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New Chamber President plans to tackle town’s parking problems

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The new President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce hopes to bring a new and fresh perspective to the role – and also tackle the town’s parking problems.
Paul Sherry, manager of the Killarney Outlet Centre, who this week took over from outgoing president Paul O'Neill, said many of his outstanding predecessors have been directly involved in tourism and he is acutely aware that the industry is key in Killarney.
Although a retailer by profession and not a business owner, he still sees himself as working in tourism, and pledges to represent all sectors with equal enthusiasm.
The new president said he wants to continue to represent the entire business community, the industrial and manufacturing sector, hospitality, retail and other commercial interests, and he hopes everybody will work together to create an even better Killarney.
“I want to make the Chamber as inclusive as it can be, and one of my main targets during my term is to increase membership. We are already a very strong and driven organisation and by growing further we can only get stronger,” he said.
Outlining his priorities for the role, Paul said he plans to build on the very good relationship the Chamber has with the officials and elected members of Killarney Municipal District Council and Kerry County Council, to work together on the big issues such as the town’s parking problem, congestion during the tourist season and creating greater access.
He said he is also looking forward to continuing the partnership with organisations like Tidy Towns, the Killarney Mountain Meitheal and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and he is particularly anxious to see the potential of the magnificent asset that is Killarney House and Gardens maximised.
“The bottom line is that I am very keen to hear the views of everybody in Killarney in terms of what the town needs and what the Chamber can do to ensure it remains the best town in the country to live in and to visit,” Paul added.
He said Paul O’Neill would be a hard act to follow as he was a tremendous ambassador for the town during his two-year term.
“My priority is to continue to build on the great work that has been done by Chamber down through the years and to work closely with Team Killarney,” he said.
Always active in Chamber, Paul has served on all the organisation’s festival committees and he is currently Chairperson of the Killarney St Patrick’s Festival.
A long-serving member and former President of Killarney Rotary Club, he is the current Chairman of Killarney Celtic FC – the reigning Kerry league and cup champions – and he also serves on the board of management at Gaelscoil Faithleann in Killarney.

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Lissi’s love of nature nets prize

After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]

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After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.

Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.

Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.

This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.

“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:

“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”

Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.

“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”

Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.

The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.

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The only certainty is uncertainty

By Michael O’Connor    “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]

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By Michael O’Connor   

“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.

At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.

Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.

History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.

Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.

Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.

Lean into the uncertainty

Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.

In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.

Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.

My advice

Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.

The solution

Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.

In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.

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