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.

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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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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

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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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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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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.

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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