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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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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Michael Barron #ThePeoplesVoice 106


We’re delighted to be joined by in the tortoise shack by Social Justice Advocate, Founding Director of BelongTo and Equate Ireland, Michael Barron.
Standards In Public Office (SIPO) has been used as a tool to shut down civil society groups. Together with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Amnesty International and others, Michael is advocating for changes to current legislation in order to prevent unfair targeting of civil society groups by vested interests using SIPO.
Having held his tongue for over a year, Michael was kind enough to make the #TortoiseShack his first port of call for this task.

#ThePeoplesVoice

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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
And support the work of St Michael’s House here

Please support our podcast by becoming a patron by visiting www.patreon.com/echochamberpod

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.