Morning Focus – Tuesday 18/09/18

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This Tuesday on Morning Focus opened with Dr John Hillery, President of the College of Psychiatrists and former candidate for Fianna Fáil for the next General Election.

While Hillery did briefly discussed his withdrawal from the Fianna Fáil ticket, the main focus was on Government proposals to use digital technology in the mental health service in order to boost consultant led services. This ‘tele-psychiatry’ has lead to concerns that digital consultancy will replace in person appointments and doctors will be unavailable. This week Hillery had been addressing a major conference on the topic, hosted by Minister for State, Jim Daly.

Then we spoke with Martin McMahon, the Clare Chair of ICMSA, about farmers’ issues ahead of the Ploughing Championships.


Rounding off the hour we took to the streets of Ennis to ask people what they thought of the newly formed Irexit party and whether Ireland should consider leaving the EU.

Opening the second hour was one of our regular segments Financial Advice with Tommy Corbett of Carey Corbett Financial Services. This week’s focus was budgeting to send your kids to college.

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Then we discussed water charges. According to a new report it could be implementation which caused water charges to go wrong and not the idea in and of itself. This is according to research performed at NUI Galway. Senior Fellow at the Whitaker Institute Jim O’Leary, author of the report joined Gavin to go into details.

Then it was time for our live coverage of the Ploughing Championships in Offaly from Offaly native and Clare FM reporter James Mulhall.

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The hour ended with our weekly animal welfare update from Clare County Dog Warden Frankie Coote.

Opening the next hour was Philip Ryan Independent Newspapers deputy political editor. He along with Ireland’s Young Journalist of the Year for 2017/2018 Niall O’Connor have just published: ‘LEO: A Very Modern Taoiseach’. This biography details Varadkar’s life and rise to power and includes highlights such as his coming out as gay amid the full glare of the Irish media and his secret two year campaign to become leader.

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Friday will see Culture Night events happening across Clare in 17 towns and villages. The show focused on just a few of these events. First we had an overview of the Ennistymon Art Trail with organizer Sara Foust. Ennistymon is inviting one and all into the town to stroll from the art market on The Square to music in The Gallery to film screenings to art workshops to much more. It all takes place this Friday (September 21st) in Ennistymon from 4pm.

Also taking place that Friday is ‘5 Films & A Play’ in Doolin Cave. There you’ll find five films by Ballycartoon Productions, three portraits by Joan O’Hanrahan and a reading of the play ‘When Punk Rock Came to North Clare’ by Dermott Petty. Dermott gave Gavin more details.

Then we heard from Conor Murray who told us about Kilkee Forge’s Culture Night event. ‘The Modern Blacksmith’ event at Kilkee Forge, Kilferagh, Kilkee will showcase modern blacksmiths at work using traditional tools as well as modern day practices. This event will take place from 5pm to 9pm.

Before that though, we met John Mallon from Forest Ireland a group of smokers lobbying the government not to hike the price on cigarettes in the 2019 Budget.