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New housing scheme will benefit first-time buyers

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

This week Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien announced a new landmark affordable housing scheme which will benefit thousands of middle income home buyers.

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The First Home Shared Equity Scheme, set to be rolled out from early July with €400m funding from the Government, is designed to bridge the gap for those whose income is too low to get them a big enough mortgage to buy their first home.

The three main banks have signed up to the scheme which will see the State providing an interest-free stake of up to 30 percent in the home.

It is expected to cover the purchase of eight thousand new homes over the next four years.

Under the scheme, the purchase of new-build homes is to be jointly funded by the State and participating mortgage lenders.

AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB are on board with the scheme, and other lenders are expected to sign up.

The flagship First Homes Scheme in the Government’s 'Housing For All' strategy, will have no income limits for those who apply for it.

However, there are limits on the value of properties that will qualify for the scheme in each local authority area. The limits will be based on the median value for a new home in the area.

The new scheme is set to be welcomed by those who are earning too much to qualify for social housing, but too little to qualify for a mortgage in a property market where values are back close to Celtic Tiger peaks.
It will help bridge the gap between the finance they have and the finance they need to purchase their first home. It will make a difference quickly.

As an example, a couple with an income of €70,000, who want to buy a €320,000 new home, will put up a 10 percent deposit, the most they can borrow is €277,000. This leaves a gap of €43,000.

First Home would provide this amount as equity, with no interest for the first five years.
This couple could also benefit from the State’s Help-To-Buy scheme, which usually provides tax relief of up to 20 percent of the property’s value.

The scheme will apply to first-time buyers, but also to divorced people and those who have been made bankrupt.

Further details of the scheme are available on www.gov.ie.

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Sam Maguire to feature at next week’s AugustFest

Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races […]

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Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races offering patrons great racing, history, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse.

With lots of ticket levels and packages including food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is close to the action general admission tickets or silver service fine dining, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races. Live music, fashion, and fun for all the family complement the best of summer racing at the track this August.

Thursday and Friday are evening meetings and Saturday is an afternoon event with all race cards offering seven thrilling races for spectators to enjoy each day.

Thursday is Sam Maguire evening. And to mark Kerry’s recent success and Killarney Races bi-centenary celebration, Killarney Races are offering an amazing deal on the opening day of their three-day event. On Thursday August 18 patrons will enjoy admission, a racecard and a €5 free bet all for €20! The first race is approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. Come early, bring along your jersey and camera, it’s going to be a great evening.

Friday will see the new entrance officially open, as racing officials and elected representatives unlock the gate to the next 200 years at the popular Killarney track, first race at approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. With music on the lawn from Donal Lucey and from Tom Cats in the Jim Culloty bar after racing the après racing party is sure to be a ‘winner alright’!

Saturday is AYU Ladies Day and all about the glamour as fashionistas bring the curtain down on AugustFest in fine style. AYU is an Irish based and Irish owned cosmetics company set up by renowned make-up artist Suzie O’Neill. With over €1,500 in prizes for the most stylish ladies to dress up for, what’s not to love! Gates open from 12 noon with the first off at approximately 2pm.

“At AugustFest we will be celebrating a major milestone here at Killarney Races, 200 years of racing in Killarney which is amazing,” Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Gerard Coughlan said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all locals and visitors to Killarney to come along and be part of the 200 year celebrations and share in this historic moment with us as we officially open the gates on the next 200 years! It’s a rare opportunity to be able to say ‘I was there the day they celebrated the bi-centenary’ anywhere and what a great story to share with the grandchildren in years to come. On that note, we are looking forward to welcoming multiple generations of families during AugustFest, so make a plan and come along and join us for what will be a most remarkable festival at our beautiful boutique racecourse this August!”

The feature race on the opening day of AugustFest is the Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes (listed), the Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap of €50,000 and the Gain Advantage Race Series. On Friday, the day two feature is the Grade B Handicap Hurdle of €50,000 and the EBF Novice Hurdle, with four competitive chase races. The final day of the festival the feature is the Grade B Handicap Chase of €50,000.

Adult tickets are available from €20 and children under 14 go free ensuring a great day out for all the family. For those who love a deal, the “Punter’s Pack” is a great value-added option and if you want to live it up check out the Maurice O’Donoghue Suite and Panoramic Restaurant options.

For all ticket details and festival programme information visit killarneyraces.com.

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Jessie Buckley’s album shortlisted for prestigious award

Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is […]

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Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year.

Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is one of 12 albums shortlisted for the prestigious award which will be revealed in London on September 8.

“Neither of us really knew each other and it was actually a blessing in disguise because we met each other in the moment and trusted each other, took a leap of faith and in a way come in just the way we were and not because of who we are,” she told a press conference at the awards announcement in London last week.

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