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Rent Crisis: 13 long-term rentals versus 300 on Airbnb

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As revealed in last week’s Killarney Advertiser, we are currently in the midst of a crippling rental crisis the likes of which have never been seen in Killarney. Locals and migrants alike are struggling to find suitable accommodation and there appears to be no solution in sight. Rents nationally are significantly higher than they were at the height of the boom and they continue to climb. In Kerry, this quarter showed an 8.9% increase on the same period last year.

Incredibly, there are currently just 13 properties available for rent in the Killarney area on Daft.ie (and some of those listed are miles from the town itself). On Airbnb, meanwhile, there are over 300 listings in Killarney.

It is virtually impossible to find somewhere to rent long term in the Killarney area. Worryingly, many local businesses now say that they have jobs available but they can’t attract employees because there’s nowhere to house them.

Chairperson of the Irish Hotels Federation, Niamh O’Shea, says the issue is affecting many local hotels.

“In Killarney in particular, there is a shortage of supply when it comes to accommodation and that is a challenge,” she said. “There aren’t enough houses being built and you also have the scenario where some of those who were in the market have exited in favour of Airbnb. It’s a double-whammy, for want of a better word.

“It’s at all levels. You’ll have a demand for residential accommodation for international students coming on a year’s placement, but equally it affects more senior positions. We’ve struggled to find suitable family accommodation for people looking to move their career to Killarney.”

Some hotels, most notably the Hotel Europe, have taken matters into their own hands by providing their own accommodation for staff but Ms O’Shea says that’s not an option for everyone.

“That’s a considerable investment (€3 million) by the Hotel Europe but that just goes to show the level of the shortages. It’s not something that’s feasible for all hotels, and it is a longer process with planning and building. This is an immediate problem and it’s one we’ve experienced all summer.”

Ms O’Shea says it’s reassuring to see that there are some developments that have started in Killarney but “it will take time before we see a relief.”

“In terms of Airbnb, I do feel that there needs to be some regulation both in planning law and taxation policy so that it’s a level playing field.”

I also spoke to local businessman Cormac Casey about the issue and he confirmed that the current situation is a “nightmare” for business.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to attract staff to Killarney,” he said. “Even before you reach the interview stage, you’re at a disadvantage because would-be employees know that accommodation is a problem here. It has reached the stage where we’re actually entertaining the idea of purchasing property, just so we have somewhere for our staff and their families to live.

“That’s obviously a major problem because then you’re pumping cash resources into accommodation instead of into the business. It’s a real issue for many businesses in town and something needs to be done.”

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, estate agent Ted Healy said a number of factors were responsible for the severe lack of available rental properties.

“Over the past number of years, more and more landlords have exited the rental market than have entered it,” he said. “There are a number of reasons why this is the case. A large number of investment properties have been repossessed by financial institutions, and a large proportion of landlords have exited the market due to increased costs and taxes associated with renting a property.

“The lack of what one would describe as your traditional starter home/investment property (i.e. three-bed semis) has also stifled the rental market. This type of property has not been built in Killarney in the past number of years. Demand is there but supply is not.

“As a result of the tight market existing tenants are not moving around as much as they once did. Any tenant happy in a property is not going to give it up. Renters are staying where they are.”

This current rental crisis is clearly a major concern for the town and, worryingly, it appears as though there is no quick fix in sight.

What do you think? What steps can be taken to improve the situation? Let us know by emailing newsdesk@killarneyadvertiser.

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Kathleen honoured as new boat is launched

It was a very special and momentous day for Muckross Rowing Club on Sunday – as not only did they launch a new boat – but did so to honour a life-long supporter. Members and supporters gathered at the club’s boathouse as the club’s newest racing boat, a Janousek coxed four, was officially launched in […]

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It was a very special and momentous day for Muckross Rowing Club on Sunday – as not only did they launch a new boat – but did so to honour a life-long supporter.

Members and supporters gathered at the club’s boathouse as the club’s newest racing boat, a Janousek coxed four, was officially launched in honour of Kathleen Murphy. The event was made all the more special as it had been so long awaited by the club. While the boat was purchased prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a launch event at the club was not possible until the recent easing of public health restrictions.

