Morning Focus – Monday April 20th

As Ireland and Clare continues to deal with COVID-19, today’s programme began with a discussion on one suggested health measure that could halt the spread of the disease.

Wearing home-made cotton masks in public should become the norm, according to Ballyvaughan GP, and UL Professor of General Practice, Liam Glynn. He joined Gavin to explain why, and to give his assessment of Ireland’s performance to date in the fight against the virus.

You can hear that below.


Next, Helen Downes of Shannon Chamber gave us their take on how business will bounce back after the pandemic, while she and Gavin also discussed Brexit amid fears that it too could lead to a separate economic shock in the year ahead. After that, Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara discussed government formation talks, as he was set to meet with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael later today. Later in the programme, we’d return to the issue of government formation when Cllr Alan O’Callaghan discussed how he, and his fellow East Clare Fianna Fáil Councillors Pat Hayes and Tony O’Brien, are demanding that a postal ballot be held of grassroots party members before they enter into any agreement. Ordinarily such a move would require the green light at a special Ard Fheis.

After our usual Garda Focus slot, we turned our attention to carers. Catching coronavirus is scary at the best of times, but the fears can be more acute for carers, who may wonder how their loved ones will be looked after in their absence, and who may also be fearful that they could pass the virus onto someone vulnerable.

Gavin spoke with Catherine Cox of Family Carers Ireland, and also with Barefield Independent Councillor Ann Norton who herself has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Ann is a carer for her daughter Nicole, who has cerebral palsy.

Finally, as we remain in lockdown, Caroline Collins of the Clare County Library Service, and Clare FM’s Marése O’Sullivan share their reading tips

Caroline recommended:

  • The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes;
  • The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed By Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold;
  • Collections of short stories by Jeffry Archer and John B Keane.

Marése suggested that people read:

  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens;
  • Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor;
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama

Also, for children:

  • Picture Book: Where Are You Puffling? An Irish adventure by Erika McGann
  • 7-9 year olds: Boot the Rusty Rescue by Shane Hegarty
  • 9-12 year olds: The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer
  • Young Adult readers aged 14-15 plus: Hope Against Hope by Sheena Wilkinson

We also highlighted the ongoing work of the Clare Library Service at this time, and how people are joining libraries in increased numbers via This gives access to a host of Books, magazines, newspapers, online courses and audiobooks, all available digitally and free of charge. •For those who have taken out books, and have not been able to return them, the library database has automatically extended the due date to 30th June. Libary cards going out of date have been extended till 30th June. If people run into difficulty, there is an email – [email protected]