morningfocus's blog

MORNING FOCUS TUESDAY 20TH JANUARY

Farming was the most dangerous occupation in Ireland last year with 30 deaths. Health & Safety inspector John Kennedy gave an address to the Clare branch of the IFA last week in which he told Clare farmers that they need to change their perception of workplace safety. In light of this, John Cooke spoke to both Inspector John Kennedy and President of the Irish Farmers Association, Eddie Downey on today's programme.

 

MORNING FOCUS WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER

MORNING FOCUS WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER

With weather  conditions worsening over night a decision was taken this morning to close the Cliffs of Moher to the public. Katherine Webster Director – Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience joined John to discuss the closure decision.

Several hundred gardaí were set to work through the night on Tuesday to create a secure environment for Wednesday’s planned water charges protest outside Government Buildings in Dublin city centre. Senior gardaí are anticipating a crowd of up to 30,000.Thousands of crowd control barriers will be erected, with the controlled environment they create set to be heavily policed from the early hours. While trouble is not expected at the main event on Merrion Square in the South Inner city, contingency plans have been made in the event small groups of militant protesters seek to “take on” gardaí after the main rally. Protestors Kathleen Austin and Pat Talty who were enroute to the march. spoke to us this morning 

MORNING FOCUS TUESDAY 10TH DECEMBER

MORNING FOCUS TUESDAY 10TH DECEMBER

The IBTS is concerned that blood supplies will be difficult between now and Christmas - New Year period and is urging donors to make a special effort to give blood during this time. The IBTS needs 15,000 donations over the coming weeks to maintain the blood supply.Also under new guidelines to be introduced by Minister For Health Leo Veradkar homosexuals will no longer be banned from donating blood. Paddy Bowler Director of Operations, IBTS (Irish Blood Transfusion Service) spoke to John about he need for donations.

The Health Minister says he'll bring a plan to Government in the New Year to cut the number of people on trolleys in emergency departments. Leo Varadkar says the ongoing issue of overcrowding is "frustrating" - and won't be "easy to resolve".The Minister says he'll be sitting down with the HSE and professionals from across the health sector to work on a strategy in the coming months. Mary Fogarty the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Mid-West Industrial relations officer joined John to discuss Health Ministers plans.

MORNING FOCUS MONDAY 9TH DECEMBER

MORNING FOCUS MONDAY 9TH DECEMBER

A number of Councillors have expressed concerned over the lack of clarity from Irish Water regarding the payments situation for those on group water schemes. There have been suggestions that Irish water intend on putting meters at the point of exit from the main supply for those on schemes. Members of group schemes already pay for water and have there is concern a t the prospects of increased charges Cllr Michael Hillary FF and Cllr Pat Burke FG who have both put motions forward looking for clarity on group water scheme charges   joined John to discuss the issue.

John spoke with Gerard Holloway. Gerard contacted the show with regards to the public lighting at his estate. Electric Ireland have informed him that they intend on cutting the electricity to the public lights in  the estate in the coming weeks as the developer has stopped paying the bill. Attempts to have the estate taken in charge by the council have so far proved unsuccessful so it will be up to the residents to pay for public lighting. The residents already pay for the up keep and maintenance of the estate. The estate has a lot of young children and the prospect of having no light is something they very much want to avoid for safety reasons.

MORNING FOCUS FRIDAY 5th DECEMBER

MORNING FOCUS FRIDAY  5th DECEMBER

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of people facing the problems associated with life-limiting illness and supports their families.The palliative care approach focuses on the prevention and relief of suffering by means of assessing and treating pain and other physical, psychosocial or spiritual problems. Pat Quinlan, CEO of Milford Care Centre and Leonara Carey,Occupational Therapist Manager with the Milford Care Centre joined John to talk about expansion plans at the centre.

The family of former Clare TD Sylvie Barrett have said they were shocked and hurt by allegations that he held bank accounts linked with tax evasion. Following the disclosure of names contained in a whistleblower dossier in the Dail, the Barrett Family have told Clare FM that the former Fianna Fail Minister and MEP never had a bank account with Guiness and Mahon or Ansbacher.There's been much political criticism of Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald who included the name  "S. Barrett" in the list read out under Dail Privilege, with some describing it as another political stunt. The late Sylvie Barrett's son Tom gave his reaction to John.

