Morning Focus – Tuesday 24/09/19

Today’s Morning Focus discussed overcrowding at UHL, heard from an East Clare teacher who’s been nominated for the ‘Teachers Inspire’ scheme and finished with an Animal Welfare update.

As we head into the autumn, the region’s main hospital is already experiencing record levels of overcrowding, with figures from the INMO showing 81 patients waiting for beds yesterday (Tue, Sept 23) the joint-highest figure ever recorded at the hospital.
Nurses say this September has already become the worst on record, even though there’s still a week remaining in the month and they have called on the HSE to make a high-level intervention and curtail services amongst other measures. National funding has been released in recent days to address delayed discharges, but the UL Hospital Group says despite this, these remain above average, with 34 delayed discharges across UL Hospitals Group. Tadhg Daly, CEO Nursing Homes Ireland and Clare FF TD, Timmy Dooley, joined Gavin on air to discuss this topic further.

Homeowners face a 15% jump in property tax next year, after a majority of members of Clare County Council backed a request from the authority for a hike. The vote split FF members of the council, with five of its 12 members rejecting the motion. For the Council, it means an increase of €1.5m in funding next year. The local authority’s CEO Pat Dowling spoke to Gavin after yesterday’s meeting and insists the move will enable them to provide better services.


Protests are taking place in Oughterard over the expectation that a Direct Provision centre is to be located there.  Bryan Fanning, from Ennis, is a Professor of Migration and Social Policy in UCD, and he told Gavin of how he believes greater political leadership is needed on this issue . Bryan questions why the Department of Justice should be responsible for the system, rather than other arms of the State which have a focus on social care.

Listen back below:

We’ve been talking a lot in recent months and weeks about farming and the future of the beef sector in particular. We’ve also been hearing, unfortunately, about the negative attention targeting farms.  Today, on a more positive note, we heard from Brigid Barry of Farming for Nature about the work of those involved in agriculture in protecting our natural world. The group which has close connections with the Burrenbeo Trust has recently unveiled 10 ambassadors who will feature in next month’s Burren Winterage, and one of whom will be chosen (through a public vote) for a Farming for Nature Award. There are a series of short videos on and the public vote is open until Thursday, October 24.

Listen back below:

Jim Collins is a Retired Principal of Inis Cealtra NS inMountshannon, and for over 40 years was one of hundreds of dedicated teachers and principals that are the backbone of the Irish education system. His work has now earned him a place on the shortlist in a major national awards initiative. Mr. Collins is from Scariff and was nominated for the ‘Teachers Inspire’ scheme by Roisín Bugler, who was a pupil of his at Inis Cealtra National School in the 1980s. In her nomination, Roisín commended Mr. Collins for encouraging his pupils to pursue science experiments, grow their own vegetables and flowers, set up savings accounts, and participate in exchanges with his former school in Dublin.

Listen back to his conversation with Gavin below:

Towards the end of the show Mick Flannery and Pat Ryan of Anam Music, joined Gavin in studio to tell us about his upcoming gig in North Clare this Sunday, September 29, 7pm at the Cliffs of Moher Hotel, Liscannor.

Listen back below:

To round up today’s Morning Focus we heard from Clare County Dog Warden, Frankie Coote for this week’s Animal Welfare slot.