Morning Focus – Monday 16/03/20

Today on Morning Focus, we began the show speaking to Dr Liam Glynn, Ballyvaughan GP, Professor of General Practice at UL about how the Covid – 19 threat needs to be taken seriously.

Ireland is “exactly 14 days behind Italy” in terms of the rise in coronavirus cases, two Clare doctors are warning. Dr Liam Glynn and Dr Mike O’Callaghan say critical care capacity will quickly be reached and services overwhelmed without an “effective and aggressive” public health response. This needs to include quarantine, social distancing and isolation of infected people, as they’ve written in the British Medical Journal. They say Ireland’s response over the coming days will determine if the situation here ends up being like Italy, where deaths continue to rise, or South Korea, where the epidemic is being brought under control.

Next on the show, we were joined on air by Gwen Culligan, President of Ennis Chamber & owner of County Boutique, John Burke, Managing Director of Armada Hotel, Hotel Doolin & Doolin Village Lodges and Jayme Keogh, Owner of Boruma Gastro Bar, Ballina-Killaloe to discuss how the announcement to close pubs will affect County Clare. The move, announced by government last evening and supported by publicans’ representative groups, means pubs and hotel bars will be closed until March 29th. Research published last year on behalf of the Vintners Federation of Ireland showed there are nearly 300 pubs in Clare, and that the drinks and hospitality sector enable nearly 6,700 jobs here. A number of hotels, restaurants and even some shops in Clare have also decided to close their doors over the coming weeks.


If you missed it, you can listen back below:

Next on the show, a change of subject as we heard from an Ennis woman who experienced some anti-social behaviour yesterday evening. The woman recorded dashcam footage of two youths intimidating motorists and appearing to attempt to vandalise moving cars on Ennis’ main street last night. The footage, seen by Clare FM, shows a teenager jumping on to the back of a moving car while another stands with what appears to be a hammer waiting for the next car to pass.

Next on Morning Focus, we chatted about how one community plans to make St Patricks Day in a unique way. Tomorrow will see the pubs closed, and no parades anywhere in the country, owing to COVID-19. But in Tuamgraney in East Clare, national pride is shining bright with the symbolic lighting up, in green of course, of a prominent tree in the village.
Paul Brooks of Tuamgraney Development Association (TDA) joined us on air to tell us more.

You can listen back below:

Following the News Headlines, we heard from Garda Siobhan Madden of Ennis Garda Station, as Clare Gardaí sleek your help in solving local crimes.

Then we were joined on the airwaves by Broadcaster, Ger Sweeney, as he is currently in Costa Del Sol we spoke about how Spain Air Travel has been affected by Covid – 19.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair have been drafted in to airlift up to 20,000 Irish tourists home from Spain before the end of the week. The Department of Foreign Affairs says Irish people need be on their way home before midnight on Thursday. It’s because of mounting uncertainty about air travel in Europe as countries impose restrictions to deal with covid-19.

Following from that on the show, we heard from DIY expert, Leonard Shanahan, Shanahan Paints, Ennis and Shannon, to hear his do’s and don’t’s if you’re doing up the house during this time where we’re being asked to limit our movements and stay within the house where possible.

To finish up the show, normally of a Monday we would take a look back at all the sports action, however, at the minute very little sport is going ahead around the world as a result of measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19. Instead, we highlighted the good being done during a time like this as GAA communities rally together to support the people vulnerable locally. All GAA fixtures have been cancelled until at least March 29th, but the clubs around the country have begun to come up with a novel way to keep themselves busy while also supporting the most vulnerable in society.  Keith McNamara, Clondegad GAA Secretary joined us on the line to tell us more.

Stephen Downes from Miltown Malbay also joined us on the line to tell us of the work himself and some of his neighbours are doing as they are willing to deliver goods to anyone in need.

Lastly, just before finishing up we also spoke to Cian O Flaherty to chat about an initiative that has been set up to show appreciation for front line workers who are under pressure during this time, has been set up to say thank you to frontline healthcare staff who are doing such an amazing job! Money raised will be used to send food to the hardworking teams who are at the coalface of battling COVID-19. The website was set up yesterday and as of 8:00 this morning, over €31,000 has been raised.

Take a listen back below: