Ireland South MEP, Billy Kelleher has written to Taoiseach Micheál Martin urging him to allow a fully independent inquiry into the party’s decline over the past decade, saying many voters now view it as the “antithesis to modern Ireland”. Mr. Kelleher warned that unless the party addressed its core problems, it would be unable to arrest its continuing decline and would soon become irrelevant. On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher.
On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Director Carey Corbett Financial Solutions joined us in studio once more with advice for you at home. This week Tommy will be talking about the dreaded ‘C’ word - Christmas! This is a year of unprecedented twists and turns, but one thing that remains a constant is the financial burden that December 25th brings. Tommy brought his top tips to mitigate the burden and get on top of the Christmas costs!
The country is said to be facing a tipping point in our fight against covid-19. On Sunday night, 430 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus were confirmed - the highest figure reported in a single day since April. In Clare, an additional 12 cases were confirmed - the highest daily figures since May. Yesterday, a further 390 cases were confirmed. Outside of Dublin, University Hospital Limerick now has the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 7 confirmed cases of the virus among patients at the hospital, with 1 of them being treated in the intensive care unit. On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Intensive Care Consultant at UHL, Dr. Catherine Motherway spoke to Gavin Grace about the situation.
Cometh the hour, cometh the men. And it did take a full hour for GAA sages Syl O’Connor, Joe Garry, Rory Hickey and Tommy Guilfoyle to pour over all the thrills, spills and ultimately kills of a bumper county final weekend. In the end, Kilmurry Ibrickane (ClareSFC), Sixmilebridge (ClareSHC), St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield (ClareIFC) & Corofin/Ruan (Minor A Hurling) reached the winners enclosure but it was far from straight-forward, a bit like the pundits themselves
The calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at hospitals across the country continue to gather steam. It comes as the HSE say they are seeking ways to include men in scans. Under plans being considered by the HSE, partners will be able to virtually take part in women's key maternity appointments, but a new document being drawn up by the HSE offers little hope of in-person attendances at scans for men in the near future. Ciara McGuane is a new mother who gave birth at the beginning of the pandemic. She originally joined us on the show a number of weeks ago to highlight the issue. Now, she’s furthered her campaign and has started a Facebook page called ‘In Her Shoes’, with some of her posts reaching half a million people. She’s teamed up with other mums across the country and is continuing to lobby local representatives here. She spoke with Gavin on Monday's Morning Focus.
On Monday's Morning Focus, we focused on the plight of carers and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector. Rose from Tulla is a carer for her elderly mother. She opened up about the frustration she feels at the lack of support for carers. She voiced her annoyance that carers have had to go through a lengthy applicaiton process for means-tested financial support, when the €350 Pandemic Unemployment Payment was made readily available to workers. She argues that nobody is fighting their corner. She herself receives €219 a week to look after her mother. Later in the show, Catherine Cox from Family Carers Ireland reacted to the concerns that Rose raised and highlighted her grave concerns with the the HSE's Winter Plan and how supports are planned to be administered, which she feels could put extra pressure on carers.
Clare GAA fans were gifted with two County Finals over the weekend. On Saturday, Kilmurry Ibrickane beat Cratloe to win the Jack Daly cup for the first time since 2017, with the score reading 1-12 to 0-12 as the final whistle blew. While on Sunday, Sixmilebridge were crowned Clare Senior Hurling Champions after beating O’Callaghan’s Mills at Cusack Park 0-20 to 0-12 in a well-fought battle. On Monday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Clare FM Hurling Analyst, Tommy Guilfoyle and Clare FM Football Analyst, Rory Hickey.
Earlier this week, the Taoiseach mentioned a possible Government campaign that would utilise influencer marketing in order to bring Covid-19 messaging to younger people. His comments have garnered a mixed reaction - not least among influencers themselves. Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond since indicated influencers could be paid up to €20,000 as part of the campaign, which has caused some public debate over using influencers as online advertisers. On Friday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Limerick-based influencer Sophie La Touche.
