EPISODE 28: ROSCOMMON: Who are our sex work laws really protecting?

There’s been a recent spate of targeted violent attacks on sex workers across Ireland with the primary aim of theft. Charges have been brought against 3 men in Roscommon as part of Operation Quest. But surely our laws protect all workers from attack?

Well, in 2017, legislation was introduced in Ireland to criminalise the purchase of sex. This was seen as a victory in some quarters for women’s rights, and as a positive move to try and tackle the issues around women being trafficked.

But many sex workers say that criminalising the purchase of sex drives sex work further underground and that the environment they work within becomes more dangerous.

Conner Habib is a sex work’s rights advocate, the host of the fantastic Against Everyone with Conner Habib, and author, lecturer, a Dubliner for the past year, and the only person (that we know of) who has won awards for writing, teaching, AND porn.

With the recent decriminalisation of sex work in the Northern Territory in Australia by NT Attorney-General Natasha Fyles who said the new act was about keeping workers safe, we want to talk broadly today about sex work laws internationally, what philosophies underpin them, and what is best practice in terms of protecting the multiple rights that stem from sex work across the board.

EPISODE 27: O’DEVANEY GARDENS: Why is the O’Devaney Gardens development such a mess?

This week, we’re heading to the micro-county of Dublin 7 to take a deep dive into the housing development saga at O’Devaney Gardens in Stoneybatter. For well over a decade, this development has had so many false starts, and within those pauses, the shenanigans keep coming. What is happening tells us a lot about planning, public land being transferred to a private developer, the de-prioritisation of social housing, the unaffordable nature of “affordable” housing, and the ineptitude of Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing, and indeed, the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy. This week, there were more alarm bells, as Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin published a letter Murphy sent to Dublin’s mayor indicating the project may have hit the skids again. Eoin joins us in studio to give his assessment of what is going wrong and why, as well as interrogating the housing policies Fine Gael is pursuing, and giving a pretty damning appraisal of Eoghan Murphy’s tenure. Also, we weren’t going to let this ep pass without talking about the Grafton Quarter sign, Una discusses the trend of artists banning phones at gigs, and Andrea receives a shock Dynasty-related delivery.

EPISODE 26: WEXFORD: Is sustainable fashion an oxymoron?

Come through our fashionistas. This week, we’re looking at the trend of sustainable fashion and wondering if it’s actually possible for the industry of excess and newness to actually be sustainable, and if individual boycotts of unethical brands is enough to bring about change in the industry.

We’re joined by Tara Stewart who is a DJ, fashion kween and now host of RTE podcast Dirty Laundry that looks at the subject of sustainability and her journey from fast fashion to a more sustainable approach.

On the other side of the industry, we talk to Wexford born, London based designer Richard Malone who approaches his process in the fashion industry as a vocal sustainability advocate and has previously said “It amazes me how young designers aren’t committing to sustainability. You can’t be a modern or contemporary designer if you are not sustainable.”

We also talk Lizzo, Le Mans ’66, Dimitri From Paris, Irish Water (again) and BelongTo’s 2019 School Climate Survey.

EPISODE 25: KILDARE: Boiling mad: What’s wrong with our water?

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink (unless it’s boiled). How do we, a small island with such a rainy disposition, have more issues than Vogue when it comes to water? As we face into another boil water notice, rain continues to bucket it down, and an emergency meeting of Kildare County Council is called about the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant with Irish Water in attendance; we talk to Michael Brennan, the author of recently published book ‘In Deep Water’. Where do the problems stem from, is climate change going to make it worse and why is shit still literally hitting the fan in Dublin Bay? A huge amount of money has been spent on Irish Water and its meters, so why are we not seeing any improvements?

We’re also talking Cher, Xtina, Dolly Parton and Joan Collins. Who said you can’t mix politics and glamour?

EPISODE 24: MONAGHAN: Plastic Fantastic: Does individual behaviour make a difference?

We’re off to Monaghan, home to Ireland’s only reverse vending machine. But, does individual consumer behaviour make a difference when it comes to recycling, or are paper straws and reusable bottles just designed to make us feel better? We talk about the psychology of recycling and how moral license impacts behaviour with psychologist Nishat Babu, and the Industrial Designer and bioplastic expert Megan Valanidas joins us from the US to discuss recyclables and plastic disposal.

Plus, fashion queen Natalie B. Coleman is our County Rep, Andrea reveals her Patrick Kavanagh fandom, and Una is v disappointed in Fine Gael MEPs.

