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.

Please support our podcasts by going to patreon.com/echochamberpod

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.

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

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
And if you value what we do please come on board as a patron by going to patreon.com/echochamberpod

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

Please support our work by visiting patreon.com/echochamberpod

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!

Please support our podcast so we can continue to bring you independent, listener-led content for a couple of €€ at http://pateron.com/echochamberpod

And maybe leave us a review on your preferred podcast player.

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

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

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…