Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Books

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    Me and My Backbone

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live with a severely dehabilitating medical condition while trying to live the life of a normal twenty eight year old woman. Me and My Backbone, My Journey with Spina Bifida, a story of Co. Clare woman Siobhan Mongovan who chose to live her life with humour no matter what the world throws at her joined Sean from our Limerick studio to discuss her new book co written with Carol Byrne.

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    Life Lessons

    With experience comes knowledge. And a new book, Life Lessons, talks to 21 men and women from all areas of Irish life about the lessons they have learned from their own individual experiences.

    Joining Sean were three of these men and women, Mary O’Rourke was in our Athlone studio, and in Dublin Dr Austin O’Carroll and Marty Morrissey.

    Family life is usually our first experience of the world, they spoke to Sean about how their family experiences formed character.

    Life Lessons, a treasury of conversations about life by Rita De Brun is published by New Island Press, €16.99.

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    Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End

    Death and talking about death is still a taboo subject for many of us. Joining Sean this morning was Dr. Atul Gawande who practices general and endocrine surgery and is professor in both the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. 

    Dr, Gawande is also an author of Being Mortal, a book which tackles the issues of end-of-life care. In the book, Atul argues that in trying to keep people alive for as long as possible we might actually be inflicting more suffering.

    Also joining the conversation is Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, a national charity which strives to ensure best care at end of life for all in Ireland.

    We have become a great country to live in – but the Irish Hospice want Ireland to be a great country to die in too. Their philosophy is to help people to LIVE WELL until the end.

    Download the Irish Hospice Foundation 'Think Ahead' brochure here.

    Watch:An interview with Dr. Gawande

     

    The GAA in My Time

    The last fifty years have seen unprecedented change in the GAA and few people are better placed to chronicle that period than my next guest. In terms of involvement with teams from club to inter county level, serving on several of the association’s committees and not to mention decades spent writing about the sport that he loves and its ruling body that he understands intimately.

    In his words ‘it is not an exaggeration to state that it – the GAA – is possibly the most representative body of people on the island of Ireland’. The GAA in My Time is the name of the book and its author Eugene McGee spoke with Sean.

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    Tea and Company

    The Irish know better than most the importance of a good cup of tea and a good chat. We offer tea at funerals, the birth of a child, the break-up of a relationship...it’s the cure-all and there’s not an Irish household in the country that doesn’t put the kettle on when somebody calls to the door.

    A new book by the ICA – Tea and Company – looks at our various rituals around tea drinking, and includes recipes, meditations and thoughts for whatever sort of day you might be having.

    So stick the kettle on there as guests Aoife Carrigy, editor of the book, and Anne Payne, Secretary of the Laois Federation of the ICA tell Sean how to make the perfect cup of tea.

    The ICA Book of Tea and Company is published by Gill and Macmillan and is priced at €22.99.

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    Peter Clohessy

    Rugby legend Peter Clohessy and his wife Anna Gibson Steele joined Keelin to discuss A Life With Claw, a biography on Peter written by his wife. Anna tells Keelin why she decided to write the book, they discuss Peter's career and how they met.

    Peter and Anna will be doing a book signing at Hodges Figgis on Dawson St. Dublin 2 from 1pm today.

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    Belfast Days: A 1972 Teenage Diary

    For many of us re-reading a diary from our teens would most likely be a source of some embarrassment or would perhaps be merely an object of curiosity - a remnant from another time and another life. Well for Sean's guest they were two minor concerns as she leafed through her journal from 1972. She read the entries ‘with growing bewilderment’. She was 16 going on17 and she says, ‘an unexceptional Catholic schoolgirl’. What was exceptional was that she was living in Belfast in what would turn out to be the worst year of the Troubles. 497 people were killed and 4,876 were injured.

    As if being a teenager with its attendant traumas and worries weren’t bad enough. Nights that should have been spent studying – or coming up with excuses not to study – were spent fretting for the immediate future of her parents and four brothers.  While she composed her journal entries, bombs and gunfire could be heard in the background.

    Belfast Days: A 1972 Teenage Diary has just been published and its author Eimear O’Callaghan joined Sean this morning in studio.

    Belfast Days: Chronological diary entries, interspersed with Eimear of today giving context and in some cases admonishing her younger self.

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    Judging W.T. Cosgrave

    Author and historian Michael Laffan joined Sean to discuss W.T. Cosgrave and new book, Judging W.T. Cosgrave.

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    Brian O'Driscoll

    Brian O'Driscoll joined Sean in studio to discuss his new autobiography with Alan English, published by Penguin Ireland.

    Brian discusses family, meeting his wife Amy, getting arrested in New York and the death of his close friend Barry and much more.

    Brian will be signing copies of 'The Test' this Saturday from 12 Midday in Eason's on O'Connell St, Dublin.

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    Mind Change

    Neuroscientist and author Susan Greenfield spoke to Sean her new book and how digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains.

    Published by Faber.

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