Today’s Morning Focus began with Doonbeg business woman and Fianna Fáil member Rita McInerney who came on to represent the thoughts of a Doonbeg outraged by news that the post office there is already closed and alternative arrangements must be made to receive social welfare payments.
Then Alex Cooney from CyberSafe Ireland discussed the organisation’s research on children’s online activity. They found that most children these days use social media from their own phones with 25% of 8 to 9 year olds talking to strangers online weekly and 70% of 8 to 13 year olds are using apps such as Instagram, Snapchat or WhatsApp.
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The hour ended with a look at Ennis’ opinions on Trump cancelling his planned visit to Ireland and more pointedly Doonbeg.
Moving into the second hour we had some breaking news on the show. Geraldine Donnellan the post mistress for Cooraclare came on the show to confirm that the post office in Cooraclare will remain open after all by operating through Leonard’s Vaughan’s shop in the village.
Then we heard about the largest gathering of ‘Men’s Shed’ members in the world that took place in Cork this week. Over 500 people from Ireland and abroad attended the gathering in Pairc Uí Chaoimh. Speakers included athletics star David Gillick and former Ireland rugby international player Donncha O’Callaghan. There was also a Male Health Expo and sharing of shed stories.
Men’s Shed began in the 1980s in Australia as a means of getting men interested in taking care of themselves and their mental health. Shannon Men’s Shed boasts 54 members and meets in a building in Smithstown between 10am and 1pm. Recently they’ve been making ‘buddy benches’ for primary schools where kids can sit if they feel lonely. Mountshannon Men’s shed has 7 to 8 members and while currently without a venue, is ‘alive and well’ restoring boats and beehives. Ennis Men’s Shed was founded in 2013 and has been involved in several projects from building pizza ovens to tree planting. Gavin spoke with Flan Hehir, Christy Collins and Donagh O’Connell who represented Ennis, Shannon and Mountshannon Men’s Shed respectively.
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Following that we heard about the ‘Revolutionising Play: Perspectives, Possibilities and Promise International Play Conference.’ Speakers include Adam Harris, a social entrepreneur and founder of AslAm.ie and Professor Peter Gray from Boston College whose recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves through play and exploration when they are free to do so. The event will also see the launch of Autism from Inside Out – which was written by staff at MIC and co-edited by Professor Eugene Wall, President of MIC, Dr Patricia Daly, Department of Educational Psychology, Inclusive and Special Education at MIC and Dr Emer Ring, Head of the Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies at MIC. Dr Ring joined Gavin to discuss the details.
The hour rounded out with a round up with Clare County Arts Officer Siobhán Mulcahy.
The final hour was time for the Friday Panel. This weeks panel included Tony Killeen, former Fianna Fáil TD and Minister from Corofin, Joe Queally, author and historian from Fanore and Gabriella Hanrahan, Community Liaison Officer at University of Limerick. Topics included medical misogyny in light of the CervicalCheck report, the nursing strikes, addiction to mobile phones and pet ownership habits.
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Finally we had a round up of weekend events. First we heard from CEO of the Jack & Jill Foundation Carmel Doyle who detailed a 650km cycle which kicked off on Wednesday (September 12th) in Malin Head, Donegal and will end in Mizen Head come Sunday (September 16th). On Saturday (September 15th) the cycle will pass through Clare.