Sparks Fly
by Niall Shanahan

Respect for healthcare workers


Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said all HSE staff, including those working in administrative roles, should get a financial bonus for the work done during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Health workers in a number of other countries have already received some form of bonus or compensation in recognition of the added demands and workload caused by the pandemic, and Irish health unions will be in the WRC next Thursday (5th August) to discuss the issue with health employers.


The Minister's comments may signal cause for optimism, as things did not go well the last time the parties met.


Ahead of the WRC engagement next week, Fórsa has teamed up with SIPTU and the INMO for a short social media campaign.


RESPECT = RECOGNITION will highlight the experience of health workers during the pandemic.


We reached out to a few Fórsa members to tell us about their experience. Jackie Brown works in emergency department admin at one of Dublin’s main acute hospitals, and provided this thoughtful account for the campaign.


I just want to add some kudos and thanks here for Dee O'Connell for her stellar work in recruiting Fórsa members to take part in the campaign. When you see the posts on social media please like, share and spread the word. Thanks in advance!


Other News


Elsewhere in the news today, the skateboarding community in Dublin city centre staged a protest outside the Temple Bar pub following an alleged assault by the pub's security guards on two teenage skateboarders on Monday night. Uachtarán Michael D Higgins has raised concerns about the volume of legislation sent to his office in recent weeks. Two Oireachtas committees are being convened to consider the matter. Finally, Romania’s government has confirmed that it plans to start delivering coronavirus vaccines to Ireland in the coming weeks.


Friday Zen: Season finale


This is your final Zen moment for a few weeks, as we pause production of both the bulletins and the daily digest in the month of August.


Today’s offering is the new documentary about Sparks, possibly the greatest band you might think you’ve never heard of. Formed by brothers Ron and Russell Mael in Los Angeles in 1968, Sparks cast a long and influential shadow on pop music over the last half century. And now they tell their story in their own idiosyncratic way to Edgar (Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz/Baby Driver) Wright, while a long line of musicians and artists pay homage.


It opens in cinemas this evening and yes, I'll be there. Here’s the trailer, and here’s the first Sparks tune I remember hearing as a five year old, transfixed by this spectacle on Top of the Pops.


Thanks for tuning in to these dispatches every day, and for your generous feedback (always welcome). The digest will return in September. Until then, enjoy the bank holiday weekend and the rest of the summer. And stay safe.




LikeLike (3)