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HRVY lets Jive do the talking for Strictly stunner Television • 3 hrs - RTE.ie
Singer HRVY and his professional dance partner Janette Manrara wowed the Strictly Come Dancing judges on Saturday night, topping the leaderboard on the first live show with their Jive.
We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage PreferencesSinger HRVY and his professional dance partner Janette Manrara wowed the Strictly Come Dancing judges on Saturday night, topping the leaderboard on the first live show with their Jive. Their performance, the final routine of the night, saw them bringing the house down to Stevie Wonder feat. Ariana Grande's Faith. A real show-stopper from HRVY and Janette Manrara The routine received a score of 25 out of 30 from the judges. Head judge Shirley Ballas hailed it as "fierce, fast, furious". Motsi Mabuse said it was "the best first dance I have ever seen", and Craig Revel Horwood described it as "spectacular". Another teenager, EastEnders star Maisie Smith, was one point behind HRVY on the leaderboard, having danced the Samba with partner Gorka Márquez to Gloria Estefan's Samba (Conga). We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences Ballas described the performance as "absolutely fabulous"; Mabuse was delighted with its authenticity and Horwood said it was "amazing". Gorka Márquez and Maisie Smith scored 24 Saturday also saw the show's first same-sex duo, Olympic gold medal boxer Nicola Adams and pro-dancer Katya Jones, making history with their Quickstep to Ella Fitzgerald's Get Happy. They scored 21 on the night. We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences All 12 couples danced on Saturday on BBC One. With no public vote in the first live show, the judges' scores are carried over to next weekend, when the first dance-off and elimination will take place. Former UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and partner Anton Du Beke placed bottom on the leaderboard with a score of 13. Click here for more television news.
Women's Six Nations: Ireland 21-7 Italy - recap - RTE.ie
Ireland enjoyed a 21-7 victory over Italy in their Women's Six Nations clash at Energia Park in Donnybrook.
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Kerry secure league title beating Donegal in Tralee - RTE.ie
As happy 21st celebrations go, this was as low-key and understated as one could imagine as Kerry secured the Allianz National League title, beating Donegal 2-18 to 0-10 at Austin Stack Park in Tralee.
As happy 21st celebrations go, this was as low-key and understated as one could imagine as Kerry secured the Allianz National League title, beating Donegal 2-18 to 0-10 at Austin Stack Park in Tralee. Kerry seldom get overly excited about winning National League titles but, oddly enough, in the absence of supporters one sensed that this meant plenty to the Kerry players and management. Having lost the League final – and then the All-Ireland final – last year, Kerry couldn't really afford to lose a game and a title that was theirs for the taking. After doing the hard part the previous weekend by winning away to Monaghan, Kerry were expected to beat a Donegal team coming south with little to play for, and they duly did. A fortnight out from a Championship trip to Cork, Kerry wouldn’t have wanted to lose any momentum, and they looked purposeful and sharp this afternoon, albeit against an understrength Donegal side that had other things on their mind. Their focus remains very much on an Ulster Championship scrap with Tyrone next week, and that showed in Donegal’s team selection and it showed out on the field. They left Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Neil McGee and others at home, so manager Declan Bonner won’t lose sleep over a 14-point defeat away to Kerry, but he will need to get the full band back together this week and singing off the same page for Tyrone. Kerry, meanwhile, will thankfully take a League title and move on. In the absence of spectators, the celebrations were even more muted than they would normally be, but in these Covid times silverware is still silverware, and manager Peter Keane won’t sniff at winning his first national title as senior team boss. It took Kerry until the first water break to settle into any sort of rhythm, but it said much for their application and attitude that they outscored Donegal by 2-04 to 0-01 in the 10 minutes they were down to 14 men. Jason Foley was black carded in the 15th minute as Kerry trailed 0-02 to 0-03, but when he returned his team were 2-06 to 0-01 ahead. Straight after the water break Kerry flooded forward with defender Tom O’Sullivan setting up Sean O’Shea for a neat goal from close range, and after O’Sullivan scored a point, Gavin White cruised past three tackles to place the ball past Shaun Patton to put Kerry six clear. Tony Brosnan came to life with three points in as many minutes in the second quarter, as Donegal struggled to get any real foothold in the game. Ciaran Thompson was the only real spark of energy or purpose in the Donegal attack, and his two early scores from play and a late brace of converted frees kept Donegal somewhat in touch at the interval, 2-09 to 0-08. The visitors managed just two points in the second half as David Clifford – held to just one converted free in the first half – came to life with four from play in the second as Kerry – with other scores from Sean O’Shea (3) and Brosnan (2) – leaving the result inevitable long before the final whistle. A 21st League title, then, for Kerry in unusual and muted circumstances, but neither they nor Donegal will get carried away with the scoreline. Both have far more important games on the horizon. Kerry: Shane Ryan, Jason Foley, Tadhg Morley, Tom O’Sullivan 0-01, Paul Murphy, Peter Crowley, Gavin White 1-00, David Moran 0-01, Diarmuid O’Connor, Micheál Burns, Sean O’Shea 1-04 (0-02f), Ronan Buckley, Tony Brosnan 0-06 (0-01m), David Clifford 0-05 (0-01f), Dara Moynihan 0-01. Subs: Stephen O’Brien for M Burns (44), Jack Barry for D Moran (44), Gavin Crowley for G White (55), Brian O Beaglaoich for R Buckley (55), Tommy Walsh for D Moynihan (63). Donegal: Shaun Patton, Paddy McGrath, Brendan McCole, Stephen McMenamin, Caolan Ward, Eamonn Doherty, Daire Ó Baoill, Caolan McGonigle 0-01, Jason McGee 0-02, Jeaic McKelvey, Andrew McClean, Ciaran Thompson 0-05 (0-02f), Jamie Brennan, Michael Langan, Oisin Gallen 0-02 (0-01f). Subs: Peader Mogan for C Ward (ht), Eoin McHugh for S McMenamin (46), Niall O’Donnell for J Brennan (51), Ethan O’Donnell for J McGee (51), Conor O’Donnell for O Gallen (63). Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)
Live: Ireland v Italy updates - RTE.ie
Ireland finally resume their Six Nations campaign as Italy come to the Aviva Stadium. Follow the action right here.
