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Funfair operators not made aware of Chamber’s concerns




By Sean Moriarty

Operators of Bird’s Euroshow have hit out against Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce after the business body issued a statement that it was concerned the funfair was intending setting up in the town this summer.

Don Bird, the grandson of the funfair’s founder William Bird, was unaware of the Chamber’s concerns or that they had issued a statement on the matter until contacted by the Killarney Advertiser.
“In view of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, with the town very gradually reopening for business following several months of lockdown, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce is very concerned that Bird’s Euroshow intends to set up in the town in the coming weeks,” said the chamber statement.
“In the current circumstances, from a public health perspective and to ensure the safest possible summer for locals and visitors, the Chamber is not in favour of the amusements setting up in the Fair Field car park. Any gathering of young people in such an environment would give real cause for concern. Precedent alone would indicate that it would be a major congregation point for teenagers.”
Bird’s Euroshow has included Killarney on its summer tour since 1937. The funfair traditionally operates in the Fair Field car park in July – usually in conjunction with the Killarney Races Summer meeting.
It then moves on to Puck Fair, the Rose of Tralee and finishes its summer season at Listowel Races in September.
Bird’s EuroShow is not a member of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce but is a member of similar bodies in Tralee and Limerick.
“This is not how a body that represents the business community should act,” Mr Bird told the Killarney Advertiser.
“I am not prepared to make any statement until I sit down and read this and discuss it with colleagues.”
The chamber defended its stance, saying it was putting the safety of visitors and townspeople first amid worries that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is more likely to spread amongst teenagers and younger adults.
“While an amusement park of this nature attracts young people, we now know that the Delta variant attacks young people and, given the current unavailability of a COVID-19 vaccination for that generation, the risks would be too great,” the Chamber statement added.

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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 quarterly report found the market had held up […]




By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year.

The 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 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 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 […]




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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