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Dance championships worth €12 million to local economy

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By Michelle Crean

The arrival of over 1,400 dancers and their supporters, who are competing in the World Irish Dance Championships over the next six days, is set to bring as much as €12 million to the local economy - a huge economic boost for the town.

Competitors have travelled from America, Scotland, England, Europe and all over Ireland to take part in the An Chomhdháil World Irish Dance Championships which kick off in Killarney today.

They will compete for a world title in the championships at The Gleneagle and INEC Arena which runs until Saturday.

Over 19 competitions take place over the six-day championships and winners are announced every day after each competition.

The competitions are held in the INEC auditorium and The Gleneagle Ballroom. The age profile of the competitors is nine to over 21-years-old.

The competitors will be accompanied by an entourage of organisers, teachers, adjudicators, musicians, families, friends, supporters and spectators.

This is Killarney’s sixth occasion to host the An Chomhdháil World Irish Dance Championships.

The economic benefits of these championships will be felt right across Killarney’s hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, shops and many other businesses. Studies carried out between 2016 and 2019 calculated the championships were worth €12 million to the local economy.

An Chomhdháil, the organisation who run the World Irish Dance Championships, have an extensive branch network worldwide and is one of the most progressive Irish dance organisations, being the first to bring in the no make-up rule for girls up to and including under 12 years of age in 2007. Both male and female world champions will be crowned across a range of age categories from under 10 through to adult.

“We are honoured to welcome the 2022 An Chomhdháil World Irish Dance Championships,” Patrick O’Donoghue, CEO of The Gleneagle Group, said. “We wish all the competitors the very best of luck and we hope everyone enjoys their stay in Killarney.”

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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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