Statement from the Lord Mayor of Cork on the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Tomas Mac Curtain





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Statement from the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr John Sheehan:

‘Our lives have changed like we couldn’t have imagined: the ordinary everyday now imbued with risk. Suddenly door handles, countertops, the stair rail, even our phones have been weaponised.

We keep a watchful eye on our children with asthma, we’re doubly protective of our children with special needs. Some of you may be fretting about family members already fighting illness. Everyone stops when somebody coughs.

Some fear is utterly understandable. At the beginning, coronavirus was an item on the foreign news pages, slowly it crept further up through the pages of our newspapers. And now in a matter of days, it may seem like it has taken control of our world: upending how we live our daily lives even though the vast majority of us are healthy and well.

It’s too easy to think that life is spiralling out of control.

It isn’t.

It isn’t because we can take this on.

Unity can triumph over fear. It is literally ‘in the hands’ of us all.

This show of unity begins with remembering to wash your hands as we’ve been taught, it’s disposing of tissues properly, it’s sneezing into your elbow when the tissues run out. It’s remembering to keep the surfaces at work clean and most poignantly, it’s getting your ‘smallies’ to facetime Granny to keep her spirits up when really they want to run into her arms.

The Chinese and Italians desperately want us to learn from their experience. While social distancing may be anathema to a nationality as warm as the Irish, this distancing will save hundreds if not thousands of lives. Ironically, by staying apart, we will protect our families, our friends, our work colleagues, our neighbours.

By stepping back from normality, we will show our commitment to one another and to our way of life. We will demonstrate our resilience as a people.

But this need to pull together is about far more than the hand hygiene and the new social etiquette that has been foisted upon us. Thousands of us who were at work last week are suddenly filling out Covid-19 emergency payment funds this week. Employers who were anticipating expansion are fearing foreclosure. Our communities are also our independent traders, our small producers, our makers, our local café, restaurant or small business. Many of these are finding creative ways to keep bringing their produce and service to you. Take them up on it. Small business needs our support now more than ever and ‘bricks and mortar’ business will need to see and feel our support when this episode comes to a close.
Also take heart from the army of volunteers across the city and country who mobilised via social media to ‘shop for the elderly or vulnerable and to deliver food to the elderly and vulnerable’. In my own community, local champions like the indefatigable Kate Durrant are broadcasting you tube videos teaching housebound people how to bake bread.
Just look at our own city library service where staff decided to print boxes off ‘emergency payment forms’ upon discovering people were finding it difficult to access them. At City Hall, staff still come to work to ensure streets are clean, the roads are gritted, the traffic lights work, the parks are open and not least, to provide for the homeless – but an increasing number are also being deployed to the HSE to boost their contact tracing firepower.

But, remember, for many of us, the greatest challenge isn’t the physical restrictions being placed upon us as we try to outwit the virus, it’s the anxiety that the virus has bred.

As a general practitioner of nearly 30 years, I can advise you to try and distract yourself. Look at your phone once or twice a day but otherwise, allow yourself to be distracted. Get out for a regular walk in nature, fill your kitchen with a beautiful piece of music or sit down and watch a movie rather than let social media and ‘latest coronavirus news’ dictate your mood and subsequently, that of those around you. If you have a friend that is drowning under anxiety, distract him or her by not engaging on the topic. Anxiety can be tempered by distraction.

And keep this with you: the vast, vast majority of us will be ok if we show a united front in this battle.
It is literally ‘in the hands’ of us all.

One hundred years ago, a man who held a fervent and deep held belief in the capacity of the Irish people to take hold of their destiny was gunned down in his own home, in this city, in front of his son and pregnant wife.

Former Lord Mayor, Tomas Mac Curtain embodied what Aristotle called the first virtue – courage. In the coming weeks and months let us try and emulate that courage, let us come together to find the strength and perseverance to meet this challenge head on and then let us all join together afterwards to support our families, communities and businesses to rebuild with a renewed purpose. Ní neart go cur le chéile”.’

Midleton Flood Relief Scheme – Public Participation Day Saturday 7th March





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On several occasions in recent years Midleton has suffered the impacts of major flood events in the town, which has both the Owenacurra and Dungourney rivers flowing through it. Cork County Council, working with the Office of Public Works, has commissioned Arup to develop a Flood Relief Scheme for the Midleton Area including Water Rock and Ballinacurra.

