Anti-Social Car Meet Disrupts Salthill

A “Salthill Sundays” Facebook page led event saw hundreds of modified cars descend on Salthill village and the Blackbox theatre yesterday. The disgraceful behaviour of the participants caused major traffic delays and upset in the locality.

The anti-social behaviour included revving, back firing, making smoke and noise, blocking traffic free-flow, and driving a noisy convoy of cars through residential areas.

Salthill Sundays Facebook page description in its “About” section is:

Salthill Sunday’s is an opportunity for car enthusiasts to show of their cars. We do not recommend any banging,revving or messing of any sort.

Bring what you have, any style welcome.

Respect & support the local businesses.

However, the behaviour of the participants was in stark contrast to what is outlined in this brief description. The page seems to have been created on April 28th by a Stephen Coyle. Do you know who he is?

Any who thought it was just harmless fun, and I am sure many of them did, failed to consider other people. They showed no respect or consideration for the local community.

While anyone satisfying certain legal requirements, such as having a valid driving licence, tax, insurance, NCT and safe vehicle has a right to drive on our streets, this right is not unqualified.

They are not entitled to cause harm or distress to others.

They are not entitled to frighten little children with the noise.

They are not entitled to cause traffic disruption that causes people to be late for appointments, work or other activities.

They are not entitled to prevent the ambulance or other emergency services from doing their work.

They are not entitled to force patients to be airlifted because the ambulance can not get through on the road.

They are not entitled to hurl verbal abuse at people.

They are not entitled to throw litter out of the vehicles.

They are not entitled to breach the current restrictions on the size of public gatherings in place to protect the public from covid-19.

They are not entitled to interfere with peoples’ livelihoods.

What they effectively did yesterday was to invade Salthill, bring it to a standstill, and give the finger to the people who live there.

They were not entitled to cause all this damage and upset yesterday, and they are not entitled to do it every Sunday for the rest of the summer, as it seems they plan to do. Anyone organising such events bears responsibility for what happens at those events. And simply putting a disclaimer on a Facebook page does not relieve them of that responsibility.

While the individuals who took part are welcome to Salthill, as long as they comply with the normal modes of behaviour that are respectful to everyone, this type of event is not.

There also seems to be some questions to be answered about money supposedly being raised for charities.

There has been much criticism on local media this morning of the Gardaí and the way they handled the situation. This is not justified. They were simply overwhelmed and have to operate within the boundaries of the law and the resources available to them. Rather than complaining, if you have evidence that can identify anyone involved in wrong doing like photographs, videos etc send them to the Gardaí.

We call on the organiser/s of this event to cancel any plans to repeat the disruption over the summer. We call on a potential participants to show consideration and respect for others and to only take part in events that do not cause such disruption and distress. It’s all great fun until it’s not.

Seeing what has happened, to repeat it would be simply imtimadation.

A delayed journey might be nothing more than an inconvenience. But if the ambulance that had to turn back yesterday was on a more urgent case, it might have meant a life lost.

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An Post Community Focus Supports

In a previous post reminding you that postage rates are increasing in a weeks time (May 27th), I mentioned An Post’s community focus supports such as calling in on vulnerable citizens, free postage to and from care homes, and free newspaper delivery for older customers will also be extended until at least the end of the year. It will then be reviewed in light of the prevailing situation with the covid crisis.

In response to queries on how this works here is the link to An Post’s Community Focus page for the details of each of the supports offered.

In summary the services provided to help elderly or vulnerable people include:

  • Free Delivery of newspapers. Subscriptions to weekday newspapers (not weekend) can be purchased and An Post will not charge for delivering them to elderly or vulnerable people.
  • Free mail collection. If an elderly person has a mail item they need collecting, they can put a sign in their window that says I HAVE MAIL and the postal delivery staff will collect it for free on their route. The postal delivery staff will apply a postage mark in the local mail centre before onward circulation.
  • Request a check in service. Customers can request that postal deliver staff call to the front doors of older and vulnerable customers along their delivery route to check thy are OK.
  • Free postage to or from care homes. Just write FREEPOST where the stamp would normally be affixed, An Post will carry cards, letters large envelopes and packets weighing up to 2KG without a postage stamp.
  • Address Point. A free service that provides a fixed address to those without a fixed home. It enables them to receive regular post and access essential services.

With restrictions easing as the vaccine roll-out progresses, the levels of isolation in the community should reduce. Non-the-less, there will still be people who would benefit from these services, which An Post has committed to keeping in place to at least the end of the year.

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Government waives Ticket Prices on OPW Sites for rest of 2021

The Office of Public Works manages many of our best know heritage sites on behave of the nation.

Sites like Newgrange, Brú Na Bóinne Visitor Centre, Dublin Castle and Kilkenny Castle, are among our top attractions.

An annual family pass to these sites would normally be €90, and would be excellent value in itself, but for the rest of the year you can visit for free.

