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Mental Health charity urges Leaving Cert students to use its services tomorrow




Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, is urging students across the country to use its services when they get their Leaving Cert results in the morning.

The charity said it runs free support groups most evenings at 6pm and a free 'Thought Catcher' online mood diary every day from 2pm until 8pm where people can post about how they're feeling about their results. The charity stated that young people might be feeling happy, disappointed, or overwhelmed with their Leaving Cert results but may need support to manage their mental health during this period.

"Even if students are happy with their results and they performed well, they may still be feeling high levels of anxiety as they prepare for the next stage of their lives, whether it's first year of college, a year abroad, going straight into the workplace or repeating the year," Fiona O'Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said.

"A period of significant transition in a person's life brings feelings of trepidation and uncertainty. Many people find this period overwhelming. Turn2Me offers free, professional mental health services 365 days a year for people over the age of 12 in Ireland. I would encourage any young person, and indeed, any parents, who feel nervous about tomorrow's Leaving Cert results to use our mental health services. Our support groups and our Thought Catcher services have no waiting lists, so people can sign up on our website,, and start using these services very quickly."

The charity stated that some students may be disappointed, but that there is always another option if young people aren't happy with their results - they might consider a different course, a different career path or even repeating. Turn2Me said that parents can struggle to support their children if they're unhappy with their results. The charity suggested that parents sitting with their child can be helpful, as they receive their results. Putting your hand on your child's shoulders or gently rubbing their back may also help.

Not the time for criticism

If your child is disappointed with their results, Turn2Me stated that immediate criticism isn't helpful.

"There's no point saying, 'you didn't study hard enough' or 'you should have done better'. It's not the time for criticism," Fiona said.
"If your child is disappointed, they will be in quite a fragile state, so giving out to them will exacerbate feelings of depression or anxiety. After a few hours of letting a young person take in the information they've received, gently approach the topic of 'Plan B' whether it's repeating, going to a study coach, doing a pivot course to another course, or considering another career path. It's important to emphasise that today, there are so many other options available to people. The Leaving Cert isn't the only gateway to success!"

Hard work should be acknowledged!

Turn2Me stated that most young people put a lot of study and hard work into the Leaving Cert and their hard work should be acknowledged. The charity stated that the results should be celebrated, and young people should be praised for all their hard work.

If you're disappointed, you're not alone

Turn2Me said that so many people are happy with their results, but there are some young people who will be very disappointed.

"If you're disappointed, you're not alone," she said. "So many people will be in the same boat as you. Please, please, please use our services if you need to talk to someone - we have amazing counsellors, psychotherapists and mental health professionals working on our site,, and we run 365 days a year. We offer free support groups on anxiety, depression, grief, and relationship issues most evenings at 6pm; we have a free 'Thought Catcher' mood diary which runs every day from 2pm until 8pm; and we have one-to-one counselling sessions, all available on our website. If you're feeling disappointed, please sign up for our professional mental health services - that's what they're there for."

Turn2Me said that going for a walk or a run, being around nature, mindfulness and writing down your thoughts can help people deal with disappointment. The charity also encouraged young people to spend time with a loved one or a friend, if they're feeling disappointed in their results.


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The Irish investment market is pathetic

By Michael O’Connor,    I lived abroad for years, so all the investment strategies I created were typically outside of Irish tax considerations. But over the last few weeks I […]




By Michael O’Connor,   

I lived abroad for years, so all the investment strategies I created were typically outside of Irish tax considerations.

But over the last few weeks I have been putting together several investment strategies for Irish-domiciled clients. It has been eye-opening, to say the least.

In short, most of the Irish market appears to be dominated by a handful of life insurance companies that offer ‘wrapped’ Multi Asset Funds. This means they offer a basket of stocks, bonds, property etc., all within one investment.

Irish Life’s MAPs 4 multi-asset fund states a standard annual management charge of 1.15%. A bit on the higher side for my liking, but this is still manageable.

But when you dig a little deeper, the KID documents (where all fees have to be fully disclosed as part of UCITS regulations) show the fee as 2.2%.

Double the quoted price

As an added bonus, they lock your money up for seven years, where an early encashment charge is waiting for those who wish to withdraw their money early. That’s right, they charge YOU for making your money inaccessible.

This lock-up period is a shrewd business tactic. An exit charge is an excellent way to ensure customers don’t leave when they realise how poor the performance is.

Too late, you’re trapped.


Fees become more digestible provided the performance is strong, but unfortunately, the misery continues.

The Irish Life MAPS 4 Portfolio has an annual return of 1.63% a year over the last five years. Granted, this was a challenging market climate to navigate, but falling below even the lowest expectations of inflation means that this fund has returned negative real returns after inflation over the last five years.

A similar 60/40 portfolio made up of passive index funds (S&P 500 and US T bonds) would have returned roughly 6.5% a year over the same period for a fee of roughly 0.1%.

We can go round and round in circles regarding the ‘risk adjusted’ approach and the added ‘diversification’ of the multi-asset fund versus the 60/40 portfolio I have shown. But the reality is much of this so-called diversification is over-engineering for an extra cost for many long term investors.

So, how can such pathetic offerings still exist in a system where low-cost operators such as De Giro are providing endless ETF options and commission-free trades that provide access to market returns at a fraction of the price?

Two reasons spring to mind

Firstly, the Irish retail investment scene is built on a financial broker commission system where unsuspecting customers are shoved into these products by ‘financial planners’ who receive kickbacks and commissions from these investment companies. You think you’re getting free investment advice; believe me, you’re not.

Second, the tax treatment of ETF structures is comical in Ireland, and US ETFs aren’t even an investment option. A 41% exit tax and an eight-year deemed disposal rule leaves investors stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Choose an overpriced, underperforming product that locks your money away for multiple years or choose the cheaper, better-performing product and suffer the tax consequences.

Bizarrely, investors are forced to make decisions based on preferential tax treatment rather than on the underlying investment’s merits.

I have gone into much more detail on the tax treatment and investment options in Ireland on my website. Just scan the QR code.

If you would like me to independently review your investment portfolio, just send me an email at


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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]




By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.


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