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Niall retires from The Gleneagle after 51 years’ service




By Michelle Crean

For over five decades he has been the friendly face at The Gleneagle Hotel - and there's not many he hasn't met from around the country or the world - but this week it was time for Niall Doherty to say a final farewell.

EARLY CAREER: Niall Doherty pictured during the early days of his career with The Gleneagle Hotel.

Friends and colleagues gathered together to say goodbye to Niall who dedicated 51 years of his career to the hotel.

Niall began in hospitality in Jackson’s Bar in his native Ballybofey, Co. Donegal. In 1968 he moved to Killarney to take up a post as a barman at The Three Lakes Hotel. For the following three years, he divided his time between summers in Killarney and winters in London but love intervened and had him settle in Killarney for good. Niall met his wife, Greta Breen from Glencar, in Killarney and by 1975 they were married.

Niall joined The Gleneagle in 1971 after being headhunted by the late Maurice O’Donoghue and soon became a well-known face behind the bar at the hotel. In more recent years, he worked in beverage stock management where his expertise and attention to detail will be greatly missed.


Niall has a treasure trove of memories and stories from his many years in The Gleneagle.

“I loved seeing all the artists and musicians perform down through the years, especially Joe Loss and his orchestra and of course Joe Dolan. My favourite performance ever was by fellow Donegal man Rory Gallagher back in 1983," he said.

“Even back in the early days, The Gleneagle was always a busy place, I remember waxing and polishing the floor of the ballroom every two weeks - there was so much dancing between socials, weddings and dances. I loved my time in The Gleneagle, I made great friends over the years and shared many great times with guests and locals alike.”

Patrick O’Donoghue, who is among the third generation of O’Donoghue’s to work with Niall said, that they'd like "to sincerely thank Niall for his hard work and commitment over his many years at the hotel".

"I know our dad Maurice, in particular, highly valued his input and honesty," Patrick said.

"Niall always said it like it was, never fearing the repercussions. While we will miss working with him, we wish him and his family every happiness in his retirement."

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Is it a good time to sell your property?

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year. The quarterly report found the market had held up […]




By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year.

The quarterly report found the market had held up better than evidence had suggested in 2022. The number of vendors cutting asking prices remained at low levels, while many house prices were being settled above asking prices.

However, the report warned that the resilience of the housing marking is set to be tested this year. It found annual asking price inflation slowed to six percent nationwide, meaning the asking price for the average home in Ireland is now €330,000.

There were 15,000 available properties for sale on in the fourth quarter of the year – an improvement on the same time last year but still below pre-pandemic levels.

Average time to sale agreed was 2.7 months nationwide which the report said is indicative of a very tight housing market.

The report said it expects to see 28,400 house completions in 2022, exceeding its previous forecast of 26,500 finished units.

The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at stockbrokers Davy, said it appeared the market had held up better than evidence had suggested.

“The number of vendors cutting their asking prices is still at low levels. Also, transactions in Q4 were still being settled above asking prices, indicative of a tight market,” he said.

Recent months had seen worrying trends in the homebuilding sector, with housing starts slowing, and the construction PMI survey pointing to the flow of new development drying up.

“We still expect housing completions will pick up to 28,400 in 2022 and 27,000 in 2023. However, the outlook for 2024 is far more uncertain. The Government’s ambitious plans to expedite planning processes are welcome although, as ever, the proof will be in the pudding,” he added.

Locally, and unsurprisingly, the lack of supply of new and second-hand properties remains the dominant issue. There has been very little new construction due largely to the rising cost of construction, labour, materials and utilities which in turn is putting pressure on the second hand market.

This market proved particularly strong in 2022 with active bidding experienced on the majority of house sales and a large proportion of guide prices being generally exceeded.

The detached family home end of the market is particularly strong with increased competition for a limited number of available well located family homes.

So, what lies ahead and is it a good time to sell your property?

The answer is a tight market with scarcity of supply being a factor. If selling now you will benefit greatly from a lack of supply of available homes (therefore less competition) provided your property is marketed correctly of course!

For anyone considering placing their property on the market, contact DNG Ted Healy 064 6639000 for genuine honest advice on how to achieve the best possible price for your home.

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Tourism VAT rate should be “continued indefinitely”

A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its […]




A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its customers”.

The reduced VAT rate of 9% was introduced by the Government in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the hospitality sector.

“I believe a return to a 13.5% Tourism VAT rate would be counterproductive at this stage, to small and medium businesses that welcome visitors to our country and our county,” Councillor Michael Cahill said.

“Catered food is already charged at 13.5%, alcohol at 23% and accommodation presently at 9%. This sector is providing pretty decent returns to the Exchequer and should be supported. All parties in this debate, including the Government and accommodation providers, should review their position and ensure their actions do not contribute to ‘killing the Goose that laid the Golden Egg’.”

He explained that the tourism industry is “in a very volatile market”, as can be seen by the enormous challenges “posed by COVID-19 in recent years”.

“A grain of rice could tip the balance either way and great care must be taken not to damage it irreparably. We are all aware that the next six to 12 months will be extremely difficult for many businesses with the increase in the cost of oil and gas, etc,, and a return to the 13.5% VAT rate will, in my opinion, close many doors. If a minority are ‘price gouging’, then it should be possible to penalise them and continue to support the majority who offer value for money to our visitors.”

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