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Plenty at stake on final day of County League

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Division 1: Rathmore not safe yet

Reigning O’Donoghue Cup champions Rathmore have a nervy trip west on Sunday in the final round of the 2018 County League. The East Kerry club currently find themselves hovering two points above the drop zone and if results don’t go their way, they could find themselves in a relegation playoff with third-from-bottom Beaufort. Glenbeigh-Glencar and John Mitchels have already been relegated.

A draw against An Ghaeltacht in Gallarus would suffice for Rathmore as they look to secure their top-flight status for another year. It’s a must-win situation for Beaufort as they face the Killarney Legion in Derreen.

At the top of the table, Dr Crokes have long since confirmed their spot in the final and it looks like Kerins O’Rahilly’s will be joining them, although An Ghaeltacht are in position to pounce should the Tralee side fall at the final hurdle.

Rahilly’s host Dingle at Strand Road and a single point would be enough to confirm second place. Should they lose, however, An Ghaeltacht can catch them with victory over Rathmore. If both teams finish on 13 points, a playoff would be required.

Division 2: Kilcummin on brink of promotion

Second place Kilcummin are in a strong position to return to the top table of Kerry football as they prepare for their final league game of the season. The Intermediate champions, who have racked up 15 points to date, can guarantee promotion to Division 1 by defeating Kenmare at home.

Castleisland Desmonds and Na Gaeil are both a point back on 14 and they need wins against Austin Stacks and Glenflesk respectively to stay in contention. Stacks will finish first regardless of what happens on Sunday.

Division 3: Are Crokes’ second team set for second tier?

Dr Crokes’ second string could make history this weekend by gaining promotion to Division 2 of the County League. The B team are just outside the promotion places but with second place Brosna and third place St Senan’s facing each other in their final fixture, Crokes will be promoted if they beat Ballydonoghue in Ballydonoghue. A draw would guarantee at least a playoff.

It would be a remarkable achievement for the Crokes, especially when you consider the calibre of clubs currently in Division 2. Win on Sunday and the Crokes juniors could be competing in the same league as Glenflesk, John Mitchels and Milltown/Castlemaine in 2019.

Division 4: Firies could make it an East Kerry 1, 2 & 3

Gneeveguilla and Fossa have already confirmed their promotion to Division 3 and Firies will make it an impressive 1, 2 and 3 for East Kerry if they can get over the line by beating fourth place Tarbert at home. At the other end of the table, Beale and St Michael’s-Foilmore meet in a key relegation clash. Ballylongford and Cromane are down.

All matches are scheduled for 1pm on Sunday.

Pic: Eamonn Keogh.

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Housing Will Never Be The Same

Last week I wrote about the pathetic investment options out there for Irish investors. Despite high ongoing fees (mortgage, maintenance, insurance etc.) and the actual headache of being a landlord, […]

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Last week I wrote about the pathetic investment options out there for Irish investors.

Despite high ongoing fees (mortgage, maintenance, insurance etc.) and the actual headache of being a landlord, it’s easy to see why real estate functioned as the de facto investment portfolio for an entire generation.

Wealth creation was a rinse-and-repeat function where couples put money away until they had enough for the ‘next house’. As a result, we have an economy where 70% of household wealth is tied up in real estate.

Driven by the profits it created, Ireland became obsessed with owning real estate.

But real estate as an investment won’t be nearly as successful for our generation. (If you are able to get a house, that is)

All you have to do is look at the anecdotal evidence all around us to confirm this.

My parents bought the house they currently live in for 30k (pounds) 35 years ago. The house is now worth roughly 450k.

I typically despise these back-of-the-envelope calculations when It comes to property, given the endless variables and ongoing costs involved, but bear with me.

That’s a gross return of 15 times the original value. Now there are upgrades, a change in currency and other adjustments to consider here, so for argument’s sake, let’s call it 10X.

To achieve the same level of growth over the next 35 years, you would be left paying 4,500,000 euros for what is a pretty modest house.

Sure, we will still see property prices increase over time, but the rate of growth won’t be anywhere near as meaningful for one simple reason.

Interest rates.

Artificial Growth

Over the last 30 years, real economic growth has been stagnant, yet Ireland has experienced enviable nominal growth.

How did we manage it?

We created imaginary wealth.

We pushed interest rates lower and lower to stimulate economic growth.

And it worked.

After all, if you make 100k/year you can probably afford a 400k mortgage at 4%. At 2%, with the same 100k/year salary you can now take on 600k in debt.

So, were we getting richer, or was the debt just easier to afford?

Where do we go from here?

We have now squeezed interest rates as low as they can go.

The house price appreciation we have seen was justifiable because the mortgage rates on housing continued to fall in recent decades. This allowed people to take on more debt without severely impacting their ability to repay that debt.

If we go back to my parents, they were paying 14% on their mortgage. Mortgage rates are currently between 2 to 3%.

A relentless drop in interest rates gave way to higher and higher prices for houses, but interest rates are now on the floor.

The juice has been squeezed.

In fact, the trend has started to reverse, with rates expected to rise 1.5% in the first half of 2023

Be mindful that the same credit expansion cannot happen again.

How the next generation thinks about their investment options has to change.

Banks offering 0% returns for the use of your money and a housing ladder you can’t get on are not your only two options.

If you need help creating your own investment portfolio, just reach out to me at mike@theislandinvestor or simply scan the QR code above.

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Biddies performance celebrates St Brigid

Two local Biddies groups performed at Muckross House as part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations in aid of Kerry Parents and Friends Association. The Killarney Parents and Friends Biddy Group – formerly […]

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Two local Biddies groups performed at Muckross House as part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations in aid of Kerry Parents and Friends Association.

The Killarney Parents and Friends Biddy Group – formerly known as the Beaufort Biddy Group – and Kilgobnet Biddies came together for the event.

The tradition of the Biddies is one of the oldest and most colourful customs in Ireland, a blend of pagan and Christian pageantry, held on February 1 each year, heralding the beginning of springtime and honouring St Bríd the patron saint of the farming community.

Master traditional craftsman, Pat Broderick, at Muckross House, was also part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations, making a St Brigid’s Cross as part of the traditions.

 

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