Kildare to experience highest increase in house prices in 2022 with 20% price hike predicted according to The Sunday Times Property Price Guide

  • Laois house prices expected to rise by 15% in 2022 while Donegal, Roscommon, Co. Sligo, Sligo Town, Carlow and Kilkenny set to go up by 10%

 

  • Monaghan registers the lowest predicted house price rise, with a 4% hike forecast

 

  • Greystones in Co Wicklow, Model Farm Road and Ballinlough in Cork City named as three most expensive areas nationwide, while Mohill and Ballinamore in Co Leitrim and Granard in Co Longford named the three most affordable areas

 

  • Influx of workers with high salaries driving up residential prices across the country

 

County Kildare is set to experience the highest increase in home values in Ireland with a 20% rise in residential property value expected over the next 12 months, according to the 2022 Sunday Times Property Price Guide, a dedicated 32-page supplement sponsored by Bank of Ireland which will be published free with The Sunday Times this Sunday, 16 January.

 

Kildare is followed by Co Laois, with a 15% rise forecasted, while Donegal, Roscommon, Co. Sligo, Sligo Town, Carlow and Kilkenny could all be hit with a 10% increase according to the country’s estate agents. Monaghan will register the lowest price rise, with a 4% hike predicted.

 

Now in its 19th year, The Sunday Times Property Price Guide is the authoritative guide to the Irish property market, featuring interviews with a number of Ireland’s estate agents who outline their predictions for the year. It also includes a detailed analysis of Dublin property prices.

 

Estate agents across Ireland are predicting the following price increases in residential property values in The Sunday Times Property Price Guide:

 

  1. Kildare – 20%
  2. Laois – 10%-15%
  3. Roscommon – 10%
  4. Sligo Town – 10%
  5. Co Sligo – 10%
  6. Carlow – 10%
  7. Donegal – 10%
  8. Kilkenny – 10%
  9. North Co Tipperary – 8%-10%
  10. South Co Wicklow – 8%-10%
  11. Longford – 8%-10%
  12. Waterford – 8%-10%
  13. Offaly – 7.5% to 10%
  14. Galway – 2%-10%
  15. South Co Tipperary – 7%-9%
  16. Cavan – 8%
  17. Cork City South – 5%-7.5%
  18. Cork City – 7%
  19. Mayo – 7%
  20. Cork City North – 5-7%
  21. Kerry – 5%-7%
  22. Meath – 6%
  23. Leitrim – 5%-6%
  24. East Co Cork – 5%
  25. North Co Cork – 5%
  26. Limerick City – 5%
  27. Limerick – 5%
  28. Louth – 5%
  29. Clare – 5%
  30. Westmeath – 5%
  31. Wexford – 5%
  32. North Co Wicklow – 5%
  33. Monaghan – 4%

 

Nationally, residential property prices were up 13.5% annually in October 2021 — compared to a 0.5% decrease in October 2020 and estate agents across Ireland believe people are looking to re-locate in their home counties, with many others just re-routing — and bringing higher salaries and greater spending power with them. In many counties, that has been an important contributing factor to price hikes in more rural and coastal areas, with remote working a serious factor. Outside Dublin, the average price increase for residential properties in 2021 was 14.6%.

Despite the Mica scandal, border counties of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo saw house prices rise the highest in 2021, coming in at a hefty 24.1% average rise and these values show no sign of slowing down.

Predictably, higher demand means prices have gone up and this is further compounded by many counties experiencing the lowest number of new homes available in decades. The cost of construction has made it more expensive, in some cases, to build a new home than to buy a second-hand one. This has been further amplified by healthcare restrictions curtailing construction work for months on end, the mica scandal and supply chain issues following Brexit and the Suez Canal blockage in March 2021.

The Sunday Times Property Price Guide 2022 reveals that the top 5 most affordable areas for three-bed houses are:

  1. Mohill, Co. Leitrim = 118,000
  2. Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim = 125,000
  3. Granard, Co. Longford = 125,000
  4. Leitrim Village, Co. Leitrim = 135,000
  5. Letterkenny, Co. Donegal = 140,000-160,000

 

Top five most expensive areas for three-bed houses are:

 

  1. Greystones, North Co. Wicklow = 498,000
  2. Model Farm Rd., Cork City = 430,000
  3. Ballinlough, Cork City = 410,000
  4. Blackrock, Cork City South = 395,000
  5. Salthill, Galway City = 393,000

 

Patrick O’Donoghue, Primary Researcher for The 2022 Sunday Times Property Price Guide, says:Buyers are now much more focused and know what they are looking for, but opportunities come at a premium. Estate agents across Ireland have told us they expect prices to rise significantly as the landscape of remote work and the need for space becomes a reality for many people. People are beginning to realise the possibilities of working remotely and living in new surroundings across the country. While coastal counties are set to perform well there is also serious signs of values rising in counties close to the Capital. While 2021 taught us to expect the unexpected – Irish estate agents are seeing rises across the board for residential properties.”