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'Bumpy road ahead' in dealing with Covid-19 - Martin - RTE.ie
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said there are going to be "a lot of bumpy roads ahead" in relation to Covid-19, but that as a country Ireland is getting through it.
The Taoiseach has said there are going to be "a lot of bumpy roads ahead" in relation to Covid-19, but that as a country Ireland was getting through it. Speaking at a virtual meeting of the MacGill Summer School, Micheál Martin said that the virus presents a challenge and that every country across Europe is now facing problems. Asked why the Government took so long to move to Level 5 following NPHET's earlier recommendation, Mr Martin said the country had to prepare beforehand, and moving from Level 2 to Level 5 would have been a big leap. He said: "In my view, it's a very challenging agenda … but as a country we are getting through this, and there's going to be a lot of bumpy roads ahead with Covid-19, but we have a clear policy position working with NPHET." Mr Martin said prior to moving to Level 5 "Ireland had the most stringent restrictions in Europe" while at Level 3, which involved the closing down of the hospitality sector. He said one issue was that a lot of behaviour developed at Level 2 that "seeded the spread" of the virus. Asked if he sees the country going in and out of lockdowns for the foreseeable future, he said the Government was trying to suppress the virus through human behaviour and restrictions, which he acknowledged was very difficult for people. Mr Martin said: "The strategy we are pursuing is to try and suppress the virus through human behaviour and through restrictions, and it is very difficult for people. "People are now fatigued, particularly after the first lockdown, to have to move into a second one. "And I think we've learned from the first reopening that the next one is going to be important. "But I will say that as a country we have managed to keep our economy viable and to keep the foundations right for a recovery after Covid." Read more coronavirus stories The Taoiseach said it was important that new schemes were set up in the Budget in order to help businesses and prepare for the move to Level 5. Mr Martin said part of living with Covid-19 was just that and that people were learning to do that. He said there were provisions in place and lessons were learned from the first time around that allowed schools, childcare and construction to stay open now. The Taoiseach also said as the Government receives advice, it also has to factor in wider sets of advice, and that was why it did not make the immediate jump to Level 5. Decline in positive tests over last seven days - Reid Chief Executive of the Health Service Executive, Paul Reid, has said the positivity rate for Covid-19 tests has continued to decline over the past seven days and is now at 5.8%. However, there has been a slight rise in the number of people in hospital with the virus, which now stands at 312 this morning, which is up from 302 at 8pm last night. There were 27 new coronavirus hospital admissions over the past 24 hours, while 32 patients were discharged. Last night there were 38 confirmed Covid-19 patients in intensive care. This is the first weekend where people across the country will be dealing with the new Level 5 restrictions. While it is too early to see the effect of those restrictions, Mr Reid said that there has been a decline in positive tests over the last seven days, from 8.9% to the current figure of 5.8%. Although he said he was reluctant to declare a trend, he said he hoped the figure would give people some encouragement and hope. Yesterday, there were a further seven coronavirus-related deaths and 777 new cases. It brings the total number of cases since the outbreak began to 55,261, while there have been 1,878 Covid-related deaths. The Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health has said that young people have had to shoulder a huge burden during the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking on RTÉ's The Late Late Show, Dr Tony Holohan said that as the parent of two children aged 18 and almost 20, he knew how the lives of that age group had changed in "every way". "The lives of people in that young age bracket have changed in almost every way," Dr Holohan said. Elsewhere, there have been six further Covid-19 linked deaths in the last 24-hours in Northern Ireland and 923 new cases of the virus, the Department of Health has announced. The death toll recorded by the department now stands at 645. There have been 33,209 confirmed cases in Northern Ireland. There are currently 309 patients with Covid-19 being treated in hospital, with 34 in intensive care. Reporting Daniel Quinn, Sineád Crowley, PA
Schwarzenegger feels 'fantastic' after heart surgery - RTE.ie
Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he feels "fantastic" after undergoing heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he feels "fantastic" after undergoing heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The Press Association reports that the 73-year-old has received a new aortic valve, having previously undergone replacement pulmonary valve surgery in March 2018. He shared photos with fans of him giving the thumbs up from his hospital bed and his sightseeing in Cleveland as he continued his recovery. Thanks to the team at the Cleveland Clinic, I have a new aortic valve to go along with my new pulmonary valve from my last surgery. I feel fantastic and have already been walking the streets of Cleveland enjoying your amazing statues. Thank you to every doc and nurse on my team! pic.twitter.com/hmIbsEMHtA — Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) October 23, 2020 "I feel fantastic and have already been walking the streets of Cleveland enjoying your amazing statues," he wrote. "Thank you to every doc and nurse on my team!" Schwarzenegger's March 2018 surgery was to replace a pulmonary valve that had previously been installed for a congenital heart defect in 1997. He discussed his 2018 surgery in an online graduation video in May, telling the students he could have died. "The reason why I'm telling you all this is because no matter how successful you are, life will throw obstacles in your path, like it was with my heart surgery or your graduation now," he said. "But if you have a very clear vision like I talked about earlier, of exactly what you want to do and who you want to be, you can go and find a way around all of these obstacles." He added: "That's what life is all about, overcoming obstacles." Click here for more movie news.
Preview: Unique Leinster & Munster championships begin - RTE.ie
Laois face Dublin and Limerick take on Clare as the Leinster and Munster hurling championships begin this weekend, five and a half months later than scheduled.
It's hurlin' Ger but not as we know it. The Leinster and Munster hurling championships begin this weekend, five and a half months later than scheduled. The coronavirus, 2020's unwanted surprise, has pushed everything back and forced the GAA to revert to the knock-out-with-back-door structure that last applied in 2017. The revised dates were announced in June when the the association was optimistic that Covid-19 would be under control by now and at least some fans would be able to attend matches. So it's a little surreal that as the country shifts back into the highest level of restrictions, we are instead getting ready for a behind-closed-doors throw-in. Will teams be forced to forfeit games as we have already seen this week with Offaly and Sligo? Will the championships even be completed? Should they be? Reasonable concerns aside, it is a welcome relief to finally have some inter-county action to enjoy, and the novelty of winter championship hurling could yet throw up some shocks. For now at least, the show goes on, and we have two big games to start things off. Leinster SHC quarter-finalDublin v Laois, Croke Park, 6pm Saturday Ross King (15) and Eddie Brennan (C) celebrate beating Dublin last year It might be the first competitive game either of these sides has played since March but they won't have forgotten each other quickly. Laois produced the shock result of last summer when they followed up their Joe McDonagh Cup title win with victory over a Dublin team that had eliminated Galway in the last of the Leinster round-robin fixtures. Eddie Brennan's men then went down fighting against eventual All-Ireland champions Tipperary in the quarter-finals but they had laid down a marker that hurling was alive and well in the O'Moore County with their biggest win in decades. This year, as last, Dublin have already beaten Laois in both the Walsh Cup and Allianz Hurling League (4-18 to 2-17 at Parnell Park). Both sides beat Carlow but lost to Clare, Kilkenny and Wexford in the spring. Coming into his second campaign in charge, former All-Ireland club winning manager Mattie Kenny will be keen to show that last year's defeat - when Dublin shot 16 wides - was a blip. In the wake of that surprise loss, Kenny said that Laois "showed a lot more hunger and desire than we did in that first-half" so you can expect the Dubs to start with intent. The delay has allowed their captain Chris Crummey to make a full recovery from shoulder surgery, and he will be key,whether lining out in the half-backs or half-forward line. Mark Kavanagh battles with Dublin's James Madden last summer Three players will make their Laois championship debuts today: Ronan Broderick at right-half back, Fiachra C Fennell in midfield and James Keyes at corner-forward. Mark Kavanagh, Laois' free-taker and man of the match in last year's Joe McDonagh final, is a big loss with a shoulder injury he sustained while lining out for Rathdowney-Errill in the club championship. A Leinster semi-final against Kilkenny next week, perhaps not quite as daunting a prospect as it used to be, is the prize at stake. The losers will face a round-one qualifier against a beaten Munster team the following weekend. It will be the first Championship game played with the shiny new yellow sliotar, which might help make it easier to follow under the floodlights at Croke Park. Dublin: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Eoghan O'Donnell, James Madden; Conor Burke, Daire Gray, Cian O'Callaghan; Seán Moran, Riain McBride; Cian Boland, Chris Crummey, Danny Sutcliffe; Donal Burke, Davy Keogh, Ronan Hayes. Laois: Enda Rowland; Lee Cleere, Sean Downey, Donnchadh Hartnett; Ronan Broderick, Padraig Delaney, Ryan Mullaney; Fiachra C Fennell, Patrick Purcell; Aaron Dunphy, Willie Dunphy, James Ryan; James Keyes, Ross King, Stephen Maher. Munster SHC quarter-finalClare v Limerick, Thurles, 3.45pm Sunday (Live on RTÉ2) Aaron Gillane scored Limerick's goal when they beat Clare by 18 points last summer On Sunday, one of Munster's most enduring rivalries takes centre-stage at Semple Stadium. Clare versus Limerick might not quite have the edge it did in the mid 90s when both sides were reaching finals, Ciaran Carey was running the length of the pitch and Davy Fitzgerald was dispatching penalties, but as Pat O'Connor snr, former player and father of the current Banner half-back of the same name, once said: "The one thing about the Limerick-Clare rivalry is that it does not go away, it is always there, and it can be resurrected in an instant." These two were the form teams of the hurling league, both topping their respective sections without losing a game. Limerick scored 5-107 and conceded 3-88 (+25) in their five matches while Clare, in their first season under former full-back Brian Lohan were even tighter at the back, scoring 4-102 and allowing just 2-72 (+36). Covid ensured there were no league knockout stages and so it comes to pass that the the Dr Croke Cup will instead be collected by this game's victors, presumably the first time a trophy has been awarded for winning a provincial quarter-final. Limerick looked imperious for much of last year, hammering Waterford in the league final and Tipp in the Munster decider. Controversial 65 calls aside, John Kiely will have had more time than he wanted to brood over their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kilkenny, a game Limerick lost by one point after a slow start. Victory would, and probably should, have set up a trilogy against Tipperary for the chance to win the county's first ever back to back All-Ireland titles. Instead, they suffered the familiar ignominy of being rated the best team in the country by many while Liam MacCarthy wintered elsewhere. John Conlon (14) and Mike Casey (3) will be sorely missed by their teams this weekend Limerick are now All-Ireland favourites again and though they should have enough to get past a depleted Clare outfit another hammering tomorrow would be a big surprise. The Treaty were caught on the hop first game out against Cork in 2019 and their hard-running style might be more affected by heavy pitches than that of their opponents. They have also lost the so-often crucial goalscoring impact off the bench of Shane Dowling, who retired in July aged 27. Star forward Aaron Gillane had hand surgery in August, though he was able to take the frees in Patrickswell's Limerick SHC defeat to Na Piarsaigh last month. Full-back Mike Casey suffered a knee injury in training recently that could rule him out of the entire championship though corner-back Richie English, who tore his ACL against Galway in February, is nearing contention and midfielder Darragh O'Donovan (also knee) is on the bench. The Banner are missing even more key personnel, however. Clare's full-forward and captain John Conlon injured his cruciate ligament in March and remains out while fellow former All-Stars Podge Collins (opted to play with footballers), Peter Duggan (in Australia) and Colm Galvin (groin) will all miss the championship campaign. Aaron Cunningham, whose father Alan is a selector with Limerick, could make his first championship start since 2017 having abroad for the last two campaigns. "A lot of the guys that have won an All-Ireland are still there; Shane O'Donnell on his day could beat you on his own." - Jackie Tyrrell "You'd give Clare a chance. They have Tony Kelly, who's probably one of the best forwards in the game," Jackie Tyrell told the RTÉ GAA podcast. "They were in really good form earlier in the year and Brian Lohan was starting to bed down a team. "He has had injuries but this is a very talented Clare team. A lot of the guys that have won an All-Ireland are still there; Shane O'Donnell on his day could beat you on his own. "But this Limerick team are tried and tested. They have won All-Irelands and have a really strong panel. They have injuries but they have guys to come in and their half-back line will sit in front of them. "On that basis, there are more questions about Clare." That question will soon be answered with the winners advancing to play kingpins Tipperary in the semi-finals and the losers heading to the qualifiers. Here we go again. Clare: TBC Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Paddy O'Loughlin; Cian Lynch, Will O'Donoghue; Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey; Graeme Mulcahy, Aaron Gillane, Peter Casey. Subs: Barry Hennessy, Conor Boylan, Jerome Boylan, Adrian Breen, Ronan Connolly, Seamus Flanagan, Robbie Hanley, Darragh O'Donovan, Brian O'Grady, David Reidy, Pat Ryan. Listen to Dublin v Laois (Saturday 6pm) and Clare v Limerick (Sunday 3.45pm) live on RTÉ Radio 1, watch Clare v Limerick live on RTÉ2, and see highlights of both on The Sunday Game (RTÉ2, 9.30pm). Live blogs on both games on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app.
