Video: Covid latest, abuse at HSE-run centre and Dublin collision

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Personal injury awards reduce

Personal injury awards have reduced by an average of 40 per cent following the introduction of new injuries guidelines in April.

A report from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) found that 18 per cent of awards are now under €5,000, while 30 per cent are now between €5,000 and €10,000.

48 per cent of all claims are now coming in under €10,000, in comparison to just 12 per cent of awards previously.

Rosalind Carroll, PIAB chief executive, said the report is “good news” for individuals, communities and businesses as personal injury claims have had a big impact on the price and availability of insurance.

Covid restrictions

The director general of the HSE, Paul Reid, has said that the recent rise of Covid numbers was “not a panic button”, but a signal of early warning.

A high number of patients in hospitals and rising number of cases have led to serious concerns in Government and among public health officials.

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While no final decision has been made about the next planned phase of reopening on October 22nd, senior sources have said some of the measures may be paused if the situation continues to deteriorate.

Ministers are set to push for a partial easing of restrictions next week which would see vaccine passports remain a requirement for entering venues and premises.

Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris has said it is not “a binary choice” on whether to proceed with the easing of restrictions on October 22nd. He said the Government must decide if it will “proceed, pause or proceed with some safeguards”.

Vaccine boosters

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) is due to meet in the coming days to finalise recommendations about a Covid vaccine booster campaign.

One option being considered is a rollout in descending order down through the age cohorts.

HSE chief Paul Reid today said that the health service is ready and willing to complete a booster campaign on the advice of Niac, adding it was anxious to go ahead with a campaign for the wider community and for its own workers.

“We are mobilised and ready. We are ready to go, from our perspective, the sooner the better”, he said.

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Meanwhile, immunology expert Professor Paul Moynagh warned that people who are not vaccinated are taking a risk and face a choice "between the vaccine and the virus".

Sexual abuse at HSE-run centre

At least 18 intellectually disabled residents of a Health Service Executive-run centre in Co Donegal were subjected “to sustained sexual abuse” during a 13-year period with the full knowledge of staff and management, an unpublished investigation has found.

The report documented more than 108 incidents of “devastating” abuse perpetrated on mainly non-verbal adults by another resident, given the pseudonym “Brandon” in the report.

These included molestation, entering residents’ beds at night, exposing himself, prolonged and loud masturbation close to residents, and possibly rape. Brandon died last year.

The report, from the HSE’s National Independent Review Panel (NIRP), a copy of which has been obtained by The Irish Times, finds the Ard Gréine Court complex and Sean O’Hare Unit in St Joseph’s hospital in Stranorlar had been run with a “disregard for residents’ rights”.

Dublin collision

A man, aged in his 20s, has died after a collision between a motorcycle and a car in Lucan, Co Dublin on Thursday.

Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene of a fatal road traffic collision on the R136 at approximately 8.25pm yesterday.

The motorcyclist, a man aged in 20s, was taken to Connolly Memorial Hospital where he later passed away from his injuries. A postmortem will take place in due course. The driver of the car was uninjured.

Investigating gardaí are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

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