 

For full details, pick up a copy of The Sunday Times this weekend

or online at: www.thetimes.ie.

 

www.thetimes.ie

@SunTimesIreland

 

 

Christmas FM raises €331,515 for Barnardos to Give the Gift of Childhood this Christmas for over 6,800 children living in poverty

 

Christmas FM, the popular radio station that is seen by many as the official soundtrack to the festive season, is delighted to announce that it has raised €331,515 for Barnardos, their chosen charity for 2021.

 

This figure has well surpassed the original goal of €250,000, which will go directly towards Barnardos’ mission of working to give vulnerable children living in disadvantaged communities a better chance – because childhood lasts a lifetime.

 

Listener donations raised for Barnardos will be used to provide targeted and intensive support for over 6,800 children most in need – providing nutritious food, support with education, and therapeutic services with their trained support teams.

 

The 2021 fundraising figure brings to over €3 million the total amount the radio station has raised for a range of charities since its inception in 2008. The costs of running Christmas FM are covered by various sponsors, ensuring that all on-air fundraising and donations go directly to the charity partner. The station is run each year by a core management team and more than 100 volunteers on-air, who devote hundreds of hours of their time.

 

Paul Shepherd, Co-founder of Christmas FM, says: “We are delighted to have raised just over €331,515 for Barnardos this year. We couldn’t have done it without our loyal listeners who tuned in and donated so generously to Barnardos. We’re also thankful to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for granting us the license to broadcast and our premier FM sponsors for the year – Cadbury, Coca-Cola, and An Post. We would also like to thank askpaul.ie who kindly donated the studio this year. As ever, we are so grateful to the team and the volunteers who help make Christmas FM happen by assisting with the day-to-day running of the station – we couldn’t do it without each and every one of you!”

 

Suzanne Connolly, CEO, Barnardos, says: “We were so honoured and humbled to be chosen as the 2021 Christmas FM charity partner, and have been overwhelmed by the incredible support of the public for the Christmas FM Give the Gift of Childhood appeal for Barnardos. Raising a phenomenal €331,515 throughout December to support our vital services throughout, we can now provide over 6,800 children with access to nutritious food, support with education, or therapeutic services with our trained support teams. We can’t thank the Christmas FM team, donors, supporters, and everyone involved in this campaign enough – thanks to you we can change the lives of over 6,800 children living in poverty. It’s never been more important to support vulnerable children, and thanks to your help we can continue to be there for those that need us most. Thank you all.”

 

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) grants Christmas FM a 30-day temporary sound broadcasting license, which enables the station to broadcast on a range of frequencies throughout the country.

Celene Craig, BAI Deputy Chief Executive, said: “The BAI was delighted to have been in a position to award a temporary sound broadcasting contract to Christmas FM again this year. The temporary radio service continues to be very popular with audiences, spreading festive cheer and goodwill. On behalf of the BAI, I would like to congratulate the station’s volunteers and its listeners on their collective efforts in raising significant funding for this year’s charity partner, Barnardos.”

This year, Christmas FM was generously sponsored by the premier FM sponsors Cadbury, Coca-Cola and An Post. Christmas FM was broadcast from the askpaul.ie offices, who kindly donated the studio space.

 

Christmas FM is also available online at

www.christmasfm.com

You can follow the station on social at

@christmasfm

Christmas FM – Bringing You the Magic of Christmas

NoCo appoints Adam Hankin as Head of Sales UK & Ireland

NoCo, Ireland’s largest hybrid workspace network, has appointed Adam Hankin as its new Head of Sales for the UK and Irish markets.

 

Adam will assume responsibility for the commercial function of NoCo as the business continues to increase its presence and deliver year on year growth as it enters new markets including Europe and the UK. He will also work to expand NoCo’s portfolio of products on offer to the flexible office and remote working markets in Ireland and the UK.

 

With almost 15 years’ experience leading the commercial arms of businesses across a variety of sectors including MedTech startup, LetsGetChecked, and Wagesstream, an earned wage solutions provider, Adam joins NoCo from his most recent role as Head of Sales with Revolut Ireland. As a result, he has a proven track record of working in similar high-growth company environments and driving business performance across multiple disciplines.

 

Adam is a graduate of Nottingham Trent University and has a passion for leading teams to achieve commercial success, personal success, and career growth.

