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VAT increase is a hard pill to swallow

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Today (Friday) local businesses plan to blacken out their windows as part of a national protest against the Government’s unfair 23 percent VAT hike on health supplements.

BY MICHELLE CREAN

The sharp rise, which goes from zero to 23 percent – due to be implemented on March 1 – has left businesses and customers enraged – saying it will have a detrimental impact not only on customers who rely on supplements in order to maintain their health – but also to the local economy which will feel a direct impact of decreased sales.
In Killarney, Tina Tynan, from Horan’s Health Stores, said they have a petition in store that loads of customers have already signed and today they’ll protest to let even more customers know.
Also joining the campaign are staff from Milltown Organic Store who plan to blacken their windows from 2pm to 5pm.
“We are part of the blackout today as it is ridiculous going from zero percent to 23 percent VAT in one go. It is a harsh increase,” Tina told the Killarney Advertiser.
“How’s that going to affect customers if somebody is buying two products a week they now might only be able to afford one.
“Some customers are shocked and upset and they want to sign the petition.”
Tina said that she was disgusted with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s recent comments the ‘food supplements very rarely do anything for our health. They are mostly snake oil and just cost people money’.
“Leo’s comments are ridiculous. What about pregnant women needing to take folic acid, does he say that that doesn’t work for them, or those with osteoarthritis, or people low in calcium or iron?”

Lillian Leask from the Milltown shop said that all six women working there feel strongly about this issue. Today they will blacken out the windows and customers will join them outside in protest.
“We have had a huge response from customers, most people are shocked at what is seen as a very ill-informed and backwards step for this country,” Lilian said. “We have a petition in store that has had over 200 signatures. We have invited customers and staff through Facebook to come to the shop at 3pm to stand outside holding banners and posters and pose for a photo to hopefully send the message that this is not a good move on the Government’s behalf and does not have the public’s support in any way.

“The Government sees that the supplement and vitamin sector is a rapidly growing one and therefore there is money to be made on it. The pharmaceutical industry has a particularly strong presence in Ireland and the alternative health option is a threat to their business, so they may well be lobbying for the VAT. I feel this VAT is entirely unfair and shows that the Government’s interest is purely in making money and not in preserving the health of its country. If they wanted people to be well, healthy and independent in their health choices they would not be proposing this tax. It’s clear that keeping people sick and reliant on medication is good for business. We need consumers to send the message this is wrong and sign the online petition.”

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Go on…put the kettle on to help a good cause!

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TEA TIME: Nora Murphy, Mary Lehane and Betty Carmody, drinking a cuppa as they raise awareness about this year’s Virtual Tea for Motor Neurone Disease which takes place on June 21.

By Michelle Crean

June 21 is Global Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Awareness Day and one local group is calling for participants to get involved.

Christy Lehane, Chairman of Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone and Ambassador for the IMNDA, will take part in the Virtual Tea for MND fundraiser and awareness event.

“We never thought this time last year that 12 months later we would be doing Virtual Tea for MND,” Christy told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In these COVID times our fundraising efforts have all ceased, but sadly there is no slowing down of Motor Neurone Disease. Providing the support and services to our Motor Neurone sufferers is now more important than ever before. I am now appealing to all you good people and friends who have supported us in the past to please hear my plea. I myself will drink Virtual Tea for MND again this year. So go on, put on the kettle and take out the china tea pot and get family and friends around to the garden for a brew and a catchup for a great cause. If you do not feel comfortable with having people around, you can go very modern and go Zooming and encourage your friends to do so also. I am aware that some of our MND sufferers are themselves organising Virtual Tea Drinking get togethers.”

Participating SuperValu stores are on board again this year providing tea bags etc. to raise awareness of MND, and staff will be asking shoppers for donations for the IMNDA starting on June 7 to 21.

“I seldom seek donations and financial support, but perhaps in these COVID times when our need is greatest you might be moved to help us.”

Every year MND Associations across the globe mark June 21 as a special day of recognition where the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations across the world undertake a range of activities to raise awareness and keep focused on the search for the cause, treatment and eventual cure for this terrible disease.

You can donate to www.imnda.ie or if you can contact Christy Lehane Chairman of Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone and Ambassador for the IMNDA on 087 9671011.

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Laura’s new look for Leaving Cert

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NEW LOOK: Laura Cronin, who is currently sitting her Leaving Cert, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.

By Michelle Crean

Rathmore’s Laura Cronin headed into her Leaving Cert exams this week with a whole new look after transforming her hairstyle for charity.

Laura, daughter of Una and Donal from Rathbeg, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.

As her long locks didn’t get cut over the last year Laura decided to get a good chop in Katelynn’s Hair Design in Rathmore instead, and use the left over hair to create wigs for sick children.

“I thought, rather than trim it I’d cut a lot off,” Laura, who hopes to study pharmacy in college, told the Killarney Advertiser. “I wanted to cut off a lot of it, I was sick of long hair. I said that if there’d be enough I’d donate it as it’d be a shame to see it on the floor.”

Laura said that hopefully it can make a child happy if it allows them to receive a specially made wig for their First Holy Communion, or a similar occasion.

“I’d encourage anyone who has long hair to think about what they could do with it.”

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€1m upgrade for Killarney store

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INVESTMENT: DV8 have invested €1m to update their store in the Killarney Outlet Centre. Pictured at the reopening were staff members: Clodagh McCarthy (Store Manager), Lorraine McGough (Assistant Manager), Anuka Altanson and Sarah Murphy. Photo: Don MacMonagle

A popular Killarney fashion shop, which reopened last week, securing up to 15 jobs, has had a facelift after a €1 million investment.

Leading fashion retailer DV8, which has a network of over 50 stores across Ireland, reopened its 4,000 square feet store in the Killarney Outlet Centre.

And customers admired the new look.

DV8 sells over 40 top fashion clothing brands as well as footwear and accessories in its stores and online at www.dv8fashion.com. The hip fashion house is well-known for its uber cool shop interiors and has dedicated customers across Ireland and the UK.

“We are delighted to be reopening our new store in Killarney and confident it will compliment the existing retail offering in the town, with DV8’s unique range of male and female clothing and footwear,” David Scott from DV8 said.

“We think local shoppers will enjoy the DV8 experience, including the top fashion brands and excellent customer service.”

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