Video: Failed 999 calls, Delta variant, publicans want clarity on July 5th reopening

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James Cox

Garda Commissioner apologises over failed 999 calls

Gardaí did not provide the required standard of service to victims of domestic abuse, Commissioner Drew Harris has told a meeting of the Policing Authority.

It follows an internal inquiry by an assistant commissioner into failures by gardaí to properly respond to 999 emergency calls in 2019 and 2020.

The ongoing inquiry has focused on domestic abuse calls, with 3,120 cases identified where such calls had a final status of “cancelled”.

Of that figure, 10 per cent of cases — 312 — who may have been affected have been contacted by gardaí.

The inquiry has yet to identify any victim who experienced adverse outcomes as a result of their 999 call not being properly responded to.

GPs raise concerns over children and Delta variant

Two doctors based in the north-west on both sides of the border have told of the growing number of cases that appear to be of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

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Dr Tom Black, who is based in Derry, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that the number of cases in the Strabane and Derry area is three times higher than the rest of Northern Ireland.

“We are seeing a lot of sick children and younger people, not older people,” he said.

“Half the cases in Northern Ireland are the Delta variant, we expect that to rise to 75 per cent in the next couple of weeks.”

Meanwhile, Dr Denis McCauley who is based in Donegal said they are also seeing an “upswing” in upper respiratory infections among children, but that because of ongoing problems caused by the malware attack on the HSE they did not have full details.

People were going directly to testing centres rather than their GP which meant GPs did not know all the details.

Publicans and restaurateurs want clarity on July 5th reopening

Pubs and restaurants will be given as little as three days’ notice as to whether or not they can finally press ahead with reopening on July 5th.

With staff already being hired, supplies ordered, and premises prepared, the businesses must wait until public health experts and the Government decide whether the risk from the Delta variant is such that the July 5th date must be put back.

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Publicans and restaurateurs want that decision to be made this week, but Government sources say it will be the middle of next week at the earliest before they will be told.

As it stands, it is likely that the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will meet next Thursday, with an announcement by the Government on Friday.

Sources say that while the Government is sympathetic to the need for clarity, the latest data will be needed, along with Nphet modelling.

Nphet member says short reopening pause could prevent another lockdown

Two to three weeks of a pause on reopening would make a “substantial difference” in preventing a surge of the Delta coronavirus variant and another lockdown in Ireland, according to a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

Dr Mary Favier, Covid adviser for the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and a member of Nphet, has cautioned that if the number of cases of the Delta variant continues to rise, difficult decisions will have to be made by the Government next week.

Dr Favier told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that there was a concern about the “uptick” in the numbers of cases involving the variant.

Meanwhile, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan separately said he was cautiously optimistic that the easing of restrictions for indoor facilities can go ahead as scheduled on July 5th.

Firefighters in Cork deal with over 50 callouts

Firefighters tackled a blaze at a derelict former hotel in Cork city last night - one of over 50 callouts for the fire brigade during a busy bonfire night.

Two units of the Cork City Fire Brigade and a water tanker responded to the incident at the former Sunset Ridge Hotel in Killeens near Blarney just after 10pm.

The hotel has been closed and boarded up for several years.

When they arrived, firefighters found a small fire inside the premises and managed to bring it under control quickly.

While investigations are underway to establish the cause of the blaze, there are suspicions it was started deliberately.

A spokesman for the fire brigade said fire crews have been called to that address on several occasions in recent years.

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