Live music has returned to the streets of Ennis once more! Thanks to Ennis singer-songwriter Damien Gormley, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, passersby are gifted with songs on the street. Damien had given up busking a number of years back to travel and perform in pubs, but when the pandemic hit, Damien decided to become proactive and return to busking to bring some life back to Ennis town. Damien initially planned to do a couple of hours, but Mayor of Clare, Mary Howard convinced him to come out and perform two days a week - much to the delight of everyone in the town! Clare Fm’s Rebecca O’Sullivan stopped off to visit Damien this week…
This weekend is a bumper weekend of sporting action with both Hurling and Football County finals taking place. In hurling, O’Callaghans Mills take on defending champions Sixmilebridge at Cusack Park looking for a first Senior success in over 80 years. Sixmilebridge meanwhile will be looking to defend their title since 1993 – when they overcame the Mills in the decider. Throw in for the game on Sunday is at 3pm and we'll have full live commentary here on Clare FM, in association with Blossoms on the Go Garden Centre, Ennis. While in football, Kilmurry-Ibrickane meeting with Cratloe. Will it be a different contest to their championship encounter last year? Cratloe will be looking to add to their 2014 win, with Kilmurry-Ibrickane aiming for a third county title in five seasons. Throw in for that one on Saturday is at 4.30 and we'll have full live commentary here on Clare FM. On Friday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to representatives from all four camps.
As we continue to battle the second wave, following public health guidelines remain a priority. Eight counties are said to be at risk of moving to level three restrictions - including our neighbouring county, Limerick. Similarly, news that more than 40% of cases of Covid-19 in the last two months involve people between the ages of 15 and 34, is cause for further worry. Now, is the time to act and to remind ourselves of the protective measures we need to be taking. On Thursday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Dr. Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health, HSE Mid West.
When “E” meets the man of her dreams, a professional cyclist, love hits her like a train. But when it ends, she plummets into a black hole of heartbreak at the speed of a doped-up team on the Tour de France. A one-woman show about heartbreak, madness and how condiments are the ultimate coping mechanism, by award-winning playwright & performer Eva O’Connor. Ogonnelloe's Eva O'Connor spoke to Gavin Grace on Thursday's Morning Focus.
Irish dancing group Cairde have become a viral sensation, hitting 1.3m followers on TikTok and racking up over 70 million views! Six young men from Clare and Galway came together to form Cairde, posting videos of original Irish dancing routines set to popular music. The group decided to get together after lockdown to make a number of dance videos together - that have now gotten global attention. The group appeared last week on the Late Late Show, showcasing their skills. The boys actually formed the group at the Fleadh in Ennis in 2017 when they decided to dance together on the streets and they’ve been performing together ever since! On Thursday's Morning Focus, Gavin spoke to the Clare trio of the six member group, Brian Culligan, Stephen McGuinness and Ethan Quinton about their success.
The death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has opened up another rift between Republicans and Democrats just six weeks out from the country's Presidential election. President Trump now intends to nominate her successor, despite calls from Democrats for this process to be delayed until after November's vote. Gavin has discussed this, and other issues, with David Byler of the Washington Post as part of our weekly Stateside View slot on Morning Focus.
On Wednesday's Morning Focus, John Underhill of Burren Vets discussed eyesight issues in dogs, particularly cataracts.
Tomorrow, Thursday September 2th, sees Ireland's Largest Coffee Morning take place in aid of hospices throughout Ireland, including Cahercalla Hospice in Ennis. The event, of course, will be different this year, and people are being urged to support it in a safe manner, or in a virtual fashion. On Wednesday's Morning Focus, Gavin spoke with Mary Moloney
While Ireland initially responded well to the challenge, have we since lost our way? The public demanded lockdown back in March. However, as the months draw on and we’ve come to realise, Covid-19 will be with us for sometime, our behaviour has changed. Rules are being flouted, restrictions are being ignored and there is a growing frustration at the delay in the return to normality. We’ve seen a number of anti-mask protests. We’ve seen huge house parties. But, why are people now choosing to rebel? Professor Sam McConkey stated this is the beginning of the second wave - but how differently do our attitudes compare to our attitude at the beginning of the pandemic? What happens if we don’t rectify our mindset? On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Pete Lunn, Founder and Head of the ESRI's Behavioural Research Unit.