 

Commenting on Adam’s appointment, Brian Moran, co-founder of NoCo, said:

 

“On behalf of all the team at NoCo, I’m delighted to welcome Adam into his new role as Head of Sales for the UK and Ireland. I’m looking forward to working alongside someone with his level of expertise and I have no doubt that he will bring a wealth of valuable insights that will help NoCo continue to thrive and grow both in Ireland and further afield. It’s an exciting time to join the business as we are experiencing a period of rapid growth and the demand for NoCo’s services continues to increase. He will be a welcome addition to the team.”

 

NoCo is Ireland’s largest workspace network provider with remote working hubs in over 350+ locations nationwide. Its online platform service enables companies of any scale or size to connect their team to a network of ‘close to home’ workspaces across Ireland via one membership, one monthly invoice and one point of contact. A key part of the membership is the option of utilising open or shared workspaces in any of the locations on the network or alternatively, clients can have their own bespoke dedicated office network created for them.

 

 

For more information on NoCo visit  www.nocoworkspace.com

Follow NoCo on Twitter @NoCoWorkspace

 

Dublin estate agents expect average property value to increase by 5.8% over next 12 months, according to The Sunday Times Dublin Property Price Guide

  • 8% is more than double the 2.5% figure predicted for 2021
  • Average deposit of €52,500 required by a first-time buyer is now more than twice what was required ten years ago
  • Dublin residential property prices have risen 116% from their lowest ebb in February 2012
  • Ranelagh, Ballsbridge and Rathmines/Rathgar revealed as most expensive areas in city for three-bed houses while Neilstown, Ballymun and Clondalkin are most affordable

 

Dublin estate agents expect property values to rise by an average of 5.8% this year, according to the 2022 Sunday Times Dublin Property Price Guide, a dedicated 28-page supplement which will be published free with The Sunday Times this Sunday, 9 January. This prediction is more than double the expectation of a 2.5% price rise expressed by estate agents for 2021.

 

Now in its 19th year, The Sunday Times Property Price Guide is the authoritative guide to the Dublin property market, featuring interviews with a number of Dublin estate agents who outline their predictions for the year. It also includes a detailed analysis of Dublin property prices.

 

Estate agents across the 26 areas of Dublin city say their main concern is the low levels of residential housing stock coupled with the overwhelming rising tide of demand for all property types. With critically low stock levels set to dictate house prices this year, it is clear to many of the city’s estate agents that how the ongoing pandemic is managed will impact houses prices even further.

 

Several estate agents also report a significant frustration at a lack of new-home schemes in their areas for the foreseeable future with too many scheduled developments involving private investors constructing build-to-rent apartment blocks in 2022.

The Sunday Times Dublin Property Price Guide also reveals that the top five most expensive examples of three-bed houses in Dublin are in the following locations:

  1. Ranelagh – €1.15m
  2. Ballsbridge – €950,000
  3. Rathmines/Rathgar – €950,000
  4. Sandymount – €950,000
  5. Milltown – €850,000

 

The top five most affordable examples of three-beds are unveiled as:

  1. Neilstown – €200,000-€220,000
  2. Ballymun – €230,000
  3. Clondalkin – €240,000-€270,000
  4. Springfield – €245,000
  5. Darndale – €250,000

 

Further key insights revealed in The Sunday Times Dublin Property Price Guide include:

  • One Dublin city centre estate agent said 60% of all his sellers were landlords exiting the market
  • Many agents reported high numbers of well-prepared buyers with large deposits from pandemic savings who were left disappointed by an uber-competitive bidding process
  • Agents also reported a preference among buyers for homes that provide large gardens and more space – to help facilitate working from home requirements in a more comfortable fashion
  • Prices have risen significantly in traditionally affordable areas due to the high volume of buyers being priced out of more affluent areas and seeking a fallback where prices are lower
  • Expats returning home to Ireland amid ever-changing rules on travel drove demand in some postcodes

 

Patrick O’Donoghue, Primary Researcher for The 2022 Sunday Times Dublin Property Price Guide, says: “It is perhaps with little surprise that Dublin’s Estate Agents are predicting price rises and more frustration in 2022. With the rise in value of the capital’s properties doubling since last year, many estate agents are cautious with some optimism heading into 2022. There are a number of factors at play, including government regulations around the ongoing pandemic, critical supply issues and feverish demand. It will be interesting to see how Dublin’s suburbs continue to change in the face of growing demand across the city for what is sure to be a fascinating 2022.”

 

The Sunday Times Dublin Property Price Guide will be followed by the Sunday Times Nationwide Property Price Guide which will be published on Sunday 16th January. For full details, pick up a copy of The Sunday Times this weekend or online at: www.thetimes.ie.

