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Tag Archives: Michael McNamara

Ennis MAU expansion will take heat off UHL

A FURTHER expansion of the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) in Ennis Hospital is underway with a staff recruitment process ongoing, writes Jessica Quinn. A non-consultant hospital doctor, clerical staff member, and additional members of staff in cardiology services are in situ, while three additional nursing staff are scheduled to take up their posts within the next fortnight. Additional resources in allied health, general support and radiology are also at various stages of an ongoing recruitment process, the HSE confirmed in a response to representations made on the matter by Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara. “The first phase of the expansion was effected in December 2020 with four additional slots being provided from Monday to Friday,” said Deputy McNamara. “Once the personnel that are currently being recruited are in place, the HSE says it will be in a position to increase the number of weekly slots in the MAU by a further 32 between Monday and Friday and 20 at weekends …

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Fears that Shannon’s Heathrow slots will go in 2022

TD accuses State of having no plan as Aer Lingus’ Shannon commitment runs its course SHANNON Airport’s link to Heathrow could be removed from September of next year, with little sign that the Government has plans to preserve it. The Heathrow link is provided by Aer Lingus, the former State airline, but there is no guarantee that will continue beyond next autumn. In the Dáil Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said that whether Aer Lingus continues with it or not is a matter for the airline. Heathrow is a global hub airport offering connectivity to a massive number of onward destinations, and the fact that Shannon has a link to it (albeit one temporarily suspended due to Covid-19) is vital to foreign direct investment and tourism in Clare and the surrounding counties. In a parliamentary question, Clare TD Michael McNamara asked the Minister to outline actions that have been taken to ensure Shannon-Heathrow connectivity, given that the seven-year ownership of the …

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Global status bid for Clare heritage sites branded ‘lacklustre’

GLOBAL status for a number of Clare heritage sites has the potential to bolster tourism in the wake of the pandemic, according to Clare’s Independent TD. Deputy Michael McNamara is urging the council to get behind efforts to secure UNESCO world heritage status for a number of Clare sites including Inis Cealtra. In a strongly-worded statement, the Scariff native contrasted the efforts to light global tourism sites in green for St Patrick’s Day with what he sees as a lack of action on securing longer international heritage status. Deputy McNamara described Ireland’s efforts to green global historic sites such as the Sydney Opera House, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Pyramids of Giza for St Patrick’s Day as in marked contrast to “lacklustre efforts to win recognition for historic sites in our own country”. Nationally, a review is taking place of a tentative list for consideration by UNESCO, which has the power to award a permanent international designation to selected heritage sites. The closing date for councils to make their …

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Fix found for North West Clare phone coverage issue

HOPES have been voiced of an end to a long-running problem for customers on eir’s mobile network across North West Clare. For several months now, customers have been frustrated by difficulties in achieving stable connections for calls and mobile broadband. The situation prompted an outpouring of anger from home, farm and business customers relying on the service, particularly during the pandemic. Such was the level of severity that the issue was raised in Dáil Éireann when Deputy Michael McNamara appealed to the Tánaiste to investigate the powers of the regulator, ComReg. The Independent TD was sharply critical of what he described as a failure to deliver on promises made in the Programme for Government. He raised the issue directly with the CEO of the company, Carolan Lennon after she faced an onslaught of criticism during an appearance before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications at the end of last year. Since raising the matter in the Dáil last month, …

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Positive end-of-year report for Clare’s TDs

CLARE’S four TDs have been given a positive end-of-year report by a former minister, after the first 12 months of the 33rd Dáil. Former defence minister Tony Killeen ran the rule of the constituency’s Dáil representatives and concluded that, as things stand, all four can be reasonably confident of retaining their seats. Mr Killeen judged first-time TD and Fianna Fáil Cathal Crowe to have made a positive impact. “I’m hearing some really positive feedback from individuals and community groups about his constituency office,” he said. “He seems to have become a go-to TD for community organisations. Cathal has a style that suits being out and about on the ground. The pandemic has restricted that, obviously, but he has been using Zoom to keep in touch. He has boundless energy, he seems to run on Duracell. Of course, he’s not a political novice, but he has succeeded in making a positive impression over his first year in the Dáil.” Another first-time …

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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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