NEW CAMPAIGN: A New campaign has been launched to stamp out illegal moneylenders. From l-r were: Sergeant Grace O'Connell, John O'Regan (PRO Chapter 23), Eamon Foley (MABS), Paddy Kevane (SVdP) and Helen Courtney Power (Chairperson Marketing Committee Chapter 23).
By Michelle Crean
With Christmas just weeks away Gardaí are behind a new campaign to stamp out illegal moneylenders – who cause intimidation, threatening behaviour and harassment.
This week, multi-agencies including Kerry MABS, Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions, Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Gardaí came together to launch the ‘Say No to Illegal Moneylenders where the lending has no ending’ campaign – to warn people of the danger they face.
"The lead up to Christmas can be a challenging time for a lot of vulnerable people who may be caught up in a cycle of moneylenders,” John O’Regan, PRO, Chapter 23 Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions said.
“Loan rates can be very high and people can be caught in a vicious cycle of repeat borrowers without ever getting out of debt. Although we are all independent organisations, we have come together to advise people to avoid borrowing from illegal moneylenders in the lead up to Christmas.”
Support organisation MABS are on hand to help and offer free financial advice. The credit union can assist with a much lower rate of interest and flexible repayment terms. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul can also help to put practical measures in place and offer services such as Meals on Wheels, food hampers, fuel poverty, education etc.
“Illegal moneylenders are not to be confused with legal moneylenders,” Eamonn Foley, Kerry MABS, said.
“While legal moneylenders charge very high interest rates they are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland where legal credit agreements are in place and set code of practice under the Consumer Protection Code for Licensed Moneylenders must be adhered to.”
Eamonn added that illegal moneylenders are different they are people who use their own money to lend to people.
“What may or may not start off as a gentleman's agreement can end up turning very nasty. Illegal moneylenders are not legal, there are no legal credit agreements in place. In a lot of cases we have heard there may be intimidation, threatening behaviour and harassment. The Gardaí are involved in this campaign to highlight the level of illegal moneylenders activity in Kerry. We would ask people to think twice before getting involved with illegal moneylender activity, if you do go down this route and need support then we would encourage you to contact the gardai confidentiality who will investigate this matter.”
A list of support organisations includes: MABS: 076-1072190 – www.mabs.ie, Garda Siochana – Contact your local garda station, St Vincent de Paul – 066-7128021 www.svp.ie and your local credit union – www.creditunion.ie.
Jobs to keep gardeners busy
The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener busy! Winter bedding is now available – so plant up containers and pots to keep everything cheerful this winter! Conifers such as Goldcrest and Elwoodiis are an excellent choice for a centrepiece, as are Cordylines, […]
The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener busy!
Winter bedding is now available – so plant up containers and pots to keep everything cheerful this winter! Conifers such as Goldcrest and Elwoodiis are an excellent choice for a centrepiece, as are Cordylines, Phormiums and topiary plants such as Buxus and Bay laurels. Heathers give colour all winter, as do ornamental cabbages. Winter pansies, violas and Batchelor’s buttons are all in stock now, and will provide colour for months, Cyclamen are beautiful – but beware! They do not like getting too wet, so ideally use them in pots and window boxes which do not get too much rain.
Bulbs provide a welcome splash of colour in the early spring, at a time when things are looking grey and grim. Choose from an extensive range – tulips, daffs, crocus, snowdrops – to name but a few. Planting mixtures of different varieties can lead to stunning displays in a pot, for example, plant in layers: tulips at the bottom, then daffs, hyacinth, crocus and anenomes for a long lasting pot of colour. In the garden plant bulbs in informal clusters of uneven numbers to give a natural looking display. Alliums are particularly trendy at the moment, these ornamental onions are available in pinks, white and yellow.
Pruning is one of those jobs which can give immense satisfaction. All old flower heads, the straggly growth of herbaceous plants and branches of unkempt shrubs can go into the compost heap. Pruning equipment can be confusing for the new gardener, so here are a few guidelines: there are two types of secateurs, bypass and anvil. The anvil secateurs is used for dead wood, but the bypass secateurs can be used for live as well as dead wood. The hedge shears are used to prune large shrubs or hedges, but is best for soft or thin growth. Loppers are used to prune trees and thicker branches and have long handles. These also come as anvil or bypass. Some of these are geared, these take the strain and strength needed out of the job, an excellent invention!
As the days get shorter and wetter, moss will start to grow again. Treat paths before they get slippy, with a product such as MossOff. Try to keep fallen leaves off lawns as they contribute to poor growth of grass and strong moss growth. A leafblower makes the job easy – especially a cordless one!
Lawns benefit from a final treatment in the autumn with a product such as an Autumn Lawn Feed and Weed or Viano Recovery from the producers of MO Bacter. These products both treat the roots of the grass, making the plant itself stronger for the winter. They do not cause excessive growth.
Finally, if there are empty beds in your vegetable garden, consider sowing a green manure such as winter rye or red clover. These will prevent weeds from taking over as well as enriching the soil with nitrogen. In the spring they can be cut down and dug into the soil, providing essential organic matter.
Take the stress out of a career change
By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors People change career for a variety of reasons. For some people the desire to change comes from feeling unfulfilled or stressed in a current role or the need for more flexibility and autonomy as circumstances in your personal life evolve. Other people are prompted […]
By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
People change career for a variety of reasons. For some people the desire to change comes from feeling unfulfilled or stressed in a current role or the need for more flexibility and autonomy as circumstances in your personal life evolve.
Other people are prompted to change because of ambition to develop professionally, the desire for more meaning or purpose, job security or to earn more money.
Whether career change is forced upon you through organisational restructuring or is an active choice you are making, it can bring a mix of emotions. Among them is the fear and a lack of confidence on how to navigate the change effectively and the feeling of overwhelm associated with not knowing where to start. Conversely, it can be a time of great excitement about the possibility of taking on a new (and maybe very different) role or opportunity. Either way, drawing up a career action plan that breaks down the process into manageable tasks will help to ease any stress associated with career change and save you time and energy in the long run.
UNLOCKING YOUR POTENTIAL
Start by thinking about where you are now and where you would like to be – what are your priorities and non-negotiables and what are the practicalities you need to consider? To dig deeper do a self-assessment audit of your transferable skills and competencies, your career values and character strengths. Journal your career change journey by recording anything interesting you find out about yourself or career areas you are interested in. Some people like the idea of drawing up a career vision board as part of the process. Set clear goals and a specific timeline for yourself. As you gain more clarity, write out what your ideal job specification might look like, this will guide your job search. Explore options to up-skill or retrain if you feel this is helpful or necessary. Do a spring clean of your CV so that it reflects you accurately and favourably. Reach out to people in your network who may be able to assist you as you navigate this transition. Think about possible side projects you could work on to explore different areas before taking a big leap. Set up or update your LinkedIn profile, it is an important part of career development. Practice interview skills, you want to be able to perform confidently when they come around. Think about this process as unlocking the potential of your ‘career brand’ so that you and prospective employers have a strong sense of who you are professionally, what you value and what you bring to the workplace. Doing this work will enable you to approach your job search and career change with renewed confidence. It will take some time but it will be worth it!
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Careers Advisor – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Jobs to keep gardeners busy
The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener...
Take the stress out of a career change
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