 

www.thetimes.ie

@SunTimesIreland

80% of SMEs in Connaught say they are feeling confident for the next year while over one third are planning to invest in machinery and equipment in the coming months

  • 26% of Connaught SMEs will invest over €50,000 each over the next 12 months

 

  • 40% of Connaught businesses looking to private equity to fund M&A, MBO or MBI activity

 

 

The significant majority of businesses in Connaught (80%) say they are either confident or very confident about their business prospects for the remainder of the year and into 2022 according to a new report from Bibby Financial Services Ireland, a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SMEs.

 

The statistics show that 25% of businesses in Connaught are planning to invest over €50,000 ver the next year, with the top three areas of investment identified as:

  • Staff training and development (32%)
  • Digital technology and IT (32%)
  • Machinery and equipment (36%)

 

Meanwhile, over a third (36%) of SMEs in Connaught are planning to invest in new machinery and equipment over the next year, with 64% identifying new customers as a top area for growth, compared to 46% in Munster and 55% in Leinster.

 

As businesses continue to plan for accelerating profit, many are turning to alternative finance to fund growth. However, just 20% of Connaught SMEs are considering M&A, MBO or MBI activity over the coming months, compared to 43% in Munster, 37% in Leinster and 40% in Ulster. 40% of these Connaught SMEs, meanwhile, are considering private equity to funds any of these proposed transactions.

 

Notwithstanding growing optimism, key fiscal and operational challenges still remain for Connaught’s SMEs. 28% of businesses in the region had to write off bad debt worth over €14,000 since the pandemic began, while 30% of Connaught companies say it is taking between five and six weeks to get paid.

 

Key findings show:

  • 28% of SMEs in Connaught are concerned about rising business costs compared to 32% in Leinster and 30% in Munster
  • Just 16% of SMEs’ suppliers in Connaught went into administration compared to 33% in Munster and 29% in Leinster over the past year demonstrating resilience through the pandemic

 

 

Nationally, the Bibby Financial Services Ireland report also states that almost four out of ten (38%) SME’s say they will require additional funding into 2022 as they look beyond the pandemic and return to growth.

 

Such funding will be vital to ensure businesses can deal with inflation, overcome supply chain disruptions, ramp up recruitment to fulfil demand, and invest. As a result, considering solutions from the private sector that protect against bad debt and offer access to working capital will provide SMEs with certainty of payment and sustainable sources of liquidity.

 

The pandemic has also offered businesses an opportunity to reflect, with some entrepreneurs and business owners deciding it’s time to restructure, refocus, innovate and grow, while others have come to the conclusion that it’s time to exit their business totally. Over a third businesses (36%) nationwide say they are considering merger and acquisitions opportunities in the coming months, while one in ten (9%) SME owners are considering a management buy-in, rising to 19% for wholesale and 33% for transportation businesses. When it comes to funding transactions, SMEs owners consider private equity, business loans and invoice finance as the top three ways to finance merger or acquisition activity.

 

Stephen McCarthy, Head of Business Development at Bibby Financial Services Ireland, says that although times have certainly been more testing than ever before, he believes Connaught SMEs are now on the cusp of a strong recovery as we look towards 2022.

 

“SMEs generally are showing significant resilience after such a turbulent few months, and are remaining positive despite the challenges that still lie ahead. Our new report shows there is genuine light at the end of the tunnel both for businesses and the economy. The time has come to begin to move forward with confidence.

However, as businesses recover and get back on their feet, its concerning that 28% say their greatest challenge is rising business costs, while 38% of SMES say they will require additional funding into 2022. As a result, the private and public sectors need to remain focused on providing any required financial support to enable SMEs to do what they do best – drive employment, boost output, and fulfil consumer demand.

This help comes in many forms, be it through the provision of funding to unlock cashflow, supporting businesses in overcoming the complexities of trading overseas in a post-Brexit world or helping SMEs to understand changing customer behaviours and transitioning to digital operating models. The research ultimately shows that a diverse range of financial tools including invoice finance will help companies grow and prosper into 2022.”

 

Ireland is dreaming of a green Christmas this year with over half of the country changing their traditional celebrations to positively impact climate change – The CPL Christmas FM Survey 2021

  • 75% say they will opt for a fake tree over a real one due to climate action 
  • 38% say they will do all their Christmas shopping with local businesses this year
  • Liam Neeson is voted as the number one celebrity Christmas guest 
  • Home Alone is declared the most Iconic Christmas movie in Ireland for 2021
  • 30% of Irish shoppers are looking to spend between €250 and €500 on Christmas presents this year
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) are looking to change job in 2022

A new survey conducted by Cpl and Christmas FM, the hugely popular festive radio station which raises hundreds of thousands of euros for charity each year, has revealed that 53% of Irish people say climate action will affect their Christmas celebrations this year, with some reducing the number of lights and decorations as a result of climate worries and rising electricity bills.

