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“COVID is still causing charities to suffer”

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MS South Kerry launch '100k in May' fundraiser

By Michelle Crean

COVID restrictions meant a tough few years for a lot of charities but with fundraising back to in-person events one in particular is seeking your support.

For a second year running the MS South Kerry branch is holding its '100k in May' to help raise funds for local services for members suffering from the condition.

"Last year's donations kept us going for the second half of 2021, we raised nearly €8,000," Jillian Jones from the MS South Kerry branch, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"It came to life from a conversation with Éilís Flemming, a supporter of the branch. COVID is still causing charities to suffer across the country and this is the year we feel the branch will be really affected as our current finances only allow us to plan for the first six months of 2022."

During the pandemic members were able to keep active as physio and exercise classes were transferred online with a 400% increase in attendance.

"We will continue to do this as the response has been great as we can't open our centre due to the limited spaces and cost of rent, which fortunately we haven't had to pay since the start of COVID. We now have seven therapists working for the branch across South Kerry based in Cahersiveen, Cromane, Killarney and Kenmare. Fortunately due to some of the needs of our members they are receiving house calls."

In the early '70s MS Kerry was set up, then in 1978-79 it divided into three branches; MS South Kerry, MS Tralee, and the MS Society Listowel/North Kerry.

"In the South Kerry branch we have about one hundred plus members, a variety of ages from mid-20s to 80.
There are more in the area but have not reached out yet. The members greatly miss meeting up. These group meetings are valuable as it's hard to talk to family and friends as the same level of understanding is not there."

In recent weeks the branch has been able to start their church gate collections again but they are significantly down on 2019, she added.

"We are struggling to have enough collectors for the church gates and other planned fundraisers. If anybody is able for forthcoming events please contact us mssouthkerry@gmail.com. We are hoping to have the Busking August Bank Holiday and the Old Kenmare Walk in October."

To support the branch go to GoFundMe: '100k-in-may-2022' and make a donation.

For those who may need support the Community Welfare Officer is Siobhan Lynch based in Killarney.

You can also contact the MS Society, Southern Regional Office, North Quay House, Pope’s Quay, Cork
Phone 021 4300001, email: southern@ms-society.ie or ring the MS Information Line on 1850 233 233.

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Is it a good time to sell your property?

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year. The MyHome.ie quarterly report found the market had held up […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year.

The MyHome.ie quarterly report found the market had held up better than evidence had suggested in 2022. The number of vendors cutting asking prices remained at low levels, while many house prices were being settled above asking prices.

However, the report warned that the resilience of the housing marking is set to be tested this year. It found annual asking price inflation slowed to six percent nationwide, meaning the asking price for the average home in Ireland is now €330,000.

There were 15,000 available properties for sale on MyHome.ie in the fourth quarter of the year – an improvement on the same time last year but still below pre-pandemic levels.

Average time to sale agreed was 2.7 months nationwide which the report said is indicative of a very tight housing market.

The report said it expects to see 28,400 house completions in 2022, exceeding its previous forecast of 26,500 finished units.

The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at stockbrokers Davy, said it appeared the market had held up better than evidence had suggested.

“The number of vendors cutting their asking prices is still at low levels. Also, transactions in Q4 were still being settled above asking prices, indicative of a tight market,” he said.

Recent months had seen worrying trends in the homebuilding sector, with housing starts slowing, and the construction PMI survey pointing to the flow of new development drying up.

“We still expect housing completions will pick up to 28,400 in 2022 and 27,000 in 2023. However, the outlook for 2024 is far more uncertain. The Government’s ambitious plans to expedite planning processes are welcome although, as ever, the proof will be in the pudding,” he added.

Locally, and unsurprisingly, the lack of supply of new and second-hand properties remains the dominant issue. There has been very little new construction due largely to the rising cost of construction, labour, materials and utilities which in turn is putting pressure on the second hand market.

This market proved particularly strong in 2022 with active bidding experienced on the majority of house sales and a large proportion of guide prices being generally exceeded.

The detached family home end of the market is particularly strong with increased competition for a limited number of available well located family homes.

So, what lies ahead and is it a good time to sell your property?

The answer is a tight market with scarcity of supply being a factor. If selling now you will benefit greatly from a lack of supply of available homes (therefore less competition) provided your property is marketed correctly of course!

For anyone considering placing their property on the market, contact DNG Ted Healy 064 6639000 killarney@dng.ie for genuine honest advice on how to achieve the best possible price for your home.

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Tourism VAT rate should be “continued indefinitely”

A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its […]

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A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its customers”.

The reduced VAT rate of 9% was introduced by the Government in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the hospitality sector.

“I believe a return to a 13.5% Tourism VAT rate would be counterproductive at this stage, to small and medium businesses that welcome visitors to our country and our county,” Councillor Michael Cahill said.

“Catered food is already charged at 13.5%, alcohol at 23% and accommodation presently at 9%. This sector is providing pretty decent returns to the Exchequer and should be supported. All parties in this debate, including the Government and accommodation providers, should review their position and ensure their actions do not contribute to ‘killing the Goose that laid the Golden Egg’.”

He explained that the tourism industry is “in a very volatile market”, as can be seen by the enormous challenges “posed by COVID-19 in recent years”.

“A grain of rice could tip the balance either way and great care must be taken not to damage it irreparably. We are all aware that the next six to 12 months will be extremely difficult for many businesses with the increase in the cost of oil and gas, etc,, and a return to the 13.5% VAT rate will, in my opinion, close many doors. If a minority are ‘price gouging’, then it should be possible to penalise them and continue to support the majority who offer value for money to our visitors.”

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