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Chance to honour humanitarian heroes in memory of the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican

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NOMINATIONS are being invited for the 2017 Hugh O'Flaherty International Humanitarian Award. As part of the 10th annual Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Weekend, which will take place on Saturday, November 4, Sunday, November 5, in Killarney, the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society are inviting the public, NGOs, voluntary bodies and organisations to nominate the person or organisation they feel is doing outstanding humanitarian work and most deserving of the 2017 Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award.

Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, who was from Killarney, was dubbed the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican for his lifesaving exploits during World War II. During the course of the war he was instrumental in saving the lives of more than 6,500 anti-Fascists, Allied escapees, Jews and many others by hiding them from the Gestapo in a number of safe houses. throughout Rome. On the day Rome was liberated, June 4, 1944, his organisation was still successfully hiding almost 4000 people, despite the efforts of the Gestapo to recapture them.

The work of Monsignor O’Flaherty follows a long tradition of humanitarian service by Irish people, when he provided refuge and assistance to the oppressed in Rome without any regard for race, colour, creed or political beliefs – applying his own simple yet profound belief that “God Has No Country”.

After WW2 Monsignor O'Flaherty received many honours including Commander of the British Empire and the US Medal of Freedom. In November 2008, in recognition of his immense humanitarian deeds the people of his hometown of Killarney posthumously presented the Killarney Humanitarian Award to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty. For subsequent years, the Award was renamed in his honour and presented to worthy recipients.

Last year’s 2016 Humanitarian Award recipient was Irish Columban Missionary to the Philippines and founder of PREDA, Fr Shay Cullen. Since 1969 he has led a sustained campaign in defence of the oppressed and exploited women and children in the Philippines.

In 2013, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Monsignor’s death, a magnificent life-size bronze memorial was unveiled on Mission Road in Killarney. It is the work of Valentia Based artist Alan Ryan Hall.

Nominations in no more than 500 words should be submitted in writing to the Awards Committee at the below address, or by e-mail to hofmemorialsociety@gmail.com before Friday, June 16. The nomination should clearly outline the reasons why the nominator feels that the nominated Individual/Team/Organisation, merits consideration for this award.

An independent panel will fully consider the nominations received and will recommend a recipient to the Memorial Committee. The 2017 Award recipient will be announced in late August and the award will be presented on Saturday November 4.
 


 
Above: Fr Shay Cullen, pictured after receiving the Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award.
PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE

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Further rise in house prices forecast for 2022 as average price of a resale home in the capital reaches €500,000

According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values recorded in 2021. At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG) recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand […]

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According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors
DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values
recorded in 2021.

At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG)
recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand home of 13.6% last year, a marked
acceleration in the rate of inflation compared to 2020 when prices rose by 1.4%.
At the national level (including Dublin) the overall rate of price increase last year stood at 12.0%. The NPG, which tracks house prices across the country on a half yearly basis, recorded growth of 5.3% in the six months to December 2021, compared to an increase of 7.9% in the first six months of last year.
All regions of Ireland recorded double digit price growth in 2021, except for Dublin (+9.9%).
Nationally, the strongest rate of house price appreciation was in the Mid-West region (+17.2%)
followed by the Midlands (+14.2%) and West (+13.8%) whilst the South East region saw the
lowest rate of growth in prices last year (+11.0%).
Outside the capital the highest average price was found in the Mid-East (€349,259) followed by the South West (€279,844).

Looking at the outlook for the year ahead, the agency forecasts further growth in prices both in
Dublin and nationally, with regional price gains set to outstrip those in the capital where nominal
values are already elevated, and affordability is more challenged.
The agency is forecasting an average uplift in regional markets of 12-13% this year whilst price growth in Dublin will more likely be high single digits, in the order of 6-8%.
The factors underpinning the forecasts include continued strong economic and wage growth, the heightened household savings levels seen in 2020-21, the extension of government initiatives for first time buyers announced in the budget, strong demand from this cohort evident in the mortgage approvals data and the prevailing low interest rate environment.
On the supply side, whilst the supply of new residential completions is set to increase to around 26,000 units this year, this will still be well below the estimated 30-35,000 new units required each year to meet demand thereby putting upward pressure on prices in the market.
“Whilst Covid-related issues rightly dominated the news agenda in 2021, housing undoubtedly came a close second, given the emotive nature of the housing debate and the current market dynamics of
rising house prices and rents and a shortage of accommodation available to buy or rent, not only
in Dublin but across the country.”, said DNG’s Director of Research Paul Murgatroyd said “Price growth was clearly very robust last year across all regions and the factors that drove those increases continue to be evident in the market as we enter 2022. The stock of homes for sale in the second hand market remains very low by historical standards and this, combined with the elevated level of demand, brought about in part by factors linked to changing behaviours throughout the pandemic, will mean further price appreciation will be evident as we progress through the year ahead.”

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Iarnrod Eireann refuses plans for footbridge at railway station

By Sean Moriarty Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station. Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station.

Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two public transport hubs.

Currently rail passengers must walk from Killarney station, via the front entrance of the Great Southern Hotel and then walk the entire length of the Outlet Centre before reaching the bus station.

“It’s an anomaly that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other European country,” said Cllr O’Donoghue in November.

Iarnrod Eireann has responded to the letter sent shortly after the November meeting.

In reply the railway company said that in October 2019 it carried out a study which included the possibility of a either an underpass or a footbridge.

The study revealed that passenger would face a short four to five minute walk when trying to access one hub from another.

“Iarnrod Eireann would regard this as scheme as a low priority investment,” said chief executive Jim Meade in the letter.

Cllr Donoghue said the response was “ludicrous” and that he had often witnessed passengers lugging suitcases through the Outlet Centre.

“You would not jog it in five minutes,” he said.

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