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Bon Secours to allocate 30% bed capacity to HSE

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Private hospital group, Bon Secours have agreed to allocate a percentage of their bed capacity to the HSE to help ease the pressure on the health system caused by the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The groups hospitals in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Tralee will provide the HSE with up to 30 per cent of their capacity, according to The Irish Times, following similar agreements with the Blackrock, Galway and Hermitage Clinics, which are all part of the Parma Healthcare Group.

Hospitals within the Mater Private group will also take part in the arrangement, while HSE chief executive Paul Reid said a deal is also expected to be reached with the Beacon Hospital.

During the first wave of the pandemic last year, a similar deal was struck with private hospitals to ensure the healthcare system did not become overwhelmed, but the increased capacity went largely unused as transmission rates of the virus fell following the first national lockdown.

As of 2pm today, there were 1,180 people with Covid-19 in hospital, surpassing the highest number recorded during the first wave of the virus. Of the number of people in hospital with the virus today, 109 were being treated in Intensive Care Unit’s (ICUs).

The new deal allows for the HSE to take over between 15 to 30 per cent of the private hospitals’ capacity, depending on the level of daily case numbers and hospitalisations, but chief executive of the Bon Secours Health System Bill Maher says private healthcare services will be able to continue.

The new deal is expected to last for 12 months.

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Ireland

Taoiseach says ‘Ireland is committed to fighting antisemitism, racism’ at Holocaust memorial

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressed a virtual commemoration in the Mansion House in Dublin this evening to mark National Holocaust Memorial Day.

Tomi Reichental and Suzi Diamond, the two remaining Holocaust survivors in Ireland, also addressed the event which was organised by Holocaust Education Trust Ireland.

Holocaust Education Trust Ireland works with teachers, students and the wider community to educate about the Holocaust and its place in today’s society.

Mr Martin said: “Education is an important tool in deepening our understanding of the Holocaust…Ireland is committed to fighting antisemitism and racism.

“Today’s ceremony will be addressed by two Holocaust survivors, Tomi Reichental and Susie Diamond, last year’s ceremony marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and as we move further away from the horrors of the Holocaust, the value of being able to share the personal experience of Tomi and Susie is incalcuable.”

 

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Man arrested after garda vehicle is struck in Donegal car chase

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A man was arrested following a pursuit after he failed to pull over when gardaí spotted him driving a jeep erratically near Donegal town.

The incident took place near Tullyearl in Donegal town this afternoon.

A shot was discharged from a Garda firearm during this incident and as a result, GSOC have been notified of the incident.

Gardaí signalled for a jeep, that appeared to be driving in a dangerous manner, to pull over just after 1.30pm at Drumlonagher in Donegal town. This vehicle failed to stop and proceeded to drive away from gardaí.

A managed containment pursuit was carried out and during this, one garda vehicle was struck.

The pursuit concluded near the Tullyearl roundabout when the jeep went off the road.

The driver of the vehicle, a man in his 30s, fled from gardaí when it had come to a stop. The four passengers who had been in the jeep remained at the side of the road. The driver was located in a nearby field a short time later.

One Garda was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital for treatment of injuries following this incident. These injuries are non-life threatening. The driver of the jeep, and four passengers were uninjured.

The four passengers, two women and two men, were arrested at the location and taken to Ballyshannon Garda Station. They have all since been released.

The driver of the jeep has been charged and will now appear before Donegal Town District Court tomorrow morning.

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Temperature to drop to -5 degrees tonight

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Met Éireann’s warning temperatures could dip to as low as -5 degress in places overnight after today’s snow showers.

A Status Yellow Low Temperature alert comes into effect at 7pm this evening, and is to remain in place until 10am tomorrow.

Continued care is advised around Clifden and on the N59 between there and Maam Cross in County Galway after snowfall last night.

Icy conditions are still affecting Waterford city, Tramore and surrounding areas of the county, as well as some routes in nearby South Kilkenny.

AA Roadwatch Deputy Editor, Lauren Beehan, says some areas should be avoided.

Ms Beehan said: “Areas of higher ground in Kerry and Wicklow have been especially affected and motorists are advised to avoid the Conor Pass and the Ballaghisheen Pass in Kerry as well as the Sally Gap and the Wicklow Gap and all higher ground in the county if possible.”

Click here for the latest weather updates.

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