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Tag Archives: Covid-19

World tennis ace backs Killaloe man’s fund-raising campaign

RAFAEL Nadal is among the international sports stars supporting a Killaloe man to raise funds for a refugee camp in Greece. Tennis coach Wesley O’Brien is a regular volunteer at the Ritsona Refugee Camp, north of Athens. Two years ago, he started up a programme for residents, thanks to donations of rackets, balls and nets from clubs around the region, including his own in Killaloe-Ballina. As part of a bid to raise funds for a defibrillator for the camp, which is now home to 4000 people, Wesley has secured jerseys signed by some high profile individuals and teams. To-date, these include Nadal, the Munster Rugby Team, Usain Bolt, Rory McIlroy and Franz Beckenbaur. Wesley, who volunteers with Lighthouse Relief, now hopes to be able to sell these rare items in order to generate vital funding support for refugees. “I had raised funds for a defibrillator for the Killaloe-Ballina Tennis Club, so I decided to do the same again for Ritsona …

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councillor proposes two-hour limit for council meeting

A COUNCILLOR, who is still suffering from a severe bout of Covid-19, has proposed that their next council meeting should only last two hours in view of public health guidance. Clare County Council will hold its June meeting in Glór to comply with social distance guidelines instead of its normal venue at council headquarters. Councillor Ann Norton believes councillors need to make the necessary changes to standing orders to limit their statutory meetings to two hours as a precautionary safety measure. “We need to be cautious and ensure whatever can be done is done. I wouldn’t like to see anyone getting the virus. “I didn’t know I had Covid-19 so how can one of my colleagues know they had virus unless they were tested and told and then they will be in quarantine. “People don’t realise they have the virus. A number of people who had the virus weren’t tested because it was so mild but they could still pass …

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retiring clinical director issues Covid-19 warning

A retiring senior clinician has warned that public hospitals could still be overwhelmed by a resurgence of Covid-19. While UL Hospitals’ Group chief clinical director, Dr Gerry Burke is relieved with the suppression of coronavirus, he has urged people to “hold firm” as intensive care facilities in Ireland still have limited capacity to deal with a potential second wave of the virus later this year. “It has been a massive effort, but it’s a work in progress. The threat has not gone away. It has abated somewhat, but there is a threat of us being overwhelmed by a resurgence of the disease. “It’s important to remember that our ICU in capacity in Ireland is still limited; that we still have limited single room space; and limited numbers of medical and nursing staff. We must not be complacent. We have got to hold firm,” he said. In addition to requiring an additional 300 public acute beds, Dr Burke, who retired recently, …

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‘Out of the difficulties and sadness of this pandemic, it has brought us closer together as a community.’

IN recent weeks, debate has been raging over the Covid-19 death toll in residential facilities across Ireland. Despite the differing political opinions, there is little doubt that those living and working in nursing homes were at the forgotten front line for a number of crucial weeks as the pandemic took hold. Keeping coronavirus out involves a heroic struggle against an ever-present enemy. St Theresa’s Nursing Home in Kilrush, is one of the facilities that has managed to avoid an outbreak, while as many a quarter of homes in Clare have been affected to-date, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE). “My heart goes out to those who have had outbreaks,” said Yvonne Moroney, Director of Nursing at the family run facility on the Kilkee Road. “They have done everything in their power, but there is a constant risk and we are all living with that risk.” Yvonne, who is on call 24/7 at St Theresa’s, has seen an already demanding …

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ICA sews scrubs for nursing home staff

Members of Clare ICA and their friends joined forces and a nationwide appeal to sew scrubs for people working in healthcare settings during the Covid-19 pandemic. And the fruits of the endeavours was acknowledge last Monday when Clare ICA members and volunteer sewers Jenni Bostok, Ailish Malone and Mary Neylon handed over sets of scrubs to staff at St Senan’s Nursing Home. Clare ICA member Mary Neylon outlined their involvement in the campaign. “When the Coronavirus crisis highlighted a shortage of PPE in healthcare settings in Ireland, many people were moved to try to combat the difficulty. One of these was Sineád Lawlor. She decided to enlist volunteers to sew up the uniforms (scrubs) needed. “She set up an online Scrubs for Ireland Go-Fund-Me page to collect donations, so that she could buy material and then asked ICA to contact sewing personnel nationwide,” Mary explained. The usual fabric providers, Mary added, were swamped by requests from China, Italy, Spain and …

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council faces €19.7 million deficit

CLARE County Council is facing a potential deficit of €19.7 million as a result of the collapse in economic activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it emerged this week. Deputy Cathal Crowe has called on the government to intervene with additional funding to prevent the need for the local authority to request businesses to pay commercial rates next August. Even though local businesses have got a three-month commercial rates payment deferral, Deputy Crowe believes the government needs to address this issue to avoid a situation where the council will be seeking rates that are already owed. The Meelick Deputy said it is unfair to pubs and restaurants to be paying full commercial rates next Autumn. He pointed out a lot of the council’s expenditure can’t be cut because one of its biggest outlays is its wage bill. If the council has to reduce expenditure, he expressed fears that works on capital projects such as roads will have to be scaled …

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“I’m just dying to get back to work”

IT took a global pandemic to stop Patrick Bourke working on Bank Holiday Mondays. When the restrictions around Covid-19 were introduced, it meant that he literally could not work and he says it was the first time in 45 years not being at his business on the few bank holidays that fell during that time. On Tuesday, he was getting ready for reopening next week and his enthusiasm was unmistakable, even refreshing. Like a small child on Christmas morning, he hadn’t been able to rest, so keen was he to get back to work in his shops in Ennis and Kilrush. “I was awake at 5am and out of the bed at 5.20am. I had the front of the shop swept before the council workers started at eight o’clock this morning!” They will have nearly a week of preparatory work before the real thing starts next Monday. “Officially, next Monday is our first day back but we’re back preparing for …

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Campaign continues to re-open Tulla Bank of Ireland branch

A CAMPAIGN to have the Bank of Ireland in Tulla re-opened is gaining momentum. The branch was one of 101 nationwide which were closed temporarily in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Branches in Kilkee and Miltown were also shut down, as Bank of Ireland said it needed to switch focus to priority services. Members of the Killaloe Municipal District are to send a letter to the regional manager seeking the restoration of services, while a petition is circulating in the town and a Facebook campaign ‘Open Our Bank’ has been set up. Sheila Vaughan of Vaughan Supply said the concern locally is that the bank has used Covid-19 as an opportunity to close the Tulla branch permanently. “Bank of Ireland saw its chance and moved very quickly to close the doors,” she said. “The move is anti-rural, especially when so many small businesses are finding things tough.” Ms Vaughan said that while many services can be conducted on-line, the lack …

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