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Help-To-Buy Incentive Scheme Is To Be Examined

The current Irish Minister for Housing, Mr Eoghan Murphy, has acknowledged that he will be reviewing the Rebuilding Ireland housing strategy, which could see “The help-to-buy incentive”, geared to encourage first time home buyers, scrapped.

The scheme was first introduced by Fine Gael in last October’s budget, to encourage and enabled first time buyers of new build properties.  Basically, if you were a first-time buyer who either bought or self-built a new residential property between the 19th July 2016 and 31st December 2019, you were entitled to claim a refund of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous 4 tax years.

This new scheme’s introduction now appears to indicate that rather than helping to encourage building, the scheme has in fact pushed existing house prices to reach dizzier heights.

Fears justifiably now exist that if this new scheme were to be cancelled, the effects could cause an even further price amplification; suggesting that the Housing Minister will most likely focus his attentions on how to increase the supply of building stock; latter a strategy which has failed dismally, despite incentives.

It should be remembered that according to the 2016 census, held on the 24th April last year (2016), some 183,000 vacant homes exists around the country, while some 8,000 people continue to reside in emergency accommodation.

Surely it would have been cheaper to pay incentives to 8,000 people to move out of our over-crowded cities, and take up residence in the pure air of our Irish villages and smaller towns, while also partially replenishing our rural population, latter forced to take the boat to find work.

By giving €10,000 and a social house to each family currently residing in emergency accommodation; Mr Murphy can indeed be assured that the promise by former Minister Mr Simon Coveney, (“All homeless families in Dublin will be moved out of hotel accommodation by 1st July 2017.”), will in truth be met by at least the date of August 31st.

Remember Fianna Fáil’s attempts at the movement of departments and power away from a single administrative centre; to other locations. It was called ‘Decentralization’, so why not apply this idea to those forced to reside in over priced emergency accommodation? Remember we are talking about people without homes, not unsackable Civil Servants and their Unions seeking outrageous relocation payments.

But of course it is so important that we do not upset Ireland’s bankers and property developers, after all they have been so considerate of the Irish people!


Show Jumper Greg Broderick Acquires Fortwilliam, Borrisoleigh

Thurles, Co. Tipperary native and Irish Olympic show jumper Mr Greg Broderick is the new owner of Fortwilliam House, Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary, together with the attached 217 acre estate.

Mr Broderick is understood to have paid €2.2m for the house, together with a number of dated stone farm buildings and the 217 acres of prime Tipperary land.

Mr Broderick came to International prominence on his mount ‘MHS Going Global’, having previously competed on the National and International show jumping scene, and being crowned ‘Showjumping Ireland Nation­al Champion’ in 2014. He was also instrumental in Ireland capturing the coveted Aga Khan Trophy at the Dublin Horse Show in 2015, due to his clear round as then part of the Irish Aga Khan team, while last year chosen to represent Ireland in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

His gelding mount ‘MHS Going Global’ of which Mr Broderick owned a small share, was recently purchased by Greek heiress Athi­na Onassis Roussel, latter the granddaughter of Greek-Argentine shipping magnate, Aristotle (Ari) Onassis, who amassed the world’s largest privately owned shipping fleet and was one of the world’s richest and most famous men.

The Cooke property at Borrisoleigh, which was sold by local auc­tioneer Mr Vincent Ryan, is now expected to form part of a future major expansion plan by Mr Broderick, including the erection of a new stable block, gallops, paddocks, offices and a viewing area.

The newly purchased classic Georgian property, on the banks of the Cremogue River and boasting 800m of road frontage, is located within 1km of Bor­risoleigh village and is centred around a substantial dwelling in need of refurbishment. Same property was the ancestral home of the Cooke family, of which the last surviving mem­ber passed away on November 12th 2016 last, thus making the holding the subject of an Exec­utor Sale.


Two Tipperary TD’s Disclose Political Donations

A total of 42 public representatives, including two TD’s from Co. Tipperary, have disclosed donations to the Standards in Public Office (SIPO), in all totalling €72,969.12.

This amount is more than double the 2015 donation total of €33,870.00, due in part to it being a General Election year.

A total of 259 Members or former Members were required to furnish donation statements in respect of the year 2016, as follows: – 158 TD’s; 60 Senators; 11 MEP’s, 19 Former TD’s, and 11 former Senators.

Members who were fully complied with the statutory requirements by the 31st of January 2017 deadline, numbered 246; while 13 others were somewhat late, but nevertheless all had complied their statuary requirement by February 25th 2017.

Under the Electoral Act, 1997, public representatives may not accept donations in any year of more than €200 in cash, and not more than €1,000 in total value from a single source. They must disclose any donations totalling €600 or more, received from an individual source.

The two Tipperary TD’s who received and accepted political donations were:-
Mr Alan KellyLabour Party.
Donor (A) Mr Michael Madden, No10 Graham Court Rye, New York USA, with value of donation being €995.00.
Donor (B) Mr Declan Kelly Castletown, Portroe, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary; with value of his donation being €999.00.
Total Donations, in full, to Irish Labour Party representatives amounted to €5,594.00.

Mr Mattie McGrathIndependents.
Donor Mr Kieran & Mrs Catherine Bourke, Cregg Rd, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, with value of donation being €1,000.00.
Total Donations, in full, to Independents party representatives amounted to €15,600.00.


Free Urban Centre Broadband For Thurles

Following an agreement reached by the European Parliament, the EU Commission and the EU Council of Ministers; wireless broadband will be rolled out in Irish cities and towns over the next three years.

This new initiative will see almost 8,000 urban centres, across the European Union, benefit through EU-funding accessed through Irish local authorities.

This plan, when initiated, is seen as being a huge boost for rural provincial towns, where currently broadband coverage is deemed as being somewhat feeble. Same could also see an inflow from rural businesses, with weak broadband access, to open offices in close by urban centres; thus opening greater access to markets.

Local authorities in Ireland will shortly be invited to access grants to set up wi-fi in towns right across Ireland, so that no matter where you are in an Irish town, you should be able to get online for free.


€3.03m Home Funding For Older & Disabled People

Councillor Michéal Lowry has today welcomed funding of €3.03m to improve the homes of older people and people with disabilities in Co. Tipperary.

Councillor Lowry stated, “While 80% of this funding is provided from the national exchequer through the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, the remaining 20% will be provided by Tipperary County Council.

This funding will allow older people and people with a disability to apply for grants of up to €30,000 for a housing adaptation, up to €8,000 for housing aid for older people and up to €6,000 for mobility aids.

The top priority should now  be to use these funds to insure older people and people with a disability, are given every opportunity to continue independent living in their own homes for as long as possible, with the comfort that they deserve.”