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Over 30 charges struck out in Ballyspillane feud case






Over 30 charges were struck out and a number of convictions not proceeded with after several women - representing both sides of an ongoing Killarney "feud" - withdrew complaints against each other at a special sitting of Killarney District Court yesterday (Thursday).

A large garda presence and a number of garda vans secured the court. The parties left by separate entrances.

Solicitor for six of the accused, Padraig O’Connell, welcomed what he described as “a period of rapprochement”.

Mr O’Connell described the striking out of 30 charges as “an opportunity to let the dust settle”.

A recent charge alleging a threat to kill against a man known as “Sexy” is proceeding, the court heard.

The special sitting is the second such involving the dispute between a number of closely connected families in Hazlewood Drive and Ballyspillane area of Killarney.

Last November a case before the Circuit Court in Tralee was told the feud was sparked by a row over a bouncy castle in May 2018 during a First Holy Communion gathering of closely connected families, some of them related.

The charges struck out yesterday include public order, road traffic, and assault in a dispute which had spilled over into nightclubs and shops in Killarney.

The special sitting in December, heard how traffic had come to a halt in Upper Park Road in the “feud” with females fighting and how people in Ballyspillane needed to walk around their estate with CCTV, such was the threat level between families.

Inspector John Kelly asked each of the eight women withdrawing charges yesterday if they were doing so out of their own “free will” and they each replied this was the case. Judge Waters also satisfied himself the complainants had not been under pressure to withdraw evidence. The State also withdrew a number of charges.

Convictions against two women in December were also not proceeded with and no sentence handed down.

Inspector Kelly said gardai wanted to reassure the public that they were maintaining a presence in Ballyspillane and any incidents or infringement would be met with the full rigour of the law.

A fresh allegation of a threat to kill by 34-year-old Daniel O’Brien of Piercetown, Newbridge, Co Kildare, is to proceed, the court heard.

Mr O’Brien is alleged to have made a threat to kill or cause serious harm to Patrick O’Brien (otherwise known as Sexy) and this threat was made to Margaret Avanzo intending her to believe it would be carried out on December 22 last at Ballyspillane, Killarney.

He made “no reply” when charged on Thursday, the court heard.

Ms Avanzo was not withdrawing her evidence, the court heard.

However, Inspector John Kelly said “conscious of what has gone on here this morning” the State would not seek to remand Mr O'Brien in custody and would be seeking conditions attached to bail.

Judge David Waters remanded Daniel O'Brien to appear again on March 3. The conditions include that he is to abide by a curfew in Kildare and is not to enter Kerry unless in connection with his case.

His solicitor Padraig O’Connell assured Judge Waters his client “will leave Killarney once the bond is signed”.


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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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