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Five parishes in Kerry now without a priest

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Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne.

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FIVE parishes in the diocese of Kerry are now without a priest as two more parishes lost a priest this year. Announcing the clerical appointments today, Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne said: “The appointments involve two more parishes without a resident priest. I realise that this in particular will cause upset and be unsettling for both priests and people. The total number of parishes without a resident priest is now five.”

The Bishop of Kerry said parishes now face a challenge to have “the fullness of Church life in a time of less and less priests”. “If in a pastoral area there are four parishes and just three priests, then no priest is full-time in his own parish. A quarter of each priest’s time is dedicated to the fourth parish that is without a resident priest,” said Bishop Browne.

Bishop Browne said he had tried to keep the number of new appointments to a minimum this year, mindful that there were a large number last year.
Father Bill Radley, parish priest, Glenflesk retires this year. Fr George Hayes, vice-rector, Irish College Rome, will now become parish priest of Glenflesk.

Monsignor Sean Hanafin, PP, St John’s Tralee, will be on sabbatical until July 2017. Fr Tom Leane, parish priest, Ballyheigue, moves to Dromtarriffe as parish priest. Fr Liam Comer, PP, Dromtarriffe, has been appointed parish priest of Ardfert. Fr Tadhg Fitzgerald, PP, Ardfert, is the new parish priest of St John’s Tralee. Fr Pat Moore is to retire as PP of Duagh due to health reasons. Newly ordained deacon Rev Sean Jones goes to Listowel pastoral area on his pastoral placement.

Following the transfer of Fr Tom Leane, PP, the parish of Ballyheigue will be served by the priests of the Naomh Bhréanainn Pastoral Area, with Fr Liam Comer as moderator.

Following Fr Pat Moore retiring as PP of Duagh, the parish of Duagh will be served by the priests of the Listowel Pastoral Area with Fr Declan O’Connor as Moderator. Priests of all pastoral areas of the diocese will take up different responsibilities outside their own parishes in the pastoral area.

Voluntary service is playing an ever-increasing role in parishes, added Bishop Browne. “The fullness of parish life in each parish is only possible because of the faith, generosity and commitment to their parish of so many individuals and families,” said Bishop Browne.

He added: “Overall it is clear that more and more responsibility for life in the parish is in the hands of the laity. It is the same spirit of service to the parish that we see in all areas of local community life: the GAA, amateur drama, Kerry Parents and Friends and bridge clubs.”
In the past nine months five priests of the Kerry diocese have died. “All were retired and of a good age and had given long years of great faith-filled service,” said Bishop Browne.

“Last year three priests of our diocese retired having passed the age of 75. This year one priest retires on this ground. At the moment three of our priests are coping with long-term serious ill health.

“Within the next year, God willing, Sean Jones will be ordained a priest for the diocese. It will be exactly ten years since our last priestly ordination. Just one priest of our diocese is under forty. Thankfully we have four other students preparing for priesthood. I ask that we all continue to pray for these students and for vocations to the priesthood in the diocese.”
 


 
Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne.

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Further rise in house prices forecast for 2022 as average price of a resale home in the capital reaches €500,000

According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values recorded in 2021. At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG) recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand […]

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According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors
DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values
recorded in 2021.

At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG)
recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand home of 13.6% last year, a marked
acceleration in the rate of inflation compared to 2020 when prices rose by 1.4%.
At the national level (including Dublin) the overall rate of price increase last year stood at 12.0%. The NPG, which tracks house prices across the country on a half yearly basis, recorded growth of 5.3% in the six months to December 2021, compared to an increase of 7.9% in the first six months of last year.
All regions of Ireland recorded double digit price growth in 2021, except for Dublin (+9.9%).
Nationally, the strongest rate of house price appreciation was in the Mid-West region (+17.2%)
followed by the Midlands (+14.2%) and West (+13.8%) whilst the South East region saw the
lowest rate of growth in prices last year (+11.0%).
Outside the capital the highest average price was found in the Mid-East (€349,259) followed by the South West (€279,844).

Looking at the outlook for the year ahead, the agency forecasts further growth in prices both in
Dublin and nationally, with regional price gains set to outstrip those in the capital where nominal
values are already elevated, and affordability is more challenged.
The agency is forecasting an average uplift in regional markets of 12-13% this year whilst price growth in Dublin will more likely be high single digits, in the order of 6-8%.
The factors underpinning the forecasts include continued strong economic and wage growth, the heightened household savings levels seen in 2020-21, the extension of government initiatives for first time buyers announced in the budget, strong demand from this cohort evident in the mortgage approvals data and the prevailing low interest rate environment.
On the supply side, whilst the supply of new residential completions is set to increase to around 26,000 units this year, this will still be well below the estimated 30-35,000 new units required each year to meet demand thereby putting upward pressure on prices in the market.
“Whilst Covid-related issues rightly dominated the news agenda in 2021, housing undoubtedly came a close second, given the emotive nature of the housing debate and the current market dynamics of
rising house prices and rents and a shortage of accommodation available to buy or rent, not only
in Dublin but across the country.”, said DNG’s Director of Research Paul Murgatroyd said “Price growth was clearly very robust last year across all regions and the factors that drove those increases continue to be evident in the market as we enter 2022. The stock of homes for sale in the second hand market remains very low by historical standards and this, combined with the elevated level of demand, brought about in part by factors linked to changing behaviours throughout the pandemic, will mean further price appreciation will be evident as we progress through the year ahead.”

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Iarnrod Eireann refuses plans for footbridge at railway station

By Sean Moriarty Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station. Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station.

Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two public transport hubs.

Currently rail passengers must walk from Killarney station, via the front entrance of the Great Southern Hotel and then walk the entire length of the Outlet Centre before reaching the bus station.

“It’s an anomaly that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other European country,” said Cllr O’Donoghue in November.

Iarnrod Eireann has responded to the letter sent shortly after the November meeting.

In reply the railway company said that in October 2019 it carried out a study which included the possibility of a either an underpass or a footbridge.

The study revealed that passenger would face a short four to five minute walk when trying to access one hub from another.

“Iarnrod Eireann would regard this as scheme as a low priority investment,” said chief executive Jim Meade in the letter.

Cllr Donoghue said the response was “ludicrous” and that he had often witnessed passengers lugging suitcases through the Outlet Centre.

“You would not jog it in five minutes,” he said.

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