Home » Tag Archives: Deputy Michael McNamara

Tag Archives: Deputy Michael McNamara

McNamara sharply critical of Covid restrictions

THE head of the Dáil’s Covid-19 committee has questioned whether those who set the rules on curbing the virus understand how people really live their lives, insisting that the current approach is not working. In a sharp attack on government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), Deputy Michael McNamara said a greater focus must be placed on educating people about how to live alongside the virus. Reacting to news that Gardaí are to be given enhanced powers to shut down pubs in breach of regulations, the Scariff man was highly critical of the government’s current policies. “We’ve had inspection, after inspection, after inspection,” he said. “On one weekend alone, Gardaí inspected 6,000 premises. At the same time, our infection rates continue to rise. In other countries, all pubs have been open all summer and yet we now have higher rates of Covid-19 than Sweden who avoided a lockdown. The policy seems to be that the beatings will continue …

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Hopes new Garda powers will allow full pub re-opening

CLARE vintners are hopeful that enhanced powers for Gardaí to close pubs not complying with Covid-19 guidelines, will pave the way for the full reopening of their industry. According to the Clare Chairperson of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), the forthcoming enforcement powers, which were discussed in the Dáil on Wednesday, are cause for optimism that all pubs might be allowed to re-open in compliance with public health guidelines. “It’s only fair that those flouting the rules should be shut down,” said Darragh McAllister of Lucas’s Bar and Considines in Ennis. “What we are hoping is that tighter rules might allow those of us who run wet pubs to open. In the VFI, we have been seeking these powers from the very beginning because we see them as an indication that all pubs will be given the chance to open and operate responsibly.” Mr McAllister denied that the differential treatment of food pubs, which re-opened in June, had created …

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Craggaunowen closure ‘ideological’ says McNamara

FUTURE development of tourism in East Clare will require new strategies to ensure that key historical sites are sustained as drivers of economic activity, according to a local TD. Scariff’s Deputy Michael McNamara has made the case, once again, for an alternative management structure for the Clare sites operated currently by Shannon Heritage. Since the advent of the pandemic, sites like Craggaunowen and Knappogue Castle outside the village of Quin have remained closed, amid a steep fall-off in international visitor numbers. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, which had been set to close in the autumn, secured an eleventh hour reprieve after a government funding injection of €2.6m. The money will enable it and King John’s Castle to stay open until the end of this year. Speaking to Scariff Bay Community Radio, the Independent TD said he had raised the need to support the wider Shannon Group, with Micheál Martin, before and since his election as Taoiseach. Deputy McNamara added that …

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Growing concern over possible transfer of Aer Lingus aircraft from Shannon

SHANNON Airport looks set for yet another body blow following reports that Aer Lingus are considering moving their transatlantic services to the United Kingdom. Aer Lingus have a number of aircraft based in Shannon and two of them are A321, which is a narrow bodied aircraft with long range with a smaller capacity than bigger A330. They are ideal for long haul flights from Shannon as they are cheaper to run than other aircraft and can take smaller numbers of passengers. It understood some English airports have indicated they are interested in hosting these aircraft and developing transatlantic services from these locations. A Shannon Group spokesperson said the group is in ongoing discussions with Aer Lingus regarding the resumption of its Heathrow and transatlantic operations. “These long established services have been hugely successful and their resumption is critical for business and tourism across western and southern regions. “These and other services have been suspended due to advice against non-essential travel …

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Former East Clare factory stores large volumes of PPE

  A 50-day supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers throughout the country is being stored in a former East Clare chipboard factory, the Clare Champion has revealed. Deputy Michael McNamara has visited the site of the old Finsa Forest Products factory in Scariff where he has witnessed the storage of a huge amount of PPP in an upgraded warehouse facility. Acknowledging the HSE has a number of storage facilities for PPE, Deputy McNamara said the amount of PPE in Finsa is enough to supply the needs of the whole country for 50 days. In addition to security, the East Clare Deputy believes some employment was generated as a result of upgrading the warehouse, and there are also plans to substantially improve other existing buildings. “PPE is by its nature flammable. Manufacturing ceased on the Finsa site in December 2010. For a short period afterwards, a number of sales staff were retained on site before they were moved. …

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Deputy McNamara seeks health care reforms

  MAJOR reforms will have to be delivered to transform health services in the Mid-West, particularly in the area of elderly care, according to a local Dáil deputy. If there is a second Covid-19 wave in the Mid-West during the winter, Deputy Michael McNamara has warned that it would not be acceptable if Covid-19 patients were left lying in trolleys in hospital corridors transmitting the virus. “We can’t continue with the current model for our health service and elderly care. We can’t be bringing patients into an overcrowded University Hospital Limerick (UHL). “There will have to profound changes in the way acute patients are treated because we can’t have overcrowding any more. “A stitch in time saves nine. Billions of Euro have been provided to deal with Covid-19. If a fraction of this money was spent improving our health service, we may not have needed to take such draconian measures. “The reason such draconian measures had to be taken was …

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Comment: Toddling TDs take six-week nap

PERHAPS like toddlers up past their bedtime, TDs were just over-tired as they hurled abuse at each other across the floor of the Convention Centre last week. As the first term of the 33rd Dáil drew to an end with a blazing row over speaking slots, the Leas Ceann Comhairle Catherine Connolly noted that it was very late and everyone was very tired. And after all, forming a government had taken a full four months. The gruelling process caused at least one minister to sink into those plush-looking Convention Centre seats for 40 winks, once the three-way coalition deal was finally done. Toddlers, we can easily forgive. With seasoned politicians, it’s more difficult. Several aspects of first term for the history-making coalition have been unedifying. We have had conflicting messages from the parties and internal wrangling within them. After packing their bags for a six-week break, TDs engaged in further back-biting; online and in the national newspapers. You could be …

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Proposals for expanded services at Tier 2 hospitals, including Ennis General

THE HSE has confirmed it is considering proposals to expand the level of services delivered from Tier 2 hospitals including Ennis General. This comes as the combination of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick and the Covid-19 pandemic has been described as “a catastrophe waiting to happen” by chair of the special Oireachtas Covid-19 committee Deputy Michael McNamara. Liam Woods, HSE national director of acute operations appeared before the committee where Deputy McNamara asked about the potential for increasing services at Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s in Limerick. Deputy McNamara outlined that, “Limerick consistently has the highest numbers of people on trolleys”. Mr Woods acknowledged that there has “been a demand and supply mismatch”, and that a number of developments have been directed at growing and improving capacity. He continued, “Hospital beds are not the solution in isolation in the health environment. In fact, excess focus on hospital beds as against community investment will lead to an ineffective situation. From our …

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