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Pride and joy at the Kerry College graduation




Kerry College of Further Education and Training held its graduation in the Brandon Hotel on Thursday last.



GRADUATION: Students from Kerry College of Further Education and Training graduated in the Brandon Hotel on Thursday last.



It was the first in-person graduation since Kerry College was established by Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB) in 2019, making it Ireland’s first integrated college of Further Education and Training.

Over 500 graduates from Kerry College’s Clash, Denny Street, Killorglin, Listowel and Monavalley campuses along with their families and friends gathered at the Brandon Hotel to celebrate the occasion. They were joined by board members from the KETB, Kerry College Board of Governance as well as other distinguished guests.

At the ceremony certificates were presented to graduates in the areas of Business, Administration and Finance, Computing and Information Technology, Construction and Built Environment, Creative Arts, Education and Childcare, Engineering, Hair and Beauty, Healthcare and Social Sciences, Renewable Technologies, Transmission and Distribution, Retail, Science and Nutrition, Sports, Physical Therapy and Coaching, Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts, and Transport and Logistics.

Special guest speaker was Dr Karen Weekes – Endurance Adventurer, Performance Psychologist and University lecturer who delivered an inspirational speech and left the audience energised.

Chairman of Kerry ETB, Cllr Jim Finucane, wished the graduates well in their future careers and said it was a privilege to facilitate them in their personal journey.

Addressing the graduates, Director of Further Education and Training, Kerry ETB, Mr Owen O’Donnell said that he was delighted to be in attendance to mark this important milestone in the graduate's journey. He congratulated the graduates, acknowledged all their hard work, and wished them well in their life-long learning journey.

Niall Collins, TD Minister of State with responsibility for Skills and Further Education at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science said “the diversity of Further Education and Training (FET) is one of its key strengths. It reflects the communities across the country; the diverse backgrounds of the learners who engage with it and also address the multiple needs that can help our society. And Kerry College exemplifies this diversity.

“I want to congratulate everyone graduating today. Your presence here today is a testament, first and foremost to your own skills and hard work, and I hope you are able to reflect and be truly proud of yourselves for what you have achieved.

“And of course, today is also a testament to the dedication of the staff here at the campus. Their unwavering commitment and sheer dedication to go out of their way to support their students in education is second to none.”

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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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