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Time for Tamika to showcase her talents at national level




Tamika Heaphy's thoughts on health and prosperity helped her to secure a place in a national final.

On Saturday, the Fifth Year student from Killarney Community College, earned herself a place in the national final of the Soroptimist International Girl’s Public Speaking Competition in Cork.

Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement working together to transform the lives of women and girls with nearly 72,000 members in 121 countries. In Ireland, there are 15 clubs that work at a local, national and international level to educate, empower and enable women and girls to reach their potential.

The Soroptimist Ireland Girls’ Public Speaking Competition has been running for over 40 years. The competition is a three-stage event with local and regional competitions leading to a national final.

The competition encourages girls to develop the skills to speak effectively and articulately with clarity and conviction. This enables them to improve their self-confidence and personality which in turn will enhance their career opportunities.

“This has been an amazing experience, public speaking skills are so important," teacher Tara O’Shea said.

"We have always encouraged our students to enter public speaking competitions. As a result of this, our students are well versed and have very strong opinions on many global and social issues so this was the perfect opportunity for students like Tamika to showcase her talents at a national level."

The regional final showcased an array of wonderful speakers who spoke on a variety of topics such as democracy, health, people, human rights, environment and peace. Tamika chose to speak about the topic of health and prosperity where she wowed the adjudicators with her eloquent speech and her fantastic public speaking skills. She competed against five other students and secured first place and an opportunity to compete in the national final.

Teresa Irwin and Sheila Casey from Soroptimist Ireland Killarney added that they "are so proud" of Tamika.

"Her ability to deliver her speech was engaging and educational. It has been great to see a local girl get so far in the competition and to be given an opportunity that empowers women and girls to use their voices and showcase their skills."

The national final will be held in Wexford on March 4 where Tamika will be up against seven other speakers from around Ireland.

If successful she will be invited to speak at the International Conference which will be held in the conference centre in Dublin this year.

"‘This has been a wonderful opportunity for the students in our school," Deputy Principal Eilish O’Leary said.
"The mission of the Soroptimists is to transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities. This competition has already provided Tamika with excellent opportunities to work towards her future career. We wish her all the best in the national final in March."

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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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