Morning Focus Friday September 30th

Ennis Green Councillor Brian Meaney and Labour TD Michael McNamara joined Morning Focus this morning to discuss revelations that Ennis General Hospital has one of the highest rates of absenteeism in the West, where levels are running at 9.43 per cent, leaving it struggling to cope with an average of 22 missing staff from its 238 workforce daily. The shocking scale of sick leave across the health service was revealed today in the Irish Independent – with one major hospital losing more than 90 staff a day on average. Absenteeism rates are so high in another hospital that nearly one in 10 staff is calling in sick every day. The emergence of certain hospitals as absenteeism "blackspots" comes in the wake of revelations that more than 1,100 staff in the HSE West area are off sick every day.

Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD spoke to Morning Focus ahead of his first official trip to Ennis tonight. Minister Deenihan will be attending the FBD Clare Business Excellence Awards which take place tonight in the Auburn Lodge. The Awards provide an opportunity for the local business community to come together and celebrate their successes and to promote themselves by entering one or more of the award categories.

Mary O’Donoghue, Co-Ordinator of the West Clare Family Resource Centre explained the events taking place at the centre to mark their 10th anniversary today.Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald will officially pay a visit to the centre at 11am to mark the occasion. The West Clare Family Resource Centre offers a Community Services Programme with a focus on supporting older people along with groups in 7 areas of West Clare and has Outreach Centres in Quilty and Kildysart. Some services include; drop in centres, women’s groups, support groups, information on benefits and welfare rights.  They are open Monday to Friday from 9.30 to 5.30pm and can be contacted on 065 – 905 2173


Brendan Murphy, CEO of Osborne Recruitment discussed how his company is hoping to recruit hundreds of Irish citizens for jobs in Australia. Good news stories about jobs in the construction sector are in short supply these days with an increase from 4% to 14% unemployment in just 3 years in Ireland.  The broader construction sector was hardest hit by the recession with the reduction in employment levels by over 160,000 workers.  Irish based recruitment company, Osborne Recruitment, has announced that it is recruiting candidates to fill an estimated 500 jobs in Australia. The company will have a stand at the Working Abroad Expo, which takes place this weekend (1st & 2nd October) in the RDS, where interested candidates can visit and obtain detailed information.

Also on today’s show;

Claire O’Loughlin, a Speech Therapist with the newly opened Speech Centre at the Ennis Family Medical Centre joined Clare Fm’s John Cooke in studio to talk about common speech issues that can affect young and old. The Speech Centre provides private Speech and Language Therapy to children and adults with communication and swallowing difficulties throughout Ireland, with clinics located in Dublin, Cork and Clare. We provide services to individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly, and all levels of ability. At The Speech Centre, we do not have a waiting list and anyone is welcome to refer a child or adult to our service: GPs, Public Health Nurses, Allied Healthcare Professionals, parents, relatives, carers or teachers.

John Grenham, Genealogist, Author and “Irish Roots” Columnist with the Irish Times discussed his role in tomorrows Clare Roots Conference. The Clare Roots Society invites all those at home and abroad with an interest in family history in Clare or elsewhere to its first international Genealogy and Family History Conference at the Templegate Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare on Saturday, 1st October 2011. Places can be booked by visiting their website

Eleanor Hooker, Vice Chairperson  & PRO of Dromineer Literary Festival spoke about the line up for this year’s festival. As 2011 is the Year of Craft, the festival exhibition this year in Dromineer is Craft to Art and will celebrate local crafts and artisans. There will be writing and poetry workshops, music and performances. It runs until Sunday October 2nd.

Daithi de Forge, National Technical Trail Adviser with Coillte discussed National Trails Day which will take place this Sunday 2nd October.  In its fourth year, this national event is bigger than ever before and so there are events to suit everyone .All events are free and the aim of National Trails Day is to encourage people to take some time to appreciate the natural beauty and amenities on their doorstep. Outdoor trails are for everyone to enjoy and on this Sunday everyone from kayakers to canoeists, families to friends are encouraged to take part. Events taking place in Co. Clare include: Black Head loop walk, Ballycuggeran loop walk, family or group Orienteering and a Loop Head walk.

Eileen Murphy and Cllr Mary Brennan talked about this weekend’s Cratloe Dog Show. Cratloe’s 10th Annual Fun Doggie Show takes place this Sunday October 2nd at 2pm in the GAA field in Cratloe. There will be 20 doggie classes with rosettes for 1st to 4th winners with lots of side events to entertain all the family.

If you have a comment or query for Morning Focus you can email the show at [email protected] or text the show at 53030.