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Marie’s act of kindness continues



By Michelle Crean

Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan's act of kindness continued this week as the photographer and author donated money to two charities and presented a very special gift.

DONATION: Marie Carroll O'Sullivan (second from left) presenting the proceeds of her book ‘Behind The Mask’ €7,100 to Marie O'Carroll for Nathan's Walk Pieta House with from left: Patricia Mayse, Olivia Twohig, Tara Grace Twohig and Diane Collins Twohig, Marie O'Carroll (Pieta House), Tanya Coyne O'Shea of Eason Killarney, Cathal Walshe (Pieta House) and Garda Eddie Walsh at Eason Killarney. Photo: Michelle Cooper Galvin

CHEQUE: Marie Carroll O'Sullivan (second from left) presenting the proceeds of her book ‘Behind The Mask’ €7,100 to (right) Kathleen O'Shea, Kathrina Breen, Eugene O'Sullivan and Elenor O'Doherty from the Kerry branch of the Irish Cancer Society, with (from left) Garda Jason Sheehan, Olivia Twohig, Tara Grace Twohig and Diane Collins Twohig at Eason Killarney. Photo: Michelle Cooper Galvin

She gave two cheques for €7,100 each to the Irish Cancer Society and also to Pieta, Nathan's Walk - the proceeds from her lockdown book 'Behind the Mask'.

But not only that, she gifted a copy to Diane Collins Twohig local community Garda and wife of the late Garda Paudie Twohig. And inside was very personal as Marie had asked the people who featured in the book to sign it - together with the signatures of the Gardai on both of their units.

"Marie Carroll O’Sullivan isn’t just a dreamer, she’s a believer and a doer," Diane said this week.
"'Behind the Mask' is an incredible piece of work, Marie you have found the positive side of the pandemic and captured the very spirit of what has got all of us through the last two years. It's when things seems worse that you must not quit. I am so grateful for all that Paudie and I had. I move forward each day, although heartbroken with that in mind he lived for our girls and for us, I cherish that and we live on. To help others, to give back and thank all that supported us and continue to do so makes me so happy. I know that Paudie is smiling down on us, and like me, is so proud that we could be part of this fantastic project," she said.

"A broken heart opens you to the very core, it leaves sharp and very jagged edges but the kindnesses and support I have received has helped round and smooth these, this has gotten me through the hard days and the nights that feel like forever. So, from the bottom of my broken heart, I thank you, the people of Killarney town, the Irish Cancer Society, its supporters and Marie Carroll O’Sullivan for all that you are and all that you do."

Marie O'Carroll from Pieta House - Nathan's Walk also thanked Marie for her donation.

“As parents of Nathan we are humbled that Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan chose Nathan's Walk for Pieta House as one of three beneficiaries from the sales of her book ‘Behind the Mask’. We are delighted to accept the cheque for such a worthy cause that's close to our hearts. Each year since 2011, in the month of May, we organise the walk in honour of Nathan. The monies raised through this means, and through Marie's kind donation, it will help provide a free therapeutic approach to people who are in suicidal distress and those who engage in self harm.”

Eugene O'Sullivan from the Kerry branch of the Irish Cancer Society said that Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan "keeps giving".

"During lockdown Marie was on her bike with her camera photographing people and bringing a smile to their faces. She came up with the amazing idea to put photos together and produce 'Behind the Mask', of which she has made the Irish Cancer Society a beneficiary and we will be forever grateful for that.”

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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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