Lorrha Notes

The very popular and long awaited Lorrha Parish Calendar will soon be available in a shop near you.  Lorrha Development wish to thank everyone who has advertised in the calendar and to all who loaned photographs. Anyone wishing to have a copy posted to them, please call (086) 8647166 or email info@lorrhadorrha.ie

Council Funding.

Tipperary County Council is launching a new scheme for community and voluntary organisations impacted by Covid-19. The Community Activities Fund facilitates a once-off payment to assist with running costs and projects to repair equipment. The fund is to help groups in disadvantaged areas in particular. Applications to the fund are open now and will close on December 17. Tipperary County Council estimates the size of each grant will be around €2,000. The Department of Rural and Community Development have made €199,381 available for the scheme. Details are available on the Tipperary County Council web site.

Through to Semi-Final.

Well done to our parish participants in the popular TV show ‘Irelands Fittest Family’ who have made it through to the semi-final. The McIntyre family consisting of dad Aidan, daughter Clodagh and sons Eoin and Niall battled hard in the ‘Pantoon of Pain’ and again in the ‘Hanging Tough’ exercise. Their coach Donncha O’Callaghan was worried about Aidan and the hamstring injury he picked up from the previous heat, but he also described Aidan as ‘showing shades of Tommy Bowe about him’ when it came to playing rugby. Donncha had no need to worry either about Aidan’s fitness levels as he went on to demonstrate to his coach and his family how to hang tough as he lasted the longest bringing their combined total of 9 minutes 35 seconds which qualified them for the semi-final.  But the wait continues to see how they fare out as the going gets tougher now that they have reached the semi-finals. Will they make it through to the final? or will they be going home?   Ireland’s Fittest Family is on Sunday evening at 6.30pm on RTE 1.

Site Required.

A suitable site is required for the North Tipperary Ploughing Championships which will be held next March. Any farmer who thinks they may have a suitable venue, is asked to make contact with the secretary Denis Cahalan on (087) 7793719.

Mass Times: Monday Mornings at 9.30am in Lorrha Church (except Bank Holidays). Every Saturday evening at 6.30pm in Lorrha Church. Every Sunday morning at 11.30am in Rathcabbin Church. Borrisokane 7pm Saturday. Kilbarron: 8pm Saturday.  Terryglass: 9.30am Sunday. Borrisokane 10.30am Sunday. Please wear face masks in the Church.
Anyone wishing to book anniversary masses please contact the church sacristans, Agnes Slevin in Lorrha, and Mary Cleary in Rathcabbin.

Feast Day.

Wednesday, the 8th of Dec is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mass will be in Rathcabbin Church at 7.30pm. There will also be mass in Borrisokane at 10am on Wednesday morning and in Kibarron Church at 7.30pm

St. Vincent de Paul Christmas Collection.  

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is organising their Christmas Collection for this year. They are offering a number of options for people to support their work at this time. 1. Envelopes will be placed at the entrance of our churches for people to donate.2. Contact SVdeP by phone 0818176176 or svp.ie/donate. 3. Call to the SVdeP shop and donate or offer GiftTokens. 4.  Send a cheque / postal Order to The Treasurer SVdeP Birr. There will be no church gate collection this year. Our parish pastoral area does not have a branch of the SVP but the needs of the poor in our area are served by the Birr SVP.


Medjugorje Irish Centre Pilgrimages April – Oct 2022: 7 Nights Apartment B&B with return Airport transfer from Dubrovnik or Split from €315 per person sharing. Guaranteed Airport transfer price for any flight. Contact us for details & book the dates that suit you. Tel. 01 4434510 or email reservations@med-irishcentre.com

75th Anniversary.

St. Flannan’s N.S. Rathcabbin plan on celebrating the 75th anniversary of the school next year. They are hoping to produce a book about the school since the building opened in 1946. Help is required for this project, sourcing material like photographs, stories, and accounts of things from school days. Anyone wishing to help out is asked to contact the Principal Conor Darcy on (086) 4140102 or email rathcabbinns75@gmail.com. All help welcome.

GAA News.

There was No Winner of this weeks lotto jackpot of €8,700. The numbers drawn on 29 November were: 4-18-20-27 7 Match 3’s: Conor Croxford, Willie Harding, Sean Lambe, Noel&Willie Maher, Carmel&Christy Molloy, Kevin Molloy, Eilish Reddan
Promoters: Thomas P Cahalan, Louis McCormack, Mulrooney’s Gala
Next Monday’s draw will be for a jackpot of €8800 with Team 4 in charge of the draw. Thank you for your continued support.

                                      New visitor booking app launched in Nenagh hospital

UL Hospital Group has launched a new visitor booking app at Nenagh Hospital.

The Visitor Booking App allows patients and women accessing maternity services to nominate the people they would like to visit.

Once their details have been entered into the Integrated Patient Management System (iPMS), those people will be able to book their visit.

Project lead, Director of Nursing Bernadette Murphy, said that while Covid-19 still presents challenges, the group recognises the importance of support from loved ones for patients.   “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve used technology in a positive way to help our inpatients maintain connections with their families and loved ones. This Visitor Booking App is the latest example of this, simplifying the manual processes that we have put in place for inpatients and their loved ones during the pandemic,” said Ms Murphy.

