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Ombudsman investigating ‘extortionate’ NPPR demand

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The Office of the Ombudsman is investigating a complaint from a Galway City property owner – who has lived in the US for the past 16 years – after receiving a so-called ‘second homes tax’ bill for more than €4,200 from the City Council.

Sarah Manning has branded the Council “gangsters” and accused them of extortion for allowing her tax liability on the house build up over five years, without informing her.

The ex-pat registered her property in Knocknacarra as a rental property with the Council in 2002, but only learned of the existence of the annual €200 Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) tax when the local authority wrote to her last week, informing her of the NPPR liabilities and that a figure of €4,220 is due.

That figure will increase to €7,230 if unpaid by the end of this month (the initial amount due would be €1,000 in total, but increases due to penalties). The charge was in place from 2009 to 2013 but has been replaced by the Local Property tax.

Despite registering her details with the Council in 2002, paying tax on rental income and paying the Local Property Tax, she was never made aware of the NPPR levy.

“Galway City Council were fully aware of my whereabouts for the last 11 years, and they allowed the delinquency to amass to over 400% more than the original charge, and opted to notify me a mere two weeks before it is increased to being over 700% beyond that original charge, and threaten that if I don’t come up with the money within two weeks, it will be a lien recorded against my property until paid in full.

“Who, other than gangsters does this? This is extortion, pure and simple. Is this all some nefarious trap for the unwary to raise more money for local councils and the Irish Government by those misfortunate enough like myself to be living overseas from 2009-14 who were totally unaware that this tax was imposed and allowed go into delinquency status, accumulating interest at the rate of 10% per month, and thus slowly eating away at the equity in my property there?” Ms Manning wrote to the Ombudsman.

The Council has pointed out that since the NPPR tax is a self-assessment charge, no invoices or notices are issued.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

New course helps make sense of Artificial Intelligence and its uses

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Managers in Galway companies who would like to learn how they could put artificial intelligence (AI) to work for their organisations are being encouraged to sign up for a new course.

It comes as research found that 50% of organisations around the world have adopted AI in at least one function, while 79% of organisations are also exploring or piloting AI projects.

Of those companies who have implemented AI, 63% report revenue increases in the relevant business units.

The new Artificial Intelligence for Managers postgraduate certificate is being offered by NUI Galway to those who wish to get a better understanding of AI and its implications for business and enterprises.

Participants do not need to have any coding skills; this non-technical programme will focus instead on the strategic use of AI and how businesses and management can approach the practical implementation of AI technologies within their company. Candidates will learn about the practicalities necessary for successful AI adoption including data and skills requirements, ethics and legal issues. As such the programme would suit those in management positions in sectors like telecommunications, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, biomedical, finance, marketing, automotive and more.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

GMIT hotel industry’s big cheese

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Cáit Noone

The Galway International Hotel School in GMIT has been listed in the Top 10 Hospitality Management Institutes worldwide by global publication Education.com, for the second year in a row.

During the pandemic, the school continued to deliver courses safely on campus and online including a brand-new series of online masterclasses by industry representatives such as Conor Spacey, Culinary Director of Food Space, alumna Catherine Toolan, Managing Director of Guinness Storehouse, Diarmuid Kelly of Kelly’s Oysters, Siobhan Ni Ghairbith, St Tola Cheese, Bernie Doherty, Galway County Council Community Archaeologist, Padraig McGillicuddy, MD and owner of Ballygarry House, Tom Doherty, Access Hospitality and many more.

Cáit Noone, Head of the school, said: “The tourism industry is a global employer and a qualification from the Galway International Hotel School provides graduates with multiple opportunities to work across the vast industry.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Glenamaddy site goes green

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Green initiative…Peter Flanagan, Site Manager and John McDermott, Procurement Manager at Kingspan.

Kingspan Water & Energy in Glenamaddy is the first manufacturing plant within Kingspan’s global network of 166 manufacturing sites to have its manufacturing process completely powered by renewable energy, following the installation of BioLPG.

Following the July installation of BioLPG, the Glenamaddy site is now 100% powered by renewable energy, closely followed by Kingspan’s manufacturing plant in Aston Clinton, England, which has also reached this milestone.

The move to renewable energy has been a gradual transition over the past five years, following the introduction of renewable electricity to Kingspan Glenamaddy in 2016.

This accomplishment is aligned to the Group’s ground-breaking Planet Passionate sustainability objectives and helps Kingspan to move closer to its ambitious goal of achieving net zero carbon manufacturing* across the business by 2030.

Kingspan Glenamaddy manufactures storage solutions for numerous sectors including agri, water, domestic as well as specialist custom tanks as part of Kingspan’s Water & Energy Division.

“Over the past five years, the introduction of renewable electricity to our Glenamaddy site has delivered a significant reduction in our carbon emissions,” said Peter Flanagan, Site Manager at Kingspan Water & Energy in Glenamaddy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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