Europe, WHO sound alarm over resurgent Covid-19 crisis - RTE.ie
The European Union's disease control agency has joined frantic health workers to sound the alarm over a coronavirus surge across the continent, as the World Health Organization warned of a rapid rise in infections.
The European Union's disease control agency has joined frantic health workers to sound the alarm over a coronavirus surge across the continent, as the World Health Organization warned of a rapid rise in infections. Even countries that avoided severe outbreaks during Europe's first wave of contagion in the spring have watched their case numbers surge, with Germany's death toll passing 10,000. A total of 10,003 deaths have been recorded by the Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency, with 418,005 infections recorded nationwide. Of those, 14,714 were diagnosed in the last 24 hours - a daily record. Robert Koch Institute president Lothar Wieler said Germany was facing a "very serious" situation and asked the population to adhere to social distancing measures. Governments have reintroduced containment measures to slow the renewed spread of the virus in nations that only weeks earlier believed they had triumphed over the crisis. But populations weary of social isolation and economic hardship have pushed back against fresh restrictions, including overnight clashes in hard-hit Naples between Italian police and hundreds of protesters. The continent was facing a major threat to public health and a "highly concerning epidemiological situation", said Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The agency said all EU countries except Cyprus, Estonia, Finland and Greece fell into a "serious concern" category, as did the United Kingdom, up from just seven a month ago. After Spain became the first European country to officially record a million Covid-19 cases earlier in the week, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said yesterday the real number of infections was likely more than triple that number. Urgent new restrictions on daily life have come into effect in several nations, with France extending a curfew to cover 46 million people. The country followed Spain past the million-case milestone yesterday, Read more coronavirus stories Parts of Italy including the capital Rome went under curfew late yesterday, prompting a call to protest on social media that saw hundreds of demonstrators in Naples throw objects at police and set rubbish bins on fire. The country is reeling from its worst post-war recession after a gruelling two-month national lockdown prompted by one of Europe's worst outbreaks, and authorities have so far been reluctant to repeat the drastic quarantine restrictions seen then. Wales entered a full lockdown yesterday evening, while Poland adopted a nationwide "red zone" lockdown mandating the partial closure of primary schools and restaurants. Only Sweden, which famously refused to lock down earlier this year, continued to stick to its guns despite a rise in cases. Across the planet, Covid-19 has now claimed the lives of 1.1 million people and infected close to 42 million, with the WHO warning the northern hemisphere was at a critical juncture. The United States reported a record 80,000 new Covid-19 infections yesterday, according to figures from John Hopkins University. It brings the total number since the start of the pandemic to nearly 8.5 million in the country. The worst current outbreaks are in the north and midwest, and some 35 of the 50 states are seeing an increase in case numbers. The number of deaths over 24 hours has remained broadly stable since the beginning of autumn, with between 700 and 800. Overall, more than 223,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the country. Nurses gather information from people lining up for Covid-19 tests in El Paso, Texas "Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in Covid-19 cases and that is now leading to hospitals and intensive care units running close to or above capacity," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Belgium has seen one of Europe's deadliest per capita outbreaks and has found itself suffering some of the highest second-wave infection rates in Europe. "We're losing. We're overwhelmed. We're bitter," said Benoit Misset, head of the intensive care unit at the University Hospital in the city of Liege, where several of his staff are having to work despite being positive - if asymptomatic - themselves. US presidential hopeful Joe Biden said that if elected he would mandate free coronavirus vaccines for all Americans. "Once we have a safe and effective vaccine, it has to be free to everyone - whether or not you're insured," Mr Biden said in a speech laying out his pandemic response plan just 11 days before the 3 November election. AstraZeneca, J&J vaccine trials back on track in US Two major clinical trials for experimental Covid-19 vaccines got back on track in the US yesterday. AstraZeneca announced that the trial of its vaccine candidate, developed with Britain's University of Oxford, has resumed in the US, the only country where it remained suspended following a participant's illness six weeks ago. "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today authorised the restart in the US, following the resumption of trials in other countries in recent weeks," the drugmaker said. The trial was suspended worldwide on 6 September, but resumed shortly thereafter in Britain, and in the following weeks in South Africa, Brazil and Japan, with authorities determining the illness was not apparently linked to the vaccine. "The FDA reviewed all safety data from trials globally and concluded it was safe to resume the trial," AstraZeneca said. The company added it was hoping to have results later this year, "depending on the rate of infection within the communities where the clinical trials are being conducted". The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine project is one of the most promising and advanced in the world to combat the global pandemic. It is one of ten vaccine candidates being tested on tens of thousands of people in so-called phase three trials. In the US, the two top candidates vying to get a green light from the FDA are those made by Pfizer and Moderna. Both expect to request approval next month. Many countries are counting on using the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to inoculate their populations. The drugmaker pre-sold hundreds of millions of doses on several continents, and signed partnership deals with other producers to ensure the doses could be made locally.