Among the crowd gathered were members of the extended Murphy and Kenny families as well as many of Kathleen’s neighbours and friends from Mangerton Road and beyond.

Kathleen (nee Kenny) was born and raised in Muckross and has enjoyed close family ties with the rowing club from childhood to the present day. The Kennys of Muckross and their extended family have long played a central role in the club extending to over a century, reflected in the names of boats named and launched before in honour of other family members including Micheal Kenny and Jack O’Shea. Kathleen has long been among the most prominent and recognised club’s supporters at the annual Killarney Regatta, proudly sporting the club’s yellow colours while cheering on crews at all levels from Juvenile to Senior and Veteran. Together with her late husband Jerry, Kathleen has also played a central role in fundraising for the club with countless tickets sold weekly for the local Muckross Lottery since its launch in early 1990s. Both Kathleen and Jerry were previously recognised for their contribution to the club and both named as Vice Presidents. Kathleen and Jerry’s children and grandchildren continue the family tradition both on the lake and onshore, contributing to the club’s success and development as active rowers, coaches and committee members.

Presiding over the launch was Club Chairman Sean Daly and the blessing of the boat was carried out by Fr Kieran O’Brien.

The club was also delighted to welcome Emer Corridan, General Manager of the Cahernane House Hotel – whose sponsorship of the club supported the boat’s purchase.

The ceremonial popping of the champagne cork was carried out by Kathleen’s granddaughter Áine, and after a sprinkling of the bow, the boat was formally launched on the water by five of Kathleen’s grandchildren – Áine and Shona O’Sullivan, Daniel, Jack and Katie Murphy. The special launch event was an emotional day for the family and club with many memories of Kathleen’s late husband Jerry, whose anniversary was recently observed, in addition to family members gone before. Speaking on behalf of Kathleen, her son Kieran spoke of the great honour for Kathleen and her family to have one of the club’s racing boats named in her honour. Kieran expressed the family’s gratitude to the club, its committee and Chairman Sean Daly, President Maurice Coffey and Vice Presidents and to all the members, supporters and friends in attendance. The ceremonial proceedings were followed by refreshments outside the club’s new boathouse.

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Stylish Miriam wows at the races

When it comes to the style stakes, one local lady proved she’s got it after winning the female Most Stylish Racegoer this week. Miriam Prendergast from Killarney was selected by fashion blogger and judge Emily O’Donoghue aka @fashionablyfortyish on Sunday, the opening day of the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival. Benny O’Keeffe from County Meath was […]

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When it comes to the style stakes, one local lady proved she’s got it after winning the female Most Stylish Racegoer this week.

Miriam Prendergast from Killarney was selected by fashion blogger and judge Emily O’Donoghue aka @fashionablyfortyish on Sunday, the opening day of the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival.

Benny O’Keeffe from County Meath was also selected for his style and both winners each received a €400 cash prize, sponsored by McElligotts Tralee and Honda Ireland.

Miriam wore a black bustier wide legged jumpsuit with belt, styled with a very feminine one sleeve off white blouse with ruched details. She both designed and made the outfit herself and paired it with a headpiece she borrowed from a friend who got it in MacBees Killarney. She finished her look with a pretty vintage bag.

Benny wore a sky blue suit he purchased in Burtons, paired with a merl grey waistcoat, set off with a soft pink shirt cleverly coordinated with a pink and grey check tie. He purchased his very dapper hat in the Ukraine.

The runners-up in the ladies category each received a generous hamper from McElligotts Tralee with special thanks to McGuires Pharmacy Listowel. The runners-up in the gents category received tickets to the Sunday of the June Bank Holiday race meeting in Listowel in 2022.

Of course, there is more to come in the style stakes with one of Ireland’s most prestigious best dressed events – the McElligotts Honda Ladies Day – making a most welcome return this year to the racecourse today (Friday), judged by style icon Celia Holman Lee, it has an overall cash prize fund of €1,000 and the winner will also receive the most amazing beauty hamper sponsored by McGuire’s Pharmacy.

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