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Fossa plans get go-ahead despite reservations on traffic management




By Sean Moriarty

Local councillors and politicians often accuse Dublin-based government agencies of being out of touch with daily happenings in rural Ireland.

This was laid bare at Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District meeting where plans for the €2 million traffic calming plan in Fossa were put to the elected members.

Senior Kerry County Council engineers unveiled detailed plans for the much awaited project.

Plans included a shared-use cycle and pedestrian path on each side of the road, provision of a controlled pedestrian crossing at Fossa National School and the extension of existing public lighting in the village.

The plan also includes the realignment of the junction at the Gap Road but does not include the provision of dedicated bus stops along the redevelopment.

These last two items caused a huge degree of bewilderment with the elected councillors.

While they were allowed to make recommendations to change some aspects of the plans – the school crossing was changed from a Zebra crossing to a push-button crossing – the latter two items could not be changed as they fall under Transport Infrastructure Ireland guidelines for rural traffic management schemes.

Councillors were left with a dilemma, accept the proposals as they stood or risk losing the anticipated funding which will come on stream by the end of the year.

Councillors raised concerns that traffic attempting to turn into the Gap Road will have to stop and leave exiting traffic out and then cross a continuous white line to complete the manoeuvre.

Such was the concern of recently elected Mayor, Niall Kelleher, he sought legal advice on the matter. However that was overturned when Cllr Brendan Cronin moved a motion to accept the plans with two changes allowed.

Colleagues were concerned that if the plans were not accepted on Wednesday, that the whole project would be put on hold.

“We cannot redesign national standards. Amendments must fit with national guidelines,” said Municipal District Manager John Breen warned the elected councillors ahead of the vote.

“We don’t have the authority or the forum to change national design standards.”

As a result, all seven elected members voted, some reluctantly, to accept the plan.

They felt that the people of Fossa would not thank them for delaying it further but warned that when the plan comes to fruition that they will have answer questions on why traffic at the Gap Cross is coming to a standstill to allow traffic motorists make the turn.

They raised similar concerns that the lack of a dedicated bus stop will cause traffic disruption in the village – some cited the delays experienced in Farranfore as an example of why this should be changed. However, that discussion was met with the same response as the Gap Road junction – the national design standards cannot be changed by elected councillors.

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Five questions to ask yourself before buying a stock

By Michael O’Connor, When it comes to investing, nothing is certain. There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy. […]




By Michael O’Connor,

When it comes to investing, nothing is certain.

There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy.

The truth is, investing is hard, and building a portfolio of top stocks that beat the market is something that even financial professionals have trouble doing consistently.

For most people, investing in index funds is the perfect hands-off approach, providing broad exposure to the stock market at a very low fee. Even my own personal portfolio is made up of roughly 70% ETFs despite the fact I invest in the market for a living.

But I believe some stock picking is a good strategy for many hands-on people.

Taking a small portion of your overall portfolio and diligently selecting a small number of companies to invest in gives you an opportunity to learn about the investing process and fully understand the businesses you are investing in, which helps to build conviction in your positions.

From a psychological standpoint “collector’s instinct” kicks in, enabling people to participate and invest more money over time.

Lastly, for Irish investors, there are tax benefits to consider. If you invest in individual stocks, you are taxed at the CGT rate of 33%, and the first €1,270 of your gains are exempt from CGT each year. When investing in index funds or ETFs, you are taxed at the exit tax rate of 41% with no annual exemption.

For those interested in picking individual stocks, here are five questions you should ask yourself before investing in any company.

Do I understand the business?

Too many people invest in businesses they don’t understand because it ‘sounds good’. If you have no idea how the company works, you won’t have the conviction needed to hold onto the stock when an inevitable downturn comes.

Can the balance sheet withstand severe, temporary adversity?

This seems obvious, but so many people invest in companies without understanding how much money a company holds and who they owe money to. Economic cycles are guaranteed. You must ensure that the company has enough cash-on-hand to avoid becoming obsolete when activity slows.

Will the company benefit from long-term trends?

Make sure the company will remain relevant into the future. If the stock is cheap now, it may be cheap for a reason.

Is the company enjoying profitable growth?

Not growth at all costs, but a combination of sustainable growth and value. All this information can be found online at sites like

What are the risk factors?

Is the company trying something new and untested? If yes, who are its competitors and how successful are they? If other players are more established, this company may have a tough time breaking into the market.


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Ballyspillane staff open up mental health conversation

By Michelle Crean “Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign. It’s all in partnership […]




By Michelle Crean

“Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign.

It’s all in partnership with Mental Health Ireland (MHI) and the centre will host an information/coffee morning on Thursday next (March 30) at 12.30pm at their centre and all are welcome to attend.

The campaign initiated by MHI identifies the need for positive engagement and connections with the people around us.

It asks people to engage in open conversations about mental health and prompts us all to ask the question “How Are You?”

The word HELLO is a useful acronym to guide everyone through such conversations, H: Hello, E: Engage positively with the person, L: Listen actively, L: Learn about the person and O: seek options to assist the person if required.

“We all need a listening and compassionate ear sometimes to get us through some challenges in our lives and I think the pandemic has opened a new way of looking at the world, where we can all recognise the challenges that people experience more readily,” Derek O’Leary, Manager of Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre, said.

“Our team here are in the business of supporting families and individuals across the Killarney area and beyond and see the challenges that people face first hand. We also see the positive impact that a caring person can have in such circumstances and this campaign that encourages positive engagement, regarding mental health is a great reminder to us all, the role we can play is assisting others who are struggling.”

Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre provide a suite of support and intervention services including family supports, social prescribing/community connection services and physiotherapeutic services across the Killarney municipal area and beyond.


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