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Frustrated residents say lives are still at risk

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By Sean Moriarty

 

Wild deer roaming roads in the Killarney hinterland has reached crisis point according to a group of concerned residents from the Ballydowney and Fossa areas.

 

The group - some of whom have lost family members in fatal accidents involving deer - have being campaigning for over a year now but are growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of action by the National Parks and Wildlife Services.

 

Up to 10 residents called on elected members to engage with the NPWS in an effort to solve the on-going issues at Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District meeting.

 

 

Gillian Hughes, whose sister Paula died as a result of a collision with wandering deer in 2006, led the deputation.

 

“It is too late for us, we have already lost loved ones but it is only a matter of time before there is another fatal accident,” she told the meeting.

 

The group say that fencing, vegetation clearance and electronic signs will all help prevent further accidents and deaths.

 

“What is the cost? What is the cost of another human life,” she said.

 

They believe that incorrect statistics are one of the problems. Official Road Safety Authority figures say that last year there were 99 cases of collisions involving animals in Kerry and only five of these were deer related.

 

Sergeant Michael Murphy of Caherciveen Garda Station, who is also a local resident, told the meeting that last year there were 23 cases of deer related incidents in the Killarney area compared to 10 in 2016. He said that the Ballydowney to Fossa and the Muckross to Ladies View areas were the worst affected in the locality.

 

By comparison there were four in Kenmare and one each in Glenbeigh and Caherciveen.

 

Local councillor Brendan Cronin who introduced the deputation to the meeting said that there’s a chronic problem with deer on the road.

 

“The volume of incidents not reported would fill this room five times over,” he said.

“The NPWS must take responsibility for what they own. Deer are beautiful animals but they are not very pretty coming through the windscreen.”

 

Killarney town engineer John Ahern said there are plans to do road realignment and footpath works in the Fossa area, but they are not progressing as fast as he would like.

 

However, he told the meeting that he would look at the provision of electronic signs as a matter of urgency.

 

“A recent meeting with the NPWS, they told me they have carried out a culling programme but I am not qualified enough to say if this is good enough or not,” said Mr Ahern. “This stretch of road is part of an overall scheme, a scheme not happening as fast as we like, but I give a commitment to advance the signage.”

 

The deputation also asked the Council to set up an urgent meeting with the NPWS service.  The Council acknowledge that there is an issue with land ownership in the area, some of the roadside property is owned by the NPWS and some of it is owned by Fáilte Ireland.

 

It is understood that the NPWS do not want to put a fence around the National Park, as anything that would prevent deer from escaping would also prevent access for members of the public.

 

“Deer are rampant,” Mayor Michael Gleeson said. “The NPWS say that if a fence was in place and deer got out, they would not be able to get back in.”

 

Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan, like all his elected colleagues, supported the deputation.

 

“This is the most important issue in Killarney,” he said. “There is an infra-red system that I have seen in America. The breaker is at a certain height so it won’t be triggered by a hedgehog or a rabbit.”

 

 

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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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