Virus will test our endurance - RTE.ie
These past eight months have been such an endurance for people that it is understandable that some may feel they can dig no deeper.
All things in life can be taken from you and in the end they will be. Three good friends of mine died unexpectedly in recent weeks. They all lived on the same side of the road - just doors apart - but left this world from different causes. We know how life can change in a heartbeat. People around the country have lost loved ones this year to Covid-19 and, we must also not forget, to other conditions. These past eight months have been such an endurance for people. It is understandable that some may feel they can dig no deeper. Of course, with the clocks going back this weekend, we get an extra hour of this dystopian nightmare. Our greatest wealth lies within ourselves. The battle with coronavirus has been both physical and psychological. It has been a terribly difficult week with the country having to face into the prospect of at least another six weeks of national restrictions. It feels like a horror game of Monopoly where you go directly to Jail, you can't go around the board, or buy anything special. This time the experience is different, but no less physically and mentally testing for so many people. Perhaps it is because more businesses and schools are open and that there are capacity limits on public transport but there has been a lot of traffic around this time compared to March and April. The overall atmosphere in the country could be described as fractious. There is quite a lot of finger-pointing and blame about and that’s understandable. The harsh weather is here, the evenings are darker and normal celebrations for Halloween and Christmas will not happen. So many hopes have been dashed. They say it's often darkest just before the dawn. Well there was a notable spark of light last night, with the significantly reduced daily case numbers. Also, there was a fall in the average number of close contacts of confirmed cases. It could be a sign of the impact of the earlier restrictions - fingers crossed. We battled through the first shutdown in wonderful weather and it may have had a novelty element for some people as it was a first. This time around we know from personal experience what is involved and now visits to other people’s houses are not permitted. What people have been going through should also sharpen their appreciation of life and the gift of being healthy and active. The decision not to allow so many sports to continue to operate has generated much debate. Sports are healthy pursuits and some sports would appear to be of very limited risk in terms of spreading the virus. Apart from elite sports and certain GAA games, sports have now been closed off to citizens for at least six weeks. It will have a direct impact on the health and welfare of people, young and old, some of whom may fall back into a sedentary lifestyle. People need an outlet for physicality and aggression and sport is so important in this regard. Sports test endurance, like the way our endurance to handle the coronavirus threat is being tested. There are a range of sports that are now shut off that people have raised questions about. On the face of it, golf would seem to offer little risk in terms of spreading the virus. However, the position taken by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly in the Dáil on Thursday was that while cases can be made for various sports, if one is allow proceed, others will demand the same. So the blunt instrument of shutting down most sports has been taken. Like tough restrictions, the effect is severe. The decision to go for Level 5 is also something of a gamble. It uses up all the bullets in the gun in the attack against the virus. It has to work. The arrival of these measures brought a terrible gloom to the country. Even Matt Damon and Fungie left. What happens if this new raft of restrictions are not successful? Does Ireland continue for a further six weeks? The indications are that we may face rolling restrictions into 2021 if the case numbers and risks do not reduce. Some medical experts completely disagree with this strategy. While the detail of any exit strategy from the current Level 5 restrictions is quite scant, the view from NPHET is that we need to get to a place where there are less than 100 cases of the virus a day and get the R number down under 1 to 0.5. Some believe this is achievable by end of November. What is less clear is how Ireland, or each county, might move back down the levels of restrictions, what will re-open and how and over what time period. We may have got used to uncertainty but it makes for very uneasy living. Different countries are trying different measures. In France, for example, cafes and bars are open but there is a curfew from 9 pm to 6 am. People can only be out on the streets between these hours with written exemptions, otherwise they face a rising rate of fines, for repeated offences. Since I began covering the coronavirus crisis and also writing this weekly long read for Saturdays on events of the week, I have been receiving a large volume of emails, social media DMs and other communications. Some of the messages are heartbreaking. The isolation and home restrictions have long lasting affects. I have heard from men and women in their 30s or 40s, who want to have relationships. They are keen to find a partner and some want to to have children. For some of the women, time matters greatly in terms of pregnancy and the age they are currently at. The younger set of 18-24 year olds can not visit their partners. Everyone of an older generation will appreciate what that must be like. And for the older generation of people, especially those who live alone, there is great loneliness and not a little fear too at this time. During the week, people have pointed to the great work done in New Zealand to deal with coronavirus. While their efforts are laudable, it is difficult to make comparisons with other countries. With New Zealand, it is a very remote island, close to 2,000km from its nearest neighbour Australia. You simply can not compare Ireland to it. We also have the added complication of a porous border and have seen the cases reach dramatic levels in the border counties. The