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Killarney Para Athlete part of new national campaign

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NATIONAL CAMPAIGN: Athlete Jordan Lee from Killarney pictured in Dublin yesterday (Thursday) at the launch of Circle K's 'Here for Ireland' initiative. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

 

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By Michelle Crean

 

A giant billboard of a local sports figure appeared on Park Road yesterday (Thursday) – as part of a national campaign.

Locals may have seen the huge signage at the Railway bridge on Park Road of 19-year-old Para Athlete Jordon Lee, from Killarney, who was born with one hand.

Jordon, who is pursuing his high jump sporting dreams to get to the Tokyo Olympics 2020, yesterday joined athletes Ciara Mageean, Nicole Turner and Olympic hero Michael Carruth in Dublin for the launch of Circle K’s ‘Here for Ireland’ initiative.

Part of the initiative is that Circle K customers can now use the Circle K App or their loyalty tag in-store to generate digital coins that Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls can use to fuel their journey to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

It is estimated that approximately €250,000 worth of digital coins will be generated over the course of the initiative, all of which will be shared evenly amongst Team Ireland hopefuls.

The young Killarney athlete will compete at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai on November 13.

Not only has he won bronze in the 2018 European Para Athletics Championship, he is ranked second in the world in the IPC Paralympic World Rankings.

“As a Circle K ambassador, I’m delighted to be involved with the ‘Here for Ireland’ initiative assisting Irish Athletes and Para-athletes on the road to Tokyo 2020,” Jordon told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It would make a massive difference to the athletes if customers showed their support by scanning their Circle K App or ‘Play or Park’ loyalty tag, digital coins are generated which we can use in Circle K stores to help fuel our journey.”

His coach Tómas Griffin added that Jordon’s training for the World Para Athletics Championships is going great and he’s delighted to be featured on billboards and bus shelters all over the country and in Northern Ireland.

“Things are going great for him. His talent is incredible and I couldn’t ask anymore from him. For someone to appear on a billboard in their own town is huge.”

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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 MyHome.ie quarterly report found the market had held up […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year.

The MyHome.ie 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 MyHome.ie 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 killarney@dng.ie 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 […]

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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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