Irish News

News in Brief

Government challenged to act on rural GP crisis

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has challenged the Government for inaction which he said is resulting in the slow death of rural GP practice.

Deputy McGrath has asked Health Minister Simon Harris to clarify the steps he’s taking to address the ongoing crisis in declining numbers of rural doctors on foot of a report that showed more than 600 GPs are currently over the age of 60, including 244 over 65. 

“Minister Harris and the HSE have to address this issue as a matter of priority, not least because if people do not have access to local GP services then they will inevitably turn up at A&E departments which are already chronically over crowded,” said Deputy McGrath.


Carbon dating confirms saint’s cell location

Archaeologists believe that they have identified the remains of the cell, or scriptorium, of St Colmcille on the Scottish island of Iona. 

The charred remains of a wooden hut, where he may have worked and prayed were excavated in 1957, but it has taken until now through radiocarbon dating to accurately determine its origins, which are between the years 540 and 650 AD. Colmcille died in 597 and has long been recognised as one of Ireland’s patron saints.

Dr Adrián Maldonado, who was involved in the research project, said that the samples found are “about the closest you can get to being certain that it is something that was standing when Colmcille was on Iona”.


National novena to launch WMOF programme

The launch of a one-year programme of preparation for World Meeting of Families 2018 (WMOF) will take place during the National Novena in Knock on Monday, August 21. 

The programme, entitled Amoris: Let’s talk Family, Let’s be Family!, will be rolled out to parishes and families via an interactive app and a series of video animations. 

Each diocese has been invited to nominate a family who will officially represent the diocese at this event in Knock.