challenges for each country are complex. It is important however to hear all reasoned voices in the debate about how to deal with the pandemic here. There are deep divisions among medical and scientific experts, politicians and others - no doubt most genuinely held. There is continuing and often heated debate about the true number of cases in schools. We see conflicting figures from the HSE and the unofficial data gathered by a large body of parents. Whatever the true numbers, there is no denying that schools being open generate a lot of people movement. Schools are also a part of the community and students go home after class. It will be interesting to see what impact the mid-term break this week may have. Some people seem so definite about what to do despite the fact that no-one has the Oracle of answers. Thank goodness we know an awful lot more about Covid-19 now than at the start. It does help in treating people with the virus now and understanding better the long term effects. We have seen the trends of the virus - the first wave and a second underway now. There have been the ups and downs. One day during the summer, we had three cases reported on a day, then on another day last week a record 1,283 cases were reported. There was a great collective effort to reach a place where just 3 cases were reported. Can it be done again? The answer must be yes. There is a great price to all of this. Concerns have been expressed about the contribution to mental illness the next six weeks will have. The first shutdown saw a raft of health services paused. This time, the National Screen Service is planning to continue the screening programmes during the national Level 5 restrictions. It was a bad week for the HSE as the test and trace system came under the spotlight. The temporary measure to ask people who tested positive over last weekend to do DIY contact tracing shocked many people. The Taoiseach and Minister for Health first learned about it from The Irish Times online. It showed how the track and trace system was not as promised. Some Departments of Public Health had already reported being overwhelmed. By definition, there are not sufficient contact tracers if the aim is to get the overall numbers to 1,000, as referenced by the Taoiseach. Yesterday, the UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory announced that due to unavoidable staff shortages, it will not be able to do Covid-19 testing this weekend on from 24 October to 26 October and next weekend 31 October to 1 November. The cause of this was different – it was due to the fact that one of two the teams of testers has had to self-isolate. The lab does about 600 tests a day, a small number in the scheme of things now and so the tests affected will be performed elsewhere. Ireland has adopted its own strategy for dealing with Covid-19, for good or for bad. Only time will tell if the correct decisions have been made here. There is a lot at stake. And there will be mistakes. Questions continue to be asked about the position of NPHET. Former Attorney General and now Senator Michael McDowell raised several points during the week. NPHET is classed as an independent advisory body, it is not the Government or the health service itself. Questions have been posed as to how independent NPHET can be if it has a large number of HSE staff on it – people with 'skin in the game’ as it were. No doubt, NPHET would counter that it draws from a wide range of expertise and needs to understand the HSE capacities and limitations when making recommendations. Who thought that come late October, we would all be facing into this bleak winter? There is little warmth from the sunlight at this time of year. The northern hemisphere tilts farthest from the sun. We are heading into the coldest season. So we must dig deep, to navigate the coming weeks. And face things as they are, not as we would wish them to be. Like all tests of endurance, we must break through the wall. Maybe go the extra mile. To make it to the finishing line.
Gifted Contemporary Craft & Design Fair moves online - RTE.ie
Gifted, the Contemporary Craft & Design Fair, marks the start of the Christmas season for many who visit the RDS , where it has been held for almost 40 years.
Gifted, the Contemporary Craft & Design Fair, marks the start of the Christmas season for many who visit the RDS , where it has been held for almost 40 years. Strolling past the stalls, meeting the designers, discovering Irish made products and purchasing that perfect Christmas present is what makes Gifted a firm favourite among customers and designers alike. Over 5 days, 40,000 people spend €5 million on gifts by Irish designers and brands who rely on this annual income. The event has been postponed until 2021 because of the pandemic but organisers have pivoted online, trying to go some way in filling the gap with a new website - GiftedfromIreland.com. The e-commerce hub which will bring Irish makers to their customers in the safety of their own homes. Patrick O'Sullivan is CEO of the Gifted Fair and GiftedfromIreland.com. "We want to make sure that our visitors can still find all of their favorite products and makers online and in one place. It also allows us to reach out to Irish craft & design fans internationally." Mr O'Sullivan acknowledged that it is very disappointing that the fair won't be in the RDS this year, but "we're happy to have the opportunity to pivot online". "It was a painful birth," he said, "but it has created a much bigger market place for Irish crafts. "We're not immune to the change in the retail environment. We had started the website last year anyway and were testing it, but the pandemic has focused all our minds and made us put a lot more effort into it." Exhibitors are thrilled that they still have a platform to sell their wares. "The advantage to the craft worker is, sure they might have their own website, but we are in a better position to promote the site and bring their work to a much wider audience." The website will also be a source of revenue throughout the year, and not just before Christmas. Mr O'Sullivan is hopeful that the live event will return to the RDS next year. "We are born optimists and if there is a fair wind behind us we'll be back." Jeweller Tracy Gilbert Tracy Gilbert