Every week we take a look at the stories sent through MediaHQ’s press release distribution tool and post the best covered ones in a weekly blog. For this week, Cork City Council, Turn2Me, Garda Representative Association and Shannon Group made it to the top of our list.
1) Cork City Council
Title:EMBARGOED PRESS RELEASE: Alternative traffic route in Coburg Street area to enable MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme works
Author: Marianne Meehan
Email delivery rate: 95%
Time of release: 17:41 on the 24th of January
***EMBARGOED UNTIL 6 AM ON WEDNESDAY 25TH JANUARY 2023***
Cork City Council advises the public that in order to facilitate the ongoing construction works on the upgrading of the public realm in Coburg Street, Bridge Street and MacCurtain Street areas, new traffic arrangements will be introduced in the coming weeks.
Coburg Street will close to through-traffic from Tuesday 31st January. Access to local businesses and homes on Coburg Street will remain, as will emergency access to the street.
Traffic coming from Leitrim Street will be able to continue up Hardwick Street and onto Wellington Road. Some new set-down spaces will be provided on Leitrim Street to allow parents to drop and collect school children and to support short term parking so motorists can access nearby businesses. This traffic will exit on to Devonshire Street, with the option to turn right towards Blackpool or left towards the city centre. All other traffic should follow the signed diversion routes, a video detailing the diversion routes is available here and on www.transportforcorkcity.ie
This phase of the scheme will deliver upgraded footpaths, new bus stops and shelters, improved public lighting, road resurfacing, lining and other public realm improvements in Coburg Street , Bridge Street and MacCurtain Street . As works progress over the coming weeks, localised lane restrictions will continue on Bridge Street and works will also progress onto the northern footpath of MacCurtain Street.
The MacCurtain Street Public Transport Scheme, funded by the National Transport Authority, is supporting increased economic activity and providing improved accessibility to the city centre by foot, bicycle and public transport. Over the last 12 months, the Scheme has delivered:
- New signalised junction on Devonshire Street, facilitating safer pedestrian access from MacCurtain Street area to Shandon area;
- 1km of new cycle lanes providing connectivity to the wider cycle network from Shandon Street to the Marina via dedicated cycling facilities;
- Over 1800 metres of resurfaced roadway;
- Over 9600 square metres of public realm and footpath upgrades;
- Upgrades to 11 traffic signalised junctions and pedestrian crossings;
- 7 new bus stops operational, 3 of these with new shelters provided for passenger comfort;
- New northbound lane on Brian Boru Bridge and Brian Boru Street;
- New right turn lane from the N20 onto Mulgrave Road.
Coming into the city is easy, just follow the signage. For further information and to sign up to Cork City Council alerts on road closures and traffic diversions, see www.transportforcorkcity.ie .
Cork City Council and its contractors wish to thank the public for their ongoing patience as this next phase of the works are undertaken.
Title:Mental Health Charity encouraging people doing ‘Dry January’ to upgrade the challenge to ‘One year no beer’
Author: Fiona O’Malley
Email delivery rate: 99%
Time of release: 12:21 on the 23rd of January
Mental Health Charity encouraging people doing ‘Dry January’ to upgrade the challenge to ‘One year no beer’
Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, is encouraging people doing ‘Dry January’ to upgrade the challenge to ‘one year no beer’ – a year of sobriety. The charity stated that reducing alcohol or cutting it out completely can improve your mental health because alcohol is a depressant, it can make anxiety and depression worse, it can reduce sleep quality, and it can heighten stress levels.
According to Drinkaware, 61% of Irish adults report they drink to cope with stressful times.
“Many people like a few glasses of wine to unwind after a long day but using alcohol to numb emotions or to reduce stress is counterproductive. After the initial relaxing effects wear off, the problems at the root of the stress are still there and may be heightened under the influence of alcohol,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said, “Alcohol is a depressant, and it disrupts how the brain functions. Many celebrities, including Zac Efron, Lily Allen, Bradley Cooper, Russell Brand, Eva Mendes, Blake Lively, Naomi Campbell, and Natalie Portman don’t drink. They have spoken about how much physically and mentally better they feel, having cut out alcohol from their lives. Sober celebrities can be great role models for young people or anyone who is sober-curious.”
