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Search under way on Lough Mask as boy reported missing - RTE.ie
An extensive search operation is under way on Lough Mask in Co Mayo tonight, after a five-year-old boy was reported missing earlier this evening.
An extensive search operation is under way on Lough Mask in Co Mayo tonight, after a young boy was reported missing earlier this evening. Gardaí and the Coast Guard service are involved in the search for the five-year-old boy. The child is from the area and is understood to have fallen from a dinghy, that may have drifted from the shoreline. The alarm was raised at 6.30pm this evening, when the small craft was spotted in the water. The Corrib Mask Search and Rescue team is involved in the operation, with locals also out in force to assist. The Sligo and Shannon-based Coast Guard Helicopters have conducted aerial surveys of the lake, with search teams also working to locate the boy, on water and from the shore. The search will continue for as long as possible tonight and is expected to resume at first light.
'Let's talk about it': Power calls for racism awareness - RTE.ie
Nadia Power has called for the conversation regarding racism to continue, and the Irish 800m champion has encouraged people to ask questions as a way of educating themselves on the subject.
Nadia Power has called for the conversation regarding racism to continue, and the Irish 800m champion has encouraged people to ask questions as a way of educating themselves on the subject. The Templeogue native, who secured bronze at the 2019 Under-23 European Championships, has said that she has never experienced racism in sport, however, she has been subject to some abuse growing up in Ireland. Power said that she has been lucky in life in that the abuse has been limited, however, she felt the need to stand up for her fellow Irish team-mate Gina Akpe Moses, who recently spoke out regarding being constantly questioned, 'why is there a black girl on the Irish team?'. "Luckily, in sport anyway, I have never directly faced any racism," said Power, speaking on 2fm's Game On. "But outside of sport, I have faced a little bit and had racial slurs shouted at me. "It’s something that I am self-conscious of and I am aware people comment on, and I’m expecting at some point it might be an issue with me. "A lot of people are realising that the problem is worse than we thought, and I think I am lucky that I haven’t experienced that much in Ireland. "But I wonder is that because I have one Irish parent, so that is frustrating for me because, why should I be treated differently to Gina as we are both Irish?" Given that my Mother has had to warn me to avoid looking at the comments under pictures or articles where i'm wearing an Irish vest, i’m very grateful this article was written Thanks @GinaAkpeMoses & @offtheball for sharing https://t.co/6FaYlHhke5 — Nadia Power (@NadiaPower6) May 31, 2020 The sporting world have proved, perhaps, more vocal than usual this week, following mass worldwide Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd in America. And Power wants the conversation to continue beyond this week, which she believes will help address the matter in both sport and society. "It has been so empowering seeing people care. And it seems to have gone a bit further now and people want to do something about it, so I am really hopeful for the future. "That’s why I was so eager to retweet that article because it is an elephant in the room as we have all seen the comments and we have all seen racism in sport and outside, so let’s talk about it and have a conversation and see how we can all do better." And 22-year-old DCU student, Power, believes that it is better for people to say things that are on their mind, even if they are unsure if they are the right things to say, as long as they are making an effort to learn about the issue. "If you are making an honest effort to educate yourself and kind of [say to yourself] 'have I done anything in the past or should I be doing more to stand up to it in the future?’, we can all be happy with that. "And people shouldn’t be afraid to say something if their heart is in the right place, and they just want to learn. "And like they are saying on the internet this week, people need to be more that just not racist, but be actively anti-racist, I think that would be positive." Power also spoke about her disappointing experience as a scholarship athlete in America, training during the lockdown and her hopes for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Listen to the full Nadia Power interview
Bradley: League needs Irish clubs ready for Europe - RTE.ie
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley says that League of Ireland clubs "have to adapt" to the new reality of the coronavirus pandemic and has welcomed the chance for clubs in European action to resume training as early as possible.
