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Killarney retains Purple Flag status

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Killarney has been officially accredited with being a vibrant, exciting and safe place to live in and visit by night­.

It has been confirmed this week that the town has retained its prestigious Purple Flag status which is an international awards scheme for towns and city centres that excel after dark.

The recognition, considered a major international brand, is the gold standard for night time destinations and, like the Blue Flag scheme for beaches, recipients must meet exceptionally high standards and strict criteria to receive approval to fly the flag.

Killarney has received Purple Flag accreditation annually since 2014 and the official emblem flies proudly over the town hall as well as in the Glebe car park and Killarney Garda Station.

Killarney’s Purple Flag Working Group is spearheaded by the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and it involves Killarney Municipal District Council, An Garda Siochana, local businesses, community organisations and schools.

Purple Flag locations are deemed vibrant and well-managed between 5pm and 5am and the accreditation recognises excellence in the management of the evening and night-time economy and the creation of a safe and friendly environment in which to live, socialise and work.

​​​​​​​ADJUDICATION PROCESS

Factors taken into consideration during the adjudication process included after dark safety, cleanliness, vitality, cultural stimulation, lighting, the provision of public transport and broad appeal.

Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Marie Moloney, said for Killarney to secure the Purple Flag this year was a more significant achievement than ever given the unprecedented two years experienced in the town.

“It is great so see that Killarney had emerged from the pandemic with its reputation as a great place still very much to the fore. The recognition just goes to prove that Killarney is a great place to be and a great place to visit,” she said.

Purple Flag Committee Chairman, Frank Doran, has attributed the success to the quality and commitment of the working group and the businesses in Killarney town who operate in the night-time economy.

“In order to retain the Purple Flag we must continue our work on an everyday basis to develop the entertainment, food, hospitality and public transport offering in Killarney,” he said.

“The town will be subject to assessment again in 2022 and we look forward to working with local businesses and key stakeholders to help promote the area to the widest possible audience,” Mr Doran added.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President, Niall Kelleher, said the last two years have not been what anyone expected and businesses and locals have had to explore new territory in the fightback against COVID-19.

“Retaining the Purple Flag is very important as Killarney needs every advantage it can get in order to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“People all over the world are very much aware of just how wonderful Killarney is as a visitor attraction and as a welcoming, busy and fun place to be and this latest success just goes to prove that Killarney is just as charming after dark as it is by day,” Mr Kelleher said.

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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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