Video: Hospital waiting lists, Irish in Afghanistan and reopening delay

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Kenneth Fox

Denis Law

Manchester United and Scotland great Denis Law says he has been diagnosed with “mixed dementia”.

The Aberdeen-born striker made his breakthrough at Huddersfield, then had spells with Manchester City and Torino before heading to Old Trafford in 1962.

Law scored an incredible 237 goals in 404 appearances for United and the player nicknamed ‘The King’ ended his career across town with City, while he remains Scotland’s joint top scorer on 30 goals.

Afghan escape

The family of an Irish woman who was trying to flee war-torn Afghanistan say they are 'relieved and happy' that their daughter is now safe in Pakistan

Aoife MacManus and 26 other co-workers landed in Islamabad after a one-hour flight which left at dawn this morning.

Her father Ray MacMánais said the family got little sleep last night but feel that a weight has been lifted from them now.

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However the family in Fleenstown, Ashbourne, Co Meath say their thoughts are still very much with the remaining Irish trying to get out of Kabul.

Waiting lists

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) has called for Government and the HSE to expedite the publication of plans to tackle Ireland’s escalating acute hospital waiting lists.

As many as 900,000 people could be on some form of acute public hospital waiting list when the latest data is published, according to the IHCA.

IHCA vice president Professor Rob Landers said: “Over the last decade, the situation has progressively deteriorated to a point where we are now in an absolute crisis.

"The Government and health service must stop hiding behind the pandemic and cyberattack as the main reasons for our growing waiting lists. We need multi-annual budgeting from the Department of Health and to bring together a plan to sort this problem out once and for all.”

Afghanistan exodus

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has confirmed that three Irish nationals have got out of Afghanistan while the number still awaiting to leave has increased to 36.

Among those who have got out is Meath woman Aoife McManus, Coveney told RTÉ radio’s Today show. The Foreign Affairs Minister declined to provide details of how the education worker got out of Kabul.

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The 36 who remained were working with international organisations or NGOs, he said.

All of them have been contacted by the Irish embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Government was working with NATO, the US, the UK and the EU to get the people on flights.

Cabinet subcommittee meeting

Minister for Arts Catherine Martin’s request to attend a key meeting of political leaders to discuss reopening the arts industry has been rebuffed, although she may attend a similar meeting next week.

As The Irish Times reports, she had sought an invite to Thursday’s meeting of the Cabinet subcommittee on Covid-19, which is to be briefed by public health officials and Health Service Executive chief Paul Reid, among others.

She wanted to make representations to the committee on behalf of the arts sector, which is seeking a firm date for the reopening of the industry.

Ms Martin told a meeting of industry stakeholders on Wednesday that she tried to get the subcommittee to agree to dates for reopening at a meeting on August 6th, but it was not approved.

Reopening delay

Immunologist Professor Paul Moynagh has warned that Ireland’s high vaccination rate meant that the situation was now “likely to be as good as they are going to get”.

There was no point in delaying reopening any further with no reason to expect case rates to improve in the Autumn, he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Vaccines were doing what they were supposed to do, protecting people against serious illness and hospitalisation, he added. There would be breakthrough infections as the vaccine could not give total immunity.

“We are getting very close to — if not already at — the point where things are as good as they are going to get, so that should be reflected in some of the things we are thinking about.”

Pet store jobs

Irish-owned pet retailer Petmania is creating 20 new jobs in the Northwest.

The new recruitment drive comes as the Irish-owned pet store announces today, that two new stores will open later in 2021 located at Centre Point Retail Park in Roscommon Town and Westpoint Shopping Centre in Westport.

The news today follows Petmania Sligo, whose doors opened in June, the latest pet super-store and grooming studio in the Petmania chain.

The expansion in the Northwest is part of a major three-year expansion program that saw the pet retailer launch an online store and upgrade three of its retail outlets in 2020

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