Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    The Price of Power – Inside Ireland’s Crisis Coalition

    by Pat Leahy (Penguin Ireland)

    It was a Government that hit the ground running, literally with the new Taoiseach bounding into work walking. But what he and his coalition partners found in the State’s coffers made grim accounting....they had inherited a country poised on the cliff edge of ruin.

    So with no other options available the new government was forced to follow the economic blueprint left by their predecessors and answer to their new economic masters the TROIKA.

    Now that the first half of the Government’s term has come to an end deputy and political editor of The Sunday Business Post, Pat Leahy has set out to tell the story as seen from the inside in his latest book The Price of Power – Inside Ireland’s Crisis Coalition.


    Pope Francis: Untying the Knots

    By Paul Vallely (Bloomsbury)

    When Jorge Mario Borgoglio took to the Vatican Balcony as Pope Francis, he had already become a Pope of firsts. He not only became the first Pope to have a living predecessor and the first Pope to come from outside Europe, but he was also to be the first Jesuit Pope. Since then the Pope’s modesty and approachability have become a trademark. However, according to my next guest, Borgoglio was once a very divisive figure, an authoritarian who underwent a remarkable transformation – a transformation which harked back to the Argentinian Dirty War of the 1970s.

    Author of Pope Francis: Untying the Knots, Paul Vallely spoke to Sean this morning.


    The Billionaire Who Wasn’t – How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune

    by Conor O’Clery (Public Affairs)

    Chuck Feeney is a well known Irish-American billionaire and philanthropist who made his fortune from duty free shops in the Far East, and has donated more than €6 billion through the his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, since it was founded in 1982. Of this figure more than €1.5 billion was donated to Irish educational and social causes.

    Famously parsimonious with himself, he flies economy, wears a $15 watch and doesn’t own a home, his vision has always been ‘giving while living’. However reports over the last few years began to emerge that all was not well within the foundation with disputes between the board and its benefactor, owing to the direction of the foundation, ‘almost killing’ Feeney Conor O’Clery has met with Chuck Feeney many times and wrote a book published in 2007 The Billionaire who Wasn’t – How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune. He has now updated his book to include recent events. He joins me in studio to discuss this and more.


    The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge

    By Faisal Islam (Head of Zeus)

    While our own mortgage crisis shows no sign of abating, according to my next guest, Britain's housing market is still dangerously dysfunctional...

    In his new book, The Default Line, he traces the origins of the British housing bubble and argues that an entire generation are paying absurd prices for a basic human need - and it doesn't have to be this way.

    With a commentary that says as much about the property bubble here in Ireland as it does about the United Kingdom, Channel 4’s Economics Editor Faisal Islam joined Sean from London.



    by Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury)

    Margaret Atwood needs little introduction as the author of over 30 books including the provocative bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin which won her The Booker Prize in 2000. She is best known for setting her stories in dystopic universes in which the Earth has been ravaged, generally by humans who have pushed the planet to the brink of destruction and beyond.

    She joins us today to discuss her latest novel, MaddAddam, which is the final book of the trilogy first published in 2003 with Oryx and Crake and followed by The Year of the Flood. Set in a world that's been devastated by a pandemic leaving the survivors to fight it out, will they find a way to coexist, or will they self-destruct?

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