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Fascinating part of Kerry’s sporting history returns

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A fascinating part of Kerry’s sporting history has returned to Killorglin in the form of two albums of newspaper cuttings.

CUTTING: Newspaper clippings honouring world class cyclist Gene Mangan the youngest ever winner of the 1955 Rás Tailteann aged 18 has been donated to Killorglin Library. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

WINNER: Gene Mangan the youngest ever winner of the 1955 Rás Tailteann aged 18. He is still the youngest-ever winner.

HISTORY: A fascinating part of Kerry’s sporting history has returned to Killorglin. Pictured are: Gillian Mangan younger sister of the legendary Kerry cyclist Gene Mangan with Kerry County Librarian Tommy O'Connor. At the back are: Tom Daly (Vice President Cycling Ireland) Éibhlín Hayes (Killorglin Library) and Mary Concannon (Killorglin Cycling Club). Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Legendary Kerry cyclist, Gene Mangan's historic feats were put together via the clippings in the 1950s by his younger sister Gillian Mangan.

At an event at Killorglin Library today (Tuesday), Gillian donated the albums to Kerry Library who will hold them for public access in the Kerry Local History and Archives in Tralee.

Gillian’s collections begin in 1954 when Gene was 17-years-old and started becoming prominent in cycling circles.

"I was seven years younger than Gene and he was a hero in my eyes," she said.

"I got all the papers and cut out anything to do with Gene and stuck them into old account books. I’m delighted that they will now be preserved of use for future generations and I’d like to thank the library for hosting them."

SENSATION

Gene became a national sporting sensation in 1955 by winning the Rás Tailteann at the age of 18. Apart from documenting Gene’s early career, the albums also record the glory-days of Kerry cycling in the 1950s and '60s that also include Paudie Fitzgerald’s Rás win in 1956 and Mick Murphy’s in 1958, as well as the all-important Kerry team wins. A large collection of newspaper cuttings relating to Kerry cycling kept by the Mangan family has also been donated.

In addition, they also include cuttings and pictures of ordinary club races and riders and they are highly evocative in giving a wonderful sense of the cycling scene and the people involved in Kerry at the time.

Speaking on behalf of the library, Kerry County Librarian, Tommy O’Connor, thanked Gillian for her donation which will be preserved in a public archive for the use of future generations and he noted that it will supplement the very scarce copy of Gene’s biography that Kerry Library holds - ‘The Gene Mangan Story’ which was written by Seán O’Neill and published in 1959.

The event was also attended by Mary Concannon, a representative of Killorglin Cycling Club and she also paid tribute to Gene.

"Gene left Kerry in the 1950s for work and eventually settled in Dublin but he has had a life-long loyalty to Kerry cycling and in particular to his original club in Killorglin. He has always been a wonderful supporter and has contributed to Killorglin and Kerry cycling in numerous ways down through the years. We would like to thank Gillian for this donation – it will be highly interesting for everyone with an interest in our sporting heritage and an important part of the town’s history," she said.

Also in attendance was Tom Daly from Killarney who is Vice-President of Cycling Ireland. Tom said that Gene was a significant figure in the history of Irish cycling from both a racing and administration point of view – he was also President of the National Cycling Association for a period.

"Gene has previously donated important material related to the history of Irish cycling to the Irish Cycling Archive at the UCD Archives, but it is entirely appropriate that this material, related to his Kerry roots, should stay in Kerry," he said.

The albums and related collection of newspaper cuttings can be viewed at Killorglin library during September and thereafter in the Kerry Local History and Archives at Library Headquarters in Tralee.

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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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