Tag Archives: coronavirus

This afternoon.

Kildare Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless (above left) speaks to a reporter from VMT on the outbreak of coronavirus cases at O’Brien Fine Foods, home of Brady’s ham, where 80 employees have reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.

All operations at the facility have been stopped.




From top: James McManus and Shane Dunne; Inside Business podcast

How are small businesses linked to tourism and entertainment coping with the coronavirus?

Shane Dunne, founder of Cork’s ‘Indiependence’ festival, and James McManus, CEO of Earth’s Edge adventure holidays, spoke yesterday with Cliff Taylor of The Irish Times‘ ‘Inside Business’ podcast.

Shane said:

“The government are great at using the craic and the ceol for soft diplomacy, you know, we’ve a seat on the UN Security Council that came from a U2 gig. They go to [Washington] DC every Paddy’s Day with the bowl of shamrock, you know, and talk about the music from Ireland.

Well the next time they go, it probably won’t be next year, probably 2022, but, you know, they can hang their head in shame because, at this point, they’re completely ignoring it.

There’s a lot of money in that stimulus package, it’s seven of eight billion but it appears again that we have a Government who have just scatter-gunned it all over the place without really putting any thought into it.

And they’ve left two industries, aviation and tourism are are part of those where they’ve just kind of gone ‘well, screw you’, you know, ‘we’ll let you fall‘.

Michael McNamara, the TD from Clare who is the chair of that [Special Covid-19] Oireachtas committee, you know, had a very good one line.

I think he said ‘In the time of clerics, the arts survived but in the time of medics, it’s going to be let go to the wall’.

[Michael McNamara’s exact quote: “I am perplexed by the fact that it is acceptable to have 150 people in an aircraft for three hours yet 150 people in the Abbey Theatre is a threat to life. That is nonsense. During the reign of clerics, the arts were supported but it seems during the reign of medics, they are left to go to the wall.”]

What do we have if we can’t go an climb a mountain with James or if we can’t go to a gig or go to the theatre, you know.

What life will be left for people when this is over if all of these businesses, you know, do fail.”

The issue for James McManus and Earth’s Edge is that the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) is being halved from €410 per week to €203 per week on August 31.

He said he’d be happy to get a loan but it wouldn’t be sensible given he’s no money coming in.

James told ‘Inside Business’:

“I just know with this scheme if you’ve kept staff on, your costs are going to double so, we really need some help.

As a country we have to decide whether we’re going to completely abandon these industries or we’re going to help them out.

“But from the first of September, we’re getting our funding cut in half. And we’re already losing money, we’ve already dropped staff so it’s a real problem.

I can’t see how it makes financial sense to not continue to support it. The long-term pain is going to be greater if we shut all these small businesses down.

And what I don’t understand is if we can, as a country, if can borrow this so-called free money, at such low interest rates…you’ve a country like France, they’re extending their wage subsidy scheme for another two years, Germany are out until 2021, the UK’s is running longer than ours.

And this is in, we’re talking about three weeks’ time when this is ending and it’s just on a knife edge for us so we really need the support and we need it right now.”

Earth’s Edge


Pics: Twitter

RTÉ News health Correspondent Fergal Bowers


Last night.

This morning.

G’wan the Frank.

Previously: Come Out, You’re Back And Tanned


This afternon

A campaign aimed at the 3,500 pubs across Ireland which had been expecting to reopen next week,

The majority of pubs will now have to keep their doors shut for a minimum of 168 days…

…which represents 46% of a year.

The LVA and the VFI said the “sympathy” being expressed by the Government figures will not save pub businesses or jobs.

This is the second time in three weeks that the Government has delayed the reopening of the pubs. The Government is also yet to publish the guidelines for how these pubs will be expected to operate…..

550 Pubs say they will reopen on Aug 15th against Government Guidelines (John Daly, An Síbín)

This morning.

Via RTÉ:

A spokesperson for the bank said it had launched a voluntary redundancy programme that would see staff numbers reducing to fewer than 9,000, from a current workforce of 10,400.

Earlier, the bank reported a loss of €669 million before tax for the first six months of the year, after putting aside €937 million, mainly to cover losses related to Covid-19 loan repayment breaks.

In its half year results, the bank said Covid-19 had a material impact on the group’s financial performance and outlook….

BOI to cut 1,400 jobs as it sets aside €937m for potential bad loans (RTE News)


Minister for Health Stephen Donelly at Dublin Castle yesterday

This morning.

RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said Covid-19 is ‘spreading at a fast rate’ around the world, and the five-day average cases in Ireland has jumped from ‘less than 10 to over 50 recently’.

Via RTÉ:

He said the rise in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 was being driven by clusters of cases all around the country and eight of these clusters were “quite significant”.

He said the National Public Health Emergency Team is unanimous and unambiguously of the view that things are “very, very finely balanced” and the Government decided to take a cautious approach.

Mr Donnelly said that international evidence shows the number of cases do rise when pubs reopen, but hoped in time that businesses and pubs might be able to reopen in a phased or regional basis.

Covid-19 community transmission ‘across country’, says Donnelly (RTÉ)


The Incoming President of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland has described the decision not to reopen all pubs next Monday as a “kick in the teeth“.

Paul Moynihan said publicans had done all that was asked of them to reopen in a safe and sanitised way and it was “very late in the day” to tell them they could not reopen on 10 August as expected.

Mr Moynihan said the number of Covid cases have been rising while most pubs remain shut and said there have been no increase in cases associated with pubs that serve food, which re-opened five weeks ago.

Last night: Fancy A Scoop?





This afternoon.

Former footballer Gary Dempsey makes a plea for improved mental health services and for people to reach out to those who they feel may be in trouble amid reports of depression and suicides during lockdown.

 RTÉ News Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers

Going anywhere nice this year?

This afternoon

Fergal Bowers, RTÉ News Health Correspondent, writes:

‘It used to be the case that returning from a holiday abroad with a nice suntan was something to flaunt to friends and neighbours.

Arriving back, still in a colourful top and shorts, pulling a noisy suitcase along the road, was part of the ‘I’m home’ routine.

But not anymore.

With Covid-19 and the travel advice and restrictions, foreign holidays have taken on a clandestine element.

A newly-tanned face and body is not a good look these days. It gets heads turning and prompts questions.

So a quiet return, under cover of darkness, is the new way.

Any failure to self-isolate will be noticed in these very changed times….’



Any excuse.

We must learn to co-exist alongside our Covid-19 enemy (Fergal Bowers, RTÉ)