Aidan Comerford #WellSaid Ep.115


Here in the tortoise shack we have a tendency to get a bit too caught up in the numbers. That’s why what our guest, writer, former (yeah right) musical comedian and totally cracked dad Aidan Comerford, does is so impressive. His twitter threads are things of beauty, telling simple stories that can help readers understand complex issues, make you laugh out loud or give you a that gut-punch you didn’t see coming.
Aidan is a fascinating person and that he is so open about his own struggles is a testament to his resilience and, indeed, his wife’s patience! We thoroughly enjoyed this conversation about an twitter personality, an award winning comic, a one time Damien Rice wannabe, a husband and a father.

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Artwork by @Ciaraioch

David Norris #KickingBack Ep.113


Change takes persistence, determination and an unwavering belief in what you are trying to achieve. Our guest in the tortoise shack is scholar, independent Senator and long-time civil rights activist, David Norris.

David has turned his ire towards the government policy of inviting in vulture funds and allowing them “pick the carcass” of mortgagees. Working with the Master of the High Court, Ed Honohan and Fianna Fail TD, John McGuinness, David is looking to introduce a Bill that will keep people in their homes and allow them equal access to the purchase of their loans.

David has had a well documented health scare recently and it was great to see him in full voice and kicking back against a system designed for Big Finance at the expense of the ordinary citizen.

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Dundrum Housing Action #NeoFeudalism Ep.113


NAMA is right now looking for an institutional(vulture?)investor to pay €36m for a site with full planning permission for 460 apartments which the state will then rent back via Housing Assistance Payment, RAS etc… This is the economic ineptitude that is still continuing under the self-appointed fiscally responsible Fine Gael.
Our guests in the tortoise shack are Hilary Daly and Brian Leeson of Dundrum Housing Action. They outline how these high level deals are part of the continuing financialisation of the right to a home and a hollowing out of communities across this country.

They also outline that, despite what the Taoiseach has said recently, it is not “Hard Left” to want a safe and secure home.

Follow them on twitter @DundrumA

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Dawn Foster #WhereWillWeLive Ep.112


While Ireland is suffering the worst crises in the history of our State in housing, homelessness and widening income inequality, we are, sadly, far from unique. Our guest in the tortoise shack, staff writer with Jacobin Magazine, columnist with the Guardian and Author of Lean Out and the forthcoming book Where Will We Live, Dawn Foster, talks to us about the globalisation of these issues, the economic and ideological origins and what hope there is for change.

Dawn has written brilliantly about inequality, the need for radical feminism and how the housing crisis, that was exacerbated by the financialisation of the human right to housing, is the best example of markets profiting from human misery.
Dawn was in town to speak at Thresholds Housing conference and we were very grateful to them for arranging this opportunity to sit down with one of the best voices for change anywhere in the media today.

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Jack Power #MediaClapback Ep.108


The media has come in for a lot of criticism in the wake of the Presidential election results. While some of the criticism is undoubtedly fair, some of it is a knee-jerk reaction to what can only be described as a few uncomfortable home truths.
Our guest in the tortoise shack is recent nominee for the young journalist of the year and news reporter with the Irish Times, Jack Power. His work on the housing, homelessness and Take Back The City protests has shown the force for good journalism still is in Ireland.

In this wide ranging conversation we discuss journalism as a vocation, the health of the industry and more. We can accept that trust in the media is at all time lows, or we can ask why that is so and what needs to be done to reverse this.

Please support our podcasts by going to pateron.com/echochamberpod
Twitter – @trickstersworld

Ewan MacKenna #TrumpOfTheTropics Ep.111


Across the globe the rise of far right populism has been seen as what Fintan O’Toole called the stages of pre-fascism. But our guest in the tortoise shack, award winning journalist and resident of Belo Horizinte, Brazil, Ewan MacKenna, tells us that he is witnessing real fascism on the rise.

