Video: Christmas travel concern, air filters in schools, economic recovery outlook

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Kenneth Fox

Late Late show finale

A host of stars will feature on the Late Late Show on Friday night to highlight the St Vincent de Paul annual appeal.

Writer, actor and comedian Brendan O'Carroll will be joined by his wife and co-star, Jenny Gibney, to talk about their special connection to the charity.

TikTok sensation magician Joel M, also supporting the St Vincent de Paul appeal, will demonstrate some of the festive magic that has helped him amass almost 2 billion views and 18 million followers across social media.

Katie Price avoids jail

Katie Price has said she is “incredibly sorry” for her actions after she avoided being sent to jail for drink-driving, following a crash near her home in Surrey, England.

The 43-year-old, who was handed a 16-week suspended sentence on Wednesday for the offence which was committed while she was disqualified and did not have insurance, said she is “sincerely grateful nobody was hurt”.

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District Judge Amanda Kelly at Crawley Magistrates’ Court told Price she was unable to send her to prison because she had complied with the requirements of the court, including attending a rehabilitation centre and not committing further offences.

Christmas travel

The number of travellers passing through Dublin Airport this Christmas is expected to more than triple compared to last year, despite concerns over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The busiest day at the airport is expected to be this Sunday, followed by December 23rd.

However, the 850,000 passengers expected to travel in and out of Dublin remains significantly down on 2019, when the figure was almost 1.5 million.

Patients afraid to attend GPs

A GP has expressed annoyance and concern at calls for the public not to attend their doctor before Christmas unless it is urgent.

Dr Peter Sloan, who has a family practice in Carraroe, Co Galway, warned that people “could come to harm” if they did not go to their GP with some ailments.

He told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne that people were afraid to go to their GP because of the focus on the booster vaccine programme. “I’m not too busy that I won’t see patients,” he said.

The booster campaign could be managed along with regular appointments, he said

Economic recovery

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The country's economic recovery could stall if the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 triggers further health restrictions, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has warned.

As The Irish Times reports, despite a robust recovery and an optimistic outlook for 2022, there are still a number of issues that threaten “the return to a complete recovery”, the think tank said in its latest quarterly assessment.

“The current and perhaps most concerning issue is the risk that new variants of Covid-19 will prove to be highly contagious and severe, perhaps including the existing Omicron variant, and the potential need for increased restrictions to curb their spread,” it said.

School air filters

Every classroom in Ireland should receive air filters as part of a New Year's resolution to bolster safety in schools, a primary principal has said.

Lisa Callanan said applying for minor works grants to secure HEPA filters is cumbersome for under-pressure schools already struggling to keep a lid on Covid-19 cases.

The principal of Rathbeggan National School in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, says using the portable systems could also end uncertainty over whether schools will be allowed to re-open after the Christmas break.

Nine machines have been installed by Irish company Mia Air in her 173-pupil school, removing the constant need to leave windows and doors open.

Hand sanitiser poisoning

The National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC) saw a surge in calls related to hand sanitiser last year.

The centre's annual report for 2020 highlights a five-fold increase in calls concerning hand sanitisers from March to July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 (21 calls in 2019 compared to 134 in 2020).

The NPIC is responsible for providing information to healthcare professionals, to assist them in the management of acute poisoning. The centre also runs the Public Poisons Information Line for members of the public who are concerned about accidental poisoning.

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