Morning Focus Wednesday September 28th

Michael Brennan, Deputy Political Editor with the Irish Independent spoke to Clare FM’s John Cooke about the close of nominations for the 2011 Presidential Election, which takes place at 12 noon today. Polling will take place on October 27th. With less than a month to go how will each of the candidates fare – and what about the last minute rush to get on the ballot paper in the last few days which has left a crowded field in the race for the Aras? Pat Cronin, the Manager of Obair, Newmarket on Fergus also discussed campaign posters for the upcoming election. Posters of each candidate are beginning to spring up in all kinds of places – although Sean Gallagher has said he won’t be using posters. However in Newmarket on Fergus, a 12-year-old prohibition on election posters has created an atmosphere of electoral calm rarely seen in other places. It was decided that election posters in around Newmarket on Fergus and on the approach roads to the village looked very tacky, according to community group Obair, which organised the initiative with the local tidy towns committee.  If candidates erect posters inside the boundary they have set, they contact them and ask them to remove them or they take them down and put them into storage so that the candidates can collect them. The local poster ban has no legal standing but has been very successful. The ban remains in place in Newmarket on Fergus this year despite the village having its own candidate in the running for President – Labour’s Michael D Higgins was raised by his aunt and uncle in Ballycar, Newmarket on Fergus

Michael O’Neill, Chairman of the Clare County Board, in an interview with Clare FM’s Gavin Grace, discussed speculation that Davy Fitzgerald will take over the mantle as Clare Hurling Manager. Davy Fitzgerald is now all but certain to be the next manager of the Clare Senior Hurlers, following a meeting of the county board last night. However, the Sixmilebridge man must wait until next month’s meeting before he is officially ratified. Last evening’s meeting of delegates heard that Fitzgerald had been nominated by around a dozen clubs across the county, and that no other candidate had been put forward.

Celebrity Chef, Neven Maguire is making an appearance in Ennis tonight as part of fundraising efforts for the Building for Hope Foundation and Clare Haven House.
Neven will be at the Auburn Lodge, demonstrating new recipes during the course of the evening. Also tonight 14 local food producers will set up stalls at the Auburn Lodge top showcase their wares. There will be a raffle and spot prizes on the night.


Fr. Brendan Hoban, Founding Member of the Association of Catholic Priests, who’s based in Mayo spoke to Morning Focus about the issue of celibacy. The Association of Catholic Priests has supported calls by the former Bishop of Derry Edward Daly for a removal of the compulsory celibacy requirement where Catholic priests are concerned. He feels that in 10-15 years’ time there will be a drastic situation where priest numbers are concerned. It follows a Clare FM poll which asked listeners – Should Priests be allowed to marry? Below are the results to date;

• Yes – 84%
• No – 13%
• Don’t Know? – 3%

Also on today’s show;

Gerry Kennedy, Chairman of the Clare Roots Society was live in studio to explain the events taking place for the Clare Roots Conference. The speakers as listed in the Programme will be in Ennis on Friday 30th September. These include Nick Barratt of Who Do You Think You Are fame from London and John Grenham, Writer with the Irish Times and publisher of books on genealogy.  This is the first Conference dealing with genealogy to be held in Clare. The society is expecting a number of people to travel from the USA, Switzerland and Australia for it as well as people from various parts of Ireland. It will provide a wonderful way of advertising Clare with a special emphasis on family history matters. To book your place for the conference visit the group’s website

Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing & Communications at NUI Galway gave details about the University’s next Open Days which are Friday, September 30th 2011, 9am to 3pm and Saturday October 1st 2011, 10am – 3pm. The University organises the days for students who are considering NUI Galway. Prospective students can speak to lecturers and students, find out all about the courses they are interested in and explore the campus. If you have any questions about Open Day, you can contact NUIG on 091 494145 or 091 494124

If you have a comment or query for Morning Focus you can email the show at [email protected] or text Clare FM followed by you comment and name to 53030