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Concerns over 999 phone coverage in the Black Valley 




Residents of the Black Valley are calling on all agencies to come together to ensure reliable phone and fibre services for their homes as a matter of urgency.

As Ireland's most remote destination, it was the last corner of the country to get electricity in 1976.

While welcoming ongoing initiatives, the tight-knit Black Valley Community point out, that, there is no mobile phone signal and the home phone service currently available in the area does not enable many residents to dial 999 or 112 for emergency services. With ever increasing numbers of visitors to the area throughout the year and the lack of even basic amenities, they say that this could result in the lives of both residents and visitors to the area being lost in the event of an emergency.

In addition to a reliable phone service, the group are also calling for the installation of fibre to the home broadband as promised by the National Broadband Ireland (NBI). They note that some residents in the valley were forced to rent premises in Killarney town during the COVID restrictions in order to be able to “work from home”. This is clearly not sustainable for either residents or businesses in the valley going forward, they note.

The group have put forward proposals that the NBI should link up with Siro in order to be able to quickly provide a reliable fibre to the home broadband service in the valley through the existing ESB Network. Connection points are available from either Molls Gap or The Brida Valley they point out, while noting that work is ongoing by Eir to install new masts in the valley to enhance phone services, they have called for all service providers to come together to share this infrastructure so that customers of all mobile phone service providers can benefit from a reliable service.

Spokesperson for the group Ann Marie O’Donoghue pointed out that the area was one of the last places in the county to get electricity and they certainly don’t want to be last again when it comes to proper phone and broadband services.

“There is a strong community in the valley that is working to develop businesses and facilities including the local school and we need proper phone and broadband services as soon as possible to support the long term viability of our community,” she said.

In addition to this work, the community is also in the process of developing a community managed heritage centre on a site that is being provided to them by a local farming family.

“This project could be an example of good practice in efforts to regenerate and guarantee the sustainable future of rural communities everywhere.”

Ann Marie has welcomed initial funding from KCC to begin work on this project.

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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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