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Over 200 attend ‘Off The Ball’ roadshow



OFF THE BALL: Presenter Nathan Murphy, former Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy, former Kerry Manager Pat O'Shea, former Meath Manager Sean Boylan and former Kerry footballer Darran O'Sullivan at the Dr Crokes GAA Club in Killarney. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile


By Sean Moriarty

Over 200 people attended a live broadcast of an internet-based sports chat show at the Dr Crokes Clubhouse on Wednesday night.

‘Off The Ball’ presenter Nathan Murphy and Kerry football legend Kieran Donaghy interviewed special guests including former Kerry Manager and Dr Crokes stalwart Pat O’Shea, former Kerry star Darran O’Sullivan, and Meath legend Sean Boylan. Also present was Margaret LawlorSlattery, one of the trailblazers of Kerry ladies football in the 1970s.

The two-hour programme gave fans a fascinating insight into what life is like behind the scenes for an inter-county player and their relationships with their management teams.

The programme was dedicated to tomorrow’s (Saturday) crucial Super 8 tests as Kerry take on Meath and Donegal face Mayo to decide who will contest the All-Ireland football semi-final in two weeks’ time.

Many feel that Kerry are a shoe in. A win or a draw would guarantee the Kingdom a slot in the last four, but the expert panel warned against complacency at such levels and pleaded with Kerry fans to travel to Navan and support the young Kerry team.

Regardless of what happens this weekend, Meath cannot progress but that won’t stop them from having a go and what better scalp to claim than to stop Kerry’s ambition to appear in another semi-final.

“Kerry are the aristocrats, I can see our lads throwing caution to the wind,” Boylan, who managed Meath to four All-Ireland titles in the late 1980s and late 1990s, told the audience. “If we win it will be out of this world and it we lose at least we went down with a fight.”

Kerry is very much a new outfit since Peter Keane took the helm earlier this year and there are fears in some quarters that the young squad does not carry enough of experience to go all the way.

Darran O’Sullivan disagreed.

“This Kerry unit is only starting,” he said. “Bringing in Adrian Spillane, he has that old-school style about him, he likes the rough and tumble and he will lord the skies on Saturday.”

Donaghy called for fans to travel.

“I want to see Kerry have the edge on Saturday,” he said. “The Meath crowd will come out in force, I hope the Kerry crowd will go and support this young team. They need that support and the atmosphere will be electric.”




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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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