EPISODE 11: WATERFORD: Are there too many festivals and somehow not enough tickets?

We’re popping down to the Sunny South East this week at the same time as all of the music revelers™ making their way to All Together Now, praying for blue skies and some of that famous sun. As another sold out festival hits the circuit in only its second year, it’s clear that there’s still room for a festival with a good vibe and a cracking lineup. But the concert calendar in Ireland looks pretty crowded this summer – or is it possible that our appetite for live music in a field is insatiable? And what about the tickets to those gigs? When people were losing their minds over tickets to Lizzo’s show in the Olympia vanishing in seconds, only to be resold by Ticketmaster at inflated prices, it rightly shone the light again on how tickets are being sold in this country.

We’ll be talking to RTE Brainstorm’s Jim Carroll about what’s going on with these ‘platinum’ tickets and that packed festival calendar, along with journalist Amy O’Connor, who will be filling us in all about the Déise.

EPISODE 10: LEITRIM: Why is Ireland planting the wrong trees?

This week we’re off to Ireland’s smallest county to talk about trees. Listen up, this is an important story that isn’t getting the coverage it deserves. We speak to Save Leitrim about why they’re campaigning against particular forestry projects and enterprises, and we hear about the impact this is all having on the county.

In glorious news, Louise McSharry is our very special guest host this week. ALL HAIL LOUISE. Andrea is back next week to reclaim her throne.

Our County Rep this week is Katherine Lynch, who is repping Leitrim HARD.

Una and Louise choose their fave bits, Louise selects the tuna chicken roll, and our youngest ever guest joins us in studio. That’s right, Louise’s new baby, Ted, is here to make his voice heard.

Save the trees, save the bees, Save Leitrim.

EPISODE 9: DERRY: Lyra McKee was murdered in Derry. What happened next?

On April 18th, 2019, journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead during rioting in the Creggan area of Derry. On this episode about what happened next, Lyra’s partner, Sara Canning, talks about the night Lyra was murdered and how her death impacted her, her community, and Derry itself. We also discuss the protests that emerged in response to Lyra’s murder with Lyra’s friend, Sinead Quinn. One of the most respected journalists in the country, Susan McKay, is in studio to discuss the social, political and economic context of her hometown Derry, and she also gives us added insight into the significance of Lyra’s journalism, and her own relationship with Lyra. Our County Rep this week is the brilliant Séamas O’Reilly, a writer with The Observer and the Irish Times, who delivers a beautiful ode to Derry. This episode examines the legacy of an incredibly talented young journalist murdered in her prime, and what it’s really like to grow up in a place where things like this happen, and how Derry is potentially on the precipice of even more difficulties with Brexit looming. But it’s also about a place of tremendous spirit, creativity, humour and resilience. We’d like to especially thank Sara for being so honest and generous with her time while she is still grieving her partner. Rest in Power,

EPISODE 8: Has the World Cup changed women’s sport forever?

This week, it’s a special episode of United Ireland.

We take a deep dive with some football experts about the seismic impact the women’s World Cup has had. Is this the most important women’s tournament of all time? What impact did lesbians have on the tournament? Why are female footballers so much more political than male ones? Are the USA cocky or brill? What does this all mean for pay equity for female athletes?

Joining the episode is Chief Football Writer for The Independent (UK) Miguel Delaney, and a woman at the heart of RTE’s highly praised tournament coverage, Elaine ‘Bucko’ Buckley. It’s a football feelings frenzy!

EPISODE 7: CORK: Show us the money! How can we make Big Tech pay tax?

We’re off to the Rebel County to talk tax. Show us the money!

How can we make Big Tech pay tax? Down in Cork, Apple reigns supreme as a huge employer, but they’re also at the centre of what could be a game-changing case that strikes at the heart of Ireland’s “welcoming” environment for Big Tech companies. When the European Commission ruled that Apple needed to pay over €13 billion in back-taxes to the Irish government, Ireland sided with Apple and are currently trying to refuse the dosh.

So, how can we make Big Tech pay tax like everyone else, and what will happen to all those billions resting in an account somewhere? Dara Doyle from Bloomberg tells us everything we need to know about Big Tech and Bigger Tax.

