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Community steps up to give gifts to elderly for Christmas

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APPEAL: Garda Brendan O'Donovan says they've received huge support for the 'Christmas Together' campaign but more can be dropped off at Killarney Garda Station. Photo: Michelle Crean

 

By Michelle Crean

 

There was a massive outpouring of kindness for the first ever 'Christmas Together' Garda campaign which will see gifts given to 270 older residents in the Killarney community.

After a public appeal, which was featured in the Killarney Advertiser in late November, members of the community stepped up and generously donated gifts which will be given to a number of local nursing homes including St Columbanus Home, Killarney Community Hospital, Killarney Nursing Home on Rock Road and Our Lady of Lourdes Nursing Home in Kilcummin, as well as Heather Lee Nursing Home at Lawlor’s Cross and residents in Holy Cross Gardens Day Care Centre and Oakwood, and Cheshire Home.

However, Garda Brendan O'Donovan is hoping that over the next few days more gifts will be donated to give a little something to healthcare staff also, especially this, the year of COVID.

"People have been ringing, emailing and coming in asking what they can do to help," Garda O’Donovan, who set up the initiative, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"People have been fantastic from businesses to the public. We also have 19 schools involved and will be collecting them next week."

Items they're looking for include non-perishable goods including books, puzzles, personal care products, sweets and products. Donations will be sterilised and isolated for a number of days prior to being distributed on December 22 or 23, he added.

"I'd like to thank everyone for their generosity, and all my Garda colleagues for their support."

All donations can be dropped to Killarney Garda Station or collection can be arranged before December 14 to allow sufficient time to ensure all goods are properly sorted and sanitised – in keeping with COVID-19 guidelines. Gifts should not be wrapped but instead placed in gift bags.

For more information or to contact Brendan with a donation ring 064 6631222 or by email brendan.j.odonovan@garda.ie.

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Housing Will Never Be The Same

Last week I wrote about the pathetic investment options out there for Irish investors. Despite high ongoing fees (mortgage, maintenance, insurance etc.) and the actual headache of being a landlord, […]

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Last week I wrote about the pathetic investment options out there for Irish investors.

Despite high ongoing fees (mortgage, maintenance, insurance etc.) and the actual headache of being a landlord, it’s easy to see why real estate functioned as the de facto investment portfolio for an entire generation.

Wealth creation was a rinse-and-repeat function where couples put money away until they had enough for the ‘next house’. As a result, we have an economy where 70% of household wealth is tied up in real estate.

Driven by the profits it created, Ireland became obsessed with owning real estate.

But real estate as an investment won’t be nearly as successful for our generation. (If you are able to get a house, that is)

All you have to do is look at the anecdotal evidence all around us to confirm this.

My parents bought the house they currently live in for 30k (pounds) 35 years ago. The house is now worth roughly 450k.

I typically despise these back-of-the-envelope calculations when It comes to property, given the endless variables and ongoing costs involved, but bear with me.

That’s a gross return of 15 times the original value. Now there are upgrades, a change in currency and other adjustments to consider here, so for argument’s sake, let’s call it 10X.

To achieve the same level of growth over the next 35 years, you would be left paying 4,500,000 euros for what is a pretty modest house.

Sure, we will still see property prices increase over time, but the rate of growth won’t be anywhere near as meaningful for one simple reason.

Interest rates.

Artificial Growth

Over the last 30 years, real economic growth has been stagnant, yet Ireland has experienced enviable nominal growth.

How did we manage it?

We created imaginary wealth.

We pushed interest rates lower and lower to stimulate economic growth.

And it worked.

After all, if you make 100k/year you can probably afford a 400k mortgage at 4%. At 2%, with the same 100k/year salary you can now take on 600k in debt.

So, were we getting richer, or was the debt just easier to afford?

Where do we go from here?

We have now squeezed interest rates as low as they can go.

The house price appreciation we have seen was justifiable because the mortgage rates on housing continued to fall in recent decades. This allowed people to take on more debt without severely impacting their ability to repay that debt.

If we go back to my parents, they were paying 14% on their mortgage. Mortgage rates are currently between 2 to 3%.

A relentless drop in interest rates gave way to higher and higher prices for houses, but interest rates are now on the floor.

The juice has been squeezed.

In fact, the trend has started to reverse, with rates expected to rise 1.5% in the first half of 2023

Be mindful that the same credit expansion cannot happen again.

How the next generation thinks about their investment options has to change.

Banks offering 0% returns for the use of your money and a housing ladder you can’t get on are not your only two options.

If you need help creating your own investment portfolio, just reach out to me at mike@theislandinvestor or simply scan the QR code above.

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Biddies performance celebrates St Brigid

Two local Biddies groups performed at Muckross House as part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations in aid of Kerry Parents and Friends Association. The Killarney Parents and Friends Biddy Group – formerly […]

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Two local Biddies groups performed at Muckross House as part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations in aid of Kerry Parents and Friends Association.

The Killarney Parents and Friends Biddy Group – formerly known as the Beaufort Biddy Group – and Kilgobnet Biddies came together for the event.

The tradition of the Biddies is one of the oldest and most colourful customs in Ireland, a blend of pagan and Christian pageantry, held on February 1 each year, heralding the beginning of springtime and honouring St Bríd the patron saint of the farming community.

Master traditional craftsman, Pat Broderick, at Muckross House, was also part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations, making a St Brigid’s Cross as part of the traditions.

 

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