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley says that League of Ireland clubs 'have to adapt' to the new reality of the coronavirus pandemic and has welcomed the chance for clubs in European action to resume training as early as possible. Rovers players and staff underwent a second round of Covid-19 testing this morning ahead of what's hoped to be a return to limited training next week. The Hoops, Bohemians, Dundalk and Derry City all returned negative tests last week, as part of a pilot programme to ensure a safe return for football at all levels. A mini tournament is planned for July involving the four clubs, who have all qualified for European football. UEFA has not yet announced dates for next season's Champions League or Europa League qualifiers but, as the 2019/20 competitions are still only at the last-16 stage, it could be September at the earliest before they begin, if at all. Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley welcomed another 'positive step' towards resuming football as his squad had a second round of Covid-19 testing today pic.twitter.com/a3eR87q8NO — Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) June 1, 2020 "It's another positive step to getting us back playing," Bradley told RTÉ Sport after his squad navigated another round of throat-swabbing. "Hopefully we can get back to full-contact training in the near future. Hopefully this test, for the four clubs, comes back fairly good for the four clubs again. If so, it’s another step in the right direction. "I think it's a fantastic idea to give the four clubs that are in Europe a chance to be ready. It's important that we’re ready to go and play top-class opposition. "It’s important for us as a club but it’s also important for us as a league. The knock-on effect it has with the co-efficient is really big. "It’s massive for us as a club, for everyone to play in and financially. But also for the players to test themselves against opposition. We’re hopeful that it gets played." "Clubs that would have broken even in the past, it's not going to happen this year" Staff and players at Rovers agreed a 25% pay cut in April while other Irish clubs have temporarily laid off their entire staff, with no date for a resumption of the SSE Airtricity League yet on the table. Government guidelines suggest games could be played without spectators from 20 July. Bradley admits the financial implications of returning to action without fans are dire but says clubs will just have to make the best of a bad situation. "Every club is going to take a real hit this season. That's around the world," he said. "We need our gates and sponsorship more than most leagues around Europe but we’ve got to adjust to the times. "Clubs that would have broken even in the past, it’s not going to happen this year and we’ve got to take that on the chin and move forward. "Otherwise, you just put football away to next year and for me that’s not an option. "We have to adapt. We’re the same as any business in this country or industry around the world. You can’t just sit still and hope things become better. It looks like we won’t have a vaccine for quite some time. "So we have to make sure we adapt and can work within the government guidelines." The Hoops had a 100% record from the five league games they played before Covid-19 intervened in March but Bradley doesn't believe the involuntary delay will stall his team's momentum. "We've been on a good run," he said. "I think the break will bring us back hungry, give us time to rethink, refresh. They've got through it and they’ll be ready to go. "It's not ideal obviously but it’s been fine. We’ve been giving the players some time off and then we’ve been working them other weeks. We’ve had to adjust and get on with it. "I think all players just want to be back training as a group. They love that environment, being around their friends. That’s what being part of a team is all about. "Although they’ve been doing their own bits we have to look at it as a pre-season, because they’ve had such a long time off. "But we have to be careful as well that we don’t push it too hard because we have a long time before we play our games. Other leagues around Europe have had a spike in injuries when they came back. "We’re going to have measures in place next week when they’re back so as long as it’s safe for everyone, I think they’re really looking forward to getting back."
Newbridge or Nowhere showed 'feeling in GAA grassroots' - RTE.ie
The shot of the gable wall bearing the defiant message 'Newbridge or Nowhere' became one of the defining images of the otherwise forgettable 2018 All-Ireland football championship.
The shot of the gable wall bearing the defiant message 'Newbridge or Nowhere' became one of the defining images of the otherwise forgettable 2018 All-Ireland football championship. Kildare were in terrible shape for most of 2018. They had been relegated to Division 3 that spring, deemed an unacceptably lowly environment for a county with their resources, and then suffered a humiliating loss to Carlow in the Leinster championship in Tullamore. Cian O'Neill's days as manager appeared numbered and it felt like his whole reign was simply waiting to be put out of its misery. The Lilywhites recuperated gradually with reasonably impressive away victories over Derry and Longford in the early rounds of the qualifiers. But when they were drawn to play Mayo in Round 3 of the qualifiers, it looked like that would be that. It's true that Stephen Rochford's team were stuttering and hobbling their way through the scenic route but this was nothing we hadn't seen previously and they usually wound up in the All-Ireland final. Indeed, in 2017, Mayo had given probably their greatest All-Ireland final performance of modern times, only to be brutally pipped by Dublin once again. It seemed obvious that Kildare were in over their heads. However, the draw hadn't been all bad. They had come out first and would have home advantage after two games on the road. They could certainly make life uncomfortable for Mayo - whose team were a touch on the aged side and were fond of living dangerously - in the tight, rickety surrounds of St