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Tour de Munster set to roll into Killarney on Saturday




The annual 600-kilometre Tour de Munster charity cycle will pass through Killarney on Saturday afternoon.

The four-day cycle, which starts and finishes in Cork city, is marking its 22nd anniversary and is the 13th time that the event will raise money for Down Syndrome Ireland.

The tour, which features Sean Kelly as its Ambassador, takes in all six counties in Munster, travelling anti-clockwise through Cork, Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick and Kerry before arriving back in Cork on Sunday next.

On Thursday the 600 cyclists will leave Cork at 730am and make their way to Killaloe in County Clare.

Day two will cover a route in Limerick, Clare and North Kerry ahead of an overnight stop in Tralee.

The Saturday route will take in Killarney. After leaving Tralee the cyclists will cross the Conor Pass and head for Killarney via Inch and Castlemaine.

Cyclists are expected in Milltown around 2pm ahead of a rest stop at the Aghadoe Heights an hour later.

They will then stop off at the Denagh Cottage Café – operated by the Kerry branch of Down Syndrome Ireland – around 315pm before completing the Saturday leg with a run over Moll’s Gap and an overnight halt in Kenmare.

“The Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland are an extremely worthy beneficiary of the Tour and over the last 13 years of our partnership, we have received a huge amount of support from the six branches and families themselves who benefit from the funds raised. The amazing children and adults who rely on the services provided by their local DSI branches are the reason we put so much hard work in. Over the past 13 years, I have seen many members grow up to become wonderful young adults and to see what they achieve, big or small, spurs us on to keep the pedals spinning,” said Tour de Munster founder Paul Sheridan.

The final leg of the Tour will see the cyclists travel between Kenmare and the finish line in Cork City.

Last year saw the event raise its largest sum to date for DSI in Munster, a wonderful total of €522,201. These funds play a significant role for DSI who provide a range of vital supports and services to children and adults with Down Syndrome and their families.

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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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