And the forecast is that an economic recovery will not see empty shops taken up.
Around Leitrim, main streets have become hollow, with many once prominent buildings now boarded up. Some of the main sites on the regional town’s main streets were owned by banks, but these have been moving away and centralizing in bigger centers by using online and smartphone apps to service their customers.
The other reason given for the decline in business in provincial towns is the upgrading of motorways to bring shoppers locally to Dublin, Galway or even Belfast in less than two hours.
Lack of Paramedics
A DISTRAUGHT mother had to drive her unconscious child to hospital while an ambulance man tended to him in the back seat of the car, TD (member of Parliament) Pearse Doherty said.
The TD for Donegal South West told Newstalk Radio that he had been contacted by health care staff after the incident which, he said, occurred last Tuesday.
“When a mother discovered her young son unconscious, she phoned the emergency services for an ambulance,” he said.
“An ambulance was sent out but there was only one paramedic on duty because the other had phoned in sick.
“When the paramedic saw that the child was unconscious, he called and asked for a second ambulance because he could not drive the ambulance and attend to the child.
“He was told that the nearest ambulance was 45 minutes away. He then asked the HSE [Health Service Executive] to contact paramedics living near the woman’s home to see if they would be able to assist him but the HSE refused,” Doherty continued.
“The paramedic had to make a judgment call. He asked the woman to drive to the hospital, so that he could tend to her child in the back seat, while the ambulance, with all its equipment, had to be left behind.
“That a parent should have to drive their unconscious child to a hospital after an ambulance has been called and arrived at the scene is unacceptable.
“The HSE has confirmed that there was only one paramedic on duty in the Letterkenny area last Tuesday between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. That is also unacceptable. When the paramedic phoned in sick, another should have been called on duty or at the very least, paramedics living nearby should have been called to assist
“Thank God the child is okay but this could have been a terrible, terrible story.”
Cold Is Coming
ARCTIC winds from the North will send temperatures plummeting to an icy -6C in Ireland this week.
The fall in temperature is expected to hit Ireland in the coming days as flooding and rain gives way to severe frost.
When the icy blast hits, AA Roadwatch are warning drivers to allow plenty of time to reach their destination and to de-ice their windscreen -- but not with hot water.
The AA's Arwen Foley told the Herald today that the key to good driving in icy
"The whole of this week will be cold, with temperatures dropping a degree or so each day," Met Eireann's John Eagleton .
"By Thursday, which will be the coldest day, there will only be about three or four degrees during the middle part of the day," he added.
Sub-zero night temperatures will cause severe frost, which will linger through the day.