Morning Focus – Tuesday 19/11/19

Today on Morning Focus, Disability Rights Campaigner and Co – Founder of the PA services in Clare 1995, Ann Marie Flanagan joined us in studio as today in the Dáil there is a motion for debate to bring about a right for disabled people to a Personal Assistant service. 

The motion calls on the Dáil to legislate for the establishment of a commissioner of independent living within the Department of Social Protection tasked with establishing a comprehensive personal assistance service (PAS).

Ann Marie says that with the PAS, disabled people are in control and direct the PA to carry out tasks both inside and outside of our home, including personal care, domestic duties, assisting in day-to-day tasks such as shopping, support in the workplace or socialising.


If you missed it you can listen back below:

Next on Morning Focus, we heard from, Una Minh Kavanagh, a Freelance Irish Creator who makes Irish language, travel, anti-racism, mental health and video game content. Una Minh spoke to Gavin recently about her new book called, Anseo, which tells the tale of her growing up in Ireland, as a child adopted from Vietnam to Tralee in Co. Kerry, going to school in Irish and encountering racism in Ireland from a young age. Anseo is out now.

Una-Minh will also appear at a Beyond Borders Book Clubs which will take place in The Rowan Tree on Thursday 21 November at 7pm, where she will be in conversation with Sarah Clancy. It’s a free event, as part of the build-up to the 14th Ennis Book Club Festival which will take place from 6 to 8 March 2020.

If you missed it you can catch it below:

Next, Pauline Gabbett, joined Pat on the line as she is in the process of setting up a charity called Love Grace’s Place, which you can find on Facebook here. It will provide accommodation for parents while their babies are in the Neonatal unit in Limerick Maternity hospital and not from the county. Limerick Maternity provides care for Limerick, Clare and Tipperary not to mention any other cases that may arise. It’s families helping families while they are going through a time in their lives that is tough. What we will provide is a room free of charge, where parents can relax and have comfort knowing they are close by their baby.

Next on the show, Dr Michael Harty, Independent TD, joined Pat on the line as he gave his assessment of the overcrowding situation t UHL, in light of yesterday’s Morning Focus in which ‘Deirdre’ spoke about her 5 days spent on a trolley in UHL last week.

Dr Harty also commented on the decision by the European Commission which has paved the way for the National Broadband Plan contracts to be signed. The Communications Minister Richard Burton says the approval of state aid will ensure that “rural Ireland is not left behind.” The plan is to provide high speed broadband to 1.1 million people, over 54-thousand farms and 695 schools.

It’s expected that this will be signed off on by cabinet on Tuesday morning.

Next, Eoin Shanahan, Author, joined Pat in studio for a chat about his new book, The Hand That Held The Gun. Eoin Shanahan was born and reared in the parish of Doonbeg. He is a nephew of Willie Shanahan, one of the local heroes of the War of Independence. The book is about the untold stories of the War of Independence in West Clare. In it, he details intriguing tales of courage, loyalty, betrayal, terror, revenge and passion.

The book will be launched by Professor Kevin Whelan, University of Notre Dame on Friday 22nd November in the Kilkee Bay Hotel at 8pm.

At Friday night’s event, Eoin will have a display of the names of all of the IRA volunteers who were involved in every company of each of the five battalions of the West Clare Brigade (about 1500 people) plus Cuman na mBan (hundreds more), so he feels the book is relevant to every townland and family in West Clare.

The book will be available on Amazon and will be available in local bookshops.

If you missed our chat with Eoin, you can listen back below:

Next on Morning Focus, we heard from up-and-coming Singer/Songwriter, Isaac Butler as he tells how an aspiring singer-songwriter from Ireland becomes an overnight sensation in Germany? Isaac suddenly found that one of his songs was receiving thousands of online plays in Germany after featuring in a TV show there. Isaac told us of his 2020 plans and how he’s looking forward to continuing pursuing his career in music.

To wrap up today’s show, Clare County Dog Warden, Frankie Coote joined Pat in studio for an Animal Welfare Update.