Emer O’Siochrú #SocialCommons Ep.102


We are constantly told that the cost of land is prohibitive to building. But in Ireland it wasn’t always thus. Our guest in the tortoise shack is Architect, Surveyor and a founder of the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (FEASTA), Emer O’Siochrú.
She argues that by reclaiming the Commons, or the land beneath our homes, we could make building profitable, housing genuinely affordable and begin to tackle climate change.
This seems a revolutionary idea, but it is something we have done in our not too distant past. Emer’s work has been supported by Economists as varied as Colm McCarthy and Constantin Gurdgiev. Indeed, the book she contributed to, Fleeing Vesuvius, is often referenced as a starting point for Naomi Kelin’s international best seller, This Changes Everything.
There is no question that the governments housing and climate change strategies have failed, perhaps we need to look to the past to secure our future.

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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!

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#RaiseTheRoof Ep. 103


A quick run through the #RaiseTheRoof protest from outside Leinster House. Martin speaks with Soc Dem’s Anne-Marie McNally, Dublin Macker (aka Daleo Lama), Gary Gannon, Martin Collins of Pavee Point, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring and the tortoise shack’s own Rory Hearne.

It’s less than 10 minutes, but we hope it’s enough to give you a flavour of the day. Thank you to our patrons, because you guys helped us get the money to buy the new Mobile Mic!

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image courtesy of Andrew O’Brien

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!

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Ilaina Khairulzaman #OpenBorders Ep. 98


Ireland markets itself as a small open economy and each year money from across the globe freely flows through the IFSC in amounts many multiples of the GDP of the entire country. Yet we aren’t nearly as welcoming of people as we are capital. Our guest in the tortoise shack, coordinator of the Voice of Young Science network, activist with MERJ Ireland and fun magnet, Ilaina Kairulzaman, tells us about her journey from Kuala Lumpur to Carlow and how, while she loves Ireland deeply, she doesn’t always feel it loves her back.
She talks about some of her own experiences of feeling less than, and how the solidarity and energy she experienced during the recent referendum campaigning hasn’t transferred as she had hoped to the campaign to end the national shame that is Direct Provision.

Ilaina is an absolute joy and her voice deserves to be heard. Listen up.

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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

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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.

You can support Right to Know here

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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

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

Help keep this podcast on the road, visit patreon.com/echochamberpod

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…