Clare County Council has announced that the town mobility plan, which saw much of the town centre pedestrianised, is to be updated. From Thursday, traffic will be rerouted away from the town centre between the hours of 11am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday, to facilitate social distancing. Up to now the measures have been in place between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday, but this has drawn criticism from many in the town including traders who staged a protest against the measures last week. On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Leonore O'Neill, Senior Executive Officer Ennis Municipal District, Clare County Council, spoke to Gavin Grace about the mobility plan and the recent review conducted by the council.
Today - September 22nd - marks the 100th anniversary of the Rineen Ambush. The ambush was carried out by the IRA during the War of Independence and took place at Drummin Hill in the townland of Drummin, near the hamlet of Rineen. The IRA's Mid-Clare Brigade attacked a Royal Irish Constabulary lorry, killing six officers. Shortly after, the IRA volunteers were attacked by ten lorry-loads of British Army soldiers, who had been sent as reinforcements. However, they held off this attack long enough to flee the scene and sustained only two wounded. In reprisal for the ambush, the RIC Auxiliaries and British military raided three local villages, killed five civilians and burnt 16 houses and shops in the surrounding area. While celebrations aren’t possible due to public health guidelines, people are still encouraged to visit the Rineen monument, where this morning a wreath was laid and the national flag was raised. On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Mary Crawford, Chairperson of the MidClare Brigade Commemoration Committee and Joe O’Neill, the grandson of Ignatious O’Neill who was Commanding Officer on the day in 1920.
‘12 new GAA champions were crowned across the county this weekend at all levels, with the adult honours going east as Scariff, O’Callaghan’s Mills and Broadford all secured adult hurling championship silverware. Tommy Guilfoyle and Michael O’Connor joined Eoin Brennan this week to discuss where those finals were won and lost amidst a compelling weekend’
It is 190 days since pubs closed in Ireland due the Covid-19 pandemic. While pubs which serve food were allowed to reopen on June 29th, wet pubs have their reopening date delayed numerous times. Today, they can finally reopen. But, has the damage already been done? How will rural pubs fair in comparison to those in central locations? Will punters return? Or, could cases spike when wet pubs do reopen? Only time will tell. On Monday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Darragh McAllister, Ennis publican and Clare Chair of the VFI and William Browne from Browne's Pub in Parteen.
A recent survey by Network Ireland lays bare the impact of the coronavirus on women’s businesses and careers in this country. Over 6 months since Ireland began to deal with COVID-19, more than 40% of respondents say doing their job or running their business is getting harder as restrictions continue. However, these issues are not limited to female business owners. These issues are universal across the industry. We wanted to hear how local businesses are coping with the ongoing difficulties arising from the pandemic. How are they coping with ongoing restrictions and how does it affect their day-to-day operations? On Monday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Rita McInerney, Doonbeg cafe owner and former Ennis Chamber CEO, Caroline Dunlea, Co-director of Core Optimisation and Caitriona Considine, owner Moher Cottage coffee and craft shop.
It was another busy weekend in sport, with Scariff preparing for their return to the Clare Senior Hurling Championship next year after they became Intermediate champions yesterday and the Banner Ladies secured their ninth Clare Senior Ladies Gaelic Football Championship in ten years after a convincing win against West Clare Gaels. On Monday's Morning Focus, Gavin spoke with commentator Tommy Guilfoyle about all the hurling action over the weekend and he was also joined by Banner Ladies manager, JJ O'Dea.