Conleth's Park, a venue which had been in urgent need of an upgrade for some time now. The cramped and intimate environment would do the hosts no harm at all. Two years ago this weekend, the phrase 'Newbridge or Nowhere' was on the tip of every tongue and not just in Kildare and Mayo! - For more watch the #sundaygame on @RTE2 from 9.30pm pic.twitter.com/hOQ7OldBW7 — The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 31, 2020 But as Cian O'Neill told the Sunday Game this week, he had a nagging feeling from early in the week that this advantage was about to be whipped away from them. "I felt as the morning was going on that there was something rumbling in the background," O'Neill told RTÉ Sport. "I was in constant contact with Ger Donnelly from the county board. As soon as the draw was made, they were in contact with the police in Newbridge, trying to sort out what the health and safety issues would be, the Derby was on in Kildare that day, which is massive in Newbridge. "They were doing their work behind the scenes and then he said that Croke Park were on looking for us to nominate a second venue. "And I thought 'Okay, why?'. You know Newbridge is not the most salubrious of stadia. And I just said no, we're not going to nominate one. My fear was that something could happen in the background and they'd say, well you said you'd play somewhere, and then away we go. "This back and forth went on for the bones of three or four hours. Ger was the link to Croke Park. And I just refused to nominate one. I said we were happy with Newbridge, no more questions. "And then it was only when it was announced (for Croke Park), which I think caught the county board as well as us off guard, that we realised we were in a battle here." The GAA didn't let Kildare's chippiness deter them and at 1.30pm on the Monday, they formally fixed the Kildare-Mayo match to Croke Park, as part of a double header with Cavan-Tyrone. 'Newbridge or Nowhere' - A GAA problem of their own making? Cian O'Neill and Colm O'Rourke with their take on the events of two summers ago - watch more on the #sundaygame on @RTE2 from 9.30pm pic.twitter.com/7683KcKehR — The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 31, 2020 Among neutrals, there was the standard groan of resignation accompanying this announcement. Mid-season games in front of an echoey, half-empty Croke Park had gotten a bad press in recent years. For most counties, excepting a few real minnows, the novelty of playing in Jones's Road had long since worn off. It felt a long time since 2001 when Roscommon, as Connacht champions, kicked up a stink when their All-Ireland quarter-final meeting with Galway was fixed for MacHale Park, a complaint which ensured that all future last-eight games would be stuck in GAA headquarters. This was a different era. Relevant to all this, though rarely spelled out by any of the combatants, was the running controversy over Dublin's use with Croke Park (the topic can't be ignored). A number of smaller Leinster counties - Longford providing the example from that summer - had been forced to eschew home combatants for financial benefit, instead opting for the privilege of being hammered out the gate in front of Hill 16. This particular 'sore point' formed part of the backdrop to the controversy and certainly guided the public's sympathies on the matter. No one expected Kildare to take it far as they did. By late afternoon, word began to seep out that they weren't happy. Their resolve clearly startled the GAA authorities. O'Neill appeared live on the Six One News that night at very short notice, having been coaxed into doing so by RTÉ GAA correspondent Marty Morrissey. "I don't think anyone saw it going to the level it did. It literally was a phone call from Marty. It was that simple. I was in work at a quarter to six and he just rang. "And Marty being the wily old reporter that he is, he probably knew he had something. And he said do you want to go on the Six One? "This was never considered. I was just trying to put a written statement together. And I said 'I'm here in work'. He said 'Can you get into the studio in Cork?'. I didn't even know there was a studio in Cork. "He said you have to be in there by 20 past 6 or it won't make the Six One. It wasn't pre-planned, there was no script. "It just happened. Jacket on, in the car, into Cork. I'd say between walking in the door and being in the room, it was about six or seven minutes. It just happened organically and grew legs from there." Soon, we were into dramatic talk of boycotts and Kildare being expelled from the championship. The GAA, badly misjudging the public mood, trotted out a strangely tin-eared and uncompromising 'you'll do as you're told' line for a few days. Health and safety was initially advanced as a factor in the venue switch and when the grassroots were unresponsive to this, the GAA authorities cited the possibility of crowd trouble with so many supporters gathered outside the small ground. This explanation, unsurprisingly, went down even worse. By Wednesday afternoon, with talk of future DRA cases and Kildare insisting they'd offer a walkover rather than compromise, the GAA, with two days of shambolic PR behind them, gave in and fixed the match for Newbridge. Three days later, Kildare, evidently galvanised by the week's events, powered past Mayo, sending the westerners tumbling out of the championship before we'd reached July. It was the first time they had failed to reach at least the All-Ireland semi-final since 2010. "We probably wouldn't have got the traction as a group of players or a management or a county board unless the groundswell of support had come from across the country," said O'Neill. "That was powerful and it was something no one could have anticipated - for something that was relatively small. It was a fixture argument. "But it blew into something far bigger than that which I think did represent at that time a feeling within the grassroots of the GAA. "To balance that, the GAA are a massive organisation and it can be difficult to get every decision right for grassroots, underage, adult, sub-elite and then elite as well. So, it was a difficult situation."