With the nation’s holiday plans concentrating on staycations, the government has given hard-pressed families a boost by waving the admission charges at all paying OPW sites for the rest of the year.

 The current list of sites open to the public can be found at:

OPW Heritage Services – Sites Open from 10 May 2021 (heritageireland.ie)

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An Post to increase price of stamps this month

From May 27th:

The price of the standard national letter stamp will increase up to the EU average price of €1.10c (currently €1.00). 

The standard international letter stamp will increase to €2.00 (currently €1.70).

Bulk mail rates will increase by 5c and meter rates by 10c. Large mailers will continue to receive discounts for high volume postings.

Discounts of 34 per cent on parcel postage and 5 per cent for letter post for SMEs through the An Post Advantage Card will be extended to year-end in order to help small businesses back to recovery and growth.

There will be no increase in charges for sending Registered Mail, large envelopes and packets within Ireland.

An Post said their community focus supports such as calling in on vulnerable citizens, free postage to and from care homes, and free newspaper delivery for older customers will also be extended until at least the end of the year.

So if you have items to post that can go before the 27th of this month, send them earlier to make some cost savings.

Every little bit helps.

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Carbon Tax on non-auto fuels kicks in May 1st

carbon tax is a tax levied on the carbon content of goods and services, predominantly in the transport and energy sectors. Carbon taxes are intended to reduce carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions by increasing prices, thereby decreasing demand for such goods and services. Its effectiveness in achieving this objective is debatable as it is based on a superposition that consumers have a practical alternative to the taxed product, and this is not always the case.

In 2010 a carbon tax was introduced in Ireland. The carbon tax applies to kerosene, marked gas oil, liquid petroleum gas, fuel oil, natural gas and solid fuels such as coal and peat briquettes.

The rate of carbon tax from 1 May 2013 to 1 May 2014 was based on a charge of €10 per tonne of CO2 emitted by the fuel concerned. The rate increased to €20 per tonne with effect from 1 May 2014.


Budget 2021

It was announced in Budget 2021 that the carbon tax on fuel would increase by €7.50 from €26 per tonne to €33.50 per tonne. The increase applied to auto fuels from midnight on 13 October 2020 and to non-auto fuels like home heating and solid fuels from May 1st, 2021.

The Finance Bill legislated for a carbon tax hike of €7.50 every year until 2029 and €6.50 in 2030, to achieve €100 per tonne.

This will have very serious cost implications by the time the tax reaches €100 per tonne in a few years, and there is little you can do about it except find ways to reduce consumption.

What will it mean when it is €100 per tonne?

By that stage the carbon tax alone on a 60-litre refill of petrol will be €17.20, or €19.65 for diesel. As for home heating oil, it will add €259.10 to a 900-litre refill, €2.60 to that bale of peat briquettes if they still exist, €12 to the bag of coal and €230 to your annual gas bill.

Every euro on the official rate of carbon tax adds 0.28 cent per litre of petrol or 0.33 cent per litre of diesel.

May 1st

What you can do is order in any fuel, (gas, home-heating oil, coal and briquettes), you can before may 1st, to avoid the increase on your next top up. The saving is not huge but for many every little bit helps.

Every euro rise in carbon tax per tonne announced by the Government translates into €2.51 per 900-litre refill of kerosene (home heating oil). So the €7.50 per ton increase in carbon tax will lead to an increase of €19 for a 900 litre fill from May 1st.

For those still burning solid fuels, a 12.5kg bale of peat briquettes will go up by 20 cent, a 40kg bag of coal by 90 cent.

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Alternatives to Renting Storage Space

If you seem to have too much stuff and no room to store it, buying or renting a storage unit might seem like your only option. But this can be expensive and is often a waste of money, especially if there are plenty of other alternatives for storing your items. If you already are paying for storage that now seems to be required for much longer than originally intended, now might be a good time to review your options.

Utilize Your Current Space

Before paying for a storage unit, consider the available space in your home. Can you fit something on top of a cabinet? What about under a bed or table? You’d be surprised by how many available spaces you probably have in your home.

Apartment Storage Areas

If you rent an apartment, have you checked to see if it comes with a storage space? There may be a storage area included as part of your rental agreement. Sometimes this is a basement, sometimes an attic, and sometimes the landlord has a shed or storage unit where you can temporarily store your things.

Store with a Friend

Why not ask if your friend can hold onto a couple of boxes for you? If you’re in the process of moving or renovating, storing items with a friend might be cheaper than paying for a storage unit. Of course, they need to have the space available and you need to make sure that you’re not giving them an overwhelming amount of boxes or items to hold.

Temporarily Lending Items

Instead of paying for a storage unit, you could temporarily lend items to a friend. Have a large wardrobe that doesn’t fit into your apartment, but that you don’t want to get rid of or store? Have a friend hold onto it and use it until you need it. Or see if a friend wants that painting that can’t fit onto the walls in your new apartment. Maybe a family member temporarily needs a couch and since you happen to be renovating your home, you need a temporary place to store it. Lending it out will get it off your hands for awhile and prevent you from spending money on a storage unit!