EPISODE 23: What do we really know about Brexit, dark money, and the DUP?

Every hour brings new twists and turns to Brexit, but it’s important to remember that a very murky referendum got us to this point. In this, ‘Brexit, dark money and the DUP’ episode, we press pause on a frantic news cycle and go back to 2016 and 2017 to ask questions about the dark money that funded the Leave campaign. The Americanisation of British politics now impacts the mysterious bankrolling of political campaigns, partisan think tanks, how the Tory Party is funded, and why the British media is sounding increasingly American. Our special guest to delve into all of this is bossman investigative reporter, Peter Geoghegan from Open Democracy.

Also in this episode, Una is excited about a Dublin City Council initiative (shocker!), Andrea is very worried about Ireland’s potato crop, but still found time to outline the clearest breakdown of the Brexit timeline you’ve ever heard.

EPISODE 22: ARMAGH: Is there anybody out there? A United Ireland aliens special.

Trying to figure out the ‘what can you do?’ section of this week’s podcast was interesting given that we were talking to trailblazing astrophysicist; scientist; one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world and one of Nature magazines ten most prominent scientists worldwide Guillem Anglada-Escudé, who discovered the Proxima-b exoplanet orbiting Proxima-Centauri, our closest neighbouring star. Suggesting ways to build your own lightsail spacecraft seemed a little excessive for you to have done before settling down to next week’s episode.

We delve into the the journey further into space and find comfort speculating on the aliens out there watching in on our little simulation here on earth. As new planets are discovered, are we any closer to finding living circumstances similar to our own that can facilitate life? Mulder and Scully, this is the episode for you.

There’s also an absolute banger of a Tuna Chicken Roll, get in a rage about 6k being spent a day on barriers to pedestrianise an area and find some joyous fave bits to bring Una back from the brink after finding out that the Government’s approval rating has shot up.

EPISODE 21: MEATH: Is everything we know about Newgrange wrong?

We’re feeling very witchy this week with the onset of Samhain, and so we are journeying to the heart of Ireland’s mythical history, the great county of MEATH. Last year, an incredible discovery was made at Newgrange by Anthony Murphy and Ken Williams who stumbled upon a massive henge at the Brú na Bóinne site. We talk to Anthony about DRONEHENGE, a discovery that shook the world of archeology and has made us rethink what was really going on at Newgrange back in the day (clue: a giant sesh.)

Join us in rolling back the clock as we talk druids, pagan Olympics, human sacrifice, and and how an extra-hot Irish summer unearthed more Meath magic. Also, a cohousing cafe, Eoghan Murphy’s Stoneybatter interventions, Andrea resurrects the Sex and the City movie, and Una reveals her past as an interpretive dance teacher.

EPISODE 20: CAVAN: Abductions, torture, the Quinn group and Cavan: what’s going on?

Power, violence, threats, abductions, torture, and jobs. Sean Quinn was Ireland’s richest man a decade ago, but now his company’s name is embroiled in a shocking series of events in Fermanagh and Cavan. We talk to brilliant local reporter Rodney Edwards about the Quinn Industrial Holdings saga and find out WFT is going on in Cavan.

Plus John Delaney’s sweetener, the new PJ Harvey documentary, Andrea’s tuna chicken roll and loads more.

EPISODE 19: TALLAGHT: Why did the Council destroy a unique wetland habitat?

We all gasped when pics of the Wetlands in Tallaght were shared, recently covered over by dredged silt from the nearby lake. How could this have happened? Why would someone do this? How could an official body let this happen? Who was responsible?

It’s safe to say that orgs and institutions are literally sweating to make sure they tick all the sustainable boxes for PR, photo opps and green flags on their websites, but when it comes to actions, are they following through? The actions from South Dublin County Council would indicate that’s a big fat no, but how could councilors and heritage officers let this happen? Surely there’s a plan that everyone in there is sticking to, to maintain our greenways and biodiversity. Sadly reader, the answer is no.

The same week a motion was passed unanimously in Dublin City Council by elected councilors, but was rebuffed by a member of the appointed Executive who said that initiating changes to the development plan was a power held by the council’s executive and the council’s management did not intend to do so. So you have to ask, who exactly holds the power to shape our city?

We spoke to Science Officer with the Herpetological Society of Ireland (HIS) & research associate at TCD, Collie Ennis to get the exact details on what happened to the Wetlands and to Cllr Carly Bailey to find out what is going on within the Councils.