Thursday 21st May

The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq

In 2003 my next guest was working for the British Council in Manchester. She answered a call looking for volunteers to help in the administration of Iraq after the war was over.  She travelled out of RAF Brize Norton to Basra with – as she subsequently told the Chilcott Inquiry – on briefing written or otherwise.  And she went on to effectively administer the contested city of Kirkuk.  That was just part of three extended stays in the country all of which are detailed in her book The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.  It is she says “an Iraqi story. It is an American story. It is my story” And Emma Sky joined Sean this morning.

Wednesday 20th May

The Great Divide

Inequality is an increasing problem in the Western world, leaving everyone – the rich as well as the poor – worse off. The dream of a socially mobile society is becoming an ever more unachievable myth. That’s the view of Joseph Stiglitz winner of the Nobel Prize for economics in 2001 and professor of economics at Columbia University. He has published a new book “The Great Divide” which deals specifically with this problem. He joined Sean on the line from London.

The Great Divide by Joseph Stiglitz is available in bookshops now and is published by Allen Lane.

Read More: Joseph Stiglitz: Thomas Piketty gets income inequality wrong, Lynn Stuart Parramore,, 2nd Jan 2015

Read More: Capitalism needs new rules to restore the growth and stability of postwar era, Joseph Stiglitz, The Guardian, 2nd Sept 2015

Tuesday 19th May

Book: Work Rules!

Google has been named the ‘Best Company to Work for’ five times in the US as well as topping the same charts in countries like Australia, Canada, France, the UK and of course here in Ireland.  So who better to tell us the secret of their success at creating a happy work place than their Senior Vice President of People Operations? Laszlo Bock has written what may become a textbook for future Human Resource students and it is called Work Rules!:

Insights from inside Google that will transform how you live and lead.  And Laszlo Bock joined Sean from a BBC studio.

Guantanamo Diary

It was 2002 when Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritian who had trained alongside al-Qaida, was first detained in Guantanamo Bay.

Nearly thirteen years later he remains in his cell, despite having never been prosecuted or had a charge laid against him.

His diary, hand-written on over 400 pages during his imprisonment, has been turned into the recently released book, Guantanamo Diary which gives a rare insight into the word’s most notorious prison.

The book was published with the help of his lawyer, Nancy Hollander, who is in Ireland to speak at the International Literature Festival Dublin this evening, and she joins me in the studio.

Nancy Hollander, US criminal defence lawyer, will speak about the book Guantanamo Diary at the International Literature Festival Dublin this evening, 6pm at the O’Reilly Theatre.

Read More: Torture – an intimate history: Guantánamo Diary, by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Lawrence Douglas, Irish Times, 21st Feb 2015

Read More: Republicans offer Obama path to close Guantanamo before leaving office, Jacqueline Klimas, Washington Times, 14th May 2015

Monday 18th May

Novel: Tanglewood

Dermot Bolger is an author, playwright and poet inextricably linked with Dublin. From his plays set in and performed in Ballymun to his adaptation of Ulysses, he is an author inextricably connected with his home town of Dublin. He has just published his new novel Tanglewood and he joined Sean in in studio.

Read More: Tanglewood by Dermot Bolger review: an outstanding piece of work, Eilis Ní Dhuibhne, Irish Times, 16th May 2015

Wednesday 13th May

Books Round Up

Two authors who need no introduction – bestselling writers Cathy Kelly and John Connolly – were in studio to give us their recommendations for the best books to read this month.

What Becomes of Us by Henrietta McKervey – Set in RTÉ in 1965 about Irish woman who returns to Ireland from UK with daughter and her own secrets, who is researching a documentary for 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising and finds more secrets...

See all  of Cathy and John's recommendations here

Thursday 7th May

Tosh Lavery

During thirty years in the Garda Sub-Aqua Unit Tosh Lavery worked on many murders and most of Ireland's missing persons cases, as well as high profile investigations such as the Whiddy Island disaster and the Mountbatten assassination.

He became obsessed with a job that demanded utter dedication and total fearlessness. But along the way, he battled alcoholism and his marriage ended. Tosh's story is an uncompromising and revealing look at the macho world of the guards and what it's really like on the inside. Tosh joined Sean this morning in studio.

Tosh Lavery’s book TOSH: An Amazing True Story Of Life, Death, Danger and Drama in The Garda Sub-Aqua Unit is available in bookshops now and is published by Penguin.

Tuesday 5th May

Anne Enright - The Green Road

Anne Enright joined Keelin in studio this morning to discuss new book, The Green Road. 

Read More: Anne Enright named as first Laureate for Irish Fiction,  Laurance Mackin, The Irish Times, 29th Jan 2015

Wednesday 29th April

Book Club Choice for May

Next month our panel will be reviewing 'Americanah' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, published by Fourth Estate, €14.99

If you are reading along, get in touch with us and let us know what you thought - email with Book Club in the subject line. 

Tuesday 28th April

Book Club - The Woman Who Stole My Life

Time for our book club and this month we’re looking at an Irish favourite, Marian Keyes and her latest novel, The Woman Who Stole My Life.

In studio were Minister of State Aodhan O’Riordan, Natasha Fennell, Director of Stillwater Communications, Michael Colgan, Artistic Director of The Gate Theatre and broadcaster Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, who have all been reading it over the last month.

Programme Highlights

Culture Night

Culture Night is this Friday with more than 3,000 free events.



Contact the Show

Text: 51551

Presenter: Sean O'Rourke


Ways to Listen

Radio Player