MORNING FOCUS WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 4TH

MORNING FOCUS WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 4TH

The Christmas bonus is partially restored to over 27,500 long-term social welfare recipients in Clare this week. This figure includes more than 13,300 pensioners in Clare as well as people with disabilities, carers, lone parents, and long-term jobseekers. Overall, the campaign targets 80,000 pensioners nationwide throughout November and December through a series of information leaflets, local radio interviews and social media activity. Minister Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State at the Department of Health and the Department of Justice, joined John to discuss issues ranging from the reinstating of the Christmas bonus to elderly care.

A report into Ireland's ambulance services has highlighted a range of issues, from poor response times to the risk of older vehicles breaking down. The mammoth report, published today by the Health and Information Quality Authority, is recommending for some patients not to be brought to hospital, and instead treated at the scene or over the phone as well as a host of other recommendations to try and improve the service. Mick Dixon Chairman of The National Ambulance Service Representative Association outlined his concerns for the service with John.

MORNING FOCUS WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 4TH

MORNING FOCUS WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 4TH

The Christmas bonus is partially restored to over 27,500 long-term social welfare recipients in Clare this week. This figure includes more than 13,300 pensioners in Clare as well as people with disabilities, carers, lone parents, and long-term jobseekers. Overall, the campaign targets 80,000 pensioners nationwide throughout November and December through a series of information leaflets, local radio interviews and social media activity. Minister Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State at the Department of Health and the Department of Justice, joined John to discuss issues ranging from the reinstating of the Christmas bonus to elderly care.

A report into Ireland's ambulance services has highlighted a range of issues, from poor response times to the risk of older vehicles breaking down. The mammoth report, published today by the Health and Information Quality Authority, is recommending for some patients not to be brought to hospital, and instead treated at the scene or over the phone as well as a host of other recommendations to try and improve the service. Mick Dixon Chairman of The National Ambulance Service Representative Association outlined his concerns for the service with John.

MORNING FOCUS DECEMBER 2ND

MORNING FOCUS DECEMBER 2ND

Over 350000 secondary school teachers began the first day of a planned two day strike earlier today. Students across the county and country remained at home as a result of today's protests. Teachers are striking over what they consider to be unworkable changes to the Junior Cert cycle reform. John spoke with Peter Quinn of the ASTI and teacher in St Flannan's  in Ennis and the TUI representative for Clare Don Ryan of the Limerick College of Further Education.

An association of Clare natives in the USA is expressing scepticism about plans for immigration reform and what it will mean for the illegal Irish.As the Taoiseach urges the US President to be flexible regarding the Irish and their hopes of travelling home, The Clare Association in Chicago says he may be asking too much of a plan that may not even succeed.Under President Obama's plans undocumented immigrants whose children are legally resident to be protected against deportation for three years and to return to their countries of origin in certain circumstances without being banned from re-entry.It offers some hope to thousands of illegal Irish in the states but Cooraclare native Martin Falsey, who's a director of the Clare Association in Chicago says much more detail is required. Martin spoke to John about the new guidelines and what they mean to the illegal Irish living in the states.

MORNING FOCUS MONDAY DECEMBER 1ST

MORNING FOCUS MONDAY DECEMBER 1ST

GARDAÍ WILL BE able to take blood samples from drivers injured in crashes from today, as tight new road safety laws come into effect.The laws will also see Gardai implementing new roadside drug impairment tests. The laws will close a loophole that allowed drunk drivers avoid testing if they were unconscious or claimed to be injured. Barry Keating of Clare County Council outlined the new laws with John.

The entire executive of the Ennistymon branch of the IFA have resigned on foot of Clare Markets decision to sell Eniistymon mart . According to the committee it will be the first time in 70 years that there will be no branch of the IFA in Ennistymon. Tom Clare and Pat Donoghue former members of THE  Ennistymon Branch joined John to discuss their position.

MORNING FOCUS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28TH

MORNING FOCUS NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 28TH

There was mixed new for Shannon Airport this week, the good news that the extremely popular Santa Flights ware to return to the airport was tempered with the news that  Stobart air are to pull their Shannon services to Bristol, Brighton and Edinburgh . John spoke with Andrew Murphy, Chief Commercial Officer of Shannon about positives and negatives of the last week.