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“We don’t know what to do – we are desperate” – Ukrainians shocked at last minute Mayo move





ISSUE: Brendan Griffin TD will raise the issue of moving the Ukrainians to Mayo in the Dáil today (Tuesday).

By Michelle Crean

With less than 24 hours until an unexpected move 300kms across the country, Ukrainian women and children in Killarney are desperately pleading to political leaders to help them keep their accommodation.

135 Ukrainian women and children have settled and built their lives while accommodated at Hotel Killarney on the Cork Road since last March. Children have made friends and many of the women found jobs locally.

However, that's now all up in the air after they received a letter with just 48 hours notice to move to Westport tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12pm - following the arrival of up to 190 male refugees from a number of countries including Algeria, Albania, Georgia, Syria, Palestine and others.

According to Ukrainian Dina Kukushkina who works in Reens Pharmacy, it's been a huge shock for them.

"We don't know what to do, we only have one day left," she told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We got a letter yesterday (Monday) with information that we have to move on Wednesday to Mayo."

The Ukrainians are in Ireland under the Temporary Protection Directive which allows them to work. They have spent the last seven months settling into life in Killarney making friends, putting children in local schools and finding jobs.

Dina said that they had no prior notice that the men were arriving - the first they knew, she said, was at 11pm one night last week when they started passing through the corridors of the hotel.

"We were very shocked. We just looked from behind the door, a lot of men were passing through, we didn't expect that."

She said that the children will be re-traumatised if they have to move and settle into new lives again.

"We don't have any other choice. We are desperate, we are trembling. It's crazy for our children. We have started to build our lives here and settle. I found a good job and started to feel confident again. We are very grateful to the government and people of Ireland and especially Kerry for helping us and for the feeling of safety for our families."

Kerry TD Brendan Griffin will today (Tuesday) raise the issue as a matter of an emergency in the Dáil.

He said that he has tried numerous times to contact Roderic O'Gorman, TD and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to get some answers.

"This is scandalous," he told the Killarney Advertiser.

"The message it is sending out to Ukrainians is 'no matter what support you're getting - don't rest easy as you could be moved'. This is so wrong, for the children in particular who have settled and got a routine in their lives, to move them 300kms away. Their new lives are in Killarney now. The lads [men refugees] are far more mobile, they haven't put down roots. The children will be traumatised."

He added that one option for the women and children is to refuse to get on the bus tomorrow but that comes with a further risk.

"There's a great unease about moving but if you go against International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) you're thrown out of the system."

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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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