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Tag Archives: Michael McNamara

McNamara to raise match coverage rights issue with GAA

CLARE’S Independent TD is to raise the issue of the contractual restrictions faced by the national broadcaster in televising elements of the Senior Hurling Championship with the GAA. It follows confirmation received by Deputy Michael McNamara that RTÉ is unable to show the Clare v Wexford hurling match on Saturday, because of contractual terms of its coverage. The Senior Hurling Championship All-Ireland second-round qualifier is being tipped to be a mouth-watering encounter, particularly in light of the rivalry between managers and former All-Ireland winning team-mates Brian Lohan and Davy Fitzgerald. In a letter to Declan Bennett, seen by The Champion, Deputy Michael McNamara commended RTÉ for televising the Clare v Cork All-Ireland Senior Camogie Quarter Final game and suggested that they would consider doing the same for the hurling match. “As you will be aware, games have been previously televised on RTÉ News Now,” Deputy McNamra wrote. “Due to the rivalry between the teams and the close association between their managers, …

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McNamara pressures experts for answers on nursing homes Covid crisis

FURTHER questions have been asked about the transfer of patients from acute hospitals into nursing homes during the first wave of Covid-19 in this country, with Clare TD Michael McNamara repeatedly pressing experts about accountability for decision-making in the early months of the pandemic. An expert report finalised last month, shows that Clare had the highest incidence in Munster of Covid-19 cases in nursing homes during the first wave of the pandemic. Clare had 176 cluster-related cases in nursing homes, while Limerick had 78, during the same time-frame. Another interim report on the situation was published by the Dáil Special Committee on Covid-19 and, its chairperson, Deputy McNamara said last week’s hearings will inform the recommendations of its final report, which could include a call for a public inquiry into the issue. With close to 1,000 Covid-related deaths in Irish nursing homes in the first wave of the pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Ireland, as a …

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Approach to Covid-19 “has failed, is failing and will fail”

DESPITE high levels of self-congratulation, the Irish State’s response to Covid-19 has been a failure. That’s the view of Clare TD Michael McNamara, who chaired the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee. He says that other countries never imposed such severe restrictions, but have still achieved noticeably better results. “They’re saying ‘oh, we’re doing a great job’, but we haven’t, we’ve been failing miserably. There are many countries in Europe that adopted less onerous restrictions on their hospitality sector, on bars, on travel, on stopping people holidaying, they had none of that nonsense and they have a much lower detection rate than we have. “It’s not like we’ve made the sacrifice and it has been a success and we need to continue on the road we’re on because it’s worked. It hasn’t worked, it’s failed. It has failed, it is failing and it will fail. The only thing its succeeding in doing is destroying our economy and destroying the morale of our society, …

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Questions raised over extension of Covid powers for Gardaí

THE Clare-based chairperson of the Dáil committee on Covid-19 has described the prospect of legislating to give Gardaí the power to break up house parties as “tricky”. Deputy Michael McNamara called on government to make clear the rationale for new measures announced this week, which also include a reduction on numbers attending indoor and outdoor gatherings. “What is the basis of the current measures?” he asked, adding that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly must come before the committee to explain the government’s thinking. In relation to the extension of powers for Gardaí, Deputy McNamara said that what was being proposed is still unclear. He also warned that Constitutional issues may arise. “I’m unclear, at this point, as to what exactly the government is proposing,” he said. “In general terms, under the Constitution, the assumption is that a Garda is an invitee at a person’s home. The household or ‘teaglach’ is inviolable. If Gardaí are asked to leave, they must do …

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Shannon airport

Shannon Group CEO appears before Covid-19 committee

Among the people appearing before the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response today is Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine. Representatives of Ryanair, Aer Lingus and the DAA are also appearing before the committee in Leinster House. Passenger numbers at Shannon have fallen very significantly since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, while some Shannon Heritage sites have remained closed and others, including Bunratty Castle, are due to close for the season at the end of August. Shannon Group is also responsible for the operation of Shannon Heritage.  Speaking before the meeting, Committee chairman, Michael McNamara TD said: “The catastrophic impact the pandemic response has had on the aviation industry was outlined to Committee members, last week by unions. TDs were warned of a “tsunami” of redundancies and the potential liquidation of Aer Lingus. “We will continue our investigation into this sector, when we hear from officials from the management of Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports and officials from airlines; Aer Lingus …

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McNamara hears of lockdown plight of children with special needs

THE plight of parents who have been on lockdown caring for their children with special needs, and who would normally access the support of services like those provided by The Clare Cruaders, has been highlighted at the Special Committee on Covid-19. Chairperson of the committee, Scariff TD, Michael McNamara heard from a number of those advocating for children and families, including representatives from Inclusion Ireland, who outlined in detail the strains put on households and the regression experienced while services were closed. While the Department of Education and Skills has initiated an expanded summer programme, known as July provision, there are concerns about the children who will be excluded on the basis of their disabilities. Enda Egan, CEO of Inclusion Ireland told the committee, “The scheme continues to exclude cohorts of children with disabilities and has been characterised by poor planning, leaving schools and families frustrated and in the dark.” He also urged that the scheme be opened to “all children with …

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“They have to put on their Clare jersey”

WITH a range of challenges mounting for Clare, there was disappointment this week, as not only was the county denied a seat at the Cabinet table, there won’t even be a representative from the wider Mid-West Region. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Mary Howard said that while ability should be the first criteria, the lack of West of Ireland representation in the new Cabinet is striking. “The other night, when you looked at the map and there wasn’t a senior minister from Donegal down to Limerick, it wasn’t a nice thing to see. I’m hoping that the west of Ireland will have the majority of the junior ministries now. “It was glaring when you saw there was two ministers in Wicklow, three in Cork, six in Dublin and nothing at all from Donegal down to Limerick.” At the moment the Mid-West’s health services are a shambles, Shannon Airport seems to lurch from crisis to crisis, while there are fears that …

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Covid Committee Chair Highlights Childcare Sector Struggle

THE plight of childcare providers coping with insurance issues and increased regulation, as they get set to re-open, was highlighted this week by Deputy Michael McNamara, Chair of the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response. The Scariff-based TD handed over the role of chair for part of last Tuesday’s hearings so that he could pose questions to sector representatives. He noted that in Clare, many childcare providers with whom he spoke during his General Election campaign flagged “huge difficulties” because of the burden of costs and administration. Deputy McNamara asserted that this was “primarily because of the Department and its policies”. On the issue of increased red-tape for the sector, the Independent TD said providers in Clare had spoken of spending long hours on paperwork. He was responding to testimony from Paula Donohoe of the Association of Childhood Professionals, who had been forced to work full-time on administration. “My favourite part of the day was the three hours I spent in the …

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