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Tag Archives: Covid-19

12 O’Clocks Hills reopen popular walking trails

AFTER a 50-day shut-down, hill-walkers have been able to return to one of the county’s premier amenities at the 12 O’Clock Hills. The facility was closed in March to help with efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19, even before official public health guidelines kicked in. Last Monday, the operators welcomed walkers living within five kilometres of the facility and issued new guidelines to ensure social distancing. Chairperson of the 12 O’Clock Hills committee, Patsy Neville said the co-operation of the public had been greatly appreciated during the lock-down. “We had a tremendous response,” he said. “For once, we were delighted that people stayed away. We’re delighted now to welcome people back. Once we announced the re-opening, we had 7,000 views on our social media, so there is a huge demand to get back hill-walking.” Mr Neville also advised that those intending to use the facility would take a little extra time to make themselves aware of new guidelines. “It’s …

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“I find Sundays very long” Marty Morrissey on lockdown and missing championship

THERE is a feeling that the country has the Covid-19 tiger by the tail already but Marty Morrissey is calling on everyone to keep their guard up now, to avoid squandering a very good response to the crisis. “I think we need to be very careful. On my travels in the last couple of days I’ve seen lots of young people gathering at corners. I’d be worried. Whatever chance we have, we really need to be careful coming out of lockdown. “I think there’s a danger we’ll say ‘ah we’re grand now’ and we’re not. In most countries, there’s been a second wave and the second wave is often worse. So, I would urge people to really abide by the rules,” he told The Clare Champion on Monday. “It’s easy to forget a lot of people have died from this and a lot of people are sick from it. I think it needs to be re-emphasised, I’d be worried about …

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Killaloe businesses adapt to Covid-19 restrictions

BUSINESSES in Ballina and Killaloe have re-opened on a limited basis as they come to terms with operating new social distancing guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic. McKeogh’s Hardware, Ballina, closed for two weeks at the end of March when the national lockdown was announced. Fred McInerney of McKeogh’s recalled they operated on a call-and-collect basis for a number of weeks before they re-opened fully on Monday. Mr McInerney said the area of the store was mapped out before the lockdown and acknowledged most people are adhering to social distancing guidelines. Gloves and hand sanitiser are provided in the store and perspex screens are provided for staff. He said there was a big demand for paint during the call and collect period and now the demand has switched to outdoors with large numbers requesting DIY to complete repair jobs and decking. The Lakeside Hotel is planning to re-open from July 20 with restrictions for social distancing. It is expected their leisure …

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Ennis primary school making ‘Progress’ in online education

AN Ennis primary school has been taking homeschooling to another level, keeping connected to students by launching its own online channel. Like all schools across the country, Holy Family Ennis has been deeply impacted by the arrival of Covid-19. A group of teachers at the school came together to formulate an online learning plan to support their students and from this, Progress TV was born. Co-ordinator and fifth class teacher, Darryl Eade explains, “Social media was inundated with homemade videos when the lockdown began. There were cooks, fitness instructors, health experts and musicians posting recordings from their living rooms. We wondered could a few of us record some simple educational lessons and present them in a fun and light-hearted way. Our hope was that the students would be naturally motivated to engage with each activity. We assembled a team and got started on episode one.” Progress TV has grown into a weekly video classroom with staff from Holy Family Senior …

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“There are people who it has been far worse for”

BROADCASTER and author Rachael English is still on the radio regularly but hasn’t been into RTÉ for over two months. “I think the last time I was in the building was on March 18. Ever since then, I have a little box that uses the wifi and it came from Radio Sport. They ordinarily are the users, it even has a link to Croke Park on it, they’re unlikely to be able to use that for a while,” the Shannon woman says. Presenting Morning Ireland to hundreds of thousands of listeners isn’t the kind of thing one normally does from home but Rachael has got into the habit of it. “It takes a little bit of getting used to, but a lot less than I thought it would. It was a great relief there for a few weeks that it was possible to do it like that. There was one day that the wifi went down, not during the programme …

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“We’ll be bailing out each other”

WITH massive numbers of people out of work, even the language about the economic shock seems jaded, according to UL-based economist Stephen Kinsella. “The first thing to note is that we need to come up with new words for unprecedented,” he jokes. “The only time I can compare this to is the Second World War, the Emergency, when everything was rationed.” So many people who were contributing to the State’s coffers just a few months ago are drawing from them now but can this continue? “You could conceivably keep doing it. It costs something like €200 million a week. Every long month, that’s a billion quid. The stock of debt is slightly over €200bn and we can borrow very, very cheaply. “If it’s a question of keeping the wolf from the door for lots and lots of people or allowing them to go on the dole, then you should just keep spending the money. Forever isn’t possible but to the …

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“We are in the depression”

WHILE the battle against Covid-19 is being won in the towns and villages of the Banner, the county has slipped into an economic depression. Around 14,400 Clare people are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350, with 900 medically certified for receipt of a Covid-19 related Illness Benefit payment. More than 1,000 Clare businesses, employing approximately 7,300 people, have registered for the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. There are also 5,662 people on the Live Register, according to the most recent statistics from the Central Statistics Office. When all of these are combined, it seems likely that the majority of Clare’s workforce are now receiving some level of support from the State, an unprecedented situation. Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Limerick Stephen Kinsella spoke to The Clare Champion on Tuesday and when asked if an economic depression is now inevitable, he said, “I think the right way to think about it is that we are in the …

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East Clare businesses take first steps on the road to re-opening

ADAPTING to challenging times is nothing new for the East Clare business community and, as some sectors of the local economy begin to re-open, the goal is to survive and thrive as the ‘new normal’ becomes apparent. In Tuamgraney, Nuala’s Bar and Restaurant occupies a premises that dates back over 150 years. It has had three different licensees over that time, and was formerly McCormac’s Bar and later Durack’s. A thriving food business began in 1999 and, in order to cater for her loyal customers, Nuala O’Brien began to offer a takeaway service once the restrictions kicked in. “I was aware very quickly that small-scale operations would not be viable, so it was a case of scaling up or shutting down,” she explained. “I’m taking on-line orders now and that works really well. Between 1 and 8pm, customers can order in advance, then pull up in the car park where I will drop the food straight into the boot, they …

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