Morning Focus – Wednesday 05/09/18

Wednesday’s Morning Focus began with one simple question: ‘does zero emissions motoring spell the death of diesel?

All new cars registered from last Saturday (September 1st) onwards will be subject to tougher measurements of their fuel consumption and emissions, prompting concerns over new car prices and increases in road tax. In the wake of this new normal Gavin spoke to Emma Mictchell, Director of SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry).

Then it was time for yet another update on the closure of rural post office. As discussed on yesterday’s show (September 4th) an Oireachtas Communications Committee saw An Post challenged robustly about the closures. Fianna Fáil spokesman Timmy Dooley told Minister Denis Naughten that he had allowed himself to be ‘spooked’ by senior An Post executives and that Fianna Fáil is tabling a Private Members’ Motion, calling for retention of the post offices. Tom O’Callaghan, Chairman of the Independent Postmasters Group, attended the meeting and gave Gavin more details.


The first hour ended with a look at the aftermath of Electric Picnic. It is said every attendee left at least a suitcase of rubbish behind them. A number of bulldozers have been used to clear thousands of leftover tents and personal belongings. It’s thought the Stradbally site in Laois will be returned normal within the next few days. Clare man, Ed Rice attended the festival and told Gavin about a little of what he saw.

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The next hour began with an insight into construction efforts at Ennis CBS with Fine Gael Councillor Johnny Flynn. The 650 students and staff up to now have been accommodated in a series of out of date buildings and prefabs. While €4.5 million was secured for the project in 2015 the project hit a number of roadblocks in the planning process. However, now that these obstacles have been overcome construction is expected to begin in coming weeks with students moving in come this time next year.

Then from school life to home life there are currently around 6,000 children and young people in care in need of the support, stability and care that foster homes can provide. Compass Fostering Services is currently on the search for new foster homes in Clare. The agency is working with Tusla to find these new homes. If you think you could provide a foster home to a young person or offer any other assistance call Compass Fostering Services on 085 130 5752 or click here for the website. Colin Scanlan, Fostering Services Manager for Compass CFS joined Gavin to talk more about what they’re looking for.

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Then following the announcement of US President Trump’s visit to Ireland this November Gavin and Morning Focus’ own Fiona McGarry took a look down through the years at the different visits Ireland has received from different US Presidents.

The hour ended with info from Shannon Vard on an upcoming information event for bereavement held by Anam Cara. The event will take place tonight from 7:15pm at the Clayton Hotel in Ballybrit, Galway.

The next and final hour opened with concerns over history being made an optional subject in the Junior Cert. Among those who’ve expressed concerns are President Michael D Higgins and Dr Tomás MacConmara, author of the upcoming release: ‘The Time of the Tans, An Oral History of the War of Independence in Clare. Dr Tomás joined Gavin to talk about his concerns more in depth.

Then it was time for another segment of The Greatest Song You’ve Probably Never Heard with Brian Flynn. This week’s selection was ‘The Heart of Saturday Night’ by Tom Waits.

Then we heard about ‘Black 47’, a film set to be the biggest Irish production of it’s kind this year. It follows the story of an Irish ranger who returns from war in 1847 to find his mother killed from the Famine and his brother sentenced to death by the British. After a failed immigration the ranger sets off for vengeance against the establishment. Director Lance Black discussed more details with Gavin.

Finally the show ended with Kerri Quinn from Shannon and Samantha Sparrow from Sixmilebridge. Kerri’s father, Martin was lost to cancer 4 years ago and the anniversary of his death will be marked in coming days by all who knew him. Kerri, however, will be across the world with her friend Sam on a trek to Everest Base Camp in an effort to race funds for the Irish Cancer Society. Their efforts have already seen the girls raise over €1,000. To contribute to the fundraiser click here.

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