‘water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink’

This famous line from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem seems perfectly apt when we’re (still) talking about student accommodation. Following a heap load of frustration communicated from UCD SU’s Ruairí Power to Owen Keegan, CEO of DCC about the change of use of PBSA to short term student lets, Owen Keegan suggested, perhaps, the SU could build their own.

In this ep, we’re down at the protest organised by the UCD SU at DCC HQ talking to the students affected by this accommodation crisis and ensuing glib remarks.

We’re also throwing the budget in the sea and rediscovering the Home & Away theme tune.

And most importantly, we’re finally back together.

EPISODE 114: Empty Student Gaffs & Maternity Restrictions Rage On

Why does it feel we have to keep protesting for the things that should be a given in a society?

1: Somewhere To Live
Killian Woods predicted a rent strike in a recent Byline episode because of the crazy housing crisis. Within that crisis, there’s another arc that perfectly illustrates why trying to find somewhere to live is so difficult. Empty purpose built student accommodation being granted change of use rather than lowering the prices. We’re talking to Dublin Inquirer’s Laoise Neylon about a recent article she wrote: “Providers of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation Have Been Saying There’s a Lack of Demand for It” while students have been making 200km round trips to lectures cos they can’t find anywhere affordable to live. What gives?

2: Parents Being There For The Birth of Their Children
There’s a #MarchForMaternity on Wednesday at 1pm at the Dail because even though most things have reverted to some sort of ‘normality’, restrictions remain in place in maternity hospitals across the country. We’re talking to Linda Kelly from The Better Maternity Care Campaign or Women Ascend on Insta about what restrictions are still in place, why and who is responsible for removing them.

Plus Fave Bits, Tuna Chicken Rolls and a State of the Nation.

BYLINE: Stephen Carroll

Stephen Carroll is the Business Editor of France24. In this episode of Byline, we talk about his career in broadcast news, from starting out as a radio reporter in Dublin, to presenting young people’s news for RTE, to producing and editing global breaking news stories for Sky News, working at the BBC World Service, and for the past decade working as a television journalist in Paris for a French public broadcaster, reporting on Brexit, Davos, and the personal and professional impact of the Bataclan massacre. Settle in for a fantastic insight into broadcast news from our man in Paris.

EPISODE 113: Big Tech’s data dream

As Ireland continues to be home for many Big Tech HQ’s, the responsibility for enforcing privacy laws lies with us too.

This week, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties released a report that suggests Ireland is failing to enforce these laws on these companies.

The report comes on the back of a recent case with WhatsApp where the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s suggested fine of 30-50 million was pushed back on by our EU counterparts in the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which oversees the GDPR and ended up coming in at 225m.

Obviously financial penalties are but a thorn in the side of big tech, and enforcement of the privacy laws with order’s to bring data systems into compliance is much more pertinent.

To discuss this report and to offer suggestions on what needs to happen to bring Big Tech under control is Dr Jonny Ryan, Senior Fellow at ICCL and the Open Markets Institute and co-author of the report.

BONUS EP: Defects: Living with the Legacy of the Celtic Tiger

Last night Eoin O’Broin launched his new book, Defects: Living with the Legacy of the Celtic Tiger. Today, bus loads of mica redress campaigners have arrived at the Fianna Fáil think-in in Cavan.

In this bonus episode, we talk to the Sinn Fein spokesperson on housing and TD Eoin O Broin about his new book where O Broin examines the personal stories of people living in defective homes, as well as the legislative and political context that gave rise to scandals such as breaches of building regulations in fire safety, pyrite, and the ongoing mica scandal.


Housing For All launched last week and there were some easy wins for the government that were kicked down the road, like tackling the vacancy and dereliction problem that is currently rampaging through the country. The most sustainable and sense filled solution is to obviously use what’s already built – but you simply have to look at the hashtags #DerelictIreland & #DerelictDublin to see the amount of buildings that are just being left to rot.

But here at United Ireland, we don’t like to just give out, we love to look at solutions and action. Step forward Lauren Tuite from D8 Developments, a social enterprise in Inchicore that turns empty properties into beautiful and affordable spaces where people can live and work. We were also extremely interested to hear about Lauren’s research regarding the correlation between car usage and dereliction.

We’re also talking Mighty Zapponela; The Guardian’s edit (or slashing) of an entire section of Judith Butler’s interview calling out TERF hatred; and some Motel Makeover for good measure.

EPISODE 111: Reopening, The Dance

Everything is a dance at the moment.

Government are dancing between vaccine rollout, reopening plans and warnings from immunologists that it’s too early, the events and entertainment industry are dancing on the spot and it’s safe to say we are all dying for a dance.

So we’re talking to the man fighting for our right to dance – Sunil Sharpe from Give Us The Night – about the reopening roadmap. What does it mean for ppl trying to roll out events, what will the pilot event look like and will it in fact pilot anything, and maybe most importantly, what does the future hold for clubs and dancing in Ireland going into the future?

Plus, the Texan abortion ban, land speculation on co-living plans and why can’t ministers manage to figure out how to free up space on their phones without deleting govt business from their phones and what FOI really means?

BYLINE: Sarah Schulman

Sarah Schulman is one of the most influential and important queer writers and thinkers in the world. Writing and creating across multiple forms, from novels to non-fiction books, plays to screenwriting, her clarity of thought and depth of research illuminates both the causes and the effects of the often under-interrogated systems that influence our lives, from familial homophobia to urban gentrification.

Her latest book, Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York 1987-1993, is a huge piece of work and an essential piece of documentary, memoir, oral history, and journalism that examines the incredible successes of ACT UP during the height of the AIDS crisis in New York. The book has been lauded in the New Yorker, the London Review of Books, and the New York Times has called it “a masterpiece”.

In this episode, we talk about her career, her new book, and what the pandemic revealed about the future of cities.

EPISODE 110: Pedestrianisation Wars

It ended with a tweet.

Last night, DCC announced the end of pedestrianisation on Capel Street and Parliament Street, by way of a tweet outlining how successful it had been. There was no consultation with the businesses surviving because of the pedestrianisation, or the people living there enjoying their traffic free life.

We’re talking to the landlady with the biggest, blondest wigs since Peggy Mitchell – the Queen of Ireland, Panti aka Rory O’Neill, about the frustrations of running your business on the whims of tweets, the exhaustion of having essential changes to the city based on outrage and public pressure rather than a vision for how the city can be better and how having a city run by elected officials with no power needs to be overthrown.

The City Revolution is a coming……