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Ireland

The cheapest petrol in the county

Petrol in Ballinspittle is only €1.819/lt today. That’s the cheapest I’ve seen in a long time.

After listening to this Planet Money podcast about the cost of gasoline I wonder if we will have expensive petrol and diesel forever? Reason being, it’s unlikely that new oil refineries will ever be built again as demand for oil products plummet in the next decade. A guest on the show predicted that a barrel of oil will be $20-$30 in ten years time.

Electric cars are becoming a lot more attractive, but I won’t be looking to buy a new car for quite some time.

For you, my American reader, there are 3.78541 litres in a US gallon. That means the price of gasoline/petrol here is $6.89/gallon.

Aside from all this, the reduction in oil production will have a detrimental effect on sulphur production. It’s a by-product of that system and used by the metal and fertilizer industries. It’s cheap as chips now, but if there’s a shortage, the price of food will skyrocket.

Yikes. Any good news about the future?

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Ireland

Hot hot hot!

When a toddler is about to touch something hot, you warn them it’s “HOT HOT HOT!” What do you do when the world is overheating?

My phone says it’s 30C right now where I live, and in the Phoenix Park in Dublin it’s 33C, almost breaking the Irish temperature record set in 1835.

And Ireland is probably the coldest place in Europe today. How did we let this happen?

It’s a mystery

Categories
Ireland

There’s a lot of radon in Cork

The Irish EPA have an interactive map where you can see the radon area in your area. Enter your Eircode to zoom in. If you’re in Cork, it’s probably bad. Keep the windows open? Get a radon detector.

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Ireland

Voice Over LTE is on now

My wife and I both noticed a new “VO LTE1” icon next to the 4G symbol on our phones this morning.

Apparently that’s Voice Over LTE.

Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) is an LTE high-speed wireless communication standard for mobile phones and data terminals, including Internet of things (IoT) devices and wearables. VoLTE has up to three times more voice and data capacity than older 3GUMTS and up to six times more than 2GGSM. It uses less bandwidth because VoLTE’s packet headers are smaller than those of unoptimized VoIP/LTE.[1] VoLTE calls are usually charged at the same rate as other calls.

Wikipedia

So now you know if you see this icon too. Let’s hope Eir/Gomo aren’t planning on removing 3G support any time soon like Verizon in the US is. Reception can be patchy in many parts of the country.

Categories
Ireland

The devastating effects of Storm Eunice

The west coast of Ireland woke up to severe winds this morning as Storm Eunice hit the country. After a lull at 7am wind speeds picked up again and the trees behind my home were swaying alarmingly. Three roads out of Blarney have been blocked by falling trees already. Some who believe the storm isn’t that serious have commented that many of those trees were old trees with pre-existing conditions and they were going to fall anyway.

Cork has been devastated by the storm. In the photo above you can see a poor cow that has been blown into a tree in Emmett Place near the Opera House. Emergency services will shortly be on the scene.

How will we survive at all?!

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Ireland

Storm Barra is upon us

Gusts of 130km/h were predicted and a gust of 156km/h was recorded off Fastnet Lighthouse but it’s not been too bad in Blarney yet. Fences are still standing and the wheelie bins are tucked away safe!

Cork Beo have live updates on their website as the City has all but shut down and the river has started to flood surrounding areas. It’s a good day to stay inside if you can!

Categories
Ireland

Murphy’s, first of the year.

Outside dining FTW.

Categories
Ireland

Excited to see the solar eclipse

You can only see a partial solar eclipse from here but I was excited to see it.

Looks amazing.

Categories
Ireland

New EU VAT Rules in July

If you live in the EU and bought cheap goods from China or anywhere outside the EU you may have been surprised when you didn’t have to pay customs duties or VAT on the product.

To be honest, the extra payment required by An Post/a third party carrier to pay for more expensive goods is probably what surprised most people buying from outside the European Union. That can be €10 to €15 or more.

Well, from July 1st you may have to pay that fee regardless of how much the goods you bought are. If you’re looking for a cheap phone case, or book or whatever from the UK you better do it ASAP because if it’s delivered here (Ireland or elsewhere in the EU) after July 1st you’ll end up paying extra.

The Irish Revenue website has a page explaining how it works and it’s not pretty.

From 1 July 2021, import VAT will be payable on all goods entering the EU, irrespective of their value. VAT will always be collected, irrespective of the amount due. If you order goods valued at €22 or less before 1 July 2021, that arrive after that date, you may have to pay VAT.

A pair of socks costing €17 may end up costing you €30. Must be a hell of a pair of socks!

Here’s an RTÉ article on the change.

The revenue.ie page does not mention that non-EU sellers can charge VAT at point-of-sale. A paragraph on this page explains how this works:

The EU has therefore agreed to scrap the import VAT exempt threshold. Instead, it will require EU and non-EU sellers to charge VAT at the point of sale for consignments of €150 or below. This will create a more efficient ‘Green Channel’, with quick and easy customs clearance. Note – the delivery agent may still act as the import VAT collector (see below).

Sellers will charge VAT at the rate of their customer’s EU country of residence at the point-of-sale on the website. Sellers can use the delivery address of the customer to determine the country VAT rate. No VAT is due at the point of import in this case.

This already happens for digital sales, such as those for games and software.

I suspect this change to the VAT rate will also apply to UK magazine subscriptions since periodicals are charged(PDF) 9% VAT in Ireland while they are 0% in the UK. If that’s the case it’s not worth it (An Post will charge €10 to deliver a magazine worth let’s say €6.) unless the seller is registered in the EU and charges VAT on the subscription.

Categories
Ireland

I would have liked to meet Ted Baldwin

The gravestone of Edward (Ted) Baldwin in Durrus, Co Cork.
“I told you I was sick”

This is a gravestone in the graveyard of St. James’s Church in Durrus, Sheep’s Head as pictured in 2014. Ted died well before his time at a young age and I have no idea who he was but to judge by his final message he must have been an interesting character.

I came across this after posting today’s photo of this church in Durrus on my photoblog.