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Retrofitting and upgrading your home

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

The Cabinet this week announced substantial financial supports to help people retrofit and upgrade their homes.

A number of different schemes will help homeowners insulate or retrofit their homes to tackle heating and energy prices and fight the climate emergency.

The home energy upgrade scheme will cover almost half the cost (45-51%) of a retrofit that would improve a home's energy efficiency to a high B2 rating.

The scheme is one of the centrepieces of the Government’s Climate Action Plan and there is a target of retrofitting 500,000 homes to BER B2 standard by 2030 and installing 400,000 heat pumps. An extra incentive has been put on the Government due to the spiralling costs of household bills as inflation continues to rise.

Grants of more than €25,000 will be offered to individual householders to help pay for deep retrofits to make their homes warmer and more energy efficient. The average cost of a retrofit is calculated at about €50,000.
It will also provide 80% grants for minor works, such as insulating attics or cavity walls. Bringing a property's rating from as low as E up to B would reduce the heating bills by as much as two thirds.

The sums on offer depend on how much work a householder will be getting on their homes. The grants are fixed and applied per measure like the installation of a heat pump or external wall insulation.

One example of the kind of support on offer is the State contributing €26,000 of the €53,000 cost of deep-retrofitting works on an average hollow block semi-detached home with an E2 rating.

Schemes such as the free energy upgrades will have income limits but the main schemes in the programme will be open to all homeowners.

All-in-one service

The key part of the plan will be the rollout of “one-stop shops” that will offer a simplified all-in-one service for applicants. The size of the grant and work needed will differ from property to property. An assessment will be done in a one-stop shop, which will be run by a private company, with SEAI oversight for quality control purposes.

This will arrange an assessment of the property in the first instance, as well as construction and paperwork required for the grant application. It will organise a finished assessment afterward in order to establish the new rating.

This is a change from the existing system, where homeowners have to organise the application and construction work themselves. It is thought the new system will make the process much more simple.

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Retiring Garda Sergeant began career in Killarney

Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney. […]

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Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney.

Sergeant In charge at Killarney Garda Station Dermot O’Connell paid tribute to her achievements and her unrelenting commitment to improving the policing environment.

As a former Chairman, Secretary and delegate of the Kerry Branch, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell worked closely with Antoinette in AGSI for many years.

“Her support for members of the Association was second to none. Antoinette always pursued what was right and just. Her ability, knowledge and professionalism was acknowledged both internally and externally by other representative bodies and also professional bodies,” he said.

“When Antoinette arrived here at her first station, the late Jack McGrath was the Sergeant In Charge.”
“As many know Sergeant Jack McGrath frequently walked the beat. During this time Jack shared much of his experience with Antoinette who proved her ability as a competent Garda to Sergeant Jack McGrath. “
“Jack was very impressed by her ability even at that early stage, he always spoke highly of Antoinette and followed her career path with great interest.”

Antoinette subsequently transferred to Limerick (Roxboro Road and Mayorstone Garda Stations). As a Sergeant she moved to the Garda College and completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and a BA in Training and Education.
In 2021 Antoinette was honoured by University Galway with an Alumni Award for her significant contribution in the field of policing.

She became the first female member to serve with the Association of Sergeants and Inspectors at Branch level, National Executive level, President, Deputy General Secretary and finally General Secretary.

“On behalf of the Kerry Branch of AGSI I wish Antoinette the very best in whatever the future holds for her and her family,” added Sergeant O’Connell.

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‘The Bumblebee1000’ Supercar event arriving in Killarney on Saturday

The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday. Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) […]

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The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday.

Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.
After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) and Cashel Palace Hotel (1pm) the convoy will arrive the Europe Hotel and Resort at 5pm.
“’The Bumblebee1000’ is not just about horsepower and adrenaline rushes; it’s about making a difference. As participants roar through the countryside, they’ll also be driving towards a noble cause. This event is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for The Little Blues Heroes charity, supporting the children of the Little Blue Heroes, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said an event spokesperson.
“The Bumblebee1000” is not just a journey; it’s an experience that blends luxury, adventure, and philanthropy in a seamless fusion. Whether behind the wheel of a sleek supercar or a supporter cheering from the sidelines, everyone is invited to be part of this remarkable event.
The cars will depart the Europe Hotel and Resort at 10am on Sunday and will stop off at a charity cars and coffee event in Tarbert at 11am before finishing in Adare at around 2pm.

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