Morning Focus – Tuesday 30/05/17

University Hospital Limerick emergency department

Another packed edition of Morning Focus discussed everything from painkiller addiction to the Bard of Thomond and also heard how an Ennis-man’s heart-rending documentary on a Belarusian orphan is up for a major TV award.

Morning Focus opened with an interview with Professor Colette Cowan, CEO of the UL Hospitals Group. The new Emergency Department opened yesterday with high hopes that it will lead to a smoother experience for patients.

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The controversial Limerick Northern Distributor Road which will run through stretches of South-East Clare has moved a step closer. Councillors in Limerick last night backed a variation to the route which will now go before An Bord Pleanála. The 150 million euro road has already been accepted by members of Clare County Council. Gavin was joined on the line by Ed English who represents concerned residents in South-East Clare.

Addiction to over-the-counter pain medications are said to be at ‘epidemic’ levels among middle-aged women. The comments were made by Prof Denis Cusack of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. He says he’s received many complaints over the new drug test regime as people are afraid to be caught driving over the limit for codeine-containing medications. To discuss the issue, Gavin was joined on the line by Ellen O’Neal, an Ennis-based addiction counsellor.

There was some great advice this week on preparing – and sticking to – a household budget, from Tommy Corbett, of Carey Corbett Financial Services in Ennis.

Morning Focus then heard from John in Kilrush who took his son to the new ED in Limerick yesterday. He shared his experience with Gavin.

Gavin’s next guest was historian and writer Christopher Power who’s written a book on Michael Hogan, the Bard of Thomand. Christopher discussed the bard’s Clare connections.

Frankie Coote, Clare County Dog Warden, then joined Gavin in studio with a warning about leaving animals in hot cars over the summer months.

Recent reports of students in Cork partying with a dad porpoise have sparked alarm. John Carmody, the founder of the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) told Gavin he’s concerned it may prompt copy cat behaviour at the end of the school and college term.

The moving story of an Ennis man who’s family tried to adopt a Belarusian orphan is familiar to many listeners to Morning Focus. Made by Colm Flynn, ‘Finding Banni’ is the story of the search for the child his family was in the process of adopting. The documentary is now in line for a major award and Colm joined Gavin on the line to talk about what that means to him.

This edition of Morning Focus wrapped up with a chat about what life was like in domestic service between 1881 and 1951 in Kilrush. Gavin was joined on the line by Lisa O’Sullivan, historian and Chairperson of the Kilrush and District Historical Society.