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Music and dance event to benefit Air Ambulance




People from around the Sliabh Luachra area and indeed further afield, can enjoy an evening of music and dancing while simultaneously supporting the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

Mike Condon from Kerry and locals Sheila Fitzgerald and Annmarie O’Riordan will be on stage at the CYMS Hall in Newmarket this Friday night for the event which is being organised by well-known promoter John Joe Herlihy.

Musician and singer Mike Condon needs no introduction to dancing audiences, having built up a strong following throughout Munster in a career spanning over three decades.

While Annmarie O’Riordan is recognised primarily for her wonderful renditions of traditional songs, she is equally at home with performing for a dancing audience.

Annmarie just recently released a new single ‘Do you Hear the Robin Sing?’ which is currently receiving extensive airplay on all radio stations. She will launch her brand new album at the INEC, Killarney, on September 25.

Having toured extensively at home and abroad with her band, Sheila is certainly no stranger to the stage. Just this week, Sheila has released a new single entitled ‘Santa Maria – A Prayer to Mary’. The new song will be aired on all radio stations from this weekend. An accompanying video, filmed at Tubrid Holy Well in Millstreet, will be launched shortly - watch out for it on Sky/Spotlight TV shows.


The Irish Community Air Ambulance service is committed to providing safe, effective and timely emergency pre-hospital care to those seriously ill or injured in Ireland. It is Ireland’s first and only charity Air Ambulance service and also operates a fleet of ground services throughout the country. Since its launch in Rathcoole in 2019, the crew has been tasked over 1,300 times and credited with saving countless lives. From the base in Rathcoole, the Irish Community Air Ambulance can cover a 25,000 km² area within 30 minutes, thereby providing state-of-the-art emergency medical care. The Air Ambulance crew was tasked to 490 incidents across 13 counties during its first full year of operation in 2020, which increased to 512 incidents in 2021, over 14 counties. The crew has attended over 325 medical emergencies in the first four months of this year alone, showing an increasing need for the service.

“We are honoured to be chosen as the beneficiaries of the upcoming fundraising dance in Newmarket," CEO of the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Micheál Sheridan, said.

"It shows the value that is placed on the service locally. We have received incredible support from the people of North West and North Cork since day one and we are forever grateful. It’s the dances, raffles, quiz nights and events that have allowed us to bring hope to so many families in rural Ireland in particular.”

Meanwhile, a whole new series of dances will kick off in Newmarket, beginning with this fundraiser. Punters can look forward to Declan Nerney on September 16, Dermot Lyons; September 23 and Michael Collins on September 30. All enquiries to John Joe Herlihy on 087 9735113.

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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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