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Tag Archives: Simon Harris

IT upgrade makes Ennis a university town

THE announcement this week that Ennis is to become a university town has been described as “fantastic news” for the county capital and the entire region. The green light has been given for a new Technological University in the Mid-West and Midlands. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has designated Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology Ireland’s next technological university. LIT’s Ennis campus on Bindon Street will fall under the remit of the new institution. Announcing the designation of the new TU on Wednesday Minister Harris TD said, “This is another hugely important day for higher education in Ireland and in particular for the Midlands and Mid-West regions. “The higher education landscape is rapidly evolving and the people of the Midlands and Mid-West will henceforth be at the heart both geographically and practically of that evolution. “This new technological university designate will increase higher education access, provide enhanced research-led teaching and …

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Free flu vaccine to be extended

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has announced his intention extend the influenza vaccine to children without charge. Minister Harris confirmed all of those in the HSE-defined at-risk groups, aged from six months to 69 years inclusive will also be available to access the vaccine without charge. All people aged over 70 already have access without charges. The vaccination will be available to all children aged from two to 12 years inclusive. Work is underway to plan and give effect to this policy and further information will be provided when arrangements have been finalised. Minister Harris said: “A resurgence of COVID-19 during the coming flu season could present a significant challenge to the delivery of healthcare services in the coming winter. “That is why officials from my Department have been working closely with the HSE to put in place an expansion of the seasonal influenza vaccination programme for winter 2020/21. “Flu is a potentially fatal illness and I want to …

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deputies differ on easing of Covid-19 restrictions

HEALTH Minister Simon Harris is coming under pressure to ease some of the Covid-19 restrictions in Clare following official confirmation the incidence of the virus is the second lowest in Munster. According to official figures, Waterford has the lowest number of confirmed cases in Munster on Wednesday with 138 compared to 229 in Clare, 288 in Kerry, 370 in Tipperary, 518 in Limerick and 1,126 in Cork. Even when population is taken into account, Clare has the second lowest incidence of Covid-19 per head in the province. As frustration grows over how many weeks Clare people will be forced to remain in a restrictive national lockdown, Deputy Michael McNamara has presented a strong case for the need to apply a different level of restrictions in different regions subject to public health guidance. New EU guidelines for the control of Covid-19 have proposed that national lockdowns could be replaced by targeted regional measures. However, the new EU guidelines also recommend that …

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Valerie Vocalises Vaccine Link

AN EAST Clare woman who believes that her son’s severe autism may be linked to vaccines he received in early childhood has launched a campaign calling for all new-born children to be screened for vulnerability to potential side-effects. Valerie O’Shaughnessy from Scariff sought the support of members of Clare County Council who approved a motion calling on Minister Simon Harris to introduce such a national screening protocol. The motion will now go before all other local authorities in the State. Valerie told The Clare Champion that her own experience, combined with ongoing personal research and review of the scientific evidence, has led her to the conclusion that children, like her own son Dara, who have compromised immune systems, are potentially at risk from the administration of live vaccines. “I have a social conscience I have a moral duty,” she says. “And I trying to bring this to the fore because I’m concerned about Irish children. I’m concerned about Irish families, I’ve lived …

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Laura laid to rest in Ennis

THE late Laura Brennan was remembered very fondly at a service of remembrance in Ennis Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon. Laura’s father Larry paid tribute “to the many people who have supported the family including, the people of Ennis who have wrapped their arms around us since Laura went public with her campaign.” The cathedral was packed and heard from chief celebrant, Fr Pat Malone that Laura “is testimony to a great truth, that one person can make a difference.” Among the hundreds of people who attended were Colonel Liam Condon, Aide de Camp to President Michael D Higgins, Caroline Burke, Aide de Camp to An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Health Minister, Simon Harris and RTE broadcaster, Ryan Tubridy. They heard Laura described by Fr Malone as “a selfless giver who spent her energy to her last so that others may be spared the ill health that she experienced.” Laura had been laid to rest earlier in Drumcliff Cemetery in Ennis at …

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Minister to prioritise funding of UHL 60-Bed Modular Unit

CLARE junior minister, Pat Breen says that he has received confirmation today (Monday) from Minister for Health, Simon Harris, that he will, prioritise the 60-bed modular unit at the University Hospital Limerick. “I have been in communication with both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health on the issue of the 60-bed modular unit at the University Hospital Limerick and as late as today, Minister Harris confirmed to me that “funding will be provided for this important project to progress,” Deputy Breen said. “There were concerns raised a number of weeks ago that the construction of the proposed unit, which is aimed at alleviating overcrowding, could be postponed due to the overrun of the National Children’s Hospital. Immediately, I contacted the minister for health to ensure he understood the importance of the unit to the Mid West. He assured me he did and that he was committed to the project. He said he intends to fully honour this commitment to …

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New National Adult Safeguarding Policy

A new National Adult Safeguarding Policy is to be developed for the health sector, after Government granted approval for the move this week. The safety and protection of vulnerable people is a key objective of Government and society. The Government’s decision acknowledges the need to build further on the existing range of policies, procedures, codes of practice and legislation aimed at protecting and safeguarding vulnerable adults in the health sector in Ireland. The Department of Health will now undertake an extensive exercise of research and policy development to assist in framing an appropriate policy and legislation for the health sector. This will be a complex undertaking and the Department aims to engage with stakeholders to assist in informing the development of the policy. To that end, a public consultation and engagement process will be undertaken in 2018. The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said, “The safety and protection of adults at risk of abuse is paramount. We are committed to …

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New body for children’s hospitals

Minister for Health, Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) announced the publication of the General Scheme of the Children’s Health Bill 2017. This will create a single statutory entity to run the new national Children’s Hospital. The new body will take over the services of the existing three Dublin children’s hospitals, (Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght Hospital), and run the new children’s hospital, which is being built on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital, as well as the paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals. Minister Harris said, “This is a very important step on the road towards the new children’s hospital and follows the Government decision in April to approve the construction investment for the hospital and associated outpatient and urgent care centres. This new hospital is an extraordinary opportunity to transform paediatric services for children in Ireland by bringing together patients and …

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