Friday 21st July

The Friday Gathering

We look back at all the big news stories of the week with our panel. On our panel this week was Fine Gael Minister of State with responsibility for housing, JP Phelan, Columnist with The Times, Ireland Edition, Lise Hand, Marie Sherlock SIPTU Economist, and Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Kilkenny, John McGuinness were all in studio.

Extreme Sports

Our shores are becoming increasingly more popular with thrill seekers on the hunt for the perfect adrenalin rush and there is no shortage of options available to us when it comes to extreme sports on offer. Heather Snelgar, Online Editor with Outsider Magazine, and Rachel Nolan ultra-distance endurance racer joined Sean.

OJ Simpson Released From Prison

OJ Simposon is to be freed from a Nevada prison after serving nine years of a 35 year sentence for armed robbery and assault with a weapon in 2007. With an update on this case, and the latest on Jeff Sessions and all of the rumblings in Washington , US Correspondent Marion McKeon joined Sean O'Rourke.

1977 Election

40 years ago this summer, in 1977, a Fine Gael-Labour coalition was seeking re election, arguing that it had steered the country safely through an economic storm cause by an oil crisis and recession. Irish historian, Diarmuid Ferriter and former editor of the Irish Times Geraldine Kennedy, joined Sean O'Rourke in studio.

Leg Amputation Trauma

Peter Stapleton suffered enormous distress during a leg amputation which was carried out under local anesthetic. He had to suffer through the trauma of hearing the saw cut through the bone during the procedure. His daughter Lynda joined the Sean O'Rourke on the line to tell the programme what happened to her father.

Disclosures Tribunal Recap

It was very busy week for the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle as Justice Peter Charleton heard from a number of high profile individuals. The tribunal is examining allegations of a senior Garda smear campaign against whistleblower Sergeant McCabe. Michael Clifford Special Correspondent with The Irish Examiner, joined us.

Crash in Co Louth

Three women have died in a three car collision in near Ardee in Co Louth in the early hours of the morning. Sinn Féin Councillor Colm Carthy joined Sean O'Rourke on the line to discuss this tragic case.

Thursday 20th July

Festival of Curiousity Walking Tour

Marie Louise O'Donnell has been fesitival of curiousity walking tour. She chose to go on the sleepy city tourtours and came into studio to tell Sean O'Rourke all about it.

Water Charge Refunds

Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen spoke to the programme to outline his concerns surrounding the Taoiseach's plan to issue refunds to those who paid water charges.

Fionn Davenport on Lisbon

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is bursting with culture and great places to eat, stay and visit, and apparently it's the cheapest city break destination in Western Europe.  Our travel expert Fionn Davenport has been there and joined Sean O'Rourke in studio to tell him all about what LIsbon has to offer.

Children Starving In Kenya

The risk of famine in Africa has prompted the Catholic Church agency Trocaire, to persuade the Catholic bishops to allow for the national collection next Sunday to be taken up at the weekend for African countries, such as Kenya and Somalia in particular. Paul Healy, Kenya and Somalia Director with Trocaire spoke to Sean O'Rourke this morning.

Cyber Bullying

Fine Gael Senator Gabrielle McFadden is supporting an anti bullying campaign called ‘I am a friend’, she knows from personal experience what it is like to be on the receiving end of online abuse and Senator McFadden joined the programme this morning.

Spanish Student Rape

Gardaí are preparing to bring a case to the Director of Public Prosecutions following the alleged rape of a Spanish student at the weekend.  Investigations Editor with The Sunday World Nicola Tallant spoke to Sean O'Rourke and gave the programme an update on this case.

Moving to Ireland Post Brexit

Bill Emmott, Former Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, from 1993 to 2006, and author of a new book, The Fate of The West joined Sean O'Rourke in studio this morning to discuss how the West is faring, he spoke about the problems for governments in dealing with Brexit, and whether the banks have recovered following the crisis almost a decade ago.

