Morning Focus – Friday 20/03/20

Today on Morning Focus we celebrated Laura Brennan as today marks her the first year anniversary of her passing.

Laura was only 26 years old when she lost her battle with cervical cancer. Before she died, Laura had become synonymous with the HPV vaccine campaign and fronted a number of campaigns with the HSE and World Health Organisation urging young women to get vaccinated. A year on and the fruits of her campaigning can be seen – there’s a 90% vaccination rate in Clare, while nationally that figure stands at a much improved 80%. Plans to celebrate her anniversary with a mass were put on hold due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but a mural being erected in town by her best friend will remember the Ennis woman. We were joined on air by her best friend, Veronica Moloney of Clarecastle as she told us more about the mural.

You can listen back below:


Next on the show, we heard from Liam Griffey, an Ennis man who’s living in Wuhan to reflect on the virus as cases in the china begin to dwindle. While Ireland contends with the growing threat of the coronavirus, it’s a different story in what was once the epicentre of the outbreak. Covid -19 was first recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and its 11 million residents have been on lockdown since January as part of efforts to contain it.

And those efforts appear to be working because yesterday – for the first time – no new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Wuhan.

You can listen back below:

Head of Communications at Novas, Una Burns joined us on-air as the government is set to announce a temporary ban on evictions. Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy will bring forward new legislation next week. A number of opposition parties have called for evictions to be banned for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis.

Next Denise Cusack, Community Protection Advisor joined us on the show to talk about the increased risk of fraud and scams during a time where more people are now shopping online. It’s important that people are equipped with the right information to protect themselves against this and reminded what these types of scams look like – How can people protect themselves?

After the 10am News, Colette Cowan, CEO of UL Hospitals Group and Dr Denis O’Keefe, Consultant Haemotologist and Clinical Director of Diagnostics, Ul Hospitals Group, joined us on-air as locally there were just four people on trollies at University Hospital Limerick as people steer clear of the country’s hospitals. Elective procedures have also been cancelled at the Dooradoyle facility and staff are being relocated to help tackle an expected increase in patients presenting.

You can listen back below:

Then on the show, Tech Editor with the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent, Adrian Weckler spoke to us about how to tackle the spread of fake news amidst the Covid-19 crisis. A lot of false information has spread around in the past few weeks relating to Covid-19 and different things that could occur. One obvious example is the proposed army lockdown that was due to come into effect, if the messages were to be believed, at the start of the week, which, of course, didn’t happen. We’re being asked by the Government and Health Experts to disregard messages sent to you that purport to be relating to Covid-19 related measures but that lack any reliable source.

Lastly, on today’s show, David Farragher of Claringbridge Garden Centre chatted on the show about how people can beat the boredom of isolation with gardening. Cabin Fever may be setting in as people are encouraged to stay home where possible. We’ve been discussing ways to keep yourself occupied over the past few weeks – but now, turning to the brighter days and to the garden that may need some attention.