Morning Focus – Friday 24/01/20

Today on Morning Focus, we were joined in studio by our Friday Panel, Darragh McAllister, Ennis Publican, Chair of the Clare VFI, Gearoid Howard, Shannon based solicitor and Mary Kelly, Ennis Newsagent as they discussed the latest news headlines.

Today the topics up for discussion included key points of the General Election Campaign for example, leaders debates, the gender breakdown and the publics interest. The panel also discussed the plans to raise the pension age and questioned whether it is a consequence of our ageing society and lastly the panel talked about the passing of Terry Jones.

If you missed it you can listen back below:


However before that on the show, we were joined on the line by Kay Murphy, Active Retirement Ireland Spokesperson following plans to possibly increase the pension age. The Government is looking to increase the pension age from 66 to 67 next year have been described as an ‘obscenity’ by SIPTU. The union yesterday launched its STOP 67 campaign – demanding the move is scrapped. It’s warning thousands of people will be left facing a financial “cliff edge” when their contractually forced to retire at 65, but then have to wait two years before getting state pension payments.

Next on the show, we were joined in studio by General Election Candidate, David Barret as he hopes for the opportunity to represent the people of Clare in the Dáil. The Australian native and Cooraclare resident is the founder of the Moderate Party but will run as an Independent. We spoke to him in February of last year about his intentions to set up his own party – the Moderate Party – but as that has not yet been fully registered he’ll be on the ballot paper as ‘Non-Party’. He says that ‘Getting A Fair Share For Co Clare’ is his priority.

If you missed it you can listen back below:

Next on Morning Focus, we heard from Dr. Rose Fitzgerald, Specialist in Public Health Medicine as there has been increased concern of a Coronavirus threat as suspected cases spread to Europe. The HSE is assuring the public that its prepared for any cases or suspected cases of the coronavirus. It comes as four Chinese people in Scotland are being tested for the illness. They had recently been in Wuhan where the virus originated and has claimed 17 lives. The HSE says it still perceives the risk of the virus spreading to Ireland as low as there are no direct flights here from China.

To wrap up today’s Morning Focus, Willie McGrath, Chairman, West Clare Cancer Centre and Dominic O’Shea, Centre’s Accountant joined us in studio to chat about the 22nd West Clare Mini-Marathon as it is set to take place this weekend. The Fundraising event will attract upwards of a thousand people to Kilkee this Sunday. Walkers, joggers and runners are welcome for the event which raises vital funds for the drop-in, non-referral service.