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Decline in new car sales

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THE Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has issued the Q2 Motor Industry. The review outlined that new car sales in the first half of 2017 declined by 10% when compared to new cars sold during the first half of 2016. The report highlighted that a combination of factors, including rising housing, rental and health insurance costs and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, were affecting disposable income and making consumers cautious about purchasing big-ticket items.

During the first six months, new car sales declined in every county, with Donegal experiencing the largest decline at 18.6%, while Cavan had the smallest decline of 4.4%. New car sales in Dublin accounted for 40.6% of the total new car market, the report showed. Car registrations in Kerry: Year to date, 2,561 Vs 2016 2,943 down 12.98%

The market share for hybrid vehicles increased from 1.6% to 3.2%. At the same time, there has been a welcome rebalancing of the Diesel/Petrol market shares and it is likely that this trend is set to continue toward equality between the two fuel types. Registrations of new diesel cars, reduced from 71% to 66%. There was a small decrease in new petrol car sales, which were down just 1% and they accounted for 30.2% of all new cars sold.

Imported cars, the vast majority of which are from the UK, continued to be a significant part of the overall car market the review found. It showed that during the first half of the year, 46,004 used cars were imported, which represented an increase of 42.6% compared to the same period in 2016.

The review also highlights that nearly half of all imported used cars during this period were five years or older, while the diesel share of used imports is just over 79%. Sterling weakness and a scarcity of second hand cars due to the collapse in new car sales from 2009 onwards, were the main factors behind the strong increase in used imports.

The report also shows a number of price decreases in the cost of motoring. The average price of a new car in May 2017 was 4.1% lower than a year earlier, while the cost of motor insurance in May 2017 was 8.4% lower than it was a year earlier.

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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website, Killarneytri.com.

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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments

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The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.

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