Hosepipe ban warning on hottest day of the year so far - RTE.ie
Temperatures reached 26.9C in Newport Furnace in Co Mayo this afternoon, the hottest seen in the country so far this year, as Irish Water warned it is increasingly likely a Water Conservation Order will be required.
Temperatures reached 26.9C in Newport Furnace in Co Mayo this afternoon, the hottest seen in the country so far this year. Meanwhile, Irish Water has warned it is increasingly likely a Water Conservation Order will be required due to the prolonged dry weather. Most of the country saw temperatures in the 20s, though the high in Malin Head in Co Donegal was a relatively mild 16C. That is still a lot warmer than Clonsast Co Offaly saw on this day 58 years ago though - when it set the record for the coldest ever June day in Ireland, at a remarkable -3.3C. Weather Fact: The lowest temperature ever recorded for the month of June was recorded on this day back in 1962. It was a chilly -3.3C at Clonsast, Co. Offaly. — Met Éireann (@MetEireann) June 1, 2020 The recent good weather is set to continue into tomorrow, with most areas seeing top temperatures of 22-26C, but things are expected to get cooler from tomorrow night into Wednesday. It will be breezy on Wednesday, with highest temperatures a comparatively cool 12-17C. Similar conditions are expected on Thursday, with Friday to be cooler again. Hosepipe ban 'increasingly likely' In a statement this afternoon, Irish Water said it is growing more likely that a hosepipe ban "will have to be put in place following increased demand on water and deteriorating drought conditions. This comes during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, when handwashing and hygiene remain critically important". Irish Water said with more people at home, domestic usage has increased by an average of 20%. It said: "Now the increased domestic demand and increase in commercial demand as businesses are reopening is being exacerbated by warm weather and the widespread emergence of drought conditions. "Since March Irish Water has been carefully monitoring all of its raw water sources, that is the water from lakes, rivers, springs and ground sources that feed our water treatment plants. Of Irish Water's 900 drinking water schemes, 16 currently are in drought and 38 are at risk of going into drought. "The weather forecast is for continued dry conditions which will exacerbate the situation and Irish Water's data shows spikes of water usage on very sunny days." Irish Water said the prolonged dry weather has increased demand. The statement added: "On Saturday, it was warm and sunny in the Greater Dublin Area and Irish Water data shows that the demand on water exceeded all previous levels. The equivalent of water supply for an extra 200,000 people was used in one day in this area alone. "However this is not just a Dublin issue, the levels of demand being experienced nationally cannot be accommodated and run the risk of households not having an adequate supply of water for essential hand washing hygiene. "Imposing a Water Conservation Order is not a measure that Irish Water wants to take but it is increasingly likely that we will have to do so. It is essential that our water supply is protected if we are to avoid restrictions and outages over the coming weeks and months. "There are lots of helpful tips for conserving water on water.ie but the key things are to leave the hose and the pressure washer in the shed; don't use paddling pools; reuse household water for the garden; and take shorter showers. "Safeguarding the supply of water is essential at this time when handwashing and hygiene is of critical importance. We are calling on everyone to play their part."
Black Lives Matter solidarity protest held in Dublin - RTE.ie
Thousands of people have taken part in a rally in Dublin city centre in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States.
