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!

You can support the podcast above via PayPal, or become a patron for less than the price of a cup of coffee here

Grace Dyas #Heroin2018 Ep.97

Class can kill. Our guest in the tortoise shack, writer, director, playwright and activist, Grace Dyas, came over to talk about the system that deems some lives are worth less than others. She is campaigning, via her award winning play Heroin, against the institutional cruelty and economic ineptitude that perpetuates the cycle of class warfare.

Grace speaks eloquently on the underlying issues and the trauma that make people turn to drugs and, most importantly, the steps we can support and demand the State take to finally end this systemic class genocide.

HEROIN is the story you were never told about the republic that never happened, of the person you never saw, of what we built and then demolished. It’s the big one, the bad one, the one you never thought you’d try.

HEROIN is a radical staging of how we got here, and how much we care. THEATREclub’s award winning show is an explosion of the social history of Heroin in Ireland over the last sixty years. First performed in 2010, the play has been been on hundreds of times since then, all over Europe. Crushingly as relevant as ever, Grace Dyas and Rachael Keogh (author of Dying to Survive) have come together to make a brand new production. We’re getting current. Again. We can’t fucking believe this is STILL going on. Its no longer a play, now, it has to be a campaign.
For sixty years, we’ve been going around in circles, letting people die. When we said we needed help we were put on a waiting list. There’s still only 30 detox beds. When we done something wrong we were sent straight to prison. No waiting. It costs €22,000 a year to keep one drug user in prison.

This is an invitation to come together and talk about trying something different and maybe then, we can hear the birds singing for the first time.
[Community rates available email heroin2018theatreclub@gmail.com for a promo code]

You can get tickets for the play Heroin here

You can support the tortoise shack for a couple of Eurohere

Fred Logue #RightToKnow Ep. 96

We have a deficit of accountability and a lack of transparency in Ireland. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our guest in the tortoise shack, principal at FP Logue Solicitors and specialist in technology, intellectual property, information law and commercial law, Fred Logue, knows all about trying to get to the facts.
Through his work as a solicitor, and with @RightToKnowIE, he has helped break down bureaucratic barriers to transparency and to shed some light on the aspects of the system that governs us.

From litigating against banks and vulture funds, to trying to find out what went on in emails that the Dept of Justice said didn’t exist, Fred and his colleagues are doing terrific work. Our FOI Hero, Ken Foxe told us that Fred was the “ultimate guru” on FOI and information access, we’d have to agree.

You can support Right to Know here

Help keep the shack on the road here

Dan O’Brien #TaxingEconomics Ep. 93


Ireland tops the charts in economic growth and by many economic measures is powering ahead. So why are so many people left behind and why are we in the middle of the worst housing crisis in our State’s history? Our guest in the tortoise shack, Chief Economist at the Institute of International and European Affairs and Independent Columnist, Dan O’Brien joins us to discuss this, the wider economy and the strengths and weaknesses of our Foreign Direct Investment dependence.

We also discuss precarious work, bogus self-employment and other risks to the Irish economy, including EU tax harmonisation.

Please support our pod by becoming a patron for a couple of Euro here

Inner City Helping Homeless #VolunteerHeroes Ep.92

The Government’s message that homelessness is normal is something that our guests in the tortoise shack on tour, Vera, Alice and Brian of Inner City Helping Homelessness, DO NOT accept.
They are on the streets looking after the most vulnerable in our society and their voices tell a story that contradicts the all too common narrative that homeless people are somehow deserving of their plight.

It was a privilege to sit with these great volunteers and hear the real story beyond the statistics and the spin.

If you’re interested in volunteering please checkout: www.ichh.ie

Help keep this podcast on the road, visit patreon.com/echochamberpod

Una Power #GreenWeek Ep.90


This week the Spin Doctors and “Climate Laggards” of Fine Gael decided to pay lip-service to climate change with their #GreenWeek. The hypocrisy of the Party that fought almost every piece of climate change legislation in the Dáil wasn’t lost on our guest in the tortoise shack, Green Party Equality Spokesperson, Una Power.
She explained to us how while using a reusable coffee cup is good personal practice, unless we tackle the big polluters of agriculture, transport and corporate, it won’t make any difference.

And YOU really should care; we are facing EU fines of potentially €1.6m per day for continuing on the path of drill baby, drill. There’s also the small matter of saving the planet…

Aidan Regan #ZombieCapitalism Ep.89

We live in an era where we are celebrating surpassing the Celtic Tiger records in Tax Take, Numbers Employed and Rent. But are just repeating the mistakes of the past? Our guest in the tortoise shack, UCD Assistant Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations has written extensively about markets, the European Union and the imbalance in the Capitalist System.
He talks us through the Boom and Bust cycle and why without putting the citizen at the heart of our economy we aren’t going to correct this economic model.

Suzy Byrne #DontDisableMe Ep.88


This week a government report highlighting our dependence on social transfers was used by the punch down brigade to convict the poor of poverty. Our guest in the tortoise shack (on tour) is a recent appointment to the Board of The Irish Council for Civil Liberties and long-time campaigner for the rights of people with disabilities, Suzy Byrne.

She talks us through some of the ways in which society wrongly sees people with disabilities and how by becoming a bucket-rattling-fundraising community we let the State off the hook for the glaring inequalities doled out to the disabled community.


Please support what we do from as little as €2 by visiting www.patreon.com/echochamberpod

Philip O’Connor #JustAskingQuestions Ep.87

There’s been no shortage of reasons to despair lately, but our guest in the tortoise shack, independent multimedia journalist, Philip O’Connor thinks we need to be optimistic.
His challenging of the othering that happened around the Margaret Cash case has broadened the debate beyond the “I’m just asking questions” comfortable class and unearthed many of the biases barely below the surface. And that’s progress.

Want to support independent, listener led content and get inside info on upcoming pods, please become a patron from €5 per month: patreon.com/echochamberpod

Karen Ciesielski #Right2Housing Ep.85


The othering of people was at its most toxic this week as we saw the State and several “commentators” scrambling to normalise children sleeping in Garda Stations. Our guest in the tortoise shack, Public Fundraising Manager at Focus Ireland, Karen Ciesielski, tells us about 3 steps that can make a difference overnight in tackling the homelessness crisis.
Please support the work of groups like Focus Ireland and ICHH.

Thank you.

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