Photo of the Week

Tick-or-treat: Holly and Lizzie dressed up as their fathers, Stephen Arthur (IFA national dairy committee chair) and Sylvester Bourke for Halloween in school. They attend St Mary's College, Arklow, Co Wicklow. \ Elizabeth Bourke

Rural Rhymes

For humanity

From Yuuth, a book of poetry by Tom McGahon

I weep for my poor world you know

Which I’ll soon leave behind.

Oh! why are we so silent?

Why are we so blind?

Why can’t we once, just once will do

And to our leaders speak,

To care for lessor mortals

The hungry and the weak.

My tears they fall so silently,

Like every readers voice

For our world in indifference

To greed and whims and vice.

A golden age, must surely come

I pray “oh let it be2

For human kind’s survivor

In peace and harmony,

For protection of our planet

For as long as time may be.

Tweet of the Week

Money mentor tip with Margaret Nolan

Green mortgages

A green mortgage is a mortgage specifically targeted at green buildings. Banks or lenders offer incentives to borrowers to either buy or to renovate an existing building to make it greener. The incentives could be cashback, a lower interest rate or an increased loan amount.

Making a property greener can be improving its BER with such items as better insulation or making them more energy efficient. Banks and lenders view these properties as a lower-risk investment due to the fact they cost less to run and are thought to have an increased value due to their green credentials.

AIB offers a green rate of 2.1% (otherwise 2.35%), while Bank of Ireland offers a 0.3% discount on all fixed rates (one-year to 10-year terms), for B3-rated properties or better. Rates are also dependant on the loan-to-value percentages. Switchers and first-time buyers can all avail of these rates.

Instagram Inspiration

Photo credit: @irish_examiner

We read about a touching event in Skibbereen last week on numerous Instagram accounts, including @skibbereenartsfestival and @charles.mccarthy.west.cork

Charles wrote: “Traditionally in Skibbereen as I am sure many other Irish provincial towns & villages, it was customary, if a funeral was passing your place of business that you would close your door and dim your lights as a mark of respect. This evening to acknowledge the number of people who died during COVID-19, whose funerals took place quietly and without the usual ceremony and community gathering, the Skibbereen Arts festival organised a procession of light through the town and as per tradition all businesses dimmed their lights but also put a candle in their window to remember those dearly departed.”

“They lived and laughed and loved and left.” – James Joyce.

Number of the Week

1,076 – the average amount, in euros, returned when claiming tax back over a four-year period.

Read more on Consumer Watch.

Quote of the Week

From psychotherapist Enda Murphy:

We all need to understand that everyone is different. It can’t always be one sided. Life is not a mutual admiration society. We can’t expect everyone to like us or want to be our friend. But through understanding we can nurture inclusion, and it is this that fosters attachment and community