Giving Up Plastic

Plastic has made it into every facet of our lives it’s in the radio, laptop or smartphone beside you and even the teabag in your cup. Now, US scientists have calculated the total amount of plastic ever made, at 8.3 billion tonnes Nicola Davis, Science journalist for the Guardian and Observer spoke to Sean O'Rourke.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Failure of the health service, out of control waiting lists exodus of highly trained doctors. The Irish Hospital Consultants Association has set out a criticism of the health service. Dr Tom Ryan, President of the Association, and Intensive Care Consultant in St James’s Hospital Dublin spoke to Sean O'Rourke

Garda Commissioner's 5 Week Holiday

As the Commissioner is about to embark on a five week break, the controversy continues, with the timing of her holiday being described as incredible by some politicians. Fianna Fáil's Marc McSharrywho is a member of the PAC. He joined Sean O'Rourke this morning alongside retired Detective Chief Superintendent John O'Brien to discuss this topic.

Wednesday 19th July

Parc Uí Chaoimh

The first game in the renovated Pairc Uí Chaoimh takes place tonight, ahead of the All Ireland hurling quarter finals next Saturday & Sunday at the venue. Our reporter Brian O’Connell joined us now from the venue. He was there for us in January Brian when the grass was barely on the pitch.

50 Things that made the Modern Economy

What do leaded petrol, barbed wire, tax havens, concrete and the iPhone have in common? Well they all feature in a new book – 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy – by Tim Harford, a Columnist with the Financial Times, BBC Broadcaster, who is also known as The Undercover Economist and he spoke to Sean O'Rourke about his new book.

BBC Salaries

The BBC has released salary figures for its top earning broadcasters. Roy Greenslade, Professor of Journalism at the University of London and media commentator with the Guardian brought Sean O'Rourke an update and told him who topped the list.

Molly Martens Case

Ralph Riegel of Independent News and Media spoke to Sean O'Rourke from Lexiungton North Carolina,  to give an update on the trial of Molly Martens and her father Thomas Martens who are charged with second degree murder of Molly Martens husband Jason Corbett.

Private V Public Health Debate on the Sláinte Care Report

Last May the Committee for the future of health published the Sláinte care report which outlined the direction health services should take in this country. But the report did not include the private hospitals, and what they can offer in terms of service.

Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee's report was published yesterday into the Garda college in Templemore. The PAC said 'it was unacceptable that the C and AG was not informed about financial issues there until 10 months after the Garda Commissioner knew about them'.

Second Runway

Michael O'Leary spoke to the programme to call for an end to the delay in the development of a second runway at Dublin Airport. He also spoke about the challenges and the impact of Brexit and he addressed some of the controversy surrounding Ryanair's free seating policy.

Tuesday 18th July

Malak Thawley

Alan Thawley is due to have his first meeting with the Minister for Health Simon Harris today, to press his case for an independent review into the death of his wife Malak at Holles Street hospital in May last year. Fergal Bowers gave us Sean O'Rourke the background to this meeting and brought the programme an update.

Drugs Seizure

RTÉ Crime Correspondent, Paul Reynolds joined Sean O'Rourke on the line with an update on a significant Garda arrest and seizure of illicit drugs in Ballyfermot Parade in Dublin.

Silent Sidelines

We have all seen it or perhaps even engaged it in ourselves pacing the pitch sidelines be it football, hurling, soccer or rugby matches yelling at the referee or indeed even the players. Marcus Christenson Football Editor of the Guardian newspaper joined the programme to discuss this.

Katie O'Donoghue

Former Miss Cork and model Katie O'Donoghue was on the line and she told Sean O'Rourke how she was hit in the head with a glass bottle at Longitude at the weekend. She received nine stitches in her forehead and she told Sean how she has had to put her career on hold until she recovers.


Dan O’Brien, Chief Economist with the Institute of International and European Affairs and Dr Mary Murphy, Lecturer in Irish Politics and Society at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth joined Sean O'Rourke to delve into the merits or otherwise of Kevin 'Boxer' Moran's Bill, and how the problem of repossessions should be tackled.

Brexit And Ireland

Brexit negotiators from the UK and the EU will be back around the table in Brussels today, with the focus turning to IRELAND. David Davis, the UK’s Brexit Secretary, said yesterday that the aim is to identify the differences, and deal with them and to identify the similarities and reinforce them.

TUSLA Response

We heard Ombudsman Peter Tyndall on the findings of an investigation carried out by his office into the complaints procedures at the Child and Family Agency TUSLA. The investigation, which looked at cases involving historical abuse allegations, uncovered systemic failings. Fred McBride Chief Executive of TUSLA joined Sean O'Rourke.