Thousands of people have taken part in a rally in Dublin city centre in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. People gathered at the GPO on O'Connell Street and marched to the United States Embassy in Ballsbridge protesting over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. The 46-year-old died after a white police officer was seen kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Derek Chauvin, the police officer involved in the incident who has since been fired, has been charged with third-degree murder. The marchers chanted 'black lives matter' and called for justice for Mr Floyd's family. A minute's silence was then observed when they arrived at the US Embassy. pic.twitter.com/FnT4Opd193 — Padraic Geoghegan (@PadraicRTE) June 1, 2020 It comes after two protests took place in Dublin yesterday - one at the US Embassy and another at the US Ambassador's Residence in the Phoenix Park. Similar protests have taken place around the world, including in New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands. In the US itself the White House has called for "law and order", and has blamed agitators for a sixth straight night of violent protests across the country. Dozens of cities across the United States remain under curfews at a level not seen since riots following the 1968 assassination of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Irish woman Erica Cody, who said she was taking part in the protest, told RTÉ's News at One that she has experienced racism since the day she was born. Ms Cody, a singer from Baldoyle, said she was taking part in the protest to stand in solidarity with her black brothers and sisters around the world. She said the sad thing is that it always takes something so tragic, such as the death of Mr Floyd, to realise rasicm is not exclusive to the United States but that it exists everywhere. She said the protest today is about standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement because it doesn't just exist in the States, but everywhere. She said that we must have uncomfortable conversations in order to bring about change and sitting on the fence just adds to the problem.
John Boyega doesn't want to 'work in fear' in the USA - RTE.ie
Star Wars actor John Boyega said he does not want to "work in fear" when he is in filming in the USA.
Star Wars actor John Boyega said he does not want to "work in fear" when he is in filming in the USA.The movie star was addressing the unrest that has been triggered by the death of a black man during a police arrest. Last week in Minneapolis, George Floyd died after pleading for air as a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck. In a response to a Twitter user who said he should not comment on the incident as he is not an American, Boyega defended his right to speak out about racism in the US. The Star Wars actor said that he has "family and friends there who could be any one of the victims of things that don't change". Boyega added that he is in the country for half the year and does not "want to work in fear". Other celebrities have also spoken out about Mr Floyd's death and the protests in the US. Comedian Paddy McGuinness said that his death "can't be in vain". He added: "I was lucky to grow up in a multicultural area. Playing in various households I learned one thing, that we're all the same." Actress Emily Atack also shared a message about racism, and pledged to "educate myself and be a part of permanent change".She shared the message alongside an image of a white and a black hand clasped together next to a message which said: "I understand that I will never understand." I pledge to educate myself and be a part of permanent change. #blacklivesmatterpic.twitter.com/NFbMiuxt9r — Emily Atack (@EmAtack) June 1, 2020 Meanwhile, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) shared a message of solidarity on Twitter with "the black community, our members, colleagues and the industry" in a statement which pledged to "fight for greater justice and equality in society". The statement added: "BAFTA condemns racism, injustice and inequality in all its forms, and the tragic death of George Floyd must be a catalyst for real change." Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have donated more than $160,000 to a civil rights organisation in response to the protests. Announcing the move on Instagram, actor Reynolds wrote: "We've never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we're pulled over in the car. We don't know what it's like to experience that life day in and day out. We can't imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger."
'We have to do something - we're standing still' - RTE.ie
A number of Ulster hurling figures have come out in favour of a combined side representing the province in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
A number of Ulster hurling figures have come out in favour of a combined side representing the province in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Speaking to RTÉ Sport last Friday, Down manager Ronan Sheehan suggested that an amalgamated side could help to develop the small-ball code in northern counties, who have struggled to compete at the top level, in contrast to their football sides. Some players and managers in Ulster think that a combined side could contend for Liam MacCarthy. "Team Ulster would have a very good chance, I believe," Slaughtneil manager Mickey McShane told Jerome Quinn. "You pick the best eight players out of Antrim, the best eight players out of Derry, Down and players from Donegal, Tyrone, Armagh and maybe other counties, you're going to have a very strong panel." Tyrone manager Mattie Lennon concurs, saying that hurling in Ulster is "standing still" at the moment. "If we had a Team Ulster and were in the Leinster championship, and we had Wexford coming to the Athletic Grounds, Páirc Esler or Clones, with 16 or 17 thousand people there, that would do wonders for the game. "It would give younger people an incentive to push on and get on that squad. "We have to do something. We're standing still over the last number of