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Construction starts on outdoor dining but Jarveys not happy

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By Sean Moriarty

The much awaited €600,000 outdoor dining project for the town finally began construction this week - but not everyone is happy about its timing due to the start of the tourism season.

CHAOS: One Jarvey said that the construction work will cause traffic chaos during the summer months.

DANGER: Coach passengers were forced to join their tour in live traffic.

The Bord Fáilte funded scheme, part of the town’s response to COVID-19, will include a 620 square-metre outdoor dining area consisting of paving, landscaping, and lighting, of which 210 square-metres will be a covered dining area, was given the green light in September last year. It was hoped to have been fully completed last month at the very latest.

After months of planning, funding applications and a tender process, construction work finally began this week.

A new protective hoarding has been erected on Kenmare Place to prevent members of the public accidently walking into the construction site and to prevent construction material spilling on to public walkways.

As a result the roadway has become much narrower. The bus setdown area in Kenmare Place is no longer available and the number of Jarvey stands at the adjacent HaHa have been reduced.

While Jarveys are not opposed to the overall plan, they believe the timing of the project is wrong as the town prepares to enter its peak tourism season. However, one of the funding conditions for the public outdoor dining area is that construction must be completed by a certain date.

ACCIDENTS

Jarveys say that there is a health and safety issue as they have witnessed buses picking up and dropping off passengers from nearby hotels in live traffic. They have also seen a number of accidents – including a collision between two buses in the street since the hoarding went up earlier this week.

Apart from the reduced number of Jarvey stands, as a result of the narrower road, the jaunting car operators say they are losing business as potential customers cannot see the Jarvey stand at the other side of the black construction hoarding.

“We are not against this, the timing is wrong, anything that helps Killarney we are for it,” Jarvey Michael O’Grady told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they seem to have forgotten the céad míle fáilte in this case.”

The Jarveys also raised concerns about traffic and said that the noise of the construction works will frighten horses.

“There will be chaos here in the summer time,” added Jarvey Mike Griffin. “And if a horse shies we are in trouble again.”

His colleague Patrick O’Sullivan added that “buses are now loading in the Jarvey stand”.

Kenmare Place was selected for the scheme due its proximity to Killarney House and National Park, the recently developed ANAM Arts and Cultural building, Killarney Jarvey stand, Christ the King Monument and St Mary’s Church.

Kerry County Council said at the time of the grant application Kenmare Place was the most suitable location based on Fáilte Ireland criteria.

“This outdoor infrastructure area currently being constructed at Kenmare Place has been the subject of a statutory public consultation process which was widely publicised. Council staff have met with, and will continue to meet with, any groups, businesses or residents who have issues of concern while the works are taking place. The project commenced construction this week and the Council looks forward to its completion at the earliest opportunity,” a Council spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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The Irish investment market is pathetic

By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com    I lived abroad for years, so all the investment strategies I created were typically outside of Irish tax considerations. But over the last few weeks I […]

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By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com   

I lived abroad for years, so all the investment strategies I created were typically outside of Irish tax considerations.

But over the last few weeks I have been putting together several investment strategies for Irish-domiciled clients. It has been eye-opening, to say the least.

In short, most of the Irish market appears to be dominated by a handful of life insurance companies that offer ‘wrapped’ Multi Asset Funds. This means they offer a basket of stocks, bonds, property etc., all within one investment.

Irish Life’s MAPs 4 multi-asset fund states a standard annual management charge of 1.15%. A bit on the higher side for my liking, but this is still manageable.

But when you dig a little deeper, the KID documents (where all fees have to be fully disclosed as part of UCITS regulations) show the fee as 2.2%.

Double the quoted price

As an added bonus, they lock your money up for seven years, where an early encashment charge is waiting for those who wish to withdraw their money early. That’s right, they charge YOU for making your money inaccessible.

This lock-up period is a shrewd business tactic. An exit charge is an excellent way to ensure customers don’t leave when they realise how poor the performance is.

Too late, you’re trapped.

Performance

Fees become more digestible provided the performance is strong, but unfortunately, the misery continues.

The Irish Life MAPS 4 Portfolio has an annual return of 1.63% a year over the last five years. Granted, this was a challenging market climate to navigate, but falling below even the lowest expectations of inflation means that this fund has returned negative real returns after inflation over the last five years.

A similar 60/40 portfolio made up of passive index funds (S&P 500 and US T bonds) would have returned roughly 6.5% a year over the same period for a fee of roughly 0.1%.

We can go round and round in circles regarding the ‘risk adjusted’ approach and the added ‘diversification’ of the multi-asset fund versus the 60/40 portfolio I have shown. But the reality is much of this so-called diversification is over-engineering for an extra cost for many long term investors.

So, how can such pathetic offerings still exist in a system where low-cost operators such as De Giro are providing endless ETF options and commission-free trades that provide access to market returns at a fraction of the price?

Two reasons spring to mind

Firstly, the Irish retail investment scene is built on a financial broker commission system where unsuspecting customers are shoved into these products by ‘financial planners’ who receive kickbacks and commissions from these investment companies. You think you’re getting free investment advice; believe me, you’re not.

Second, the tax treatment of ETF structures is comical in Ireland, and US ETFs aren’t even an investment option. A 41% exit tax and an eight-year deemed disposal rule leaves investors stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Choose an overpriced, underperforming product that locks your money away for multiple years or choose the cheaper, better-performing product and suffer the tax consequences.

Bizarrely, investors are forced to make decisions based on preferential tax treatment rather than on the underlying investment’s merits.

I have gone into much more detail on the tax treatment and investment options in Ireland on my website. Just scan the QR code.

If you would like me to independently review your investment portfolio, just send me an email at mike@theislandinvestor.com.

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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.

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