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Global Irish Festival series 2021 funding announced for Kerry

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The Global Irish Festival Series, a Fáilte Ireland and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade initiative, aims to harness diaspora links for the benefit of local and community tourism.

Looking ahead to 2021, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon have announced funding of up to €100k for Kerry County Council through the Global Irish Festival Series, a joint initiative between Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide funding and support, through relevant local authorities, for events that tap into international diaspora networks to help attract overseas visitors.

The festival series is part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s recovery strategy for the tourism industry which will feed into the work of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce recently established by Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin.

Kerry County Council will receive funding to develop events to encourage Ireland’s diaspora to visit Ireland once the COVID-19 public health emergency passes.

“This is a hugely difficult and anxious time for the tourism industry, but it is important that we look ahead," Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, said. "The Global Irish Festival Series will enable the local community in Kerry to build on their diaspora networks and deepen connections around the world that will help to generate tourism activity next year.”

The Global Irish Festival Series will support Kerry County Council’s An Turas Mór – The Journey Home festival, with up to €100k in funding. The festival will include a month-long heritage programme of special thematic events designed in collaboration with existing festivals in Kerry, including a series of participative GAA events throughout October 2021.

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, added:
“In the face of the global challenge posed by COVID-19, it is important for us to re-affirm our sense of solidarity and common identity. The Global Irish Festival Series is an important part of reinforcing the connections between Ireland and our diaspora. We will work with our partners in Fáilte Ireland and the local community in Kerry to strengthen their deep connection with the diaspora.”

Speaking about the importance of festival series, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue, said that they are delighted to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade once again on the Global Irish Festival Series as they look at rebuilding the tourism industry and the vital contributions it makes to Irish society.

"The festivals and events supported through the series will help drive tourism to specific locations, including regional areas outside of current hotspots, creating new economic benefits for local communities and this will be hugely important as we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Welcoming the announcement, Moira Murrell, Chief Executive of Kerry County Council said Kerry is pleased to be part of the Global Irish Festival Series and will work with the Rose of Tralee network, the GAA and other groups to attract members of the Kerry diaspora back to the county for a showcase festival in October 2021.

"The fostering of linkages with the extended Kerry family overseas is a key goal of the Council and it will help drive tourism and economic growth in these challenging times.”

The Global Irish Festival Series will take place in 2021 on the Wild Atlantic Way in the new locations of Kerry and Mayo, alongside Limerick and Donegal where the festival series has taken place since it was launched as a pilot initiative in 2018.

The Global Irish Festival Series is funded by Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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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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