Since 2016, a multi-disciplinary project team led by Cork County Council have carried out extensive research and developed a range of potential viable options to alleviate flooding in Midleton including upstream storage, diversion channels or culverts, conveyance improvements, pumping and direct defences.

Cork County Council is now seeking feedback from the public on these range of options and a Public Participation Day will be held on Saturday 7th March in Midleton Park Hotel from 11.00 -18.00. This is the second public participation day held for the project.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey commented “We have seen severe damage to property and businesses in Midleton, Water Rock and Ballinacurra from flooding over the last few decades. 400 homes and 180 businesses continue to be at serious risk of flooding. Midleton Flood Relief Scheme is the most complex flood prevention scheme to date, to be carried out by Cork County Council on behalf of the Office of Public Works. Through this Public Participation Day, we aim to inform the public and stakeholders of the progress we have made so far and outline the suite of potential options available.”

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Ian Doyle welcomed the news, saying “This open day is an opportunity for everyone in and around Midleton to examine the range of viable options and meet the multi-disciplinary project team involved. This is a hugely significant project for Midleton and no decision will be made before the public have had their opportunity to examine the options and give their feedback. I encourage everybody to attend this very important public participation event and to have your say.”

The range of options will also be available on the project website www.midletonfrs.ie, from March 7th.

Cork County Council welcomes feedback on the Midleton Flood Relief Scheme project and encourages members of the public to submit their feedback by completing the questionnaire at the Public Participation Day, by emailing [email protected] or by post to Bairbre O’Breasail, Project Manager, Arup, One Albert Quay, Cork tel.: 021 4223200

Photo: Cathal Noonan

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Missing Person Appeal – Cian O’Sullivan 37 – Douglas





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Gardaí in Togher are appealing to the public for their assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 37-year-old Cian O’Sullivan who was last seen in the Douglas area of Co. Cork on 18th February, 2020.

Cian is described as being 5’9″ inches in height with a slim build, brown eyes and brown hair. Gardaí and Cian’s family are concerned for his well-being.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Togher Garda Station on 021 4947120, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.




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Man arrested in Skibbereen on foot of European Arrest Warrant





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Gardaí have arrested and charged a man in his 20s in relation to a burglary that occurred at a house in the Union Hall area of Skibbereen, Co. Cork on the 2nd October, 2016.

Shortly after 1.30am, a man enter the house and armed himself with a knife once inside. He threatened the occupant, stole their mobile phone and left the scene.

An investigation was carried out by Gardaí in the Clonakilty District and a man in his 20s was arrested today, 10th February, 2020 on foot of a European arrest warrant with the assistance of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The man was detained at Clonakilty Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 and has since been charged to appear before Skibbereen District Court tomorrow, 11th February at 10.30am.




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Gardaí investigating ‘criminal damage by fire’ at a house in Liffey Park, Mayfield last night





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Gardaí are investigating an incident of criminal damage by fire that occurred at a house at Liffey Park, Mayfield at approximately 10.20pm on Thursday 6th February 2020.

No injuries were sustained though a man was taken to Mercy University Hospital as a precaution after extinguishing the fire.

No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.




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#StormCiara: Live Updates





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We’ve compiled a list of emergency numbers that you may need throughout #StormCiara. Be informed and stay safe!





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Missing Person Appeal: Christophe Goutte – 53 years – Midleton





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Gardaí in Cobh are seeking assistance from the public in locating Christophe Goutte, 53 years, who is missing from his home in O’Brien Terrace, Midleton since Wednesday 15th January, 2020.

Christophe is a French national living in Ireland for a number of years. Christophe was last seen leaving work in Carrigtowhill, Co. Cork at approximately 11am on Wednesday 15th January, 2020.

Christophe is described as being:

  • 5ft 8” Tall
  • Stocky Build
  • Brown Short Hair
  • White Skin with a Sallow Complexion

When last seen, Christophe was wearing:

  • Black Coat
  • Black Pants
  • Black Woollen Hat
  • Brown Boots

He was carrying a dark coloured overall bag. Gardaí and Christophe’s family are concerned for his welfare.

