Morning Focus – April 23rd

Today’s programme began with an appeal to people throughout Clare to provide personal protective equipment for the county’s nursing homes.

Gavin spoke with Hilary Tonge of the Mid-West Hospital Campaign, who have issued the call. They say that a number of nursing homes here are struggling to obtain sufficient supplies, particularly of gowns.

The group is appealing to anyone who can support them to get in touch, and say they’ve already received pledges of support.


We also discussed the difficult issue of grieving at this time. Ronan Scully, whohas family ties to Spancil Hill, spoke of the loss of two family members in recent weeks. His cousin, Fr. Tom Scully, a former Offally football manager, died of COVID-19 not long after his 14-year-old niece Aoife died in a road traffic accident.

In both cases, the family were unable to hold a typical funeral service, owing to the current guidelines.

We also heard from Rebecca Lloyd of the Irish Hospice Foundation, who have developed advice and resources for people who are struggling.

Next, we focused on festivals and events, amid fears that the heart of the Irish summer won’t go ahead at all this year. Many events, including the Spancil Hill Horse Fair, have already fallen by the wayside, while organisers of the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay and the annual Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival have yet to make a decision on their events.

Today, we spoke with Tony Cogan of Cogan’s Bar and Restaurant in Miltown Malbay and with Colm Croffy of the Association of Irish Festivals and Events, or AOIFE.

After 10:00, we discussed how you can talk with your children about COVID-19.  Dr. Toby Sachsenmeier gave advice for children of all ages, including teenagers (and even parents) and she also emphasized the importance of ‘moments of joy.’

Next, we talked about the arts. Orla Flanagan of Glor told us about their Glor Sa Bhaile scheme, which starts tonight and will see some of Clare’s leading musicians record musical performances that are broadcast on Glor’s social media channels. The first, by Steo Wall and Jacinta Sheerin, airs tonight at 8:00 and will be available to view for the following week. We also spoke with Sasha de Buyl and Author Sara Baume about this year’s Cuirt Literary Festival, which was due to be held in Galway this weekend but has now transitioned into an online only event. Interested readers are invited to register to ‘attend’ their events at

Finally, Pat Sexton of the Clare Sports Partnership encouraged people to take part in their ‘Walk to Jog’ programme, which aims to get people up and active – within 2km of their home, of course. Well over 300 people have already registered for the programme already, and you can do the same on

Morning Focus returns on Friday from 9:00, and you can contact us at any time on [email protected]