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.

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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.


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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 Stephen Murphy #GPCrisis Ep.83


We are constantly told that we spend more on our health service that nearly anywhere else on the planet, and while this is largely true it doesn’t tell the real story. Lecturer and GP Trainer, Dr Stephen Murphy tells us about what he feels is an existential threat to the Family GP practice.
We also discuss the ongoing cervical check scandal and how governing from crisis to crisis is never going to tackle the underlying issues.

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Diarmuid O’Flynn #BallyheaSaysKNOW Ep. 78

Sometimes you just need to stand up to a bully, even if it means a bloody nose. Our guest in the tortoise shack is Parliamentary Assistant to Luke Ming Flanagan, author and tireless activist, Diarmuid O’Flynn, and he knows something about not backing down. Following his recent appearance in front of the Finance Committee he’s seeking cross party support to form a strategy and proposal to take to Europe that will tackle the odious debt (which anchors our various social crises) that is unjustly carried by Ireland. Think it’s too late? Think again!

Izzy Kamikaze #Pride Ep.79

60,000 people marched in the Dublin Pride parade last weekend. Our (returning) guest in the tortoise shack is activist and one of the original founders of Pride, Izzy Kamikaze. She talks about the origins of the movement, the recent commercialisation and, above all else, why Pride is still necessary.

Pride is Protest. Pride is a Promise.

Tom Clonan #RebootRepublic Ep.67

The golden circle culture in Ireland needs to go. Our guest in the tortoise shack, Security Analyst, Whistelblower, Carer and Advocate for People with Disabilities, Tom Clonan thinks we need a democratic reboot. He thinks a better Ireland is possible and the first step in the process is having a formal process for holding politicians to account for failing in their responsibilities. We think he’s got a plan that would work!