Morning Focus – April 24th

Today’s programme saw continued discussions on COVID-19.

This included an interview with Colette Cowan, Head of the UL Hospitals Group, and her colleague Dr. Catherine Peters, their Clinical Director for Medicine. Significant preparations have been made to deal with the pandemic, and today we focused on the latest situation, which has shown some improvement. However, both stressed that it will be some time before the peak has passed. You can hear that discussion below:


Before that, we heard from Cllrs Mary Howard (Ennis, FG) and Pat Hayes (Caher, FF) on whether the County Council should continue to hold its regular meetings at this time. Local authorities have received legal advice stating that votes cannot be held unless Councillors are gathered in the one place and a decision has yet to be made on the Council’s next scheduled meeting in May.

We received a lot of comments from listeners about the suggestion that some people are becoming more complacent about the lockdown restrictions, and AA Ireland have been reporting a slight uptick in the number of people availing of their breakdown services, a possible sign that there is increased activity, on top of seismic activity evidence presented by the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan last evening. Gavin spoke with Barry Aldworth of the AA.

After the 10:00 news, we heard from Elaine Clifford of Clare MABS, or the Money Advice and Budgeting Service. They’re expecting an influx of people seeking supports over the coming weeks, as a result of the economic fallout of COVID-19. Elaine reminded us of their services, and also urged people to make contact with them sooner rather than later if in need of help. Details for MABS are available on They’re helpline is 0761 072000 and the Ennis office can be contacted on 0761 072430.

Next, we heard from Noel Carmody of Clare Civil Defence on their work at this time, while after that we spoke with Sue and Sinead Maguire as they are looking to raise awareness about a rare genetic condition, cystinosis. Sinead was diagnosed with the condition when she was 2 (her sister was also subsequently diagnosed with it), while her mum Sue works as an advocate to help those with the disease, including fundraising for research, through Cystinosis Ireland. More details are available on and they’re hosting a virtual conference on the condition this weekend.

Finally this morning, we went baking with Imelda Bourke of The Pantry, Kilkee. With many of us turning to baking at this time, to pass the time as much as anything else, Imelda gave us tips on a Mixed Berry Banana Bread, and even sausage rolls. She’s also conducting a live baking demonstration on the social media feeds of Patrick Bourke’s Menswear tonight from 7:00.