This weeks guests are Pat Clarke from Teagasc who discusses the Teagasc Autumn Programme giving details of how farmers can interact with their advisor over the coming months. And we hear about the story of Rathlir Farm on the outskirts of Kilrush its a story of personal tragedy followed by business success.
Last Friday, we heard from Ciara McGuane, a new mum who gave birth at the beginning of the pandemic. She had written to every representative in Clare asking for action to be taken to lift the restrictions at UMHL. The Taoiseach has committed to examining hospital rules keeping partners of pregnant women out of maternity wards as the call for these rules to be reversed keep coming. On Friday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Shelly O’Halloran, a doula to women in Clare and Limerick and Tiffany Jones is a first time mother to be. Both are calling for the restrictions to be lifted due to the effect it's having on expectant parents.
This Sunday is World Gynaecological Cancer Awareness day and women are being asked to familiarise themselves with the symptoms and to seek help if they have any worries. A Tulla-based oncology nurse, and ovarian cancer survivor, is urging women not to ignore the warning signs of gynaecological cancers. Anne Murphy, who is a member of the team at Clare Cancer Support, said that research shows many women are not aware of symptoms and don’t seek medical advice in time. She spoke with Gavin Grace on Friday's Morning Focus.
Clare’s cultural community will come together on Friday, 18th September, to showcase the very best the county has to offer. This year it will be in a reimagined way, with events online allowing audiences to connect through culture. Culture Night 2020 will see a myriad of cultural events being held virtually across Clare throughout the evening from 4:00pm. This year's programme, which is organised by the Clare Arts Office and funded by Clare County Council and The Arts Council, is packed with more than 25 free online events from across the county from Ennis to Doolin, Kilfenora to Mountshannon, Kilrush to Ennistymon, with an input from New York! On Friday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to County Arts Officer, Siobhán Mulcahy. Picture Copyright: Culture Night
This week on Morning Focus we continued our Stateside View slot in which we look ahead to November’s U.S. Presidential Election. Among the biggest U.S. political stories over the past week was the revelation that President Trump had admitted that he “downplayed” the coronavirus crisis. He made the comments in March when speaking with journalist Bob Woodward, as part of a new book that is now being published in advance of November’s poll. So, will this hurt the President as he looks to hold onto the White House? Gavin spoke with conservative political pundit and Trump devotee Ed Farnan.
Clare's longest serving Councillor has again hit out at planning policies here, stating that they are not working to the benefit of local residents. Concerned about issues including the closure of schools and shops, and the refusal by Clare County Council to grant planning permission for homes to be built in some areas of West Clare, Lissycasey Fianna Fáil Councillor PJ Kelly told Monday's Council meeting that "West Clare is for the tourists.... locals are being weeded out." Gavin Grace spoke to Cllr Kelly on Thursday's Morning Focus.
On Thursday's Morning Focus, William Cahir from Cahir & Co solicitors joined Gavin on the programme once more, this time with advice in relation to Landlord and Tenant law. William answers all your questions around changes to terminations and evictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Dying with Dignity Bill has passed the first stage in the Dáil. The bill, which was proposed by People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny, advocates for people with terminal illnesses to be given the right to choose when they end their life. Cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan has publicly supported the bill and is asking that those with terminal illnesses be allowed to die peacefully, saying that palliative care doesn’t always work. She spoke with Gavin Grace on Thursday's Morning Focus.
Club officers from across Clare met yesterday evening to discuss the implications of the government's new COVID-19 plan. The government plan has indicated that up to 200 people will be allowed into Cusack Park for county finals. However, there was confusion over whether this included players and officials. Following that meeting, County Board Chairman, Joe Cooney, confirmed to Gavin Grace that 200 fans will be able to watch the upcoming county finals with 100 tickets being given to each club.
On Wednesday's Morning Focus, Dr. Maire Finn spoke to Gavin Grace about the flu vaccine and it's importance in the fight against Covid-19. She dispelled the myths surrounding the jab and talked about the roll-out of vaccination programme for 2020/2021.