Anyone who may have seen Christophe or has information on his whereabouts are asked to contact Cobh Garda Station on 021 – 4908530, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Gardaí:

  • Cobh Garda Station: 021 4908530
  • Garda Confidential: 1800 666111




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HSE say there has been an increase in cases of mumps notified to them in recent weeks





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There has been an increase in the number of cases of mumps notified to the Department of Public Health, HSE South in recent weeks.

This follows on from an notable increase in the number of cases reported in other regions of the country (a link is included below to the most recent available figures).

Most cases are teenagers and young adults, occurring among those aged 15-24 years of age. The highest numbers of cases are in those aged 18-19 years of age. In Cork and Kerry, we have noted that many of the cases are among young people attending third level institutions.

There are two important factors in preventing the spread of mumps while it is circulating:

  • a high level of age appropriate MMR vaccination
  • making sure anyone with mumps limits their contact with others while infectious

For that reason, the Department of Public Health, HSE South is recommending that:

  • Students and young adults should ensure they have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, available free of charge from the HSE. Anyone who is not sure if they have had both doses can safely receive an additional dose. You can see more information https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/whoweare/requestrecord.html on how to see your vaccination record.
  • Any person with mumps should limit their contact with others while infectious. A person with mumps and is advised not to attend work, school, college, university or child-care during their infectious period (i.e. for 5 days after onset of swelling)
  • Where possible, people should avoid contact with anyone who has mumps infection
  • Regular hand washing is always a good idea.

Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health, HSE South advised that vaccination with the MMR vaccine is the only way to protect against mumps, and added that the two scheduled doses of MMR are estimated to protect about 88% of individuals.

“We are therefore advising that all students and young adults (including young teachers) should ensure that they have had two doses of the MMR vaccine. The vaccine can be obtained free of charge from your GP or student health service. Everyone should avoid contact with someone who has mumps infection, and of course we urge everyone to continue with regular hand washing,” Dr Pereira said.

Anyone who suspects they have mumps should telephone their GP for advice before visiting.

And anyone who has a clinical diagnoses of mumps should limit their contact with others while infectious, and not attend work, school, college, university or child-care during their infectious period, which is for five days after the onset of swelling.

“We’d like to reiterate the key message that all children should be vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine as part of the routine childhood immunisation programme,” Dr Pereira said.

What is Mumps?

Mumps is an acute viral disease. It is very infectious. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite followed by swelling of salivary (and sometimes other) glands.

How is mumps spread?

It is spread by direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from the mouth, nose, or throat, such as

  • coughing, sneezing, or talking
  • sharing items contaminated with saliva (water bottles or cups)
  • close-contact activities with others (playing sports, dancing, or kissing)
  • touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus

How long is someone infectious?

  • about 3 days before swelling of salivary glands to approximately 5 days after

How can we prevent the spread of mumps?

  • A person with mumps should limit their contact with others while infectious and is advised not to attend work, school, college, university or child-care during their infectious period (i.e. for 5 days after onset of parotid swelling) in view of the possibility of transmitting virus to non-immune individuals.
  • All students and young adults (including young teachers) should ensure that they have had two doses of MMR vaccine (measles mumps rubella vaccine). The vaccine can be obtained FREE OF CHARGE from their GP or student health service.
  • Avoid contact with someone who has mumps infection
  • Regular hand washing

What if I’m not sure if I’ve had two doses of the MMR?

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) does not recommend a third dose of MMR for those who have documentary evidence of having already received two doses. However, an additional dose won’t cause any harm, so anyone unsure of whether they have had two doses or not can safely receive a dose of MMR vaccine.

Where can I get a copy of my vaccination records?

Follow this link for more information

https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/whoweare/requestrecord.html




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HSE is reminding people who wish to reduce their alcohol intake that support is available





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Struggling with your New Year’s Resolution to reduce your alcohol intake?

HSE offers advice to stay motivated and ditch the hangovers

Visit www.AskAboutAlcohol.ie for more advice and tools

HSE Alcohol & Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459


The HSE is today (Tuesday, 14th January) reminding people who wish to reduce their alcohol intake that advice and support is available. January is traditionally a time for New Year’s goals or resolutions. Cutting back on alcohol is a resolution for many people in 2020 however, as January progresses many people may find it hard to maintain their motivation. Change is possible and the HSE can support you.

