Morning Focus – 19/12/2018

On this morning’s show, we began by hearing from Mary Fogarty of the INMO on the decision of nurses to vote in favour of industrial action. 95% of union members supported the move which could lead to a 24-hour work stoppage in February.

We then discussed tourism, after newly-released figures showed that 2018 was the industry’s best ever year. Maurice Walsh of Dirty Nelly’s in Bunratty, who is also a Board Member with the Clare Tourism Forum, gave his reaction, including a positive prognosis for 2019, in spite of the likes of Brexit.

After Niamh McDonnell of St. Vincent de Paul in Clare talked about the number of children in poverty in Ireland – around one-in-five – we then heard the second part of Fiona McGarry’s series on the Bedford Row project, which works with and supports the families of prisoners and former inmates. Today, we heard from psychotherapist Ray Wallace, who works with their men’s group, and from Caroline McConville and Annette, two other volunteers.


Bedford Row in Clare can be contacted on 065 6892288. The centre is in the Clon Road Business Park in Ennis.

Next, Gavin was joined in studio by Susan Shiels of the Samaritans as they prepare for a candlelight vigil at The Height in Ennis from 6pm until 8pm this coming Friday evening. The event is being held on December 21st, the longest night of the year, as a demonstration of solidarity with those who may be experiencing loneliness at this time of the year. It’s part of a nationwide series of similar events.

Up next, Dr. Vida Hamilton, National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Hospitals, HSE, gave us advice on staying healthy and well this Christmas. More advice is available at

Up next, Clare FM’s Padraic Flaherty outlined our huge plans for this Christmas, with over 20 special programmes during the festive period. In My Own Words returns, with the likes of Johnny McEvoy and Paul Brady, we’ll Celebrate Christmas with Phil Coulter and on New Years Day, we will air a documentary on Jim Warny and the rescue of the Thai soccer team and their coach who were trapped in the flooded cave. Check out more details on our Facebook page, and on this website. Enjoy!

To finish this morning, John Underhill of Burren Vets joined us for his usual slot.

But before that, Teresa Carmody O’Shea and Dolores Meaney of the Clare County Library Service gave us advice when it comes to last-minute Christmas gift advice for the book lover in your life. You can listen to their tips here, and check out the full list below.

Literary Fiction
Normal People by Sally Rooney
From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
Milkman by Anna Burns
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Popular Fiction
Importance of Being Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (follow up to Oh My God What a Complete Aisling)
Dancing with the Tsars by Ross O’Carroll Kelly
A Keeper by Graham Norton

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent
Snap by Belinda Bauer
Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Murder at Greysbridge by Andrea Carter

Local History
Go Make Disciples of All Nations by John Bradley and Cora McNulty (Clare Roots)
Men and Women of Clare in WW2 by Ger Browne (Clare Roots)
Three Men from Clare – Jackie Elger and Patricia Sheehan

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine
Becoming by Michelle Obama
The Cow Book by John Connell
In Pieces by Sally Field
Usual selection of Cookery Books, e.g. The Happy Pear, Ballymaloe, Darina Allen

At All Costs by Davy Fitzgerald
Game Changer by Cora Staunton
Great Moments in Irish Rugby – Sportsfile
The GAA and the war of Independence by Tim Pat Coogan

Children’s Pre-school
The President’s Cat by Peter Donnelly
The Magic Moment by Niall Breslin (Bressie)
The Dog Who Lost his Bark by Eoin Colfer

Children’s 6-12
The Ice Monster by David Walliams
The Head Kid by David Baddiel
Blazing a Trail by Sarah Webb
Dr. Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals by Rob Maguire and Aga Grandowicz

Young Adult 12+
Twelve Angels Weeping by Dave Rudden
Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan

An Nollaig Thuas by Aoife Ní Dhufaigh (Children’s)
Labhair Amach by Áine Uí Fhoghlú (Young Adult)
Dialann Mo Mháthar by By Padraic Breathnach (Adult Fiction)
Craic Baby by Darach Ó Seaghdha (Motherfóclóir follow up)

Lies by Doireann Ní Ghríofa
100 Poems: Seamus Heaney (selected & introduced by the Heaney Family)