The Friday View 08/04
Short-term let investors cash in on €200 energy rebate
Investors with multiple domestic properties all registered in their name will be given the €200 energy rebate for every property they own, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) has confirmed.
The one-off €200 electricity bill credit arranged by government is set to go out to 2.25 million houses with a domestic electricity account in bills issued during April.
The €400 million so-called “energy rebate” is being paid for by the State to temporarily alleviate long-term price hikes of almost 25% on electricity and gas due to hit Irish homes in May.
But investor-owners with multiple short-term let properties residential properties on platforms like AirBnB will get €200 for each property they own.
A legal change in 2019 means such investors are supposed to apply to their local authority for change-of-use planning permission from residential to commercial. However a recent Tripe + Drisheen investigation revealed that just 19 planning applications have been granted county-wide, despite 1,548 properties being advertised on AirBnB and Vrbo.
In instances where investors have bought properties for the purposes of short-term letting, they will be eligible for €200 per property, the DECC press spokesman confirmed to Tripe + Drisheen this week.
“Freebie of €200”
The issue was first raised by Bandon Senator Tim Lombard in the Seanad on March 10, who described the situation as “sinful.”
“They do not pay rates, but now they get €200 off because they are considered private residents,” he told Minister of State Malcolm Noonan. “They are not; they are commercial properties. Not alone are we not regulating them, we are giving them a freebie of €200 for the fun of it.”
Senator Lombard pointed out to Tripe + Drisheen that this means some investors, who own five or more properties in the Kinsale area which are kept vacant during the off-season even as long-term rental homes are scarce, will get in excess of €1,000.
Tripe + Drisheen contacted the DECC, who did not comment on whether the situation was desirable, but said the government had prioritised rolling the scheme out to households quickly.
“Particular attention has been paid to ensure that all benefit from this support, especially those in greatest need,” the DECC press spokesman said in an emailed response.
News in brief
110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic to be marked
A public ceremony will be held in Cobh to commemorate 110th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic this weekend.
On April 11 1912, the Titanic departed from Cobh on her ill-fated maiden voyage to New York. The public are invited to a day of commemorations to mark 110 years since the event.
The commemorations begin with a wreath-laying at the Titanic memorial in Pearse Square at 2.30pm and include contributions from the Cobh Irish Naval Branch, the Commodore Male Voice Choir and Cobh Confraternity Band.
Celebrate Cork city’s trees with a photography or art competition
Tree-loving members of the public are being invited to take part in a photography competition by Cork City Council: the winning photograph will appear in the Cork City Tree Strategy, the drafting of which has been the first task of the Trees Officer appointed by the council last September.
A tree-themed art competition for primary school students is also taking place. The closing deadline for both competitions is April 20.
The competitions aim to “showcase and raise awareness for the trees around the city and the many benefits they provide,” the Cork City Council website says.
Submissions can be made here.
Annes Grove gardens open today
in North Cork, landmark Castletownroche stately home Annes Grove, home to 30 acres of gardens, is set to welcome visitors once more.
€2.1 million has been spent by the OPW (Office of Public Works) on clearing and restoring the gardens since the Annesley family gifted house and grounds to the State in 2016. It’s estimated that the gardens will cost €392,000 to run annually.
Annes Grove House remains closed to the public. The OPW intend to lodge a planning application for the renovation of the house in 2022.
Visits to Annes Grove gardens, from April 8 to September 22 this year, will be possible only by paid tour.
Photo of the week
Fastnet lighthouse in West Cork rendered in other-worldly Black and White by Cork photographer Eddie Hennessy. He was on a twilight ferry tour of Fastnet when he captured this, in the summertime, three years ago. Check out more of Eddie’s work on his Instagram account.
Out + About
Collage masterclass: artist Tom Doig, well known for his public collage-based artworks including the poets mural that used to grace a hoarding on North Main St and Flags of the Townland, his 2016 homage to butter wrappers, will be holding a collage workshop next Thursday as part of M A K E Space, an outreach workshop series by artists from Cork Printmakers and Backwater Artists Group. This is a free but ticketed event.
Time, date, place: Thursday, April 14 from 2pm to 3.30pm at the courtyard outside Backwater Artist’s Studios on Wandesford Quay. Tickets here.
Parklife at the Glucksman: Rachel Doolin, Gabhann Dunne, Peter Nash and Meadhbh O'Connor are some of the artists featured in this new group exhibition which opens today at the Glucksman on the grounds of UCC. Parklife comprises of paintings, drawings and photographs and, as the name implies, it takes a look at creatures and plant life great and small.
Time, date, place: April 8 - July 10 at the Glucksman. More information here.
Reflections: Another group exhibition, this time right in the centre of town at St.Peter’s, features local artists including photographers Katie O’Brien and Darren Coffey as well as painters Peter Mahony and D’Arcy. The show includes photos, drawings and paintings all on the theme of Reflections. If you’re around, the opening is at 6pm on April 14, with music by violinist Orla O’Hanlon.
Time, date, place: April 11-25 at St Peter’s, North Main Street.
Ballymartle Ramble: Community group Save Ballymartle Wood, who we featured in a Long Read in February, are holding a Ramble in the Woods Sunday to raise awareness of their campaign to stop national forestry agency Coillte from selling off 22 acres of the woodland to a private buyer.
Time, date, place: Ballymartle woods, Riverstick, at 3pm on Sunday 10. Register your interest on the Facebook event page.
This week on T +D
Lives less ordinary: 29-year-old Bandon man Tadhg O’Donovan is a mild-mannered science teacher by day, and a TikTok superstar by night: this week, JJ interviewed Tadhg for the first in our new Lives Less Ordinary series.
Let’s face it, we all know that Cork people are fascinating. But some stories just…..remain untold. In Lives Less Ordinary, we’ll be interviewing the Cork people with extraordinary tales to tell. These will go out on Thursday evenings, just like our Long Reads, but we’ll be alternating the two.
Arts + Culture time: tomorrow morning’s Arts + Culture piece is a treat for the ears and the brain courtesy of newly formed sound art trio SMALL BIRDS. Ellie actually gate-crashed their first meeting for this thought-inspiring podcast and article which is perfect weekend fare.