New Bishop of Galway Appointed

Bishop Brendan Kelly

Pope Francis has appointed Derrybrien native, and Bishop of Achonry, Brendan Kelly as the new Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora.

The incoming Bishop of Galway is a fluent Irish speaker, and has a keen interest in education and formation.

He taught for many years at Colaiste Einde in Salthill and Our Lady’s College in Gort. His bilingual history classes in Colaiste Einde were a pleasure to attend.

Congratulations and best wishes to him in his new position.

 

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Borrow or pay in Instalments?

If you have bills to pay but do not have the cash on hand to pay them, should you avail of the option to pay in instalments or borrow to make a single payment? The answer is it depends on the costs of each option. If there is no additional cost to paying by instalments then that is the way to go. However, more often than not you end up paying more on an instalment plan. If you delay payment are there penalties? Can you take out a short-term loan and repay in instalments at a lower cost than that charged by whoever issued the original bill? For example, if you have a motor tax bill due and finances are tight it might be worth calling on your local credit union rather than pay the motor tax in instalments. Below is a list of tax rates for a private motor car.

Motor Tax rates
According to this table if you have a car with an engine size between 1401 and 1500 cc the annual tax to be paid is 413 if paid annually. If you pay half-yearly you make two payments of €229, and if you pay quarterly you make four payments of €116. The half-yearly payments total €458 and the quarterly payments total €464 for the year, increases of 10.9% and 12.3% respectively on the single annual payment. Can you get a credit union loan cheaper than this with 12 monthly payments. You can always pay it back early without penalty. Similar considerations might apply to car or house insurance or health insurance.

Where taking on debt is necessary at least borrow at the lowest cost. If you have for example fallen behind in credit card repayments borrow elsewhere at a lower rate (for example from your local credit union), and use the cheaper borrowing to clear the expensive credit card debt.

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Are you paying more than you need to for your mortgage?

It seems that there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people paying more than they need to for their mortgages, because they are afraid to ask for better terms. In some cases a new valuation and filling in a simple form will get them a lower rate. The information may be somewhere on the banks’ websites but thy are not writing out to individual customers telling them this. That way they can tell the government they are reducing rates but because people have to actively apply for the new rates and most will not without prompting they still actually collect payments at the higher rates. Customers on trackers or in arrears may be excluded. Customers on fixed rates may have to pay a break fee on the current agreement but some may still benefit on new terms. Phone your bank with your mortgage details and let them work out for you what makes most sense. You have nothing to loose by asking your mortgage provider if you can get a better deal, so ask!

If you know someone who might benefit from this information please pass it on to them.

The following is taken directly from KBC’s website but similar is likely to apply with at least some of the other banks as well. Ask them!

From https://www.kbc.ie/our-products/mortgages/existing-customers:

Existing Private Dwelling Home (PDH) Customers have something to dance about. To reward your loyalty as a KBC customer,  you can now apply to move to our new Business Loan to Value (LTV) Rates. Simply follow the steps below and you could have some of the lowest mortgage repayments on the market.

Step 1: Get your home valued.  Choose a KBC appointed valuer from our nationwide panel. Provide the valuer with the instruction letter from the information pack. The valuer will provide you with a copy of the valuation report to send to us along with your application form.

Step 2: Using your outstanding mortgage balance and property value you can calculate your Loan to Value (LTV) to find out the LTV Percentage (%) applicable to your mortgage. Then choose a rate type that suits you. Read the terms and conditions. We advise you to seek independent financial & legal advice before completing the application form. Please refer to eligibility conditions below* to ensure you are eligible for the Existing Customer Loan to Value Rate Options.

Step 3: Download and complete the application form and send it with a copy of your valuation report to Freepost, KBC Bank Ireland, Sandwith Street, Dublin 2.

What happens next? All customers will receive a letter confirming your LTV, the outstanding balance of your mortgage and the full details of your new rate and revised repayment.

*You may not avail of the Option if your mortgage account is currently on a Tracker Interest Rate.  If only part of your mortgage account is on a Tracker Interest Rate, you may avail of the Option in respect of the portion of the mortgage account that is not on a Tracker Interest Rate however the aggregate amount outstanding in respect of all portions of your mortgage account will be used for the purposes of calculating the Loan to Value Percentage.

The Option is not available if your account is in arrears unless you have entered into a mortgage arrears resolution option with us.  If you are currently availing of an interest rate reduction as part of a mortgage arrears resolution option you are not entitled to apply for the Option. Customers with investment or pension back mortgages cannot avail of the offer.
Customers with a Loan to Value of >90% also cannot avail of the offer, these customers can however avail of our existing suite of 2, 3 and 5 year fixed rates for existing customers.
This option is not available to existing buy to let mortgage customers.

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Clocks go back 1 hour this weekend.