In advance of the Brazilian election we decided to catch up with Ewan and get the story from someone who has a ringside seat to what are deeply worrying changes for both the people of Brazil and the wider global community.

Ewan breaks down some of the issues with President Elect Jair Bolsonaro, in what we think is the scariest interview we’ve ever done. A must listen.

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John-Mark McCafferty #WhereWillWeLive? Ep.110


There are many facets to the housing and homelessness crisis and as our guest in the tortoise shack, CEO of Threshold John-Mark McCafferty, puts it “there is no one solution.” There are lots of big things that can be done, but John-Mark believes strongly that prevention is better than cure.

Threshold has worked for people struggling within the private rental sector since 1978 and now, on their 40th anniversary, see a system that without serious action is likely to get worse before it gets better.

In the face of a deepening crisis Threshold continue to campaign for a fair, sustainable rental market with a clear emphasis on supporting, informing and advocating for vulnerable tenants.

You can contact Threshold on their national free phone helpline 1800 454 454 Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm.
You can support them @ https://www.threshold.ie/donate/

Remember, patrons get a heads up on upcoming guests and the ability to ask questions. Come on board at www.patreon.com/echochamberpod

Paddy Cosgrave & Prof. P.J Drudy #TortoiseShackLive Ep.105


The tortoise shack went to a sold out Sound House on Eden Quay, as part of the Dublin Podcast Festival. It was as chaotic as you’d expect from us, but luckily we had Rory Hearne of the Reboot Republic podcast along for company.

Not only that, but we were lucky enough to be joined on stage by Web Summit co-founder and chief executive Paddy Cosgrave AND Emeritus Professor of Economics P.J Drudy. We talked housing (what else!), the cost to us as a society, the costs we don’t see in businesses that we can’t attract and we opened the pod up to questions from the best informed audience you could ever hope to find.

We want to thank the Sound House for their hospitality, the listeners for coming along, Rory for his help and our great guests for their time. Professor Drudy gets a special mention because, as you’ll hear, he stole the show!

You can follow us on twitter @echochamberspod
Tony @trickstersworld
Martin @williamhboney1
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Nuno Capaz #SaferFromHarm Ep.104


We’ve spoken to some of the best voices in Ireland when it comes to ways in tackling Illegal Drug use
Drug and Alcohol Prevention Officer Tara Deacy; Ana Liffey CEO Tony Duffin; Writer; Activist Grace Dyas; and Senator Lynn Ruane…among others.

But our guest in the Tortoise Shack, Director of the internationally renowned Lisbon Dissuasion Commission, Dr Nuno Capaz, is considered one of the best voices in the world when it comes to the topics of tackling Illegal Drugs, Drug Decriminalisation and Harm Reduction.

Nuno sat down to talk about the journey they’ve gone on in Portugal from 2001 to today, the learnings they’ve made and how responding to people who use drugs through the Department of Health, rather than the Department of Justice, has led to extraordinary improvements to patient outcomes and delivered huge benefits to both the drug user and to the State.

Nuno was in Dublin to launch a report by Ana Liffey Drug Project and the LSE International Drug Policy Unit. Titled ‘Not Criminals’ – the report is a policy paper calling for the decriminalisation of people who use drugs in Ireland. #SaferFromHarm

We are delighted to have had this opportunity and want to thank Tony Duffin for setting up what is a genuine tortoise shack must listen!

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The Axis #Echo100


Recorded live @ the Axis, Ballymun, the tortoise shack’s 100th Episode brought together some of our favourite previous guests and a few new ones. We discuss #RaiseTheRoof, #MeToo and how the “gone too far” BS is going too far, as well as going around the room and asking what one thing we’d change/tackle if we could.
Voices you’ll hear include Simon McGarr, Linda Hayden, Glenn Fitzpatrick, Hazel Katherine Larkin and many more.

Thanks to the Axis for their hospitality and everyone who came along (to the Diggers afterwards as well) for a great night and cheers to the next 100!

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