Darach Ó Séaghdha #CraicBaby Ep.95


Language matters, words matter and sometimes even one word can make such a difference. Our guest in the tortoise shack, writer and host of the excellent and insanely successful Motherfoclóir podcast, Darach Ó Séaghdha talks all things Irish, English, Class and then incredibly powerfully on a different kind of normal.

There’s also a childish “my kids are better than your kids” fight. But Martin started it.

You can buy Darach’s new book Craic Baby here
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Jess Kelly #TheAlgorithms Ep. 94


When we were kids we had to eat our veg, we couldn’t just eat what we wanted all the time. Nowadays, thanks to algorithms, we can chow down on all the online junk food we like and never have to see a vegetable in our self-made echo chambers. Our guest in the tortoise shack, Newstalk Tech Correspondent and Host of Tech Talk, Jess Kelly walks us through the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly aspects of social media.

Jess, as a believer in the good place the internet can be, tells us what should be done by us as consumers and by the State as potential regulators, to make it safer for everyone.
Were our phones eavesdropping on this conversation and reporting back to Google on us? I hope so.

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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.


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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.

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Susan Mitchell #HealthCheck Ep.86


The Cervical Check Scandal has rocked the faith of many in the Screening Process. But with one million people on waiting lists, trolley numbers at Near-Winter levels and a GP Crisis our health service is riven with problems. Our guest in the tortoise shack, Health Editor with the Sunday Business Post, Susan Mitchell talks not just about the various issues, but about some of the potential solutions.

She explains how a Patient Safety Authority could advocate and increase protection for patients, and how a No Fault Compensation Policy could save us the political games and deliver compassionate support to those failed by the system.

Dr Aileen Marron #Austerity Ep. 84

No matter the malady, after the Global Financial Crash, we were told that Austerity was the only treatment. Our guest in the tortoise shack, Sociologist at the Higher Education Authority and author of the upcoming book: Austerity – Media Portrayals of the Public Sector During the Financial Crisis, Dr Aileen Marron ( @alienmoron ) joins us to talk about how we never heard real dissenting voices and how playing the Private Sector off against the Public Sector deflected from the real causes of the crash.

It’s a fascinating insight into how groupthink trickles down and dismisses scepticism as revolutionary. Enjoy.

Mike McGrath-Bryan #CorkLovesMusic Ep. 76

The recession hit young people disproportionately, but young artists and musicians channeled that into their work. Journalist with Corks Evening Echo, Village Magazine and Podcast host of Red FM’s ‘Red on Red’, Mike McGrath-Bryan works his ass off trying to promote and help these acts. Sitting down in a cafe in Cork City, he explains how it’s all for the love of the music and its creators.

Thomas Byrne #SchoolAdmissions

We are joined in the Tortoise Shack by Fianna Fail TD for Meath East and Education Spokesperson, Thomas Byrne. We discuss the Schools Admissions Bill, the upcoming Presidential Election and the prospect of an early General Election.

The Groves Free Pod!

Tony Duffin #SaferFromHarm Ep.80

Even the most ardent conservative would recognise that the ‘war on drugs’ has failed and in Ireland there is are nearly 2 drug related deaths per day. Our guest in the tortoise shack, CEO of Drug Harm Protection Project, Ana Liffey, Tony Duffin, tells us where we stand right now and what we need to do to move to a Portuguese Drug User Decriminalisation model. Ana Liffey do terrific work across the country and you can support them by texting safer to 50300 to donate €4.

Noeline Blackwell #EveryStep Ep.62

Movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp have inspired millions of people to share their stories about sexual violence.
Today in the tortoise shack we are joined by Human Rights lawyer and Chief Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Noeline Blackwell, to discuss the changes happening in Irish society and the changes yet to come. We also discuss the Cervical Check Scandal and the choices facing someone who becomes pregnant by rape faces under the 8th Amendment.