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Tag Archives: Senator Martin Conway

Púca paused but division remains in Ennistymon

Senator calls on committee to explain its rationale in selecting controversial sculpture THE committee who chose a controversial public sculpture for Ennistymon have been called on to come forward and make a statement on the row that has erupted over the plan. Senator Martin Conway, a native of the town, insisted the proposed Púca of Ennistymon, a mythical half-man, half horse, must be “consigned to history”. The two-metre high sculpture was chosen for a site at the bottom of Church Hill, after an open competition, as part of a significant upgrade to the streetscape of the town. The artist who won the commission, Aidan Harte, told The Champion he believes the piece meets the brief of creating an “out-of-the-ordinary” piece that will entice visitors to stop and spend time in Ennistymon. However, anger at a perceived lack of public consultation and objections to the design, prompted Clare County Council to announce the pausing of the project. Senator Conway has now …

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Conway: use our vaccination centres to give the HPV jab

CONCERNS shared by the family of the late Laura Brennan about the effect Covid-19 has had on the roll-out of the HPV vaccine have been highlighted in the Seanad. Senator Martin Conway has urged the government to “think outside the box”, suggesting Covid-19 vaccination centres could be used to administer the HPV vaccine alongside drafting in pharmacists. The Fine Gael Senator recalled the “phenomenal work” that Laura Brennan did in promoting the vaccine prior to her death. “We are all fully aware of the immense challenges that have been posed by the Covid-19 pandemic but this vaccine is extremely important. It is critical to the future health of girls and boys,” he said. He continued, “The pandemic caused difficulties, particularly in the delivery of the programme within schools. It is well-recognised that giving the vaccine in schools has resulted in a significantly higher uptake. We need to think outside the box. “We have had vaccine capacity in some of the …

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Senators raise Clare concerns with tourism minister

THE plight of a number of Clare tourism businesses was raised in the Seanad this week as Minister Catherine Minister appeared before the upper house. Senator Timmy Dooley voiced concerned that venues including the Ail wee Cave and Doolin Cave might not be allowed to reopen at Level 3 as outlined last month in the Path Ahead Plan. The Fianna Fáil member told the chamber he had had communication from The Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions outlining how such venues have extensively invested in new and updated safety measures and training Fáilte Ireland’s Covid-19 safety charter. He argued that these attractions are well placed to reopen “as safe spacious places”. “Given the likelihood outbound international travel for Irish holiday makers will be hugely curtailed this summer, and recognising that there will little, if any, inbound tourism, there is an onus on all of us involved at State level to try to ensure these facilities are supported and the restrictions …

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Hospitals’ Group Defends Administration Of Vaccine Roll Out

THE UL Hospitals’ Group has defended its management of administering vaccines against Covid-19 following concern over the disparity in distribution among hospital groups. Senator Martin Conway said certain questions remained unanswered in view of statements made by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly on this issue. He said it looks as if the national vaccination group approached all the hospital groups and asked them how many they needed to vaccinate and the micro management of the roll out was managed by the individual hospital group. “Why did Ennis Hospital receive vaccines initially and Nenagh Hospital didn’t? Why didn’t the mental health nurses get it? “How did the South West Hospital Group administer 19,000 and the UL Hospitals’ Group only 3,400 in the same period of time? “The group needs to supply details how many vaccines it requested in the first round and outline in chronological order step by step what engagement they had with the national immunisation task force and what number …

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Health insurance companies must eliminate small print – Conway

THOUSANDS of Clare patients have been urged to seek clarity on what their private health insurance documentation covers before signing up for another year. Senator Martin Conway has urged the health insurance industry to eliminate small print from all their documentation in order to ensure all customers are fully aware of what they are covered for. The Fine Gael Spokesperson on Health in the Seanad said it is not acceptable that people only discover that they have either partial cover or no cover at all when they are in need of a medical procedure. “This is adding to the stress and anxiety that people are facing during what is a traumatic and difficult period in their lives. “The last thing that somebody facing medical treatment should be anxious about is whether their health insurance will cover them or not. They deserve to know that information and not have to find it out when the cover is needed. “I also believe …

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No timescale for elective surgery deferrals

HOSPITAL waiting lists look set to increase significantly again following the cancellation of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments in public acute facilities amid concern from a local senator Covid-19 is spreading in Clare like “wildfire”. UL Hospitals’ Group has confirmed the deferral, until further notice, of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments across the group. This includes University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. University Maternity Hospital Limerick is unaffected by the reductions. The number of Clare and Mid-West public in-patient and day case waiting lists soared from 4,198 in January 2020 to 6,612 last November, while the numbers on outpatients’ lists jumped dramatically from 47,134 to 55,088 during the same period. There has been an increase of almost 3,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West from December 19 to January 3. According to official statistics, the number of positive cases in Clare jumped from 1,546 to 2,135; …

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Home owners urged to come forward amid hopes of pyrite scheme extension

A PARTEEN woman, whose home has been seriously damaged by the presence of a defective building material, has made an emotional appear for others affected to go public about their situation. Geraldine Kennedy is one of more than 35 members of the recently-formed Clare Pyrite/Mica Action Group. The group is calling for home owners in this county to be allowed into a scheme to address the issue of defective concrete blocks in Donegal and Mayo. The grandmother of ten has already spent thousands of Euro on tests to prove that her home has 95% pyrite. She later spent €6,000 to have a chimney taken down, after fears it might fall. During a meeting over Zoom with Senator Timmy Dooley, Mrs Kennedy urged others to go public to highlight the extent of the distress the issue is causing. “I would encourage people to get in touch with the media,” she said. “We have already gotten local and national publicity. It’s not …

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Thousands of new college courses for Midwest region

MORE THAN 3,000 courses are to be made available through colleges serving the Midwest, following an investment in an initiative to upskill people in response to the economic impact of the pandemic. 271 additional post-graduate places and 2,769 additional modular places will be available at the University of Limerick (UL), Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) after an investment of €30 million. Senator Martin Conway said the new free and subsidised higher education places would “help get people back to work, upskill workers and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19”. “People are really suffering as a result of this pandemic and the government is working to provide opportunities for those who have been most affected and ensure that they have the skills that are needed by employers today,” the Fine Gael member said. “Many courses focus on future proofing the skills of …

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