Excessive alcohol also leads to the development of serious health issues including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, digestive problems, and cancer. According to Drinkaware, drinking 6 or more standard drinks is classified as ‘binge drinking’. A bottle of wine (12.5%) has more than 6 standard drinks.
Turn2Me stated that setting yourself the challenge of completing a year of being sober is a good way to cut out the negative effects of alcohol from your life and to become more aware of your relationship with alcohol. The charity stated that although drinking to excess is common in Ireland, the culture of sobriety is growing.
“The Virgin Mary pub in Dublin 1 opened its doors in 2019, claiming to be the country’s first booze-free bar.” Fiona O’Malley said, “Sports stars have normalised not drinking coming up to matches and training, and the growing culture of marathons, 10km runs, triathlons and Iron Mans have encouraged people to give up alcohol for months on end or to cut it out completely.”
Turn2Me is encouraging anyone who is feeling anxious, depressed, or going through a period of grief to sign up to their free one-to-one counselling sessions or their free support groups, available on the Turn2Me website, Turn2Me.ie. Turn2Me offers free, professional mental health services 365 days a year, even on Christmas Day.
Turn2me was founded in 2009 stemming from the very personal experiences of Oisin and Diarmuid Scollard, who lost their brother, Cormac, to suicide in 2003. In 2013, turn2me gained the support of the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention to deliver counselling online. In 2019, turn2me joined forces with ReachOut Ireland to create a space for young people to find information to support their mental health online. As of September 2021, turn2me offers adult counselling and peer support services to adults and young people aged 12 plus. It also offers group support services for teenagers, young people and adults. Turn2Me had helped over 120,000 people since it was set up in 2009.
3) Garda Representative Association
Title:GRA STATEMENT: Task Force re: Assaults on Gardaí
Author: Des Gibson
Email delivery rate: 100%
Time of release: 17:39 on the 22nd of January
Good Evening %_recipient_firstname_%
Please find attached GRA Statement:
GRA President Brendan O'Connor welcomes comments from Tanaiste Michael Martin TD earlier today on RTE
The Garda Representative Association welcomes comments made earlier today by Tanaiste Michael Martin TD on RTE's ‘This Week Programme’ where he stated that the Government "will give very strong, favourable consideration” for a task force to be set up regarding the increasing levels of violent assaults on our members.
"The issues around the sharp rise in violent attacks on our members, as well as problems with the recruitment and retention of Gardaí within the force have caused deep concern within our rank," said Mr O'Connor.
The Garda Representative Association hopes to have full engagement and participation regarding this Task Force and hopes a formal announcement from the Government will be forthcoming."
Note to Editors: Assaults on Garda members recent statistics:
· Over 5,000 gardaí were assaulted while on duty from 2016-2022. And the trend of acceleration is even more alarming with the number of 700 assaults in 2016 rising to over 1,000 in both 2021 and 2022
· Last year (2022) there were what we regard as 285 SERIOUS ASSAULTS on our members (up from 243 in 2021, which is almost a 20% increase year on year) with 17 cases of bone fractures. Other injuries included head injuries, dislocations, open wounds and bites.
· Between 40-50% of all injuries suffered by gardaí were as the result of an assault. The injury rate among other professions nationally here is on average 3.4%.
4)The Shannon Airport Group
Title: Strong performance by the Shannon Airport Group as airport passenger numbers up 300% on 2021
Author: Aoife McLoughlin
Email delivery rate: 100%
Time of release: 12:20 on the 23rd of January
Strong performance by the Shannon Airport Group as airport passenger numbers up 300% on 2021
Speed of recovery at Shannon Airport has “exceeded our expectations,” says CEO
Over €21 million invested across the Shannon Campus in ‘22
Monday 23rd January 2023: Mary Considine, CEO of the Shannon Airport Group has described the strong recovery at Shannon Airport as having exceeded expectations. The Group welcomed over 1.51 million passengers to the airport in 2022, a 300% increase on 2021 figures, and an 88% recovery of 2019 passenger levels.
