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Jack keeps promise to Thomas with special song tribute




By Michelle Crean

A Killarney man who is much loved for his musical talent has paid a wonderful and very special tribute to his young teenage brother who tragically died in July.


14-year-old Thomas Healy from the Gap of Dunloe, sang his brother's self-penned song 'Christmas Without You (Candle on the Window)' just weeks before he passed away unexpectedly in an accident on Ross Road.

However, his eldest brother, Jack Patrick Healy, only recently heard the video existed and decided to create a duet of them singing together to fulfil a promise they made to record it.

Thomas' beautiful tones are mixed with Jack's and it has since been released online for free.

"Myself and Thomas made a deal that we would record it together," Jack, who has been living in London for the last three years, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"However, because of COVID it never happened."

In 2009 Jack wrote the song after being "thrown out" of maths class one day in the Intermediate School in Killorglin. He was aged 15, the same age Thomas would have turned this December 27.

"I was sitting outside in the hallway and I was writing chords and the lyrics were just coming to me. I was listening to Christmas songs and they're all happy but not everyone is happy at Christmas time, and thinking of my mother who has a tradition of the candle in the window at Christmas."

Himself and Thomas sang the song each year in Sol y Sombra in Killorglin in aid of the local hospice branch but sadly never got the chance to get to the studio together.

Seven weeks ago Jack received a message from one of Thomas' friends saying there was a video he needed to see.

There, he saw Thomas singing his song which is especially poignant given how close it's getting to Christmas.

Then Jack decided to keep their promise and using modern music technology recorded their voices together as a duet in the most amazing and special way.

"I listened to it and I said I have got to do something with it," Jack said. "He had his own way of singing and it's lovely. I took his voice and my voice and put it together. I'm very proud of it, and it's a lot of healing for mom and dad [Julie and Ger]."

And the song is not for sale, he added.

"I'm not selling it. It's up online for people to listen to. If it can give one family a bit strength I've given something from myself and Thomas."

To listen to the special duet go to Facebook: Jack Patrick Healy.

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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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