Prisoners Abroad

Ireland is a signatory to the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Act. This European law later transposed into Irish law, allows for foreign prisoners to be returned to their own countries. But no prisoner transfers have taken place since July of last year.

Fall of Mosul

After a nine month battle, Iraqi forces have retaken the city of Mosul. Mosul was the defacto capital for them so what lies ahead? Shashank Joshi, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI and Aonghus Lambkin, Irish Aid rapid response corps joined Sean O'Rourke.

Ombudsman report into TUSLA

Back in 2014, the ombudsman expressed concerns about how some cases were being handled by The Child and Family Agency, TUSLA. The investigation uncovered some failings including lengthy delays in the processing of cases and the failure to keep adequate records. Ombudsman Peter Tyndall joined Sean O'Rourke on the programme.

Monday 17th July

Weekend Sport

Three big finals dominated the weekend Ulster football, Leinster Football and the Wimbledon tennis and not an upset in any of them Damian Lawlor, Presenter of RTE's GAA Podcast and Orla Bannon, Broadcaster and Sports Journalist to discuss all of the weekend in sport.

Game of Thrones Tour

Filmed in Northern Ireland, the US TV series Game of Thrones has earned critical acclaim, for its stunning visuals. The 7th season began last night on HBO. Abie Philbin Bowman has watched the series and this weekend visited a Game of Thrones Tourist attraction, in Co Down, where many of the show’s key scenes were filmed.

Anti Depressants and Mental Health

1 in 10 people in Ireland experience depression at any one time, and many people are using antidepressants to help. Prof. Jim Lucey, Psychiatrist and Medical Director of St Patrick's Mental Health services came into studio to discuss the issue with Sean O'Rourke.

Water Refunds

An Oireachtas Committee decided to scrap water charges and to allow for refunds. Nearly 1 million customers of Irish Water had paid up, before the ending of the charges. The figure now being put on the costs of refunds is €170 million with the department of the Taoiseach saying it is his intention to refund customers by the end of this year.

Drink Driving Legislation

A new bill on stricter drink driving measures is expected to be brought before the Dail, having gone through Cabinet. The bill has been controversial with several TDs expressing their opposition to it, and uncertainty over whether or not a free vote will be permitted. Our reporter Brian O’Connell spent yesterday in a rural bar hearing what publicans and locals think of the measures and he joins us now.

Pension Tax Breaks

We hear about a pensions time bomb, we hear about working beyond the age of seventy, but how radical do we have to be to get a grip on this pensions problem? Professor Micheal Collins, assistant professor of social policy at UCD and Cormac Lucey, Financial Analyst and Columnist with the Sunday Times debated the issues.

Pensions Time Bomb

A pensions ‘timebomb’ – that is the stark warning that recently appointed Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty was given by her officials when she took over her department. The pensions bill is costing the State an additional  €1 billion every five years due to our ageing population.

Decriminalisation of Drugs

The possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use could be decriminalised under proposals announced by the government today. As part of the plan, a working group will be established which will look at alternatives to criminal convictions, with the focus on a more health-led approach to tackling drug use. Tony Geoghegan, Chief Executive of Merchants Quay Ireland and so will Grace Hill, Taskforce Coordinator of Tallaght  Drug and Alcohol Taskforce joined Sean O'Rourke to discuss the issue.

Friday 14th July

The Friday Gathering

Patrick O'Donovan, Minister of State Department Finance and Public Expenditure, Eoin O'Broin, Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, Michael O'Regan, Parliamentary Correspondent Iish Times, Sinead O'Carroll, News Editor TheJournal.ie


Indy Power, Food Blogger and Author

Bastille Day & Donald Trump in Paris

Hugh Schofield, BBC Correspondent in Paris


Mary Fitzgerald, Journalist

Unemployment Rate

Brian O'Connell, Reporter, Dermot Carey, Construction Industry Federation

Disclosures Tribunal

Mick Clifford, Special Correspondent Irish Examiner

Retiring at 70

Charlie Weston, Personal Finance Editor Irish Independent, paul Bell, SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Willie O'Dea, F.f. Spokesperson on Social Protection

Thursday 13th July

Irish Food Industry & Brexit

Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive Bord Bia

The Sunday Pizza Club

Evelyn O'Rourke

The Political Establishment

Dr. Rory Costello, University of Limerick

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Presenter: Sean O'Rourke


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