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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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.

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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.

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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/

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The Lonely Battle Of Thomas Reid


The State have repeatedly peddled the line that we cannot interfere with land hoarding or property dereliction because of the Constitutional Right to Property. Well our guests in the tortoise shack, Director Fearghal Ward and Producer Luke McManus have made a film that brilliantly captures the exact opposite of this.

The Lonely Battle Of Thomas Reid tells the story of Bachelor Farmer Thomas Reid and his fight to keep his ancestral family home from the might of the IDA and a Big Multinational Company.

This award winning film is a powerful look of the clash between modernity and tradition, and is recommended viewing.

You can see details of where it is screening at: lonelybattle.com

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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!

You can follow us on twitter @echochamberspod
Tony @trickstersworld
Martin @williamhboney1
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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

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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!

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Alannah Murray #PlatformsNotPedestals Ep. 101


Some people have a magic ability to make you feel more optimistic about the world. Our guest in the downstairs tortoise shack, film maker, blogger and activist, Alannah Murray is one such person.
We discuss the inequalities the world imposes on people with disabilities, her own experiences, negative and positive and some of the best dark disability humour ever put on a podcast.

The message is clear; don’t patrnoise people with disabilities, don’t put them on a pedestal because of their disability. Do platform them, and then get out of the way.

You can watch Allanah’s TED Talk here

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