Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Friday 29th August

    Gathering

    For a look back at these and other stories, Sean was joined in studio now by Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire; Michael Clifford, Columnist with The Irish Examiner; Mary Minihan of The Irish Time political staff and Tony Foley, Senior Lecturer in Economics at DCU’s Business School.

    Seamus Heaney Remembered

    One year ago this week, Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney passed away. Frequently referred to as Ireland’s finest poet since Yeats, this literary genius who hailed from a small farm in Co Derry remained grounded despite his global fame. Sean was joined by poet Theo Dorgan and broadcaster Philip King.

    Rural Schools

    As thousands of pupils return to school this week, some schools will be missing a teacher. In Caherdane National School in the Parish of Allihies in West Cork, a dip in their numbers has meant a drop from three teachers to just two. So how will this affect them? Valerie Cox has been to the Beara Penninsula to meet teachers and parents and Sean spoke with Sheila Nunan, INTO General Secretary.

    Stress Management

    Stress is a factor in all our lives, but if it isn’t managed, it can take control, and result in serious implications for both our physical and mental health.Sean was joined by Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Abbie Lane. And to tell us about the techniques they use for relaxation, comedienne, Sue Collins, of The Nualas and Trevor Sargent, former leader of the Green Party.

    National Children's Hospital

    The new children’s hospital, to be located at the St James’s Hospital campus has come opposition over, among other things, its size and location. Sean was joined by Tom Costello, Chairman of the Development Board for the new Children’s Hospital and by Jonathan Irwin of the Jack and Jill Foundation.

    Ukraine

    The conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed nearly 2,600 people since mid-April, the United Nations has said. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has accused Russia of being responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine. Sean spoke with Daniel Baer, OSCE Ambassador in Vienna.

    Thursday 28th August

    Healthy Lunch Box

    A ham sandwich every day for the school year can be a dispiriting experience but how can you provide a lunch box for your children which ticks all the healthy eating boxes but – crucially - will also be eaten? The winner of TV3’s The Great Irish Bake-off is Tracey Coyne and joined Sean with some healthy ideas which go down well with kids.

    Book Club

    Time now for our second book club meeting and the book we’ve been reading this month is The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, the pen name of JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. Joining Sean in studio were Natasha Fennell, Director of Stillwater Communications; Dr Eibhear Walshe, Senior Lecturer in the School of English at UCC; author Jennie Ridyard; and Ger Colleran, columnist for the Irish Star.

    Bluegrass Music

    Sean was joined by the men of Love Cannon who played Boys of Summer & Axle F. Sean also spoke to organiser of Ulster Bluegrass Festival Richard Hurst.

    Heart Health

    To health matters now, and we’re going to take a look at the engine of our bodies – the organ that does all the work in powering our blood supply day and night. Sean was joined by Eoin O’Brien, Professor of Pharmacology at the Conway Institute at UCD.

    Ghost Estates

    Valerie Cox went back to a housing estate she had visited a few years back, and spoke to one family there.

    Golan Heights

    Irish troops serving with the UN in the Golan Heights are on high alert after rebels, including Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, seized the Syrian side of the sole crossing to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights today.

    Wednesday 27th August

    Starting Secondary School

    For many of you, your child finished primary school two months ago and either this week or next, secondary school awaits. The closeted, comforted world with one single class and one teacher is over and a whole new world of timetables, exams, teenagers, teachers and the opposite sex opens up. Sean was joined by Dr John Sharry, Irish Times Parenting Columnist, and founder of the Parents Plus Charity and by columnist Fiona Looney.

    Testicluar Cancer

    Conor Drum is a man who has funny things to say about a lot of things including his own experience of testicular cancer. He joined Sean from London, and former Mayo Footballer Ronan McGarrity spoke to Sean about his tough time with cancer.

    Borris Standing For Election

    Two of the biggest beasts in British politics roared their way into next year’s general election campaign yesterday. London Mayor Boris Johnson announced he’s applying to be the conservative candidate in a safe Tory seat in West London. Quentin Peel, formerly of the Financial Times in Germany and now with Chatham House in London spoke to Sean.

    Marital Longevity

    What makes a long and happy marriage what are the secrets? Sean was joined by Anne Matthews, relationships counsellor with Mind and Body Works, and author Maria Duffy. Brian O’Connell met with Marie, aged 90, and Michael McNamara, aged 102, from Cork have been together for more than 42 years.

    Century Ireland

    Our Century Ireland time machine now and travel back to the Raidio Eireann newsroom for the news read by Anne Doyle there with the news from August 1914. Sean was joined now by Mark Duncan of the Century Ireland project and by historian Conor Mulvagh from UCD.

    IRA Ceasefire 20 Years On

    It’s 20 years since the IRA ceasefire. It was a day which changed Ireland forever. Talk of peace was in the air, a sense of a future without fighting because a possibility. Charlie Bird was reporting for RTE on the day and he joined Sean this morning.

