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Future is looking bright as Killarney Valley AC Arena officially opens




There were plenty of sporting exhibitions which enthralled the public on Saturday during the official opening ceremony of the Killarney Valley AC Arena.

LONG JUMP: Keelan Verasoo long jumping over 20ft watched by Minister Norma Foley, Bishop Ray Browne and the enthralled viewers.


SUCCESS: Jerry Griffin chairperson Killarney Valley AC pictured addressing the crowd and outlining the success of the facility.





QUILL CUP: CEO of Athletics Ireland Hamish Adams presenting the Quill Cup to Killarney Valley AC team captain Jordan Lee which the club won earlier in the year.

CUTTING THE RIBBON: Minister Norma Foley, Bishop Ray Browne and Mayor of the Killarney Niall Kelliher together with elected officials, and members of Killarney Valley AC cutting the ribbon at the official ceremony.

Hundreds turned up on a beautiful August afternoon to witness and to be a part of the event.

Mayor of Killarney, Niall Kelleher, spoke glowingly of the “field of dreams” initiative and his long held support for the project.

Minister Norma Foley delivered a speech thanking Killarney Valley AC, its friends and the Diocese of Kerry for such an initiative to be located in the centre of the school area.

She spoke of her support for the club’s encouragement of female participation in, where two thirds of the club members are female and with a special mention for those with disabilities. Role models like Sarah Leahy, Ciara Kennelly, Maddie Wilson Walker and Jordan Lee all help to encourage inclusion and break the stigma for those from an early age and demonstrate a pathway to elite competition on a level playing field for all.

Jeremiah Griffin outlined the history, the present and the future and thanked the volunteers, sponsors, SKDP, Department of Sport and Kerry County Council aid from the community strategic support fund. Jeremiah also thanked Clan Credo for the loan to cover the balance of finance required during construction, in order for full completion. This amounts to €80,000 and efforts are constant as the group works to keep it on track. Sean Coffey spoke of his delight at the decision to finally locate the facility on the grounds of St Brendan's College by the St Brendan's Trust. John Hickey of Hickey Design, Leonard Moran and Associates QS, Tom Collins of Moloney Contracts, FDC Accountants Killarney and Maurice Coffey Solicitor were also acknowledged on the day for a job well done and for their services.

Bishop Ray Browne blessed the facility and spoke warmly of the reasons for the St Brendan’s Trust support. Minister Norma Foley cut the ribbon to laud applause and fan fair. From there, like the First Olympics in Athens, the exhibition events begun. Tomas Griffin introduced the CEO of Athletics Ireland, Hamish Adams, who spoke of his support for the club and its ambitions and in a well choreographed event, everybody was then enthralled.

Long Jumpers exceeded 23ft, high jumpers clearing 6ft, Sarah Leahy racing to over 35km per hour, Conor Gammell to 38km per hour. Jason O’Reilly sprinted an exhibition 300m, Oisin Lynch and Jack O’Leary racing a 1km race on 2 mins 34 seconds with plenty in the tank. To put the 1km in perspective at that pace it would guarantee a final place in a 5,000m Olympic Games running low 13 minutes.

Tea and coffee was provided on the day by Nave Coffee and the classic 1982 Toyota Starlet was on show by Tom Leslie of the Killarney Valley and Classic Vintage Club which is being raffled in support of the the facility amongst other beneficiaries.

"A great day was had by all with the future looking bright from a brave team of pioneers, whom started the discussion over 40 years ago with honorary Killarney Valley AC president Mrs Eileen Switzer and her late husband Mr Frank Switzer and most recently from the team in 2013 up to the present," Jeremiah Griffin said.

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The Irish investment market is pathetic

By Michael O’Connor,    I lived abroad for years, so all the investment strategies I created were typically outside of Irish tax considerations. But over the last few weeks I […]




By Michael O’Connor,   

I lived abroad for years, so all the investment strategies I created were typically outside of Irish tax considerations.

But over the last few weeks I have been putting together several investment strategies for Irish-domiciled clients. It has been eye-opening, to say the least.

In short, most of the Irish market appears to be dominated by a handful of life insurance companies that offer ‘wrapped’ Multi Asset Funds. This means they offer a basket of stocks, bonds, property etc., all within one investment.

Irish Life’s MAPs 4 multi-asset fund states a standard annual management charge of 1.15%. A bit on the higher side for my liking, but this is still manageable.

But when you dig a little deeper, the KID documents (where all fees have to be fully disclosed as part of UCITS regulations) show the fee as 2.2%.

Double the quoted price

As an added bonus, they lock your money up for seven years, where an early encashment charge is waiting for those who wish to withdraw their money early. That’s right, they charge YOU for making your money inaccessible.

This lock-up period is a shrewd business tactic. An exit charge is an excellent way to ensure customers don’t leave when they realise how poor the performance is.

Too late, you’re trapped.


Fees become more digestible provided the performance is strong, but unfortunately, the misery continues.

The Irish Life MAPS 4 Portfolio has an annual return of 1.63% a year over the last five years. Granted, this was a challenging market climate to navigate, but falling below even the lowest expectations of inflation means that this fund has returned negative real returns after inflation over the last five years.

A similar 60/40 portfolio made up of passive index funds (S&P 500 and US T bonds) would have returned roughly 6.5% a year over the same period for a fee of roughly 0.1%.

We can go round and round in circles regarding the ‘risk adjusted’ approach and the added ‘diversification’ of the multi-asset fund versus the 60/40 portfolio I have shown. But the reality is much of this so-called diversification is over-engineering for an extra cost for many long term investors.

So, how can such pathetic offerings still exist in a system where low-cost operators such as De Giro are providing endless ETF options and commission-free trades that provide access to market returns at a fraction of the price?

Two reasons spring to mind

Firstly, the Irish retail investment scene is built on a financial broker commission system where unsuspecting customers are shoved into these products by ‘financial planners’ who receive kickbacks and commissions from these investment companies. You think you’re getting free investment advice; believe me, you’re not.

Second, the tax treatment of ETF structures is comical in Ireland, and US ETFs aren’t even an investment option. A 41% exit tax and an eight-year deemed disposal rule leaves investors stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Choose an overpriced, underperforming product that locks your money away for multiple years or choose the cheaper, better-performing product and suffer the tax consequences.

Bizarrely, investors are forced to make decisions based on preferential tax treatment rather than on the underlying investment’s merits.

I have gone into much more detail on the tax treatment and investment options in Ireland on my website. Just scan the QR code.

If you would like me to independently review your investment portfolio, just send me an email at


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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]




By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.


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