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Dr Patricia Sheahan collects prestigious award

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After a two and a half year hiatus, Oíche Chiarraí, the flagship event of the Kerry Association in Dublin, finally took place in The Green Isle Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night.

COMMITTEE: Kerry Association committee members: Mark Kennelly (Vice-president) Leonie Kelly Michael O’Regan (President) Keelin Kissane (Chairperson) Maurice Moynihan Liz Gaire John Horgan and Seán O Donnchú.

PAINTING: Vice-president of the Kerry Association Mark Kennelly presenting a John Hurley painting to Kerry Person of the Year Dr Patricia Sheahan.

FAMILY: Some of the Sheahan family in attendance on the night.

TEAM: Listowel Tidy Towns committee representatives with some Listowel friends on the night from l-r were: Marion Walsh Jimmy Moloney (Chairman Listowel Tidy Towns) Breda McGrath Julie Gleeson Mary Hanlon Norita Killeen Imelda Murphy Jenny Tarrant and Mary O’Connor.

A great crowd was in attendance as well as the Sam Maguire Cup and entertainment provided by Kerry band, No Strings Attached.

President of the Kerry Association in Dublin, Michael O’Regan, presented the Listowel Tidy Towns Committee with the Laochra Chiarraí award on the night while Dr Patricia Sheahan, received the Kerry Person of the Year award.

In 2016, the Kerry Association in Dublin introduced the Laochra Chiarraí or Kerry Heroes award. The purpose of this award is to recognise exemplary leadership in community activity in the county.

The public are invited to submit nominations in November each year and the ultimate winners are selected by the Committee of the Kerry Association.

Back in 2020, the Kerry Association selected Listowel Tidy Towns as the Laochra Chiarraí recipients, a group of people that are exemplary leaders in community activity.

Listowel has been a gold medal winner in the Tidy Towns awards every year since 2008 and won the coveted overall national title in 2018. Chairman of the Listowel Tidy Towns Committee, Jimmy Moloney, accepted the award on behalf of the group.

Since its introduction in 1979, the Kerry Person of the Year award recognises an individual who has shown leadership, brought honour and performed services for the county to such an extent that could be described as being beyond the norm of everyday life.

SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION

Listowel native Patricia Sheahan qualified as a doctor in 1989 and has since made a significant contribution to Kerry life. She has worked as the palliative medicine consultant in Kerry for the past 20 years. Alongside Kerry Hospice Foundation, she has helped develop a fully integrated palliative care service for the people of Kerry.

She has touched the lives of most families in the county and those families, some of whom were in attendance on Saturday, attest to her extraordinary sensitivity and compassion and going above and beyond the call of duty. She provides a special comfort at such a very difficult and emotional time and that’s something that the families of those in her care never forget.

A large crowd of Patricia’s family and friends were in attendance on the night to see this remarkable woman collect the Kerry Person of the Year perpetual trophy as well as a gift from the Kerry Association, a painting by Tralee artist, John Hurley.

Accepting the award, Patricia thanked her family, the Kerry Hospice Foundation volunteers and the staff of the Palliative Care unit for all their support.

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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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