Also, Una gives her Glastonbury review, and Andrea is finally a work of art.

EPISODE 6: PRIDE: What does the queer community lose when Pride goes mainstream?

Happy Pride!

What does Pride mean to you?

In a tale as old as time, the question of corporate involvement and mainstreaming of Pride continues to rear it’s head. Have we moved forward enough for Pride to simply be a party or does the protest element have to remain front and centre? …And who gets to decide?

Who better to tease it out than this year’s Pride Parade Grand Marshal and Act Up campaigner, Will St Leger; Managing Editor of Ireland’s queer mag GCN, Lisa Connell and founder of Trans Pride Ollie Bell; Una and of course, token straight Andrea. Cos they should always be centre of the conversation, amirite Tay Tay?

EPISODE 5: GALWAY: What happens to people who die in Direct Provision?

This episode was not easy to record. And it won’t be easy to listen to, but it is essential listening.

Direct Provision will be the stain on our generation’s existence. It feels like we all know this. We all talk about this. But when talk feels empty, how do we change a broken system?

Sylva Tukula was a transgender woman buried in Galway without ceremony after being housed in an all-male direct provision centre. Her personhood was removed in death as it was when she was alive. She deserved more.

Ellie Kisyombe who has been living in Direct Provision for 8 years joins us in studio to share what it feels like to live like this. To have your personhood removed.

We talk to Maeve O’Rourke, a lecturer in Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUIG and has done a lot of work on the culture of institutionalisation in Ireland.

We also bring you some joy. Nicola Coughlan is not in fact our Derry rep as you would think as the gas bitch from Derry Girls, she’s from Galway and she shares with us all the things she loves about Galway. We talk about the week in review, all our fave things and of course end with a Tuna Chicken Roll.

EPISODE 4: CLARE: Q: Should we forgive Doonbeg Trumpism?

The streets of Doonbeg in Clare were lined with locals this week to welcome in the Trump family to their hotel and golf course that employs many of the townspeople. Apart from the fact that Trump fired the staff and re-hired many of them on minimum wage, it’s hard to argue against the fact that without this employment the town would be all but forgotten and in pretty dire straits. However, the Trump’s were greeted as all out saviours and some people found the fawning pretty galling. Is that unfair? Can we just put our morals away when there’s money to be made? Well, we’re joined by journalist Sarah Kendzior whose writing became almost prophetic during the most recent US presidential campaign, calling out what was actually happening as America began sliding down the rabbit hole towards autocracy, and warning the public about the dangers of normalising Donald Trump and his administration and band of hangers-on. Her insights and knowledge about the journey from then to now makes for pretty terrifying listening.

To lighten the mood, we’ll also be touching on Rihanna’s iconic leopard lewks, Drag Balls & Cock Destroyers, who deserves to Get in The Sea, Clare county rep Milliner Margaret O’Connor and an absolute Tuna Chicken Roll of the Gods to make sure you approach the weekend with joy.

EPISODE 3: MAYO: THE PLANET IS ON FIRE — can the green wave extinguish the flames?

This week we’re scratching our heads and wondering what the point will be of riches and economic success if we’re all actually killed off and we’re not the only ones. The Local and European elections were swept by a Green Wave that gave a very clear message that our priorities are very much on humanity’s survival. But is it too little too late and will those in power finally not just listen, but actually make the changes we’re all screaming for? One person not screaming but calming and rationally making her point and slaying in the Primetime debate is The Green Party’s Saoirse McHugh. She became the unlikely star of the recent European Parliament elections receiving over 51,000 first preference votes and we were charmed to have her in the studio to find out where she came from and where she’s going.

Given that we’re focusing on science and facts, it was glorious to have Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shuilleabháin as our Mayo rep. With a degree in theoretical physics, a PhD in maths education, current lecturer in maths in UCD she’s all about the QED and she tells us why it’s a fact that Mayo is one dreamy county. She is also a broadcaster, musician and a proud Mayo woman.

Obvs we have Get In The Sea, Our Fave Bits and this week’s Tuna Chicken Roll. Let’s get right on top of this Green Wave and get stuck in to Mayo.