On this episode of BYLINE, we’re speaking with Aoife Grace Moore about her career, and of course the story she and Paul Hosford broke at the Irish Examiner, now known as Golfgate. It’s a story that shook the Irish nation, its government, and the EU Commission, and led to the resignation and disciplining of multiple political figures, including the EU Trade Commissioner, Phil Hogan, and the second Minister for Agriculture of this administration, Dara Calleary. Aoife is a journalist with the Irish Examiner working the political beat, who got the scoop of the year, instigating conversations about accountability in public life, and bruising a government that has a habit of denting itself. In this episode, she discusses breaking Golfgate, her eclectic start in journalism from Scotland to Melbourne, and more.
BYLINE is our companion series where we speak to brilliant journalists about the stories that matter. Thanks to our Patreon supports for helping us make our podcasts.
32 Questions is back. In this episode, we speak to former Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell. Kate is a rare Fine Gael voice on our podcast, but much like Fine Gael itself, United Ireland is a broad church.
In this episode, Kate discusses losing her seat in the 2020 general election, her constituency relationship with Eoghan Murphy, her assessment of Fine Gael’s direction under the leadership of Leo Varadkar, the Golfgate saga, as well as vodka tonics, how her upbringing formed her outlook, her experience of sexism in Irish electoral politics, her role in the Repeal movement, that infamous “choir boys singing for their supper” comment, her fearlessness, and whether or not she’ll contest another election in the future.
Paradox: A seeming contradiction. A FF led press conference?
Look, we know decisions are being made in the best interests of public health but how the hell did they end up being so confusing, contradictory and so god damn frustrating. We’re having a delve into last night’s presser and have many questions for the comms team behind it all.
Also, social media pile ons can Get in the Sea and we find a state funded agency with a board of nuns telling sex workers what’s best for them to be more than a bit Bananas 🍌🍌🍌
And even though there’s been a lot of bad buzzes this week, we still manage to find loads of fave bits.
In recent years, urban development in Ireland has seen a massive increase in hotels being built, purpose built student accommodation, and so called “co-living” developments. But what’s behind this drive in the midst of a housing crisis? Who is planning our cities, and how does that process work? We’re joined by architect and lecturer Orla Hegarty of UCD to demystify the planning process and see what other forces are contributing to development in Irish cities that are displacing communities, and creating a culture of transient living in small spaces.
Also on the pod, Andrea recovers from a drag blowout, the Tánaiste takes to Twitter(!), and Una is playing frisbee.
WIth the announcement that we wouldn’t be proceeding to Phase 4 this week, a can of worms was opened filled with frustration, fatigue and an overwhelming feeling that an element of sense was missing in some of the propositions and plans being put forward by Government to combat COVID-19.
It almost feels like the young and the entertainment industry are being thrown under the bus to distract from the shortcomings in dealing with the pandemic in the areas that we’ve seen outbreaks in – direct provision centres; processing plants and care homes.
We’re taking a read on the state of the nation’s mood right now and how that will impact people’s adherence to guidelines and we’re also talking to psychotherapist Sarah Gilligan about how to manage our collective frustrations.
On our third episode of byline, we speak with journalist Peter Geoghegan, author of the new book Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics, tracking the money that flows through British politics. We talk to Peter about Brexit, the DUP, Arron Banks, as well as Peter’s career, his work with openDemocracy, and his encounters with Steve Bannon.
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Many of us bought the Tiocfaidh Ár Sesh jumpers filled with hope and optimism during lockdown and this week, the first hint of the (official) night time industry peeped its head out as a club was reformatted in Dublin to make way for a new way to party. There were temperature checks on arrival, socially distanced tables, substantial glam bites to nibble on, table service and a show provided Dublin Drag Diva, Davina Devine. We’re catching up with Davina to see how lockdown impacted the entertainment industry, bringing drag online, how it feels to be back IRL and what the future holds for the night time economy (and the sesh).
In this bonus episode, we talk to Gary Grant of the Irish company Imbibe, which sells high-end coffee, yet also returns 3% of its turnover to Women’s Aid, its own staff, and projects in countries where it sources coffee. How has this small company designed itself with ethics and decency in mind, and how can more people do this?
One of the recurring conversations we have off mic over the past couple of years is around how the internet radicalises people, how people become indoctrinated by their own particular echo chambers – from men’s rights red pill stuff to conspiracy – and how it’s so hard to engage with people on this because it’s like their minds are made up, they’re totally closed off. The growth in visibility of the far-right in Ireland, some of it rooted in outright conspiracy, and the spread of QAnon-related conspiracy and conspirituality online has brought this to the fore again. People have even started listing it as a hobby on Tinder.
So we wanted to talk to someone who can tell us what to do if someone we know starts falling down the rabbit hole. We’re talking to Rick Alan Ross, who is a specialist in cults, and deprogramming. He has handled hundreds of deprogramming cases around the world, he was consulted by the FBI during the infamous Waco siege in 1987, he is the author of Cults: Inside And Out, and is the director of the Cult Education Institute.