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Ombudsman investigating ‘extortionate’ NPPR demand

Enda Cunningham

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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 The charge was in place from 2009 to 2013 but has been replaced by the Local Property tax.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

GMIT conferring for employees as best in class

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Seventeen employees from manufacturing engineering companies all over Ireland will be conferred with GMIT’s first ever professional apprenticeship award at an online ceremony hosted by GMIT and Ibec next week.

Conferrings for the Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering will take place remotely next Thursday, March 4.

The GMIT group are among 37 professional apprentices nationwide to recently complete their three-year programme, developed by Ibec’s Irish Medtech Association and GMIT, together with representatives from the medical technology sector.

This first group of apprentices includes many students who were long-time employees of their companies and who were identified as having the potential to develop on Technician and Engineer career paths.

Galway-based companies involved include Cambus Medical, Creganna, Merit Medical, Synecco, M&M Qualtech and MSA Safety.

In a follow-up to this, GMIT and Ibec will then host a free online Employer Briefing on March 24 from 11am to 12 noon, providing up to date information on this Engineering Apprenticeship programme, funding, and other supports to help upskill existing employees or take on promising school-leaver apprentices.

The online briefing will provide information on the Government grants scheme (€3,000 grant per apprentice) which will expire on June 30.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Top award for Galway firm

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Pat O’Donnell

A recruitment company co-founded by a Galway man, with offices in Headford and Dublin, was one of the big winners at the ninth Chambers Ireland National InBUSINESS Recognition Awards.
Galway executive search firm, Principal Connections, was named Best Executive Recruitment Firm at the 2020 awards, which took place later than usual this year, at the end of last month.
Principal Connections – the Irish office of Agilium Worldwide LLC with offices in Headford and Dublin 4 – was co-founded by Galway native Pat O’Donnell and ‘Female Business Leader of the Year’ Hilarie Geary.
Mr O’Donnell was delighted with the company’s achievement. “As a senior executive and board search firm, Principal Connections is in a privileged position. Each day we work towards appointing many of the senior executives and board directors who drive Irish business,” he said.
“To be recognised for excellence in this endeavour, I feel truly honoured and especially delighted to accept this prestigious award,” he added.
This year’s winners were selected from across 19 distinct categories based on the criteria of: ‘resilience’, ‘exceptional performance’ and their response to the ‘adversity’ presented by 2020.

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US software provider selects industry veteran to lead European HQ

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Ruairí Conroy..Diligent’s Site Lead.

A US software provider – at the cutting edge of assisting multi-nationals in the area of corporate governance – has announced the appointment of an industry veteran to head up their new European Hub, based in Galway.

Ruairí Conroy, who has been appointed as Site Lead, will oversee Diligent’s European Hub – including recruitment, department integration, business operations and facilities.

Most recently he served as the Senior Vice President of Inside Sales at SiteMinder, a cloud platform for hotels, where he was responsible for recruiting and expanding operations at the Galway site.

Last November, Diligent announced plans to create more than 200 local jobs in Galway across several business functions – including customer support, customer success, finance, product, HR and marketing.

The Corporation, described as a leading modern governance company with a platform used by nearly 700,000 board directors and leaders, is headquartered in New York City.

Reacting to his appointment Ruairí Conroy said that Diligent’s commitment to growing in Galway – engaging with the community and building a top-performing workforce – was what really drew him in.

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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