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Here’s the full schedule for St Patrick’s Day!

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Happy St. Paticks Day everyone!

St patrick's Festival Cill Airne have announced the full schedule of events to celebrate our national holiday.

Festival Chairperson Paul Sherry said: “We are delighted to announce our full event guide, the result of many months of hard work by the committee together with Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce and Kerry County Council.”

St Patricks Day Events (March 17)

Street Entertainment

The day kicks off at 12 noon in Beech Road Car Park where the Children’s fun zone will be located. Face painting, bouncy castles and DJ Donal kids disco will entertain the crowds before and after the parade. The moms and dads will be catered for with a 60-inch screening of the Ireland v England rugby game at 2.45pm.

On Main Street there will be pre-parade entertainment from 12.45pm to 1.30pm with the Killarney School of Music performance group led by Pádraig Buckley. Post-parade on Main Street sees ‘Paddies Party’ swing into action from 3.30pm with DJ Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan and The Rising trad group from Fossa. Celtic Steps will entertain the masses at 4.30pm. “We have a wonderful array of talented local performers giving their time on the day,” commented David Rae, musical director for the festival. “We expect great crowds and this is all free entertainment.”

St Patrick’s Day Parade

This year’s parade has garnered huge interest as is evident by the wealth of talent and diversity in the entries. Commencing at 2pm, this year’s parade will weave its way up Mission Road onto East Avenue, Kenmare Place, Main Street, New Street, Beech Road and into the New Street lower car park exiting onto Mission Road.

The Creative Director for this year’s parade is Fiona Crowley of Fiona Crowley Stage School.

“We have hundreds of participants in this year’s parade,” Fiona sais, “and we can rest assured that the parade will be a success in its primary goal, which is to ensure that it is, as always, about the community, the men, women, boys and girls who walk with pride alongside each other to make our parade happen. Without them there is no parade, so we salute you, our participants, our clubs, our schools, our organisations, who always make this parade a memorable one.”

The committee strongly advise everyone to arrive in town early and note the traffic detours that will be in place. Free parking has been secured at the following locations from 1.00pm to 4.30pm:

St Brendan’s College Secondary School, Penney’s car park, Hillard House and Killarney Community College, New Road. The Festival committee want to thank all the schools and car park providers for their generosity in assisting the running of the parade.

There will also be a wheelchair viewing area at Market Cross and the parade route and after party will have lots of amazing characters wandering about, plenty of characters not seen before in Killarney, and these guys are happy to pose for photos.

Paul Sherry, Chairperson, said: “We are expecting a large crowd in Killarney for the day’s events and we encourage everyone to wear your colours and paint the town green. Of course, please listen to the stewards and be safety conscious but overall enjoy the day’s festivities.”

The briefing for the stewards will take place at 12.30pm at the back of the Laurels.

Child Collection Point

Children participating in the parade can be collected from the bottom left-hand corner of the New Street car park (bottle bank area) at the end of the parade route.

The entertainment continues in Killarney over the weekend, on Sunday, March 18 the Mayor’s Charity Shindig takes place at the INEC and on Monday, March 19 there’s a free concert by Killarney School of Music in St Mary’s Church at 8pm.

And, of course, the now annual ‘Greening of Killarney’ will take place over the festival week with many of our iconic buildings bathed in green light. Check out the festival’s Facebook page for the Best Greened Building vote. In addition, this year there is a Best Dressed Shop Window and the competition has been heating up all week.

Festival chair Paul Sherry thanked all the parties who make the festival happen.

“We would like to thank all the volunteers who make the parade happen, from the Fitzgerald Stadium committee, to the Gardaí, the stewards and first aiders, our sponsors who are generous with their funds and their participation, and Kerry County Council.”

 

 

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The Irish investment market is pathetic

By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com    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 […]

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By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com   

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.

Performance

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 mike@theislandinvestor.com.

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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 […]

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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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