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Key influencers to help drive economic growth to Kerry




Almost 40 highly regarded key influencers and decision-makers who hail from Kerry - including Killarney - are part of a new pioneering programme to drive economic growth to the county.

On Friday night the Kerry Ambassador Programme, which aims to raise Kerry’s profile as a global business hub, was officially launched.

This exciting new initiative is led by non-profit organisation Kerry Convention Bureau, in partnership with Kerry County Council, Fáilte Ireland, Meet in Ireland, Kerry Tourism Industry Federation, Kerry SciTech and Prosper Kerry.

Killarney locals involved include MEP Sean Kelly, John Healy from Healy Insurances, Paudie Healy CEO Universal Access, Brian O'Mahony, Chief Executive of the Irish Haemophilia Society, Mark Kennelly, Chief Executive Golf Ireland, and Tara Cronin Fundraising and Events Manager with ICAP UK.

In an event held at the Rose Hotel Tralee as part of Kerry County Council’s ‘An Turas Mór – Homecoming Kerry Diaspora Festival', the Kerry Ambassadors were formally inducted into the programme.

These founding Ambassadors comprise of 37 highly regarded key influencers and decision-makers who hail from Kerry and across the globe, representing sectors such as community, enterprise, academia, business, engineering, medicine, science, technology, sport, arts and culture.

After being presented with a commemorative plaque acknowledging their appointment, each Ambassador had the opportunity to network with the programme partners and invited guests.

The official launch was followed by an evening of celebration of Kerry’s Diaspora as part of 'An Turas Mór Kerry Homecoming' dinner and awards ceremony, which was presented by Kerry County Council to acknowledge and celebrate Kerry’s Diaspora success stories, both within Ireland and overseas.

What is the Kerry Ambassador Programme?

The programme has been created for community and industry leaders who are interested in supporting the county by influencing and attracting business events and investment opportunities to Kerry.

The initiative provides a platform for founding Ambassadors and programme partners to work together in pursuit of a common goal – to advocate for Kerry and to contribute to Kerry’s ongoing economic growth and recovery, by placing Kerry on the national and international stage as a premier business events destination and a place to do business.

“We are thrilled to be launching this programme as a collective county initiative, with such an impressive and respected group of individuals, who have demonstrated their commitment and passion for their county by accepting the role of founding Kerry Ambassador,” Becky Hargrove, Manager of Kerry Convention Bureau, said.

“To be an ambassador is to advocate for Kerry. Our ambassadors will use their knowledge, and where possible and appropriate, assist Kerry Convention Bureau and our industry partners in identifying new business events and or investment prospects for the county. As Kerry continues to build on its reputation as both a future focused premier business events destination and one of Ireland’s leading knowledge and innovation hubs, where industry collaboration drives success, the launch of this initiative is timely.”

Patrice O’Mahony, Commercial Development Officer at Fáilte Ireland, added that “over 75% of all conferences confirmed for Ireland each year are secured by an ambassador and this is why the Kerry Ambassador Programme is so important".

"By encouraging individuals and companies to consider Kerry as a place to hold events, do business, progress a career and a location of choice for investment, both private and public, these founding Ambassadors will play a significant role in promoting economic, social and community outcomes for Kerry.”

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Five questions to ask yourself before buying a stock

By Michael O’Connor, When it comes to investing, nothing is certain. There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy. […]




By Michael O’Connor,

When it comes to investing, nothing is certain.

There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy.

The truth is, investing is hard, and building a portfolio of top stocks that beat the market is something that even financial professionals have trouble doing consistently.

For most people, investing in index funds is the perfect hands-off approach, providing broad exposure to the stock market at a very low fee. Even my own personal portfolio is made up of roughly 70% ETFs despite the fact I invest in the market for a living.

But I believe some stock picking is a good strategy for many hands-on people.

Taking a small portion of your overall portfolio and diligently selecting a small number of companies to invest in gives you an opportunity to learn about the investing process and fully understand the businesses you are investing in, which helps to build conviction in your positions.

From a psychological standpoint “collector’s instinct” kicks in, enabling people to participate and invest more money over time.

Lastly, for Irish investors, there are tax benefits to consider. If you invest in individual stocks, you are taxed at the CGT rate of 33%, and the first €1,270 of your gains are exempt from CGT each year. When investing in index funds or ETFs, you are taxed at the exit tax rate of 41% with no annual exemption.

For those interested in picking individual stocks, here are five questions you should ask yourself before investing in any company.

Do I understand the business?

Too many people invest in businesses they don’t understand because it ‘sounds good’. If you have no idea how the company works, you won’t have the conviction needed to hold onto the stock when an inevitable downturn comes.

Can the balance sheet withstand severe, temporary adversity?

This seems obvious, but so many people invest in companies without understanding how much money a company holds and who they owe money to. Economic cycles are guaranteed. You must ensure that the company has enough cash-on-hand to avoid becoming obsolete when activity slows.

Will the company benefit from long-term trends?

Make sure the company will remain relevant into the future. If the stock is cheap now, it may be cheap for a reason.

Is the company enjoying profitable growth?

Not growth at all costs, but a combination of sustainable growth and value. All this information can be found online at sites like

What are the risk factors?

Is the company trying something new and untested? If yes, who are its competitors and how successful are they? If other players are more established, this company may have a tough time breaking into the market.


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Ballyspillane staff open up mental health conversation

By Michelle Crean “Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign. It’s all in partnership […]




By Michelle Crean

“Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign.

It’s all in partnership with Mental Health Ireland (MHI) and the centre will host an information/coffee morning on Thursday next (March 30) at 12.30pm at their centre and all are welcome to attend.

The campaign initiated by MHI identifies the need for positive engagement and connections with the people around us.

It asks people to engage in open conversations about mental health and prompts us all to ask the question “How Are You?”

The word HELLO is a useful acronym to guide everyone through such conversations, H: Hello, E: Engage positively with the person, L: Listen actively, L: Learn about the person and O: seek options to assist the person if required.

“We all need a listening and compassionate ear sometimes to get us through some challenges in our lives and I think the pandemic has opened a new way of looking at the world, where we can all recognise the challenges that people experience more readily,” Derek O’Leary, Manager of Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre, said.

“Our team here are in the business of supporting families and individuals across the Killarney area and beyond and see the challenges that people face first hand. We also see the positive impact that a caring person can have in such circumstances and this campaign that encourages positive engagement, regarding mental health is a great reminder to us all, the role we can play is assisting others who are struggling.”

Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre provide a suite of support and intervention services including family supports, social prescribing/community connection services and physiotherapeutic services across the Killarney municipal area and beyond.


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