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Significant decline in COVID cases in 19-24 age-group says HSE

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With the rate of COVID-19 cases declining in the 19-24 age-group, the HSE has today (Tuesday) praised third-level students for their efforts to help reduce the spread of infection. Acting Director of Public Health, Dr Anne Sheahan, confirmed that the rate of COVID-19 is declining in this particular age-group in Cork and Kerry and is now at a similar level to the general population.

 

“This tells us that this age-group, including third-level students, have made huge efforts in recent weeks to stick to the tough but necessary measures which stop the spread of COVID-19 including not socialising, physical distancing and wearing masks,” Dr Sheahan said.

She thanked students and young people for their efforts, and added that the current restrictions which prevent normal socialising are particularly difficult for young people.

“This is a very big ask of young people, we’ve had to ask them to give up so much at a very important stage of life. I want to thank these young people for their efforts. By giving up socialising and by taking the hard decision not to interact with your social groups, you have saved lives and are contributing to the falling levels of COVID-19 in the South,” she said.

While the rates of  COVID-19 continue to fall, Dr Sheahan warned that everyone still needs to continue to stick with the restrictions in order to continue this positive trend.

“Together, we have turned the tide on the third wave of COVID-19 in Cork and Kerry, and I want to thank the student population for the part they have played in that. Unfortunately, I need to ask you to keep it up so that we make the most of this chance to drive infection rates as low as possible. This is a true community effort and it is reassuring to see that students and young people continue to play their part,” she said.

The Department of Public Health (HSE South) has linked with student representatives and third-level institutions in recent months as part of local efforts to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and Dr Sheahan said this collaboration has been very effective.

“We have linked with student representatives in recent months in Cork and Kerry, and have been very impressed by the supports they have put in place to assist students missing out on the social interaction which are such an important part of student life.”

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Killarney allocated over €600,000 for public outdoor dining

By Sean Moriarty The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality this week. On Wednesday Fáilte Ireland revealed that 38 Municipal Districts were successful in their funding applications. Killarney is set to receive €604,505 under the scheme which is managed by the national tourism promotion body. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality this week.

On Wednesday Fáilte Ireland revealed that 38 Municipal Districts were successful in their funding applications.

Killarney is set to receive €604,505 under the scheme which is managed by the national tourism promotion body.

“The aim of this Scheme is to support tourism and hospitality jobs and help businesses develop new ways of catering for domestic and international tourists outdoors. Access to outdoor dining facilities will continue to be a key part of industry recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond,” said Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin at Wednesday’s announcement.

Elected members of Killarney Municipal District are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks and more details of the project will be revealed after this meeting.

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Student grants and renting

Supports Available It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant […]

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Supports Available

It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant which may cover the fees (student contribution) and provide maintenance.

The limits that apply to the grant vary, but if the student was coming from a family with less than four dependent children, in order to qualify for the maximum rate of grant the total net income in the previous tax year would have to have been €39,875 or less. That refers to both the parent’s income and the student’s income, however €4,500 of the student’s income which they earn outside term time e.g. during the summer will be disregarded.

PUP

If the student was getting the PUP payment because they lost their part-time job due to the pandemic, this is taken into account. Currently there are no disregards allowed for PUP payments. If there is more than one student attending college from the same household, the limit may be increased by €4,830.

Maximum Student Grant

There are actually two different maximum rates of grant. There are referred to as the adjacent and non-adjacent rate. The adjacent rate is for students living within 45km of the college and the non-adjacent rate is for students living more than 45km from the college. The adjacent rate is €3,025. The non-adjacent rate is €1,125. There has always been a special higher rate of grant for disadvantaged students.

Student Assistance Fund

Yes, separate from the Student Grant from SUSI the colleges have access to the Student Assistance Fund. Students can apply directly through their college for assistance with expenses such as books or laptops. Typically, this involves completing an application form and going for a short interview in the college. There are no set amounts of funding under this scheme. The college will assess each application on its own merits.

Renting for the First Time

Don’t be tempted to pay a deposit or sign a tenancy agreement until you have seen the property. If you are signing a tenancy agreement check if you want to live in the property for the time period stated on the agreement, check for early break clauses. Make sure you have correct contact details for the landlord. If you chose to leave the property early you may lose your deposit.

Deposits

The landlord should only retain the deposit or part of it to cover any damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. The tenant should take pictures of the property before they move out as evidence of the condition they left the property in.

Rents

There are different rules depending on whether the property is in a Rent Pressure Zone or not. A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ)  is an area where rents cannot be increased by more than general inflation. At the beginning of a new tenancy in a RPZ, a landlord is required to provide the tenant, in writing, with the amount of rent that was last set. For a tenancy not located in a Rent Pressure Zones a landlord may increase the rent in line with market value once every two years.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0761 07 7860. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, email tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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