Anthony O’Connor #RadicalCentrist Ep. 118


The Leo-bot gives good diversion. Our guest in the tortoise shack, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Labour member and VERY PROUD Cork man, Anthony O’Connor gives us his reaction to the Taoiseach’s attempt to deflect from the fact that the government have failed to put forward a Winter Plan and instead blame Doctor’s and Nurse’s for wanting to have a day off.
Anthony tells us about his own experiences, working in both the UK’s NHS and the Irish HSE, and shares some insights to the people who we need when we are literally in mortal danger. The reality is very different than that peddled by the Leo-bot.
We also talk about how Anthony’s leaving Ireland has shaped his political beliefs and why the campaign to end Dublin rule in Cork is the real battle for our survival.

Whisper it, but we think he’s a terrific guy. For a Cork Man.

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Stephen Jones #NorthernLights Ep.120


This week in the tortoise shack we sat down with actor, playwright, Tallaghtfornian and ‘you know yer man, that fella, you saw him in the thing, Stephen Jones for a walk along the unconventional route he’s taken into acting and creating his own plays.
Whether it’s on stage or on the big screen Stephen loves what he does, and it shows. His parts in Love/Hate, Red Rock and Dublin Oldschool, fit seamlessly beside his theatre work; like playing Bricks in Eva O’Connor’s fantastic Maz & Bricks or now Lloyd, alongside Seána Kerslake, in his upcoming play Northern Lights.

This is a great insight into the creative process of yer man, you know his face, you do!

Tickets for Norther Lights @ Theatre Upstairs, Eden Quay: https://www.theatreupstairs.ie/northern-lights

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Jo Kilkenny #NoAverageJo Ep. 117


There are lots of ways of looking after yourself. But our guest in the tortoise shack,(via Skype) British based Irish woman, scientist and ultramarathon runner, Jo Kilkenny takes her self care to extremes, one hundred mile plus extremes.
She shares with us her story and explains how 10 years ago a bad relationship led her to setting out to run 5km and how that coping mechanism evolved into running grueling 150 mile races.
She explains the line between endurance and insanity and the empowerment she discovered when it’s just you and the trail. This is a remarkable woman completing feats that seem superhuman. And Jo really is a super human.

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Aidan Comerford #WellSaid Ep.115


Here in the tortoise shack we have a tendency to get a bit too caught up in the numbers. That’s why what our guest, writer, former (yeah right) musical comedian and totally cracked dad Aidan Comerford, does is so impressive. His twitter threads are things of beauty, telling simple stories that can help readers understand complex issues, make you laugh out loud or give you a that gut-punch you didn’t see coming.
Aidan is a fascinating person and that he is so open about his own struggles is a testament to his resilience and, indeed, his wife’s patience! We thoroughly enjoyed this conversation about an twitter personality, an award winning comic, a one time Damien Rice wannabe, a husband and a father.

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Artwork by @Ciaraioch

Dundrum Housing Action #NeoFeudalism Ep.113


NAMA is right now looking for an institutional(vulture?)investor to pay €36m for a site with full planning permission for 460 apartments which the state will then rent back via Housing Assistance Payment, RAS etc… This is the economic ineptitude that is still continuing under the self-appointed fiscally responsible Fine Gael.
Our guests in the tortoise shack are Hilary Daly and Brian Leeson of Dundrum Housing Action. They outline how these high level deals are part of the continuing financialisation of the right to a home and a hollowing out of communities across this country.

They also outline that, despite what the Taoiseach has said recently, it is not “Hard Left” to want a safe and secure home.

Follow them on twitter @DundrumA

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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

Jack Power #MediaClapback Ep.108


The media has come in for a lot of criticism in the wake of the Presidential election results. While some of the criticism is undoubtedly fair, some of it is a knee-jerk reaction to what can only be described as a few uncomfortable home truths.
Our guest in the tortoise shack is recent nominee for the young journalist of the year and news reporter with the Irish Times, Jack Power. His work on the housing, homelessness and Take Back The City protests has shown the force for good journalism still is in Ireland.

In this wide ranging conversation we discuss journalism as a vocation, the health of the industry and more. We can accept that trust in the media is at all time lows, or we can ask why that is so and what needs to be done to reverse this.

Please support our podcasts by going to pateron.com/echochamberpod
Twitter – @trickstersworld

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.

Support our podcasts by giving us the price of some avocado toast @ www.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

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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