Give Away

Sometimes we hold onto items we think we might want later down the road, but we never end up using them. How many pieces of clothing, furniture, or appliances do you have tucked away somewhere? How long have they been sitting there? A lot of times, we’re just holding onto items for no good reason. In these cases, we may just end up putting items into storage and they’ll sit there for years. Instead, consider giving away to a friend or family member who has a use for it, or to a charity shop.

Buy or Build a Shed

If you own your own house, why not build your own storage unit? As long as you have enough room, it’s going to be cheaper to build your own shed than it would be to rent a storage unit. Plus, you won’t have to worry about dealing with a storage company, saving you a lot of time, money, and aggravation. If you pay €50 a month for a storage unit, that’s €600 a year. How much it would cost to own your own storage unit or shed in your backyard.

Any Attic Space?

Again, if you own your own home, have you unused space in the attic? This can be useful for seldom used items like Christmas decorations.

Purge

Have you been holding onto a bag of old clothes for years thinking that one day you might wear them again? What about that box of old textbooks that are ten years out of date? Maybe you have a couple of dish sets that are still in their original packing five years after you bought them. Before pushing all of these items into storage, go through them and get rid of what you don’t need. There’s no need to pay money to store items you don’t even want.

Sell Items

The best thing to do before buying a storage unit is to take an inventory of items you have to decide whether it’s really worth putting them in storage. You might find that you have too many items and could end up selling them instead, saving you having to pay for storage.

Consider Prices of Stored Items

Before you consider buying a storage unit, take stock of the value of your items. Are you paying more for a long term storage unit than your stuff is worth? If it’s cheaper to sell your old items and buy new ones to replace them, then avoid buying the storage unit.

For more useful ideas see the Cost Savings Book.

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Saying a lot without saying a Word

Above delivered to the door.

Below care instructions on the packaging, because plants like people need to be treated with care, love and respect.

Keep costs down and do your little bit for the planet by embedding instructions in packaging and so eliminating need for extra paper for them.

For more useful ideas see the Cost Savings Book.

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April Fool’s Day

Beware today is April first,

when flippant pranksters do their worst.

Best be careful for today.

By tomorrow you can say

“April Fool is past and gone,

You’re the Fool to carry on”.

In the meantime hide your frowns,

and within reason, indulge the clowns.

Because when all is said and done,

it is simply meant to be a bit of fun.

Noel’s Poetry | GMG (teachable.com)

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A little reminder to set your clock forward

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Maximise Benefit of Supermarket Till Receipts, Discounted Vouchers and Loyalty Schemes

Dunnes Stores Value club card and discount vouchers

Dunnes Stores for example give you a €10 off your next spend of €50 by a particular date for every €50 you spend in a single shop in the grocery section. This is fine if your typical shop is about €50 anyway. But if you are only shopping for yourself and €25 is more typical for you you can still take advantage of the offer if you are organised enough to cooperate with someone else who also has a sub €50 shop to do, or if you stock up on non-perishable goods like canned or frozen foods, household cleaners and toiletries. To maximise the benefit from this type of offer shop to a list of necessities and make up the difference to the limit at which the discount kicks in with items you definitely will use and which can be stored for a while. Do not exceed the limit by much, but rather save further spending until you can use the next discount voucher. €10 off a spend of €50 is a 20% discount but €10 off say €60 reduces the discount to 16.7%, which adds up over a year’s shopping. Since I signed up for their newsletter they occasionally email me €10 off a spend of €40, that is a 25% discount, that I can have scanned from my phone at the checkout. The price I pay is that I get advertising emails into my inbox.

If you have a voucher on a till receipt that you know you will not use why not pass it on to someone who may. They might return the favour to you another time.

Customers who sign up for the Value Club card are awarded one point worth one cent for every €1 spent. Once you have collected at least 400 points each quarter, you will receive a mailing in which your points are converted to Money Off Vouchers which can be used in any department in any Dunnes Stores outlet. As well as your money off vouchers, they will send you additional money off coupons and offers in your mailing.

If you have an Avantcard credit card you will no longer get Tesco clubcard points for any spent on it from March 31st, 2021, but if you are signed up to its “Advantages” scheme you can earn cash back on some online purchases if you go through affiliate links on the scheme’s website. These include a five percent discount (less €2.25 postage) on purchases of Dunnes Stores vouchers. The vouchers are available in multiples of €10. So you purchase €100 for €95 less €2.25 postage, giving a net discount of 2.75%. If you purchase €200 worth at a time the net discount is 3.875% as the deduction for postage remains the same. You need a debit card to make the purchase. Maximise the benefit by combining prepaid vouchers at the discounted price with the money off offers on till receipts and collecting your club card points. Good management of your shopping in Dunnes should enable you to reduce your annual spend by over 20%.

The above is taken from our Cost Savings Book.

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