years." Donegal forward Declan Coulter adds: "If you take the best 30, 40 hurlers in Ulster, could we compete? Absolutely, if the right structures are in place and you have enough time to come together as a team to get to know each other and get systems of play in place." Antrim are the only Ulster side to have reached an All-Ireland hurling final (1943 and '89) but after joining the Leinster championship in 2009 the Saffrons were relegated in 2015 and have since been competing in the Christy Ring/Joe McDonagh Cup tiers. They were top of Division 2A when the Allianz Hurling League was suspended due to the coronavirus in March. Derry and Down have also won Ulster titles in the last 30 years but the province's SHC hasn't been contested since Antrim won their 16th consecutive title in 2017. Sheehan accepted that convincing Antrim to join a provincial team could prove difficult but former Saffrons star Eddie McCloskey believes even a side without Ulster's traditional powerhouse could be competitive. "Obviously, with Antrim they would be a much stronger team but you have your strong players from all the counties," he said. "With those players they have the potential to be competitive at that level. Cathal Carvill, who was captain of Armagh when they reached Division 2A in 2016, agrees. "I marked out a team without Antrim players and that is a team I know I would certainly enjoy playing in and would put it up to any team in the country," he said. "People might say that’s madness but there is the quality there in each of the individual counties without Antrim to be very very competitive. To my mind, I think that 15 and the current Antrim 15, there would only be one winner." "If you were doing it properly, two-thirds of the team would probably be from Antrim," admits Slaughtneil and Derry star Chrissy McKaigue, who has won three Ulster club titles in the last four years. "I think you don't want to go away from putting the best players on the starting 15, irrespective of what county they're from. "Your job in this initiative is to gather up the best hurlers in Ulster, irrespective of what county they're from, and form the best 25 to 30 players in the province. Have a crack at at Liam McCarthy, put the correct resources into it, get the right management team in place and see where it takes us. "At this stage it's worth a gamble because things can't really get any worse."
Dublin Zoo to re-open with limited visitor numbers - RTE.ie
Dublin Zoo is due to reopen from tomorrow with visitor restrictions in place under new health and safety protocols.
Dublin Zoo is due to reopen from tomorrow with visitor restrictions in place under new health and safety protocols. All tickets to the zoo will have to be pre-booked online on the Dublin Zoo website, while no more than 500 visitors will be allowed onsite at any one time. In a statement, the zoo said that this is less than 10% of its usual capacity at this time of year. Visitors will choose from one of two daily sessions - a morning one from 9.30am to 1pm and an afternoon session from 2pm to 5.30pm. A one-way system will be in place with social distancing restrictions. This means that internal animal houses and enclosed habitat viewing areas, shops, and playgrounds will be closed to the public until further notice. As a result visitors will not be able to see the wolves, hippo, Waldrapp ibis, Amur tigers and the red pandas. However, Dublin Zoo said that visitors will be able to see the majority of the animals including the herd of Asian elephants, chimpanzees, the Western lowland gorillas, giraffe, rhino, zebra, sealions, penguins, lemurs, orangutans, and lions. The Director of Dublin Zoo, Leo Oosterweghel, said the past weeks have been a challenging time for Dublin Zoo. However, he said he would "like to take this opportunity to thank the public for the thousands of messages we have received extending their love and support to us." He added that people are asked to abide by existing Government travel restrictions.
Fresh Ebola outbreak reported in DR Congo - RTE.ie
A fresh Ebola outbreak has been reported in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the country's health ministry.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported a fresh Ebola outbreak in the country's northwest, just weeks before it hoped to declare the end of another epidemic in the east. The appearance of the deadly disease on the other side of the vast central African country comes as an added blow as it attempts to also battle the coronavirus pandemic. Health Minister Eteni Longondo said that "four people have already died" from Ebola in a district of the northwestern city of Mbandaka. "The National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) has confirmed to me that samples from Mbandaka tested positive for Ebola," Mr Longondo told a press conference. "We will send them the vaccine and medicine very quickly," he said, adding that he planned to visit the site of the outbreak at the end of the week. The capital of Equateur Province, Mbandaka is a transport hub on the Congo River with a population of more than a million. Equateur Province was previously hit by an Ebola outbreak between May and July 2018, in which 33 people died and 21 recovered from the disease. "This is a province that has already experienced the disease. They know how to respond. They started the response at the local level yesterday," Mr Longondo said. The Ebola epidemic in the country's volatile east has killed 2,280 people since August 2018, and officials had hoped to be able to proclaimed it over on 25 June. For it to be officially over, there have to be no new cases reported for 42 days - double the incubation period. In April, the eastern epidemic was just three days away from being declared over when a new case was reported, pushing the date back. The newest Ebola outbreak is the 11th in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1976. The conflict-wracked country is also fighting its own coronavirus outbreak, recording 3,195 infections - 2,896 in the capital Kinshasa -- and 72 deaths, according to official figures released Monday.