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Extra sparkle in town as Christmas in Killarney set to return

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The magic dust has been ordered by the sleigh-load and extra sparkle has been added to the festive trimmings as the truly spectacular Christmas in Killarney celebrations will return with a vengeance in the coming weeks.

With Santa cocooning for long spells last year, the festival had to be put on hold but that merely gave the amazing Team Christmas in Killarney ample opportunity to plan a bigger, better and more incredible party for 2021.

The first of four fabulous and colourful street parades will wind through the streets on Saturday, November 27, at 6pm, and the magic will continue with further fun-filled parades on December 4, December 11 and December 18.

As well as all the traditional favourites, an elaborate and spectacular new float has been added this year and it will certainly have a real wow factor as it takes to the streets.

A new route has been planned for this year’s parade of floats and Christmas characters which will wind its way from Fitzgerald Stadium along Lewis Road, on to College Street, Plunkett Street, Main Street and High Street with Santa looking forward to seeing all the boys and girls lining the streets.

Strict COVID-19 protocols will apply and, to ensure everyone’s safety, those planning to attend are asked to wear facemasks and observe social distancing guidelines.

SANTA's GROTTO

Plans are also being made for a Santa’s Grotto experience in the lead up to the festive season with details to be revealed very soon and the final programme for the hugely popular Dine in Killarney Christmas experience is also being finalised.

Mayor of Killarney Cllr Marie Moloney, who is a member of the Christmas in Killarney Committee, said it will be wonderful to see a bit of normality returning to the town for the festive season.

“Last Christmas was very hard on everybody who couldn’t meet up with their loved ones and many people spent it on their own. This year, thankfully, there will be a bit more freedom for people to meet up and celebrate together,” she said.

Mayor Moloney said the Christmas in Killarney festival will provide a superb backdrop for the seasonal celebrations but she urged everybody to be cautious, to wear their masks and to observe social distance requests when they are watching the parades so that everybody remains safe.

The voluntary chairman of the Christmas in Killarney celebration, Niall Kelleher, said everyone behind the scenes is just as excited as the children of Killarney and beyond and he said it is a wonderful feeling to be able to sprinkle an extra handful of magic dust and sparkle on the town this year.

“Last year was difficult for all of us but we plan to make up for it in the coming weeks with the type of spectacular celebration that has made Christmas in Killarney famous all over the world,” he said.

Santa Claus, meanwhile, has confirmed that he has pencilled the Killarney parades into his packed diary and he is really looking forward to seeing everybody when he arrives.

“My little helpers have been doing their research and they told me just how hard everybody on the Christmas in Killarney Committee is working to make this year extra special. It is going to be a magical time in one of my favourite towns in the whole world,” he said.

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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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