Although 60% of the nation say rising electricity bills won’t affect their Christmas lights and decorations this year, just under a quarter (24%) say they will reduce the number of lights due to rising costs.

A massive 75% of people are opting for a fake tree this year due to climate worries compared to just a quarter (25%) who say they need that traditional smell at home!

Supporting local will also be high on the Irish agenda this year with over half (53%) saying they will continue to support local business and 38% saying ALL their Christmas shopping will be done locally this year!

Irish people have also revealed that Liam Neeson would be their choice for a celebrity Christmas dinner guest, from the past or present, with the Love Actually star winning 24% of the public vote. Singer Niall Horan was number two at 20% while Sean Connery, who sadly passed away last year, was number three on the list at 17%.

The full list of most wanted Christmas dinner guest from the past or present was as follows:

  1. Liam Neeson – 24%
  2. Niall Horan – 20%
  3. Sean Connery – 17%
  4. Amy Winehouse – 12%
  5. Colin Farrell – 10%
  6. Saoirse Ronan – 10%
  7. Pele – 5%
  8. Miriam O’Callaghan – 3%

Irish shoppers are also planning to spend big this year with nearly a third (30%) saying they will spend between €250 and €500 on presents while over a quarter (26%) will spend between €500 and €1,000!

Home Alone, meanwhile, has won the battle of most iconic Christmas movies with the classic getting 39% of the vote while Miracle on 34th Street is the favourite of 16% of people and Elf came in third with 15%.

However, Die Hard still remains in the Christmas market according to 44% of people who say it is a Christmas classic compared to 30% who say – no way!

Further interesting insights from the Cpl and Christmas FM survey include:

 

  • 21% of people plan to change career in 2022 while 55.5% are happy with their employment
  • Some 23% say they will be looking to move job sometime soon
  • Nearly half of Irish workers (45%) are where they hoped to be at this stage of their career with 18% say they need to evaluate their next step compared to 38% who say they aren’t exactly where they hoped, but hold excitement for the future
  • More than half (51%) of Irish people are most looking forward to having their loved ones around the dinner table this Christmas while just 2% of people say the pub or restaurant is most important to them this year
  • A total of 46% say they will not attend a mass service, virtual or non-virtual, this year with 42% saying they will attend in-person if restrictions allow!
  • Just over half of the survey’s respondents said they will do their shopping online this year while 53% said they will split it half and half, with 21% saying they will be visiting stores for their Christmas shopping

 

Christmas FM is celebrating its 14th year on air this year and, since it began broadcasting, has raised over €2.7 million for a range of charities.

This year, Christmas FM wants to “Give the Gift of Childhood” by raising over €250,000 for Barnardos, the Christmas FM charity partner for 2021. The funds will provide targeted and intensive support for over 5,000 children most in need – including nutritious food, support with education, and therapeutic services with their trained support teams – because childhood lasts a lifetime.

Christmas FM is this year being generously supported by premier FM sponsors An Post, Cadbury, and Coca-Cola – this ensures that all on-air fundraising and listener donations will go directly to Barnardos. Christmas FM is broadcasting from the offices of askpaul.ie who have kindly donated the studio space this year. The station is run each year by a core management team, assisted by more than 100 volunteers who devote hundreds of hours of their time.

The main FM radio frequencies for Christmas FM are Bray 99.5, Cavan 99.4, Clare 105.2, Cork City, part county 106.7, Cork North, part county 87.7, Dublin City & County 105.2, Dundalk/Drogheda       104.2, Galway City, part County 87.9, Kildare North 88.1, Kilkenny City 104.3, Letterkenny 105.7, Limerick City 105.5, Longford 94.2, Sligo Town 95, South East 103.8, Tralee/Killarney 105, Waterford City 105.9, Wicklow Town 106.6FM.

Christmas FM is also available on Virgin Media Channel 900. Find out all the ways to listen at https://christmasfm.com/listenin/

Christmas FM also has a number of sister stations that are available globally, helping to sprinkle Christmas cheer right across the globe!

  • Christmas FM Classical plays ‘Classical and Carols’. The station brings you the best in Classical Christmas music mixed with a wide range of festive carols.
  • Christmas FM Classics plays ‘Classics and Crooners’. It’s a mix of classic, pre-1970s Christmas songs from Bing to Frank and Nat to Eartha.

 

Just log onto www.christmasfm.com or listen on the app, your smart speaker, or connected device at any time of the day or night!

