Morning Focus – April 9th, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, today’s programme began with a focus on local healthcare, including the preparations that are being put in place in the local hospitals system.

Colette Cowan, CEO of the UL Hospitals Group, and Joe Hoare, Assistant National Director of HSE Estates, both spoke about the raft of investments that are being made at this time, including new beds in fast-build structures at University Hospital Limerick and at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, as well as a planned ‘field hospital’ at the UL Sports Arena.  You can hear that discussion below:


Colette Cowan also called on qualified healthcare professionals, who may be available to take up work at this time, to contact them on 061-588420, while later in the programme her Community Care counterpart made a similar call.  Maria Bridgeman, who is the Head of Community Healthcare in the MidWest, made what her organisation have deemed an “urgent” call for staff to come forward at this time, while she also discussed the situation in nursing home.  Maria urged anyone who may be able to work or volunteer with them at this time to contact 061 464063 or to email [email protected]

This morning’s programme also included discussions on the new powers given to Gardaí to enforce government guidelines aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19.  We heard from Doireann Ansbro, of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, who have concerns about the sweeping measures, and also from Supt. Brendan McDonagh of Ennis Garda Station who outlined their plans for a comprehensive policing operation over the weekend, as part of the nationwide Operation Fanacht.

In a change to her usual slot, Dr. Toby Sachsenmeier shifted away from parenting and instead focussed on giving advice to us all on minding our health and wellbeing while on lockdown.

We finished the programme with a focus on volunteering in Clare at this time of national emergency.  Sharon Meaney from the Clare Volunteer Centre outlined how a huge number of people have come forward to assist in their communities, and how people are availing of their help.  Further volunteers are being sought, and can sign up on

We also heard from Mary O’Donoghue from the West Clare Family Resource Centre in Kilrush, who outlined their efforts and urged people to come forward if they need help (086 7524377).  Niamh O’Callaghan in Shannon told us about matters there, again urging people to not be alone and to reach out (089 4692242).

The Clare Community Response Team are also in action for people throughout the county, offering support seven-days-a-week.  They can be contacted on 1850 252943.