----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and cannot be relied upon as being those of Clare FM and we do not accept liability for any such matters or their consequences 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

morningfocus's blog

Morning Focus Tuesday July 24

Six former Senators have written to the Irish Times to initiate a campaign to save the Seanad
They are calling for reform rather than abolition and say such a body could play a valuable political and constitutional role
 
On Tuesday's Morning Focus John Cooke was joined by former two-time Senator Brendan Daly and current Senator Tony Mulcahy to discuss abolition or reform of the second house of the Oireacthas

They also discussed the possible abolition of town councils by Environment Minister Phil Hogan 

Morning Focus Monday July 23

Clare County Council are hopeful that the conditions which  led to an outbreak of E-coli at three Clare beaches over the past week won't occur again this Summer
Swimmers were advised to stay out of the water at Kilkee, Lahinch and Spanish point on Friday after tests on the water showed signs of pollution
However the restrictions  were lifted on Saturday afternoon after further tests showed the water quality  had returned to normal and the blue flags were re-instated at Kilkee and Lahinch

Morning Focus Friday July 20

Barnardos is urging the government to make meaningful reforms to the child income supports system
The Children's Charity says any changes should be focused on protecting children from poverty and supporting parents in employment
It's after the IMF yesterday proposed that child benefit and the medical card be means tested, in its latest overview of the Irish economy
Minister Noonan says the IMF recommendation is only advice, and not a requirement to be included in December's budget.

Morning Focus Thursday July 19

In its latest health check of the Irish economy - the IMF praised Ireland's efforts to address the economic problems since the onset of the crisis - however it warned there are still major challenges to be faced
The agency - which is part funding the Irish bailout deal - says there needs to be a better targeting of spending on amongst others - child benefit and medical cards

Morning Focus Wednesday July 18

Clare's Green Party Councillor Brian Meaney says efforts to reduce overspending in the health service could be helped by curbing medical card holders' access to Viagra
At present, men who hold medical cards are automatically entitled to four erectile dysfunction pills per month - in 2010, such prescription cost the HSE West region in excess of 1.4m euro
The HSE has pointed out that Viagra is also prescribed for pulmonary arterial hyprtension, but Ennis Councillor Brian Meaney, who's part of the HSE's Health Forum West has suggested halving this entitlement to the drug

Morning Focus Tuesday July 17

On Tuesday's Morning Focus John Cooke had a word about the weather with Climatologist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor John Sweeney of NUI Maynooth
Experts say this summer is a "wash out" - with heavy rain and floods in parts over the last few weeks
Ireland hasn't had a long, hot summer since 1995
Yesterday morning we heard from Clare farming representatives about the difficulties farmers are enduring due to the wet weather 

Morning Focus Monday July 16

Farmers say the ongoing bad weather is causing serious disruption to farming around the country
Many farmers have been forced to bring cattle indoors to feed them because of the lack of grass supply, adding significantly to costs
Milk production is back and many farmers have reported difficulty with silage harvesting
The IFA says the expectation is that grain yields will also drop significantly if there isn't an improvement in the weather
Grain yields are also expected to drop significantly if there isn't an improvement in the weather

Morning Focus Friday July 13

On Thursday afternoon a Not Guilty verdict  was handed down to the Mauritian Hotel Workers accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey in January 2011

Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea had both denied killing the 27 year old newlywed at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius

The jury delivered a unanimous not guilty verdict after two hours of deliberations - the trial had been ongoing for 8 weeks in the capital Port Louis
 

Morning Focus Thursday July 12

On Thursday's Morning Focus we heard some of Minister James Reilly's statement on his personal debts in the Dail last night

James Reilly's outlined his 9 percent stake in a County Tipperary nursing home and what he called a complicated litigation surrounding an investment made 12 years ago
He's outlined how he's made several attempts to sell off his interest - even at a reduced price, but this has so far failed
And Minister Reilly's adamant the money he owes will be paid

Morning Focus Wednesday July 11

Greater protection for Clare residents from anti-social tenants is being sought by members of Clare County Council

According to public representative a number of residents in estates in Ennis, South East Clare and other areas are living with "neighbours from hell" due to anti-social behaviour, and loud noise, particularly at night-time
But the Council has stated that in the case of private rented accommodation, there's nothing it can do, and it's a matter for landlords and the Gardai