 

Christmas FM is also available online at

www.christmasfm.com

You can follow the station on social at

@christmasfm

Christmas FM – Bringing You the Magic of Christmas

‘We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland since 1958’ by Fintan O’Toole named as the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021

Winner revealed on one-hour television special on RTÉ One

 

‘We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland since 1958’ by Fintan O’Toole has been announced as the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021’.

 

The six book titles that competed for the accolade were category winners from the recent An Post Irish Book Awards, and the overall winner was revealed as part of a one-hour special television show aired on RTÉ One, hosted by Oliver Callan. O’Toole’s book won the ‘Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year’ at the recent An Post Irish Book Awards.

 

‘We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland since 1958’ has been forty years in the making. Described as “a clear-eyed, myth-dispelling masterpiece that combines the personal with the political,” the book has been lauded as O’Toole’s finest work to date.

 

Polemicist, literary editor, journalist and drama critic for The Irish Times since 1988, O’Toole has been described as Ireland’s leading public intellectual and has been recognised as such with a string of prestigious awards to his credit, including The Orwell Prize for Journalism and the European Press Prize in 2017 and on three occasions, the NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards Broadsheet Columnist of the Year. His book ‘A History of Ireland in 100 Objects’ won an Irish Book Award in 2013.

 

Born in Crumlin and educated at Coláiste Chaoimhín and University College Dublin, he now lives in America where he is a visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. In 2017 he was commissioned by Faber and Faber to write the official biography of Seamus Heaney.

 

The ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021’ was chosen by a combination of an online public vote and a judging panel comprising of:

 

  • Maria Dickenson: General Manager of Dubray Books (Chairperson of the judging panel)
  • Madeleine Keane: Literary Editor of the Sunday Independent
  • Marian T Keyes: Senior Executive Librarian with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Public Libraries
  • Simon Trewin: Leading UK literary agent. Runs Simon Trewin Creative Ltd
  • David McRedmond: CEO of An Post

 

The six nominated titles for the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021’ were:

 

  • Your One Wild and Precious Life – Maureen Gaffney
  • A Hug For You – David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard
  • Aisling and the City – Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
  • Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? – Séamas O’Reilly
  • We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 – Fintan O’Toole
  • Beautiful World, Where Are You? – Sally Rooney

 

 

In case you missed it, you can now watch the

‘An Post Book of the Year’ TV programme on the RTÉ player

 

 

Maria Dickenson, Chairperson of the judging panel for the An Post Irish Book of the Year, said: “In the opinion of the five-person judging panel, “We Don’t Know Ourselves’ is a book that will remain important for a very long time – a reflection of who we are and where we came from. Truly, this is a book for the ages. Fintan O’Toole understands Ireland in a visceral way – it isn’t just politics, but culture and popular culture. He ‘gets’ all of Ireland and its turbulent history during his lifetime.”

 

Commenting on this year’s winner, David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, said: “I think it’s an astonishing book, fresh and passionate. Deeply moving but often funny and wry, a chronicle for our times. The most remarkable Irish non-fiction book I’ve read in the last 10 years.”

 

Fintan O’Toole, winner of the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’, said: “To have a book that you hope speaks to people outside of a particular category, I suppose it’s trying to recognise something that maybe hits a chord more generally with Irish people with where Ireland is right now. Also, unlike other books I’ve written in the past, this one is pretty personal – there’s quite a lot of ‘me’ in it, so it feels a bit more vulnerable and therefore you’re just a bit more grateful if people like it!”

 

 

Previous winners of this esteemed ‘Irish Book of the Year’ award are:

 

  • A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa
  • Overcoming – Vicky Phelan
  • Solar Bones – Mike McCormack
  • Atlas of the Irish Revolution – John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and Dr. John Borgonovo
  • Asking for it – Louise O’Neill
  • Academy Street – Mary Costello
  • Staring at Lakes – Michael Harding
  • The Spinning Heart – Donal Ryan
  • Solace – Belinda McKeon

 

For further information, log on to the An Post Irish Book Awards website or social media channels:

 

www.anpostirishbookawards.ie

 

Facebook: @AnPostIBAS

 

Instagram: @anpost_irishbookawards

 

Twitter: @AnPostIBAS

 

For a range of reading recommendations, check out www.anpost.com/readerswanted

42% of Leinster SMEs planning to invest in new staff while 87% say they are feeling confident for the next year

  • 37% of Leinster SMEs considering M&A, MBO or MBI activity over the coming months

 

  • 37% of Leinster businesses planning to utilise alternative finance such as invoice or asset finance to fund these transactions

 

  • Leinster SMEs planning average investment of €151,755 over the next 12 months

 

42% of SMEs in Leinster are planning to invest in new staff over the next year while 87% say they are confident for trading over the next year according to a new report from Bibby Financial Services Ireland, a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SMEs.

