perfect opportunity to show the best of Killarney. Held in the Plaza Hotel, it was hosted by Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney who used the occasion to highlight the best of Killarney’s performing arts talent, cuisine and locally produced drinks. There were special performances on the night by singers and dancers from St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School and the West End House School of Arts who brought The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, back to life for one night only to deliver a passionate dramatisation of a famous speech. Skal is the largest international hospitality networking organisation in the world with 13,000 members in 308 clubs in almost 90 countries. Fáilte Ireland Chairman Paul Carty said in his speech that the contribution Killarney has made to the Irish tourism industry should not be underestimated. He added that the tourism industry supports over 3,500 jobs in Killarney and over 7,000 in the rest of Kerry. He said the hard work put in by tourism professionals in Killarney over the years is paying off and when Fáilte Ireland surveyed hundreds of domestic and international tourists, at the height of the season last August, they couldn’t speak highly enough of their experience with 97 percent saying they were very satisfied. “The national figure is 90 percent so Killarney is actually seven percent higher than the national average and that’s truly exceptional,” he said. Over 55 percent of visitors to Killarney also spend time in other parts of Kerry and towns, like Dingle, Kenmare and Tralee, and really benefit from the spin-off.

INDUSTRY CHALLENGES

The Fáilte Ireland chairman said his organisation is acutely aware what Killarney has faced in recent years and the challenges it currently faces and every support possible will be provided to help.

Mr Carty said Fáilte Ireland last year launched a destination experience and development plan for Killarney and that will see the town reach its full potential through sustainability and the development of year-round tourist attractions.

He said costs were also a big concern with energy bills, in particular, going through the roof and putting businesses under serious pressure.

Staffing was another serious problem for the industry as so much talent was lost during the pandemic.

“An awful lot of great people left our industry and they’re not coming back, so there is a great shortage,” he said, adding that Fáilte Ireland was working hard to overcome the difficulties being experienced.

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