In response to the unprecedented demand for food from charities and community groups across the country, Ireland’s first ever national food appeal will take place in over 400 supermarkets nationwide this week from September 17th – 20th 2020. Research carried out among 121 of FoodCloud’s charity partners identified a 70% increase in demand for food as a result of Covid-19. The research found that there are three groups within society most affected by the gap in supply of food; those over 65 years of age (49%), single parents (36%) and people with mental health concerns (30%). Obair is based in Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare. They provide a meals on wheels service for the elderly and a support service for lone parents in rural areas. Before Covid-19 they were serving on average 60 hot meals or dinners a day. This increased to over 300 dinners a day during the height of the pandemic. Today they are serving over 200 dinners per day. They fear demand will increase again as the number of Covid cases continues to rise. On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Siobhán O'Driscoll from Obair.
Retail representatives are warning of stock shortages this Christmas due to the impact of the coronavirus on supply chains. In particular, men's fashion and hardware could be in low supply. Will retailers now have to ration stock to last for the Christmas period? On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Duncan Graham, the Chief Executive of Retail Excellence Ireland.
There's been a lot of coverage in the news recently about banks increasing their current account fees. So, who's offering the best account and is there any good value left out there? For many of us, our parents choose a bank for us in childhood, or we sign up to whoever is offering the best freebies during Freshers week in college. Either way, once we’ve signed up, for most of us, whichever bank has us - has us for life. But, is changing bank accounts worth the effort? On Tuesday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Tommy Corbett from Carey Corbett Financial Solutions.
The government has published its long-awaited 'Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19'. The document will replace the roadmap for reopening the country and features a range of new restrictions based on the levels of the virus in any given part of the country. It sets out five levels of restrictions which will be allocated on a county by county basis dependent on the incidence of covid-19 cases. On Tuesday's Morning Focus, prior to the publication of the plan, Fianna Fáil TD, Cathal Crowe joined Gavin Grace in studio.
It’s an extended Talking Balls podcast this week as the senior and intermediate hurling and football semi-finals dominated the weekend’s landscape. And to review such dramatic last four fare, Eoin Brennan tried in vain to glean some trade secrets from Sixmilebridge’s Syl O’Connor and Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Derrick Lynch
ALONE, calling on members of the public to reach out to older people in their lives who may be feeling particularly isolated at the moment due to the current COVID-19 guidelines. The organisation is concerned by the negative impact of loneliness on older people’s mental health, and is asking people to reach out and stay in touch with their older relatives, neighbours and friends. Since March, ALONE’s National Support Line has received in excess of 31,993 calls for support. Many are also concerned that the pandemic has led to the death of rural Ireland . Will there be a growth in rural isolation as many rural pubs unable to reopen, local GAA matches continue to be played behind closed doors and other outlets which used to provide entertainment for the older generation are no more? On Monday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Seán Moynihan from Alone.
Pyrite Pyrite is a very common mineral that is present in many sedimentary rocks. Subject to certain conditions, pyrite is problematic in confined construction, such as under floor filling and bridge embankments. This is due to a chemical reaction that can cause pyritic backfill to swell. Pyrite can lead to devastating cracks in homes both internally and externally - with owners often spending tens of thousands trying to remedy the damage. Dr. Martina Cleary from Crusheen first started noticing problems with her home in 2019 and she has since established the Clare Pyrite Action Group. Geraldine Kennedy from Parteen’s problems started in the early 2000’s and have advanced greatly. On Monday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to both women, who are calling for Clare to be included in the Pyrite Remediation Programme and receive redress.
It was a bumper weekend in camogie, hurling and football this weekend. On Monday's Morning Focus, Gavin Grace spoke to Bríd McNamara, Tommy Guilfoyle and David O'Brien about the Camogie Final and the Hurling and Football Semi-finals that took place on Saturday and Sunday.
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