Morning Focus – Thursday, April 21, 2016

Morning Focus opened with a look at the diversion of funds that were due to be spent on mental health services. The Acting Health Minister Leo Varadkar has come under fire for transferring 35 million euro in mental health funding, to other services in the system.
The minister says the money was for the recruitment of over 15 hundred new mental health staff – but the positions couldn't be filled in time. Leo Varadkar says the money will be returned to the Mental Health budget for 2017. But campaigners say the money should have been retained by mental health services, which are already badly stretched.
Gavin spoke with Dr Mossajee Bhamjee, psychiatrist & former Labour TD for Cla
Gavin then heard about the Campaign for Baby Loss Facility at UMHL. A campaign for a separate Baby Loss Facility in at the region's main maternity hospital is gaining momentum. One of those driving the bid for a dedicated service is Pauline Gannon, founder of the Midwest Miscarriage Support Group. Pauline says that after losing four babies herself, she decided to give her time over to this important issue. She's a member of the End of Life Committee at UMHL and says there is great support within the hospital for the cause. 
Pauline Gannon, Founder of the Midwest Miscarriage Support Group, spoke to Gavin of her passion for this issue. 
The deadline for Census 2016 is drawing closer and most people will have met or at least seen their local census enumerator. That's the person tasked with ensuring everyone receives their Census 2016 form. The date for completing the Census is next Sunday, April 24. For anyone who hasn't yet received their Census form, or for assistance in filling it out Freetext the word FORM to 50400; log on to or LoCall 1850 20 16 04. Gavin spoke with James Kennedy, Census Regional Supervisor
Sebastian Wyszynski got in touch with Morning Focus to outline the situation in part of Kilseily, Broadford, where water pressure has been a problem since April 9. The issue was reported to Irish Water, but, according to Sebastian, the problem's worsened to the point where there's been no water at all since last Saturday (April 16).
Sebastian says the mains are part of Broadford Water Scheme, managed by Irish Water. Irish Water has told him that the issue was reported, escalated and prioritised etc, but there's been no change. He says some of his elderly neighbours are also affected.
Gavin was then joined in studio by Peggy Eustace of the Clare branch of the Irish Kidney Association to talk about the West Clare Walk, which takes place on Monday May 1.Registration from 2pm. The walk starts at 3pm, leaving the Square, Kilrush via Aylevaroo, Cappa and finishing back in Kilrush. Sponsorship cards available  087 9392148/ 086 0854834. 
The event has been organised for the last 16 years by the Clare branch.
Ahead of the Clare Garden Festival 2016 which takes place on Sunday, April 24. Gavin was joined by some of the main organisers. This year celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Clare Garden Festival will feature a large-scale garden and food fair with over 65 stalls from all over Ireland and offers all-day expert garden talks on an accessible stage. In 2016, the second designer show garden supported by Bord Bia will be built by Clare designer Eric McNamara with Castleview Garden Design. 
A new feature will also be the first large-scale outdoor demo led by Organic garden guru Jim Cronin to take place in the afternoon. The festival will see the continuation of the popular Pop-Up Garden Community competition and a wide range of new stallholders now even occupying the greenfield area from Clare and beyond. 
The venue Ennis showgrounds will feature an indoor arena as well as outdoor spaces and plenty of parking is conveniently located just off the M18 and in walking distance of the county town of Ennis.
Gavin was joined in studio with Carmen Cronin, Clare Garden Festival founder and manager; Joe Lillis
Chair of Clare Agricultural Show Society; and by Kitty Scully, Head Kitchen Gardener at Airfield Estate (and expert speaker at the festival). 
Morning Focus then welcomed Brother Liam O'Meara of the Burren Chernobyl Project to studio. Clare FM’s Christmas Toy Appeal saw thousands of items sent to Chernobyl Children’s International, which is headed up by Adi Roche. At the launch in November, Liam O’Meara spoke with Morning Focus live from Minsk where he works with the Burren Chernobyl Project.
The show also took a special look at Clare 1916 hero Peadar Clancy. Peadar Clancy was born on 1888 in Cranny. He was a Volunteer in the 1st Battalion who fought at the Four Courts in 1916.
 Gavin spoke with Stiofán Ó Comhraí. He wrote the book Peadar Clancy:Easter Rising Hero, Bloody Sunday Martyr with his sone Cormac.
The book, by the father and son team of historians, which will be launched by Dr. Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc in Tír na nÓg Function Room, Cranny, Co. Clare on Sunday next (the centenary of the 1916 Rising) at 7pm. Cormac has already published four books, including a photographic history of Ireland's role in WWI.
Today, Morning Focus came to the second last of our series of radio essays by Dr. Tomás MacConmara, marking Clare’s part in the Easter Rising of 1916.  In this essay “One of the Bravest Acts of the Rising we hear the story of Peadar Clancy, one of the few Clare Volunteers who DID end up fighting on the streets of Dublin during Easter Week 1916
James Raleigh read “One of the bravest acts of the Rising”.
‘Against the Gale’ is a Rag and Bone Production for Clare FM.  It was written by Dr. Tomás MacConmara.  Today’s reader was James Raleigh. Editor was Anne Marie Kennedy.  Producer was Paula Carroll. ‘Against the Gale’ was made with the support of Clare Co. Council’s 1916 Centenary Fund.