Today, the app has been initially launched in Nenagh, Ennis, St John’s and Croom Orthopaedic Hospitals. A full launch of the app across UL hospitals is expected, but a date has not been confirmed.  Limerick-based company Ingenium developed the app.  UL Hospital Group says they are limiting patient visits to one per slot and ask visitors to keep visits to 30 minutes.  In the app, visitors will fill in a Covid-19 questionnaire before their visit. Visitors will have their temperature taken at the hospital entrance, must wear face coverings and wash their hands while visiting the hospital.  From today visitors must also show their EU Digital COVID Certificate, HSE COVID-19 Vaccination Record, or other proof of immunity before entering the hospital.  UL Hospital Group says that staff on the wards are happy to assist with any questions visitors or patients may have about the app.


            Everything you need to know about the Omicron variant of Covid-19

The world is scrambling to contain the latest variant of Covid-19 – Omicron – first discovered in South Africa and Botswana.

What’s happening in Ireland?

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has confirmed that ten suspected cases of the new variant have been sent for testing in Ireland. They have not been confirmed as Omicron. Six cases have been discovered in Scotland and a number of countries within in the EU and around the world.

Countries are moving to tighten travel restrictions from some African nations in order to slow the spread. Contact tracing and testing is continuing around the world.

NPHET are due to meet today the three coalition leaders to discuss Ireland’s current Covid-19 situation and the recent emergence of the Omicron variant.

In a statement released last night, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said while there is much attention on new variants, the incidence of the Delta variant remains ‘too high’ in Ireland.

“We all know the actions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering, meeting others outdoors where possible, and when indoors, opening windows and ensuring good ventilation, and keeping your distance.” he added.

Dr Holohan said the NPHET Epidemiological Surveillance Team met over the weekend to monitor the new variant and regulations are being drawn up to give effect to the new travel and home quarantine policies.

He advised that anyone who has travelled from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, or Zimbabwe to Ireland since November 1 to isolate and travellers are required to take a PCR test regardless of symptom status.

The UK implemented new travel rules recently after the emergence of the Omicron variant. All travellers into the UK are required to take a PCR test on their second day of arrival and are required to self-isolate until they test negative for the virus.

The new UK travel rules will not affect the Common Travel Area, which includes Britain, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Channel Islands.

What is the World Health Organisation saying?

On 26 November 2021, WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named Omicron, on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE).  This decision was based on the evidence presented to the TAG-VE that Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes. Here is a summary of what is currently known.

Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and will continue to share the findings of these studies as they become available.

Is it more transmissible?

WHO says it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta. The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors.

Will people get sicker with Omicron?

It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta, WHO has said. Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalisation in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron.  There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants. Initial reported infections were among university students—younger individuals who tend to have more mild disease—but understanding the level of severity of the Omicron variant will take days to several weeks.  All variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant that is dominant worldwide, can cause severe disease or death, in particular for the most vulnerable people, and thus prevention is always key.

Is there a greater reinfection risk?

Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (ie, people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron), as compared to other variants of concern, but information is limited. More information on this will become available in the coming days and weeks.

Will vaccines work against it?

WHO is working with technical partners to understand the potential impact of this variant on our existing countermeasures, including vaccines. Vaccines remain critical to reducing severe disease and death, including against the dominant circulating variant, Delta. Current vaccines remain effective against severe disease and death.

Are normal PCR tests picking it up?

The widely used PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants as well. Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests.

What about treating Omicron infection?

Corticosteroids and IL6 Receptor Blockers will still be effective for managing patients with severe COVID-19. Other treatments will be assessed to see if they are still as effective given the changes to parts of the virus in the Omicron variant.

Studies underway 

At the present time, WHO is coordinating with a large number of researchers around the world to better understand Omicron. Studies currently underway or underway shortly include assessments of transmissibility, severity of infection (including symptoms), performance of vaccines and diagnostic tests, and effectiveness of treatments.

WHO encourages countries to contribute the collection and sharing of hospitalized patient data through the WHO COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform to rapidly describe clinical characteristics and patient outcomes.

What does WHO recommend countries and people do to tackle Omicron?

As Omicron has been designated a Variant of Concern, there are several actions WHO recommends countries to undertake, including enhancing surveillance and sequencing of cases;  sharing genome sequences on publicly available databases, such as GISAID; reporting initial cases or clusters to WHO; performing field investigations and laboratory assessments to better understand if Omicron has different transmission or disease characteristics, or impacts effectiveness of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics or public health and social measures.  More detail in the announcement from 26 November.

Countries should continue to implement the effective public health measures to reduce COVID-19 circulation overall, using a risk analysis and science-based approach. They should increase some public health and medical capacities to manage an increase in cases.  WHO is providing countries with support and guidance for both readiness and response.

In addition, it is vitally important that inequities in access to COVID-19 vaccines are urgently addressed to ensure that vulnerable groups everywhere, including health workers and older persons, receive their first and second doses, alongside equitable access to treatment and diagnostics.

The most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from others; wear a well-fitting mask; open windows to improve ventilation; avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces; keep hands clean; cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue; and get vaccinated when it’s their turn.

WHO will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available, including following meetings of the TAG-VE. In addition, information will be available on WHO’s digital and social media platforms.