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Tag Archives: Covid-19

Scariff anti-mask protests strongly condemned

ANGER over the regular presence in Scariff of a number of people protesting about pandemic public health guidelines has prompted furious debate on social media and a rejection of the anti-mask agenda. Since the end of last year, a group of up to 10 people been gathering in the centre of the East Clare town at weekends, carrying placards with phrases including, ‘Breathe again, masks do nothing’ and ‘I am here for your freedom too’. It is understood the group operate under the name ‘Vigil for Freedom’. In recent days, The Champion has been contacted by a concerned senior citizen living locally. In a strongly-worded letter, the man said he was “angered and appalled” by the demonstrations and the “callous disregard” of those taking part. “At this time when hospitals are being overrun by the sick and dying it is just not acceptable to have this type of demonstration going on,” he said. “Doctors, nurses and other health workers are …

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Council and Gardaí ask public to keep up Covid effort at ‘critical time’

THE people of Clare are being urged to keep up their efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 at this “critical time.” Clare County Council and An Garda Síochána have joined forces to emphasise the importance of following the guidelines to save people’s lives. With case numbers persistently high and the health service coming under significant pressure, Chief Executive of the Council Pat Dowling and Chief Superintendent of Clare Garda Division Sean Colleran have called on everyone in the county to make another extra effort to drive down the levels of infection in our communities.  The risk of transmitting or getting Covid-19 is currently very high. The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has described the situation in hospitals as stark, with people of all ages being admitted to hospital and being taken into intensive care units.  Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said, “This is a critical time. The situation is urgent. The Chief Medical Officer has warned …

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Shannon airport

Shannon Airport passenger numbers fell to 352,000 in 2020

JUST over 352,000 people used Shannon Airport in 2020, a 79% drop on 2019, Shannon Group has revealed. Shannon Group’s heritage sites, which include Bunratty and King John’s Castles, had 302,000 visitors last year, which was down by almost 69% on 2019. CEO of Shannon Group Mary Considine said that while Covid-19 did huge damage to its business, there is a basis for recovery. “Covid-19 had a devastating impact on two of our three business operations, but with the right supports, the foundations for recovery exist within Shannon Group, namely our improved core airport infrastructure, vibrant property portfolio, strong tourism offering and vibrant aviation cluster.” Aviation is on the floor now, but she says there are positive signs for Shannon. ““With Ryanair set to reopen its base and operate 14 new routes from Shannon for Summer ’21 there are green shoots, but we recognise that recovery will be slow, rebuilding will take time, but we will get there. Crucial to …

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Full time carers should be prioritised in vaccination programme – Cllr Norton

FULL time carers and people with disabilities should be vaccinated as soon as possible, according to Councillor Ann Norton. Councillor Norton has called on the government to follow the example of the United Kingdom by prioritising carers and family members they are looking after for the vaccine against Covid-19. As a parent and full time carer, the Independent Councillor wrote to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, Tanáiste Leo Varadkar and An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin about the need to prioritise carers as part of the national vaccination programme and was very disappointed with the lack of any serious engagement. She received a standard acknowledgement from Minister Donnelly’s secretary, an automatic response from Deputy Varadkar and no response from the Taoiseach. Councillor Norton, who cares for her daughter, Nicole, (23) said it was time for the government to recognise carers were saving the state huge sums of money by keeping children and adults out of long stay residential facilities. “Full time carers are …

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Gort Foróige honoured for video promoting Covid awareness

GORT Foróige has been honoured for raising awareness of Covid-19, after scooping a prize at the prestigious national virtual festival. More than 450 short films about science and technology were entered into the ReelLIFE Science Video Competition by over 2,500 people from 130 schools and youth groups around Ireland. Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including ‘Múinteoir Ray’ Cuddihy from RTÉ’s After School Hub; BBC Wildlife and Children’s presenter, Ferne Corrigan; and the 2020 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, from Coláiste Choilm in Cork. Foróige Youth Service in Gort took third place in the youth group project category. Before the current lockdown, the Junior Filmmaking Group came together to make a short video to raise awareness about the spread of Covid-19 in everyday environments. The group was involved in all aspects of the filmmaking project, from planning, directing, acting to editing and post production. The informative and creative piece …

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No timescale for elective surgery deferrals

HOSPITAL waiting lists look set to increase significantly again following the cancellation of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments in public acute facilities amid concern from a local senator Covid-19 is spreading in Clare like “wildfire”. UL Hospitals’ Group has confirmed the deferral, until further notice, of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments across the group. This includes University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. University Maternity Hospital Limerick is unaffected by the reductions. The number of Clare and Mid-West public in-patient and day case waiting lists soared from 4,198 in January 2020 to 6,612 last November, while the numbers on outpatients’ lists jumped dramatically from 47,134 to 55,088 during the same period. There has been an increase of almost 3,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West from December 19 to January 3. According to official statistics, the number of positive cases in Clare jumped from 1,546 to 2,135; …

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Hospitals’ Group issues new advice for hospital admissions

A HOSPITAL medic has appealed for people to follow all public health guidelines to curb the increasing spread of Covid-19 as the UL Hospitals’ Group prepares for a surge in admissions of very sick patients with the virus. Visiting bans which were imposed across acute public hospital sites in the Mid-West at the outset of the pandemic in March 2020 remain in force. Prof Brian Lenehan, Chief Clinical Director, UL Hospitals’ Group said the group regretted it is again curtailing scheduled care in their hospitals. He pledged the group will prioritise their most urgent patients for planned procedures and appointments and look forward to increasing this activity as soon as possible. “We have commenced vaccinating hospital staff against Covid-19 as part of the biggest such mass vaccination campaign ever seen in Ireland. It gives our staff such a sense of optimism that we are at the beginning of the end of this pandemic. “They know what they are potentially facing …

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Garda checkpoints return under Level 5 lockdown

‘EXPECT to meet us anywhere,’ is the message from Clare Gardaí as they continue to enforce public health restrictions on travel. Following the return to Level 5, the policing plan for the division will now see three static checkpoints in Clare, and a number of roving, randomised checkpoints on roads across the county. “We will have checkpoints right across the division and you can expect to meet us anywhere,” said Superintendent John Galvin. “As well as three static checkpoints, we will be operating random, short-term checkpoints at a wide range of locations. The message is that if you are on out on the roads, we will be asking you about the purpose of your journey.” Superintendent Galvin noted that the approach taken to policing the 5km travel restrictions will be a “common sense” one. “We will be there to explain, advise and encourage,” he said. “People are entitled to travel to shop for essentials, for example, but they shouldn’t need …

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