is a Dublin-based jeweller with a huge grá for creating contemporary jewellery in precious metals that captures the essence of Ireland's ancient past. Her business has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. "The jewellery I design normally appeals to the tourist market, but I'm finding people in Ireland are sending them as gifts to family abroad." She said Gifted is "absolutely massive" for the business, representing 20% of her annual revenue. "It's not merely financial, it's a good launch pad for new products because you are getting feedback directly from customers about what they like. "The reaction from the crowds in the RDS tells you if you're onto a winner," she said. "It's more than just a fair. You're touching base with other designers as well." She expects the website to do well, but the fair will be missed. During lockdown and the summer months, Tracy took the time to enjoy the design process and is staying positive that things will bounce back. "I do think people will buy local and buy Irish this year because it has the double effect of supporting Irish and giving a gift to a loved one that's special because it is Irish made." She's grateful for the support from the team at Gifted. "The reality is the Amazon share price has rocketed, but an actual person does a happy dance when a sale comes through our website." Rose Kamana, founder of KAMANA KAMANA was established as a platform to empower underprivileged women in East Africa to learn, earn a decent living for themselves and be self-reliant. KAMANA translates to 'earn a living', and the mission statement of the business is to stop resources from going to waste by turning off-cuts into high quality products and empowering artisans with every piece sold. Based in Cork, Rose Kamana launched KAMANA at Gifted last year. "It was a great platform from which to launch in terms of interaction with everybody there," she said. "It was remarkable. I loved it. I got to meet other makers and other businesses, and see how they do things. Four months later, the pandemic reached Irish and African shores. It disrupted supply and demand for the products which range from handbags, scarves, cushions and now face masks, but founder, Rose Kamana worked hard to mitigate against these obstacles. "Most of our makers are in the community in East Africa and they were in lockdown for month," Rose said. "We had built up stock because we had just launched months earlier, and that's what saved us." "I was really looking forward to going back to Gifted," she said, "but it is great that they have an e-commerce site where we can showcase and sell our products." "It is a bigger platform than my own website so it will reach a wider audience. People get to buy ethical and local, all in a one stop shop." Rose remains resilient. "We'll keep going," she said. "We're still open for business." Jennifer Doyle, Millbee Studio Millbee Studio was established by Jennifer Doyle at her home in Offaly 18 months ago. She makes natural and sustainable products including Beeswax food wraps which are a reusable alternative to clingfilm, beeswax candles, and beeswax balm for dry skin. It was Jennifer's first time exhibiting at Gifted last year. "It was the biggest thing that we did last year. I was overwhelmed to be honest. The footfall is unreal. I didn't anticipate how busy we would be," she said. "I began running out of stock, and I had people going back to Offaly to get some more." That is a good complaint for a new business and first time exhibitor at the fair. Like for all businesses, the pandemic proved challenging, and Jennifer was grateful to have the flexibility of working from home while her children were home from school. "I would have had stockists, and some of those whole sale orders stopped," she said, "but online took off, and I got a lot of support locally. Neighbours would ring and order the balm and collect it at the front gate." Supporting local business is a trend she expects will continue as people begin shopping for presents this Christmas. "I'm seeing it already. They're not just supporting shops, they are supporting Irish brands in those shops. I think that trend will continue this year, and hopefully well into the future." Earlier this year, Jennifer had hoped to bring her products to Gifted this December, but she is pleased with the GiftedFromIreland.com platform. "The website is brilliant. It's easy to navigate, and all the brands are in one place. "It is not the same but at least it is there. If this was 20 years ago, we wouldn't have it all." Catriona McGinley, founder of Orwell & Browne Catriona McGinley's business, Orwell & Browne, featured on the Gifted website last year when they were testing the e-commerce platform and she knew how well it worked. "Their customer base is very strong," she said, and orders were flying in for her Donegal tweed accessories.Catriona's grandfather was a handweaver of Donegal tweed for many years, and she carried on the family tradition, making notebooks covered in tweed to begin with before expanding to throws, scarves, and bow ties. "I obviously will miss the hustle and bustle of the fair," she said, "But there is great traffic that comes through the website. I've sold 30 throws from the website in the past week." "Gifted is probably the best event that I do in terms of generating revenue, and I think they have the site organised so well, that even in the last two weeks, business has been going so well." She is gaining from the momentum behind supporting Irish business. "I can see it already. I've launched these gift boxes with hats, scarves and socks, and orders are coming in for family living abroad. "Everyone is willing to pay a bit more to get a more sustainable, ethical product rather than fast fashion. There seems to be such a push for it this year." Initially concerned at the outbreak of Covid-19 and what it would mean for her business, she soon discovered her online sale soared. "In the first two weeks of Covid, I was up on sales." "Overall, I'm up on sales this year compared to last year. Everything has taken off. I think it's people buying from me rather than from big stores. Everybody wants to support the local business over the road. "I could be saying something different next year, but hopefully not."