Marion Rackard, Project Manager for the HSE Alcohol Programme says ‘Deciding to drink less is a great resolution however, if you find yourself struggling to maintain your motivation it’s a good idea to think about why you want to change the way you drink. You might have niggling concerns about increased weight gain, lack of energy or even how you have behaved during a drinking occasion or two and wonder how others see you especially those who matter most to you. You might want to consider certain questions like: How do I see myself as a drinker? How do others see me? Have I asked them? Have there been any negative effects because of my drinking over the last year? What are the potential benefits of making a change and drinking less this year? Have I used the Ask About Alcohol Self Assessment Tool and what message is it giving me? The way to make a lasting change around how much you drink starts with thinking about it and deciding what you want to do.’

Research shows that over 50% of people in Ireland who drink, drink in a way that could be causing harm so it’s not surprising that lots of people have some worries or nagging doubts about their drinking and wonder if it would be a good idea to change the way they drink.

It may or may not be obvious that alcohol is causing a problem with your day-to-day life. There may also be some effects, which we accept as commonplace such as low mood after drinking and increased anxiety. Our research shows that a significant amount of people associate low mood as a symptom of drinking alcohol and said they regretted something they had said or did as a consequence of alcohol over the last 12 months.2

Changing your relationship with alcohol may be something you want to do but are not sure how to. You may have lots of different feelings and thoughts about making a change, but know that change is possible and that the HSE can support you. If you decide that alcohol is a niggling issue for you in your life, you might think about cutting down or giving it up. You could decide to do it on your own or with some support. If you need help, there are supports available. The HSE has advice to help you successfully change your relationship with alcohol.

Once you have decided to make a change, you can use a number of strategies to help you do so:

Make a plan – It’s normal to have doubts and mixed feelings about changing your habits. There may be times when you want to give in. Having a plan in writing will help you be clear about your reasons for changing and things that will help you succeed. Write down your top 5 reasons for making this change and keep them with you.

Goal setting – Decide what you want to achieve. You might want to drink less or stop drinking for health reasons or financial reasons.

Decide the rules – for example, controlled drinking means having strict rules about what you drink. For example only drinking once a week or not drinking more than 3 drinks at a time. Keeping an alcohol diary is a good way to help you stay on track. If you want to stop completely, pick a date soon that suits you best and prepare for it.

Seek support – If you decide not to do it on your own, there are many ways you can get some support. Call the Alcohol and Drugs Helpline on 1800 459 459, which is a free and confidential service. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.30am and 5.30pm.

Learn from the past – You may have tried unsuccessfully to change the way you drink in the past. If so, think about what worked and what you could do differently this time.

Feel good about what you’re doing – Reward your successes. Do things that you enjoy that you may not have done for some time. Like rejoining a team sport or trying out a new hobby.

Plan for triggers – You may have certain times you associate with drinking excessively or more than you would like. These times could include after work, nights out with friends or special events. Some situations can trigger an urge to drink to excess. These could be when you have had an argument, are stressed, are feeling down, are finding it hard to sleep, need a break from everything. Try to think about how you will get through these moments, before they happen. This may mean changing your routine or finding new activities. It can also mean learning about better ways to deal with problems and cope with stress.

Marion Rackard says friends and family can play an important role:

“It can be helpful to tell people about your plans to cut back or give up completely. You might tell your friends or family that you’re trying to cut back or stop drinking altogether. They can encourage you and support you by not drinking around you or encouraging you to do so.

According to the Department of Health 2018 Healthy Ireland Survey, 8% of drinkers have failed to do what was normally expected from them in the past 12 months because of drinking.3 So it is valuable to learn how to say ‘no’ when you might be offered alcohol. You don’t have to give a reason.”

For people who drink more heavily or struggle with alcohol dependency trying to give up can be very difficult. If you need help with finding support, call the Alcohol and Drugs Helpline on 1800 459 459 or visit the Alcohol Support and Services page on www.AskAboutAlcohol.ie


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4% Rise in Road Deaths Recorded in 2019





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  • Pedestrian deaths decline by 36% and passenger deaths down by 20%, but 2019 sees 45% rise in driver deaths
  • Vulnerable road user deaths decline by 23%

Provisional road collision statistics for 2019 show deaths resulting from road traffic collisions have increased. A total of 148* people lost their lives in 2019, compared to 142 in 2018, a 4% rise. 2018 was the safest recorded year on Irish roads.

