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The Lake named Ireland’s Best Four Star Hotel



The Lake Hotel, Killarney took home three prestigious titles from the Irish Hotel Awards this week.

BEST CHEF: The title of Ireland’s Best Chef was presented to The Lake Hotel's hotel’s Executive Chef, Noel Enright. Photo: Sally MacMonagle

Following an in-depth inspection earlier this year, the family run property was named Ireland’s Best Four Star Hotel and, the renowned title of Ireland’s Best Chef was presented to the hotel’s Executive Chef, Noel Enright. In addition, and in keeping with its reputation for culinary excellence, The Lake Hotel also received the award for Ireland’s Fine Dining Experience.

Having received both regional and national titles in the above categories, the hotel was also awarded Munster’s Best Gourmet Getaway, totalling seven accolades received by the Killarney hotel.

“We are extremely proud of our team," Sales and Marketing Manager, Sheila O’Callaghan, said.

"To be recognised for excellence across so many categories is a fantastic achievement and to take three overall titles is phenomenal. These awards are a true testament to the hard work and dedication of our outstanding team.”

The Irish Hotel Awards celebrate the amazing commitment and dedication of the hospitality industry in Ireland to providing simply outstanding guest experiences. The awards ceremony was held in The Radisson Blu Athlone on Monday where close to 400 people, from every sector of the hospitality industry, celebrated the best of the best.

To be named Ireland’s Best Four Star Hotel recognises all areas of the guest experience from check in to departure and all the services provided in between, an accolade that commends the efforts of every department within the hotel. The Lake Hotel is owned and operated by Huggard brothers, Tony, Niall, Colman and Joe. Each year, the family invest in the enhancement of the hotel, ensuring the highest of standards are maintained for guests.

Executive Chef Noel Enright, awarded Ireland’s Best Chef, has led the kitchen team at The Lake Hotel since 2014. Noel manages a team of chefs for The Lakeside Bistro, The Piano Lounge and The Castlelough Restaurant. Noel and his team have designed seasonally attuned menus, using the best of locally sourced produce. The Castlelough Restaurant receiving the accolade for Ireland’s Fine Dining Experience applauds exemplary service and exquisite dining, and this is due to the hard work and commitment of Restaurant Manager, Javier González, Chef Noel Enright and both their teams.

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Five questions to ask yourself before buying a stock

By Michael O’Connor, When it comes to investing, nothing is certain. There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy. […]




By Michael O’Connor,

When it comes to investing, nothing is certain.

There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy.

The truth is, investing is hard, and building a portfolio of top stocks that beat the market is something that even financial professionals have trouble doing consistently.

For most people, investing in index funds is the perfect hands-off approach, providing broad exposure to the stock market at a very low fee. Even my own personal portfolio is made up of roughly 70% ETFs despite the fact I invest in the market for a living.

But I believe some stock picking is a good strategy for many hands-on people.

Taking a small portion of your overall portfolio and diligently selecting a small number of companies to invest in gives you an opportunity to learn about the investing process and fully understand the businesses you are investing in, which helps to build conviction in your positions.

From a psychological standpoint “collector’s instinct” kicks in, enabling people to participate and invest more money over time.

Lastly, for Irish investors, there are tax benefits to consider. If you invest in individual stocks, you are taxed at the CGT rate of 33%, and the first €1,270 of your gains are exempt from CGT each year. When investing in index funds or ETFs, you are taxed at the exit tax rate of 41% with no annual exemption.

For those interested in picking individual stocks, here are five questions you should ask yourself before investing in any company.

Do I understand the business?

Too many people invest in businesses they don’t understand because it ‘sounds good’. If you have no idea how the company works, you won’t have the conviction needed to hold onto the stock when an inevitable downturn comes.

Can the balance sheet withstand severe, temporary adversity?

This seems obvious, but so many people invest in companies without understanding how much money a company holds and who they owe money to. Economic cycles are guaranteed. You must ensure that the company has enough cash-on-hand to avoid becoming obsolete when activity slows.

Will the company benefit from long-term trends?

Make sure the company will remain relevant into the future. If the stock is cheap now, it may be cheap for a reason.

Is the company enjoying profitable growth?

Not growth at all costs, but a combination of sustainable growth and value. All this information can be found online at sites like

What are the risk factors?

Is the company trying something new and untested? If yes, who are its competitors and how successful are they? If other players are more established, this company may have a tough time breaking into the market.


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Ballyspillane staff open up mental health conversation

By Michelle Crean “Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign. It’s all in partnership […]




By Michelle Crean

“Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign.

It’s all in partnership with Mental Health Ireland (MHI) and the centre will host an information/coffee morning on Thursday next (March 30) at 12.30pm at their centre and all are welcome to attend.

The campaign initiated by MHI identifies the need for positive engagement and connections with the people around us.

It asks people to engage in open conversations about mental health and prompts us all to ask the question “How Are You?”

The word HELLO is a useful acronym to guide everyone through such conversations, H: Hello, E: Engage positively with the person, L: Listen actively, L: Learn about the person and O: seek options to assist the person if required.

“We all need a listening and compassionate ear sometimes to get us through some challenges in our lives and I think the pandemic has opened a new way of looking at the world, where we can all recognise the challenges that people experience more readily,” Derek O’Leary, Manager of Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre, said.

“Our team here are in the business of supporting families and individuals across the Killarney area and beyond and see the challenges that people face first hand. We also see the positive impact that a caring person can have in such circumstances and this campaign that encourages positive engagement, regarding mental health is a great reminder to us all, the role we can play is assisting others who are struggling.”

Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre provide a suite of support and intervention services including family supports, social prescribing/community connection services and physiotherapeutic services across the Killarney municipal area and beyond.


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