 

The statistics show that SMEs are planning to spend an average of €151,755 over the next year with the top three areas of investment identified as:

  • Staff training and development (42%)
  • Digital technology and IT (38%)
  • New staff (42%)

 

The majority of businesses in the region (76%) also say they are either confident or very confident about their business prospects for the remainder of the year and into 2022, with 55% identifying new customers as a top area for growth. As businesses continue to plan for accelerating profit, many are turning to alternative finance to fund growth.

 

37% of Leinster SMEs are considering M&A, MBO or MBI activity over the coming months compared to 20% in Connaught, 43% in Munster and 40% in Ulster. 37% of these Leinster SMEs, meanwhile, are considering using Invoice Finance or Asset Finance as a funding method for these transactions while 46% of them are considering private equity and 32% are looking at business loans for the same purpose.

 

Notwithstanding growing optimism, key fiscal and operational challenges still remain for Leinster’s SMEs. 29% of these businesses had to write off a bad debt average of €35,000 since the pandemic began while it is taking 19% of Leinster companies between five and six weeks to get paid.

 

Key findings show:

  • 26% of Leinster businesses need cashflow support more now than before the pandemic compared with 12% in Connaught, 20% in Munster and 10% in Ulster
  • A total of 32% of Leinster’s SMEs say will need to renegotiate rates with suppliers or customers compared to 20% in Munster, 16% in Connaught and 50% in Ulster
  • 32% of SMEs in Leinster concerned for rising business costs while the same amount will need to renegotiate new rates with customers or suppliers
  • 27% have also reported problems with their supply chains or suppliers

 

Nationally, the Bibby Financial Services Ireland report also states that almost four out of ten (38%) SME’s nationally say they will require additional funding into 2022 as they look beyond the pandemic and return to growth.

 

Such funding will be vital in ensure businesses can deal with inflation, overcome supply chain disruptions, ramp up recruitment to fulfil demand, and invest. As a result, considering solutions from the private sector that protect against bad debt and offer access to working capital will provide SMEs with certainty of payment and sustainable sources of liquidity.

 

The pandemic has also offered businesses an opportunity to reflect, with some entrepreneurs and business owners deciding it’s time to restructure, refocus, innovate and grow, while others have come to the conclusion that it’s time to exit their business totally. Over a third businesses (36%) say they are considering merger and acquisitions opportunities in the coming months, while one in ten (9%) SME owners are considering a management buy-in, rising to 19% for wholesale and 33% for transportation businesses. When it comes to funding transactions, SMEs owners consider private equity, business loans and invoice finance as the top three ways to finance merger or acquisition activity.

 

Garry Holligan, Business Development Manager at Bibby Financial Services Ireland, says that although times have certainly been more testing than ever before, he believes Leinster SMEs are now on the cusp of a strong recovery as we look towards 2022.

 

”SMEs generally are showing significant resilience after such a turbulent few months, and are remaining positive despite the challenges that still lie ahead. Our new report shows there is genuine light at the end of the tunnel both for businesses and the economy. The time has come to begin to move forward with confidence.

However, as businesses recover and get back on their feet, its concerning that nearly a third say their greatest challenge is rising business costs, while over a quarter say they need cash flow support more than ever before. As a result, the private and public sectors need to remain focused on providing any required financial support to enable SMEs to do what they do best – drive employment, boost output, and fulfil consumer demand.

This help comes in many forms, be it through the provision of funding to unlock cashflow, supporting businesses in overcoming the complexities of trading overseas in a post-Brexit world or helping SMEs to understand changing customer behaviours and transitioning to digital operating models. The research ultimately shows that a diverse range of financial tools including invoice finance will help companies grow and prosper into 2022.”

Enet agrees partnership worth up to €5M with Fastcom to deliver ultra-fast broadband to 350,000 potential premises across Ireland

  • Agreement with Enet gives Fastcom access to 350,000 potential premises in regional towns across Ireland on the SIRO fibre network

 

  • Fastcom now enhanced to deliver broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second to more homes and businesses

 

Enet, Ireland’s largest open-access network operator, has today announced an agreement worth up to €5 million with Fastcom. Through this new partnership, Enet is delivering Fastcom access to SIRO’s fibre infrastructure meaning they can facilitate high-speed broadband to 350,000 potential premises in regional towns across Ireland.

 

The agreement will deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps and will ensure further competition in the broadband market by giving Fastcom access to additional locations equipped with gigabit technology. Through this, Enet will enable Fastcom to provide the fastest possible broadband speeds to more communities across Ireland.

 

Cormac Ryan, Commercial Director with Enet, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this partnership with Fastcom which provides them with access to the SIRO network. This will offer them the opportunity to deliver high-speed broadband to an increasing number of regional locations. We are delighted to be working alongside Fastcom to ensure our investments in cutting-edge technology benefit more people across the country.”