Up to 1pm on the 31 December 2019 a total of 148 people died on Ireland’s roads as a result of 137 fatal crashes, compared to 142 lives lost in 135 fatal crashes in 2018. The figures were published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) today Tuesday 31 December 2019, following an analysis of provisional fatal collision reports by An Garda Síochána.

Casualty figures for 2019 show that while there has been a sharp drop in pedestrian deaths, down 15 or 36%, and passenger deaths, down 4 or 20%, there has been a worrying increase in the number of drivers killed, up 25 or 45%, compared to 2018.

While there was one more motorcyclist death recorded in 2019 compared to 2018 (16 versus 15) an overall analysis of vulnerable road user (VRU) casualties shows that there was a 23% reduction in VRU fatalities.

Mr. Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said, “Firstly I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of those who have died on Ireland’s roads in 2019, and not forgetting the many hundreds who have suffered serious injury. The only way to respond to these needless deaths and injuries on our roads is through action not words. While families and friends grieve the loss of their loved one, we must as a society all respond with deeds, to prevent it happening to others. This means the Government and its agencies continuing to implement life saving measures contained in the Road Safety Strategy. It also means individually, as ordinary road users, that we need to take greater responsibility for our actions when using the road. We can do this by slowing down, not driving while impaired through drink, drugs or fatigue, by not driving while using a phone, by wearing a seatbelt and always sharing the road more carefully with pedestrians and cyclists.”

Ms. Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson, RSA, said “After recording the safest year on our roads in 2018 it is deeply saddening that not only have we lost 148 lives on the road in 2019, but that it represents an increase in road deaths. We must respond to this increase the same way we have responded to previous setbacks. Rather than being disheartened it should spur us and our road safety partners into renewed effort. 2020 is also the final year of the Government’s eight year road safety strategy. Its primary target is to reduce deaths to 124 or fewer by the end of 2020. Deeper collaboration between all agencies responsible for road safety is already taking place to ensure everything that can be done is being done, not only to reverse the increase in deaths this year, but to achieve the strategy target. And it is a target that is very achievable, put simply it means saving two more lives a month, every month next year. Something we should all work together to do in 2020.”

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the Road Safety Authority said. “The provisional road casualty report for 2019 points to an increase in the number of driver deaths in 2019. For 2020 we will ensure that our education and awareness plans target the main killer behaviours and that this is integrated into the Garda roads policing plans. In particular we will prioritise the non- wearing of seatbelts and intoxicated driving through alcohol or drugs. We will also focus on promoting the safety of vulnerable road users. Specifically by raising awareness of the new safe overtaking of cyclists law, focusing on motorcycle safety and commissioning a new pedestrian safety campaign.”

She added that “Another priority area for us in 2020 is learner drivers. We will continue to support garda enforcement of unaccompanied driving laws. In 2019 there were over 2,500 vehicles seized that were being driven by unaccompanied learner drivers. We will continue to target those who have been relying long-term on a learner permit. Driving test waiting times have never been lower with average waiting times of less than six weeks. Furthermore, we are hopeful that the package of measures, designed to end such practice and which are currently with the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, will be introduced in 2020.”

Assistant Commissioner Dave Sheehan said “Roads policing will remain a strategic priority for An Garda Síochána in 2020. Furthermore, two significant developments will happen to ensure that high levels of visible, effective road safety enforcement is achieved. Firstly, an additional 180 Gardaí have been selected to be assigned to roads policing duties in early 2020. Secondly, the roll out of the new mobility app will be stepped up so that by the end of 2020 there will be in excess of 4,000 devices in the hands of front line Gardaí. The new mobility app will revolutionise the way roads policing is carried out in this country. Both additional front line Garda resources and the greater enforcement capability of the mobility app will increase enforcement activity and help in reversing this year’s increase and achieving the road safety target.”

Click to see Provisional Review of Fatal Collisions January to December 2019

Screenshot 2020-01-01 at 11.20.17




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