Morning Focus – Tuesday April 14th

This morning’s programme began with a discussion on the decision to defer the 2020 Leaving Cert exams.

Students who had been preparing to sit the tests in June, must now wait until at least late July, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.  Gavin spoke with Louis Mulqueen, Principal at Rice College in Ennis, and also one of the school’s Leaving Certificate students, Shane Punch.


Next, a warning from medics about our general health during the pandemic.  Dr. Samer Arnous and Dr. Tony Moloney, both of University Hospital Limerick, warned that they are not seeing the usual level of activity in the hospital (in terms of attendances at the Emergency Department for suspected heart attacks or chest pains, for example) and expressed concern that by staying away, people are damaging their health. Despite COVID-19 concerns, they urged people not to be slow in coming forward should they be in need of care.

After Cormac McCarthy of Ennis Tidy Towns discussed the issue disposable gloves being discarded as litter in our environment, Clare’s Crime Prevention Officer Sgt. Riona Brooks spoke about recent levels of crime, including the welcome news that – in the main – people were observing the social distancing guidelines, and the ‘Do Not Travel’ warning, over the Easter Weekend.  Sgt. Brooks outlined that Gardaí will remain out in force, conducting checkpoints, over the coming weeks, as the restrictions remain.

Food hygiene specialist Carmel Connaire joined us next to talk about cleaning your home during the coronavirus crisis.  Carmel gave us useful tips in keeping surfaces and floors clean, and also on cooking and storing food.  She’s giving advice over the phone through the North West Clare Family Resource Centre, who are available on 065-7071144.

Finally today, we marked the 100th anniversary of the Canada Cross shootings of 1920 in Miltown Malbay.  On the night of 14th April 1920, celebrations were taking place in Miltown Malbay to mark the release of IRA hunger strikers from Kilmainham Gaol.  At about 10.45pm, a bonfire was blazing at Canada Cross and a group of adults and children were gathered around it singing nationalist songs.  The police and military arrived on the scene and without warning fired about a hundred shots at the crowd. Three men were killed: Patrick Hennessy from Church St, married with two children; Thomas O’Leary, Ballard Road, married with ten children; and John O’Loughlin, a 25-year-old tailor from the Ennistymon Road.  12 others were injured.  Later, at the inquest in Ennis, a verdict was returned of “wilful murder without provocation”.

A planned commemoration event this weekend had to be cancelled.  Gavin spoke with Mary Crawford, Chairperson of the Mid Clare Brigade Commemoration Committee, and with Micheal Hennessy, the grandson of Patrick Hennessy who died on that fateful night.

More details are available from and from their Facebook Page.