Morning Focus – Tuesday 24/07/18

Photo © Clare FM

Today’s Morning Focus began with a look at the dangerous rise in ‘tombstone diving’. Typically this involves diving from a high cliff but anywhere high and dangerous will do the job.

A recent video of young people diving of the cliffs at Kilkee has prompted Irish Water safety to issue a warning. water safety Officer for Clare County Council, Clare McGrath emphasized the danger on the show this morning.

Then we heard from Áine Morgan, a Loughrea woman battling cervical cancer. Inspired by women such as Vicky Phelan and Emma Mhic Mhatúna who came out talking about the CervicalCheck controversy Áine is now telling her story and trying to secure a potentially life saving drug, Pembrolizumab. The drug has shown success in treating Vicky Phelan but comes with the hefty price tag of €8,500 for every three week dose. Currently the government is only paying for women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal but consultant oncologists Professor John Crown and Dr David Fennelly of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin have made a proposal to the health minister to run a trial of Pembrolizumab for women in Ireland with cervical cancer but not affected by the CervicalCheck scandal, such as Áine. There is also a fundraising gig for Áine, including musicians such as Seán Keane, happening in the Loughrea Hotel on Thursday night (July 25th). Tickets are €20 but you can also donate any amount of your choosing at


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Finishing out Morning Focus’ first hour we had Dermot Goode of tell us how we could save money by switching health insurer.

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The next hour opened with details on the unveiling of the Doolin village master plan. The plan aims to make the already popular tourist destination even more of a tourist hotspot in a variety of ways such as improving transport between the main village and the pier. Brian McCarthy, senior planner for Clare County Council talked more about the plan on the show but the plan in it’s entirety will be presented at Hotel Doolin at 7:30pm tonight.

Then you may have heard on the show previously the plight of the young Zara Cronin from Corofin. Zara has a rare medical condition causing her head to be unstable and in danger of detaching from her spine. Zara’s mother Ann O’Gorman has campaigned tirelessly for her daughter to raise the €100,000 needed for Zara to get to Spain and get a life-changing surgery. They need this money by September. Recently TTM Healthcare have joined the campaign and pledged €10,000 to the cause bringing the total to €77,000. The staff of TTM Healthcare are planning to walk, run and cycle a total of 1,800km, the total distance from Ireland to Barcelona, to show support for Zara’s journey. Ann along with the MD of TTM Healthcare Paula McDonell joined Gavin in studio. If you’d like to donate or attend any upcoming fundraisers go to

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Then we talked about another important campaign. Fr Tony Coote will be walking 550km from Letterkenny to Ballydehob in Cork as part of his campaign ‘Walk While You Can’ or #walkwithtony. The campaign aims to bring awareness to Motor Neurone Disease and follows Tony’s own diagnosis with the incurable disease. Fr Coote is asking well-wishers and walkers across the country to support him in raising €250,000 to help fund care and research into combating the disease.

Finally the show ended with our animal welfare update from Clare County Dog Warden, Frankie Coote.