Clocks back 1 hourDaylight saving time ends on Sunday at 2am so remember to put your clocks back 1 hour.  The good news is you’ll get a whole extra hour in bed in the morning, if you want it. But don’t forget to adjust your alarm clock – or you could find yourself having an earlier than expected breakfast.

Beware your internal body clock takes a few days to adjust so just because the mechanical clocks are put back an hour does not mean it is a good idea to change your routine completely overnight. Much better to phase the changes over a few days if you can. Having the bank holiday on Monday should help.

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Ophelia visits Salthill

Ophelia, (not the character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet), visited Ireland today. Below some images of how she left Salthill mid-way through her visit. Lots of water with flooding on Rockbarton Road in front of Leisureland, in Salthill and Toft Park car parks and in front of the Aquarium. Fortunately this time all the cars had been removed before the flood waters arrived. The ESB had to deal with fallen trees in Rockbarton and some debris was scattered along the Prom.

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Businesses are closed and the road along the Prom is closed. Most people are heeding the safety warnings from the authorities but a thumbs down to those trill seekers who could put the lives of emergency personnel at risk as well as their own if they get into trouble in the sea.

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Crowds welcome victorious hurlers home

Big crowd at Pearse Stadium to welcome back the victorious all-Ireland hurling teams.  The atmosphere was electric with both senior and minor teams home as champions. And this time the weather did not try to dampen proceedings.

crowd at Pearse Stadium

Hurling Supporters

Up Galway

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Streets of Galway 8k

The streets are alive with the sound of runners, about 3000 of them.

This years Streets of Galway 8k race is on Saturday, the 12th August 7pm, same route as last year. The race comes down Dr Mannix road, turns up past the stadium, then on towards the Prom. See attached the route map.

I’m sure a few will be out to cheer on the 3000 runners as they pass by.

The organising committee and volunteers will be busy on the day from 5pm setting up the water station at Pearse Stadium and setting out traffic cones, bins, cleaning up etc. Civil Defence may also be positioned at the stadium.

There is also a Daniel O Donnell concert on in Leisureland on 12th August at 8pm, same day as race.

There will be cones placed on Rockbarton Road by race organisers and Gardaí early on 12th August, from Pearse Stadium to the Prom. This is to facilitate traffic management around race time, when concert goers will be arriving as the race passes by Leisureland. So traffic restrictions will be more than normal on race day.

If any residents want to help out at the water station at Pearse Stadium or as a marshal, please contact Hugh O Donoghue at hugh.p.odonoghue@gmail.com.

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FivesForLives tournament to replace Salthill Fives

Pieta House

The FivesForLives Charity 5-a-side tournament is set to plug the gap left by the departure of the Salthill Fives.

It will take place in Salthill Park on Saturday, June 3. Thirtytwo men’s teams and eight women’s teams will battle it out for the FivesForLives title on a day that promises to be plenty of fun for all the family.

As well as the football there will be a family zone with live music from 12.30-4pm, two food trucks, a coffee and ice-cream stand, a face painter, a balloon maker, a sweet shop and guest appearances from Mickey Mouse, Olaf, Spiderman characters and Eddie the Eagle, the much-loved Connacht Rugby mascot. There will also be a memory wall, on which the public can write or mark a memory for loved ones who have lost their lives by suicide and there will be a minute’s silence held before the final.

All income received on the day, including money made from the sweet shop, face painter, balloon makers and the food trucks will all go towards Pieta House, who will be represented on the day.

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Salthill Devon Fives – End of an Era

Salthill Fives

Salthill Devon have announced that The Salthill Fives soccer tournament which ran for forty years and was the most successful event of its type in Ireland will not take place this year. The event which when it first began kick-started the summer season in Salthill on the June bank holiday for many years, but interest had declined in the last few years. Forty years is a long time to run a successful event but changing times means that even a long successful format needs eventually to be changed.

The event routinely attracted in excess of 120 teams, some of whom included it as part of their holiday home from abroad. It will be a disappointment to those who took part as players year after year, and to the businesses like guest houses who benefited commercially. Some still are advertising the event on their websites.

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An Post increasing price of Postage Stamps on Thursday

postagePrice increases in the cost of postage stamps have become an annual event over the last few years. This year’s increase is quite significant for anyone who sends a lot of items by post and takes effect on Thursday, 13th of April, 2017. If you have a lot of post to send then it could be worth sending it over the next two days to beat the price increase. For example posting out a hundred invitations will cost an extra €28. Twice that if you want to include a stamped addressed envelop for replies.

The standard domestic letter rate for items up to 100g within Ireland will increase from €0.72c to €1.00 while the standard international letter rate up to 100g will rise from €1.10 to €1.35.  An Post say that increases of between 12% and 39% across the full range of mail services are necessary for An Post to continue to meet its Universal Service Obligation.

Access details of the new rates here.

 

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