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Town centre Safe Street programme extended by 12 months to allow full review

By Sean Moriarty

The temporary closure of Plunkett St to vehicular traffic has been extended by another 12 months.

The closure was revealed by the Killarney Advertiser last month and this week Kerry County Council has started its public consultation into the closure.

The town centre street was fully pedestrianised to allow food businesses to serve meals outside and to facilitate social distancing during COVID-19.

Other measures included the widening of footpaths on New St and High St.

The current temporary closing of roads order expires on December 31 but will now be extended to the same date next year.

The purpose of this new closure is to examine the success or failure of several measures that were brought in during the pandemic to allow social distancing on the town’s streets.

“This involved the creation of buildouts to accommodate Outdoor Dining and the creation of public realm areas, which the closure of Plunkett Street facilitated. Feedback from businesses in particular has been very positive, allowing enhanced offerings to the public who have also voiced their support for these developments in the town,” said Angela McAllen, Killarney Municipal District Manager, said at the November KMD meeting.

However, Cllr Donal Grady believes that several of these ‘buildouts’ need to be decommissioned as they are not being used for their designated purpose and are taking up car parking spaces in the town centre.

“Any place that is not being utilised needs to be turned back into parking spaces,” he told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

He added that the lack of parking "is driving people out of town".

Ms McAllen said the Council would look at what areas are being used to their full potential and their future will be decided during the latest closure’s term.

Town centre regeneration is set to commence next year under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).

“The URDF town centre and street upgrade for Killarney was approved in September to proceed to planning and detailed design stage and allows for the consideration for potential inclusion of some of these measures in the wider development of the town centre,” she added.

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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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