 

Lorraine Gibbons, Managing Director of Fastcom, said: “We are delighted to announce this deal and to continue our ongoing relationship with Enet. This enables us to expand our product portfolio with access to the nationwide SIRO network and, as an independent broadband provider, it means we can offer the best possible solution for any customer in any location. Demand for gigabit broadband is increasing all the time and now, with the availability of SIRO services, we can offer this to our ever-growing business and residential customer base throughout the country.”

 

Ronan Whelan, Chief Commercial Officer of SIRO, added: “Since our foundation, SIRO’s objective has been to expand access across Ireland to reliable and resilient fibre broadband. Today’s announcement furthers that ambition and brings Gigabit connectivity to the heart of even more Irish homes and businesses – allowing them to do life different.”

 

Phil Redmond wins the Aldi Christmas FM Song Contest as voted by Christmas FM listeners!

“Home for Christmas by Dublin singer songwriter Phil Redmond has been announced as the winner of The Aldi Christmas FM Song Contest for 2021. The song contest on Ireland’s favourite Christmas radio station attracts hundreds of entries each year – vying to be crowned the winner by Christmas FM’s extensive national and international audience. More than ever this year, Christmas FM is delighted to support up-and-coming Irish artists. The winning song has been added to the Christmas FM playlist for this year, joining festive classics from Mariah, Wham, Slade and so many more.

 

Speaking about the song, winner Phil Remond, said: “I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who voted for my song ‘Home for Christmas’. I was delighted to make the final four and then to go on and win the competition against such good entries – I am over the moon!  

 

I got the idea to write this song ‘Home for Christmas’ last year, as it was such a tough time for most. It was sad that people were not able to spend time with their loved ones, so getting the chance to come back home this year is even more special. You appreciate the little things so much more now. Just knowing my song is being played on Christmas FM is the best feeling so thank you so much and Happy Christmas everyone!”

 

You can listen to “Home for Christmas” and all the runners-up in this year’s Aldi Christmas FM Song Contest at https://christmasfm.com/songcontest/.

 

Walter Hegarty, Co-founder of Christmas FM, says: ‘We’re delighted to have received so many entries for this year’s competition. The standards seem to be rising every year we hold the contest, and this year was no exception. We’re thrilled to name “Home for Christmas” by Phil Redmond as the official Aldi Christmas FM Song Contest Winner 2021 and we know our listeners will love hearing it!’  

 

Christmas FM is celebrating its 14th year on air this year and, since it began broadcasting, has raised over €2.7 million for a range of charities.

 

This year, Christmas FM wants to “Give the Gift of Childhood” by raising over €250,000 for Barnardos, the Christmas FM charity partner for 2021. The funds will provide targeted and intensive support for over 5,000 children most in need – including nutritious food, support with education, and therapeutic services with their trained support teams – because childhood lasts a lifetime.

 

Christmas FM is this year being generously supported by premier FM sponsors An Post, Cadbury, and Coca-Cola – this ensures that all on-air fundraising and listener donations will go directly to Barnardos. Christmas FM is broadcasting from the offices of askpaul.ie who have kindly donated the studio space this year. The station is run each year by a core management team, assisted by more than 100 volunteers who devote hundreds of hours of their time.

 

The main FM radio frequencies for Christmas FM are Bray 99.5, Cavan 99.4, Clare 105.2, Cork City, part county 106.7, Cork North, part county 87.7, Dublin City & County 105.2, Dundalk/Drogheda       104.2, Galway City, part County 87.9, Kildare North 88.1, Kilkenny City 104.3, Letterkenny 105.7, Limerick City 105.5, Longford 94.2, Sligo Town 95, South East 103.8, Tralee/Killarney 105, Waterford City 105.9, Wicklow Town 106.6FM.

 

Christmas FM is also available on Virgin Media Channel 900. Find out all the ways to listen at https://christmasfm.com/listenin/

 

Christmas FM also has a number of sister stations that are available globally, helping to sprinkle Christmas cheer right across the globe!

  • Christmas FM Classical plays ‘Classical and Carols’. The station brings you the best in Classical Christmas music mixed with a wide range of festive carols.
  • Christmas FM Classics plays ‘Classics and Crooners’. It’s a mix of classic, pre-1970s Christmas songs from Bing to Frank and Nat to Eartha.

 

Just log onto www.christmasfm.com or listen on the app, your smart speaker, or connected device at any time of the day or night!

 

Christmas FM is also available online at

www.christmasfm.com 

You can follow the station on social at

@christmasfm

Christmas FM – Bringing You the Magic of Christmas