Video: Climate warning, hospital overcrowding, Merrion controversy

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Climate change report

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan has warned that the cost of ignoring climate change would be “catastrophic.”

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Ryan said there was now “no doubt” and “no debating” that human-driven climate change was happening right in front of us.

“We have to remember what the science is saying - the cost of ignoring climate change is catastrophic.”

On RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, the Minister said that the consequences of failing to bring Ireland's carbon emissions down would be “beyond compare.” There was a need to move quickly because “the window for action is closing”.

The minister was speaking on both radio stations prior to the publication of a new UN report which states humans are causing climate change. For Ireland, the first key thing that needed to be done was to stop using fossil fuels.

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It is the first such global assessment since 2013, when scientists found that global warming was “unequivocal” and human influence on the climate was clear, with the majority of warming since the 1950s extremely likely to be down to human activity.

The high-level report authored by 234 experts suggests that some level of climate change is now irreversible, and that extreme weather events are linked to climate change.

Hospital overcrowding hits pandemic-high

The number of people waiting for a hospital bed has reached the highest level recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) warning of a “dire situation” in hospitals if the matter is not addressed.

According to the most recent trolley-watch figures, 381 patients were waiting for a bed in hospitals around the country on Monday morning.

Cork University Hospital was the most overcrowded, with 47 patients waiting on trolleys. However, the INMO explained the temporary closure of Bantry General Hospital is likely a contributing factor.

University Hospital Limerick had the second highest number, with 41 patients waiting for a bed, followed by University Hospital Galway (39), Sligo University Hospital (26) and Mayo University Hospital (26).

The current wave of Covid infections is putting the health service under increasing pressure, with 217 people now in hospital with the virus, showing a sharp increase from 50 Covid patients reported on July 9th.

Merrion Hotel controversy

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said the Tánaiste’s attendance at a controversial event at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin has “undermined public confidence”.

Leo Varadkar last week apologised for attending the party, hosted by former minister Katherine Zappone, in an outdoor area of the hotel and attended by 50 people, but said it “probably” was not a breach of pandemic hospitality regulations.

The controversy led to a clarification of the rules around outdoor hospitality on Friday, with 200 now allowed gather at an event, with live music.

Kerry-Tyrone All-Ireland Football semi-final postponed

The All-Ireland Football semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone has been postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Tyrone panel.

The game had been due to be played this Sunday in Croke Park, however, the GAA has confirmed the match will be rescheduled to Saturday, August 21st.

Croke Park will still host the postponed fixture, however, the time of the game is yet to be confirmed.

Due to the delay, the All-Ireland final will also be pushed back to Saturday, September 4th.

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