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“We want our town back” – Councillor




By Sean Moriarty

A local councillor has hit out at the Government this week expressing real fear for the future of Killarney's tourism industry.


Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan was at pains to point out that those seeking refuge need to be looked after - but warned that the Government needs to look at the big picture too.

He said that the influx of refugees and asylum seekers will have a serious financial impact on the town next summer and he is calling on all Government agencies to come up with a plan.

He is also going to raise the issue at next month’s Killarney Municipal District meeting.

Outside of Dublin Killarney has the highest ratio of refugees and asylum seekers per head of population in the entire country.

Tourism operators fear that there is a lack of thought too in relation to the long term viability of the industry in the town.

According to his Department there's currently a total of 360 International Protection (IP) applicants residing in Hotel Killarney including single males, females and families, and a total number of 572 International Protection applicants living in Killarney.

There are 1,304 Ukrainian women and children housed across Killarney town in a number of hotels since they were forced to leave Hotel Killarney two weeks ago.

Many in the town have expressed concern that this is not viable and it will have a knock-on effect on all tourism related businesses over the next few months.

While no one in the tourism industry denies that the refugees need help and refuge - a dearth of available accommodation in the Killarney area next summer is causing real fear amongst operators.

One hotelier told the Killarney Advertiser that one of his regular golf tourism providers is actively not promoting Killarney as a potential destination next year as they cannot get accommodation in the area.

Cllr O’Callaghan has concerns that all who are currently housed in hotels in Killarney have no reason to head into town each night and spend money in local bars, souvenir shops and cafes. They are not taking jarvey rides in the National Park, are not going to the cinema or attending concerts or other events in the town. Allied businesses are closing on a weekly basis.

He and his family operate the Fáilte Hotel on College Street.

“A rumour went around town that I was taking in refugees, the amount of abuse I got was unbelievable,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I understand that these countries are on their knees and these people need help, but from an economic point of view this does not make sense. The Government seems to have plenty of money to look after these people but are they going to look after small businesses that are suffering over decisions made by Government?”

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce acknowledged that there is growing concern locally that the State agencies seeking to house refugees and asylum seekers are merely identifying available beds in Killarney – given its tourism base – but there seems to be very little thought going into providing the related professional services required, particularly access to medical services, school places and support systems.

“The lack of access to proper services is not fair on them, it is not fair on the service providers who are under strain and if the current trends continue, it can only lead to a complete systems failure,” said a Chamber statement.

“We want our town back,” added Cllr O’Callaghan.

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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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