“The accelerated pace of the rebound in air travel from Shannon has exceeded our expectations and shows the pent-up desire for international travel following the lifting of pandemic travel restrictions,” said Ms. Considine.
European services recovered strongly in 2022 with over 532,000 passengers travelling through Shannon. This surpassed 2019 pre-pandemic levels by 7% and was a 225% increase on 2021. Shannon recorded over 638,000 passengers on its UK services in 2022, a 309% increase on the previous year.
After an absence of almost two years, transatlantic services returned in March ’22 and saw a strong rebound of almost 240,000 passengers on services to New York (JFK), Boston and Newark. A further boost is expected from May ’23 when a new daily nonstop seasonal service to Chicago commences.
“The airport was included in the Regional Airports Programme for the first time during the Pandemic and allowed us to undertake critical safety and security projects. We are grateful to Government for including us in this programme. The work we did with these funds shows just how important it is for Shannon to remain in the programme as we rebuild in the aftermath of Covid.
“The introduction of our new, faster, airport security screening facility, continued to have a positive impact in 2022. The new system eliminates the 100ml only rule, halving the time spent going through security screening. We have seen an increase in people from all over the country using Shannon Airport, as they now realise how easy it is,” said Ms. Considine.
Commenting on the outlook for this year, Ms Considine said: “Prospects at Shannon look bright for 2023 and this year we will operate 35 routes. Last year we secured four new services to Barcelona/Girona, Marseille, Malta, and a service to Paris with new airline partner, Vueling. We are delighted to be giving our customers more destinations to choose from, in fact we will have more routes this year than we did in 2019, with six brand new destinations. These six new services are to Naples, Beziers, Newcastle, Porto, Liverpool, while our transatlantic services will be enhanced with the with addition of Chicago.
“These new services, combined with initiatives like Ryanair’s €10 million investment in their maintenance facility at Shannon, and the delivery of our property investment strategy across the Shannon Campus, have cemented the upward trajectory of our recovery.”
In 2022, the Group invested over €21 million across the Shannon Campus to provide property solutions for its business customers. During the year, the sod was turned on two new developments on the campus, an €8 million multi-use industrial space spanning over 60,000 sq ft, and a €6 million R&D Technology Facility spanning over 40,000 sq ft.
In addition, the Group supported the delivery of Smart City infrastructure across the Shannon Campus by Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI). It also completed the handover of a new building to FMCI for their full-scale development centre and test-bed for mobility technologies.
On the tourism side, considerable work was undertaken by the Shannon Airport Group and Clare County Council on the transfer of the Shannon Heritage visitor site to the Council. Discussions are ongoing. Shannon Heritage sites performed strongly in 2022 with visitor numbers back to 80% of pre-pandemic levels as a result of the resumption of international travel.
Speaking about the company’s new sustainability strategy, Ms. Considine said: “At the Shannon Airport Group, we know that our activities and our airport operation in particular are important to our community and stakeholders. They provide a key engine that fuels economic wellbeing for our region and beyond.
“Embedding sustainability was a key focus for the Group in 2022 and we delivered a number of programmes, from employee wellbeing and CSR to energy saving, carbon reduction and recycling initiatives. We are proud to have become the first WHO designated Age Friendly airport in the world, along with Ireland West airport (Knock).
“We are committed to working with industry partners on creating a more sustainable future and last year we signed an MoU with the ESB to explore the development of a sustainable green hydrogen plant at Shannon.
“When the airport performs well, so too does the regional economy. We are committed to working with our partners to explore all opportunities to make our region a place where people will want to live, work, learn and visit.”
Designed for PR and Communications teams, MediaHQ is the all-in-one media contacts database and press release distribution software with the mission to connect your story with your audience.
It was founded by entrepreneur Jack Murray in 2009. Our cutting-edge software is the best, fastest and most accurate way to find the right journalists, build media and pitch lists in seconds, send press releases and get results.
The comprehensive MediaHQ database lists the details of over 60,000 journalists and media outlets across Ireland and the UK and is full of time-saving features.