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"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?

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Woman Elected Dean of Kilkenny Cathedral

Canon Katharine Poulton

The Church of Ireland has appointed a woman as Dean of St Canice’s Cathedral in the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny which is part of the Diocese of Cashel and Ossory and which has been totally male-dominated since the Middle Ages.

The Church of Ireland has over 115,000 members in the Republic of Ireland and  the Dioceses of Cashel and Ossory is one of 12 dioceses, covering the counties of Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford, Wexford and some outer areas of Laois and Wicklow.

Canon Poulton will be formally installed and will take up her new post shortly after Easter 2010.

Aged 48, Rev Canon Poulton was born in Belfast, the daughter of a priest of the Dioceses of Down and Dromore, and moved to the Republic in 1999. She made ecclesiastical history as the first women to be ordained a Deacon in the Church of Ireland in 1987 and the second only female Dean in the Church of Ireland. She currently resides in Killiney South Co Dublin, with her two teenage children and husband Rev.Ian Poulton, who is rector of the Dublin parish of Ballybrack.

The Rev. Canon Poulton is currently serving as Bishop’s Curate of the Dublin inner city parish of St George and St Thomas, based at Cathal Brugha Street and has been a canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin since 2007. She is also a chaplain to the Mater Hospital, Temple Street Hospital and Mountjoy Prison.

Canon Poulton succeeds the Rev. Norman Lynas, who recently vacated his Kilkenny post to become a ‘Canon In Residence’ in Hamilton on the island of Bermuda.

Last month, the US ambassador to Ireland Mr Dan Rooney visited St Canice’s Cathedral, to see the tomb of bishop John Kearney, an ancestor of US President Barack Hussein Obama, thus confirming speculation that the American President will visit Kilkenny and St Canice’s Cathedral, when he visits Ireland shortly. President Obama is also expected to visit Moneygall, situated on the border separating counties Tipperary and Offaly, the original home of his Irish ancestors.

Government Dealing Dismally With Redundancy Claims

The Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment has made ‘poor progression’ in handing out lump sum payments owed to employees, according to Deputy Noel Coonan. In September, the redundancy section was processing claims for June 2009. Today the department is still handling claims for the same month.

Deputy Noel Coonan

“Two months on and the Department is still stuck dealing with claims received in June. I accept there has been an exceptional increase in applications lodged over 2009 but with the Government predicting an extra 750,000 people on the dole next year, the Department should be trying harder than ever to significantly reduce waiting times in preparation for this. People are relying greatly on these payments for financial security and they are entitled to be promptly paid their entitlements,” said the Fine Gael TD.

“The recent Budget did not provide a comprehensive strategy to get people back to work. We do not want to be complaining about the queue of over 42,000 people waiting grimly on their redundancy payments. We want to be able to say that people have faced the worst and our economy is recovering but this Government continues to lead us down a bleak path.

Figures released to me through a parliamentary question show the redundancy section is currently processing rebate applications submitted by post from March 2009 and those filed online from April 2009. This means the waiting time is approximately eight to nine months. The Government is not providing an efficient system at a time when recession is biting and people are in desperate need of what is owed to them,” continued Deputy Coonan.

Since January last, the department have processed 45,201 claims. However, there are 42,591 claims still waiting to be processed.

Deputy Coonan has submitted parliamentary questions to Tanáiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D., asking her to outline the number of people in North Tipperary waiting on redundancy payments but the Minister was unable to provide such figures.

The number of incoming redundancy claims is up 96% on the same period last year.

Budget Brings Some Hope To Struggling Homeowners

Nationally, at least twenty six thousand mortgages are in arrears, according to figures published by the Financial Regulator, today .
These figures show almost 3.3 per cent of all residential mortgages, are in arrears for 90 days or longer up to the end of September of this year.

For-SaleThere are 26,271 mortgages in arrears with 17,767 homeowners behind in payments for more than 6 months. The figure is up from June of 2008, when almost 14,000 mortgages, equal to 1.4 per cent of all mortgages, were more than three months in arrears.

These figures released by the Financial Regulator also shows a rise in repossessions with court orders granted in some 79 cases.

Tipperary residents have welcomed the news that mortgage interest relief has been extended for a further seven years.  This move will bring some relief to people who bought their homes at the peak of the market and now find themselves in negative equity.

The relief was due to expire in 2010 but as a support to homeowners in negative equity, the recent Budget extended the entitlement to mortgage interest relief until the end of 2017. There has been a lot of justified negativity surrounding the recent Budget and this extension provides at least some assistance to struggling homeowners.

The Budget provides that qualifying loans taken out before 1 July 2011 will continue to get relief at current levels for seven years. Transitional arrangements will apply to loans taken out in the subsequent 18 months at a reduced level and duration.

April’s supplementary Budget announced that from May 2009 mortgage interest relief would be discounted for any mortgage over seven years. Therefore tax relief was only available on the interest payments for the first seven years of your mortgage but unavailable for the eighth and subsequent years. However this relief has now been pushed forward to help alleviate some of the pressure on homeowners.

This is especially good news for younger people who have just stepped onto the property ladder and have found themselves unemployed and with a huge mortgage.

However, it is small compensation for the mistakes made by this Government’s over-reliance on the property market.

Full details of the deadline extension will be outlined in the Finance Bill.

Thurles Man Jackie Cahill Re-Elected President ICMSA

Jackie Cahill

Jackie Cahill

Thurles farmer, Jackie Cahill has been re-elected as president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) following a vote of the ninety nine member National Council which held yesterday at Carlton Castletroy Park Hotel, in Limerick city.
Mr Cahill, a Thurles dairy farmer, who milks 80 cows and rears 220 other stock on his 220-acre farm, has already led the organisation for four years, defeated his immediate predecessor, Co Longford farmer Pat O’Rourke by a margin of 54 votes to 45.
The 47-year old will now serve an additional two years as President of the ICMSA, allowing him to hold office for the maximum term permissible which is six years.
Mr Cahill’s victory will be seen as further vindication of the association’s current strategy in dealing with the Irish Government and the EU Commission’s dairy policy, according to sources within the ICMSA.

Free Energy Survey

Do you want to have a free and independent home energy survey carried out on your home?

Free Energy Survey

Free Energy Survey

HALO, has been developed by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) to support Ireland’s 20% energy reduction target by 2020 as identified in the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan. This is a no-obligation service which will help you to make your home more energy efficient, reduce your carbon emissions and, more importantly, reduce your home monthly energy bills.

Why should you apply?
In the current economic and environmental climate, there really has never been a better time to make your home more energy-efficient, while increasing its value- and you’ll save money on energy bills month after month, year after year. If you are a homeowner and your house was built before 1980, you would benefit from taking part in the HALO programme.

So what happens?
The initial energy efficiency survey is free and simply makes recommendations on the areas in your home where you could improve your energy efficiency. The survey will assess the energy efficiency of all of your current insulation, heating and lighting systems inside and outside of your home. The average wait time is around 20 days, in some areas it may vary slightly, but in general a surveyor should arrange an appointment for your Survey within 21 days. Yes, believe you me, it is totally free

Note: Unfortunately apartments are not eligible for a HALO Survey.

Afterward, the surveyor will supply you with a comprehensive report with specific recommendations on making your home more energy-efficient along with relevant cost estimates.

If you would like to advantage of this free service and apply on line, click here or phone their Customer Care team at 1850 372 333.

Note: ESB Energy Services are not selling any products or services; they’re simply providing free independent advice that will assist you in taking the necessary steps towards making your home more energy efficient.