    Gaza Ceasefire

    Palestinians in Gaza celebrated a ceasefire with Israel last night after fifty days of conflict that left more than 2,200 people dead and more 10,000 injured. Sean was joined by Luke Baker of Reuters and Alun McDonald of Oxfam on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

    Tuesday 26th August

    Semi Final Replay Venue

    All roads lead to Limerick this Saturday for the Mayo & Kerry game in the semi finals but will there be gridlock, John O'Mahony & Sean Lally discuss the issue.

    Book Selections

    Edel Coffey & Berk Wright discuss the latest books on the market.

    Fair Deal Scheme

    The Nursing Home support scheme commonly known as the Fair Deal scheme was introduced in 2009 to help those struggling with crippling nursing home fees. We spoke to Consumer Journalist Sinead Ryan about how fair the deal is?

    First Aid

    First Aid, and the ability to give it can be the difference between life and death. Sean spoke to Sandra Cregan First Aid instructor and qualified emergency medical technician with the Irish Red Cross, Muscician Padraig Cooney and GP in Balbriggan in Dr Conor McGrane.

    Theft On Irish Farms

    Farms across the country are being hit by thieves at what appears to be an increasing rate, with livestock and expensive equipment being lifted from fields and yards across the country. Pat O'Toole of The Irish Farmers' Journal, Tillage farmer Robert O'Shea and Dairy Farmer David Hall spoke to Sean this morning.

    Possible Tax Changes in October Budget

    Speculations that cuts in Universal Social Charge or tax changes may be on the cards as part of the Governments’ October budget. Brian Keegan, Director of taxation with Chartered Accountants Ireland and Political Editor of The Irish Independent Fionnan Sheehan joined Sean in studio to discuss the matter further.

    Monday 25th August

    State Funeral of Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds

    Valerie Cox spoke to Sean ahead of the State Funeral of Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

    Sport Round Up

    Sean was joined by Orla Bannon, David Brady & Darragh O'Se for a round up of the weekends sport.

    Brain Injury Victim

    Last April we spoke to Mary Walsh, mother of Sara Walsh who following a bleed on her brain during a biopsy for a tumour, Sara was moved from the National Rehabilitation Hospital earlier this month to the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook.

    Solace In A Secular World

    In the absence of religion, to whom do people turn to seek comfort when times are tough. Sean was joined by Pat Storey, Church of Ireland Bishop. Michael Nugent, Chairperson of Atheist Ireland and Parish Priest of Sixmilebridge in County Clare Fr Harry Bohan.

    GP Visits

    Reporter Brian O'Connell spent some time in a GP surgery last week in Limerick. Where people are experiencing increasing delays for essential treatments.

    Irish Rail Strike Disruptions

    Tens of thousands of rail passengers are facing disruption to services today as the strike at Iarnród Éireann enters its second day. Colmán Ó Raghallaigh from West On Track and John O'Sullivan of Dublin Coach spoke to Sean about the dispute.

    Friday 22nd August

    The Gathering

    To take a look back at this weeks stories, Sean was joined by Aodhán O’Riordain, Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality and Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht with special responsibility for Equality, New Communities and Culture; Brenda Power, columnist with The Irish Daily Mail and The Sunday Times; Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History in UCD; and Cora Sherlock, solicitor and Deputy Chairperson of the Pro-Life Campaign.

    Kids and Anxieties

    Anxiety disorders, as they’re called, affect many children. So, how do parents know when a child’s anxiety or fear is just a passing phase or something more serious. And how best to approach the issue. Róisín O’Hara has been looking into this area.

    Fives and Twenty Fives

    Having served for eight years as a US marine and been deployed twice to Iraq in 2006 and 2007, what happens when the war ends and normal life is supposed to resume at home? Can you leave the atrocities you may have witnessed or even caused on the battlefield? Former US Marine Captain Michael Pitre joins us to discuss his new novel Fives and Twenty Fives.

    Public Out Cries

    The public outcry over the cancellation of the Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park resulted in more than 1,000 emails to the Taoiseach, a delay in the announcement of the cabinet reshuffle and a gathering of an Oireachtas Committee.

    Limerick Water

    Hundreds of residents on Limerick’s north side were told in recent weeks that they may not be able to drink their tap water for up to a year. Brian O’Connell was in Limerick yesterday reporting on this issue.

    Ebola in Donegal

    It is suspected that Ireland has its first case of Ebola. Dessie Quinn from Mountcharles in Co Donegal was found dead after returning from working in Sierra Leone. Initially it was thought he had died from malaria but now his body is being tested for Ebola. Joining Sean was the local priest Fr Adrian Gavigan and Professor Sam McConkey who is head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons.

    Thursday 21st August

    Tribute to Albert Reynolds Part 2

    Today we learn the sad news of the pass of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds after a long illness in the second hour we hear clips for Alberts time in office and Sean is joined by Noel Dempsey Sam Smith Tom Savage and more to pay tribute to Albert Reynolds

    Tribute to Albert Reynolds Part One

    Today we learn the sad news of the pass of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds after a long illness Sean is joined by former President Mary Mc Aleese, Brian Cowen, Sir John Major and many more to pay tribute to Albert

    Wednesday 20th August

    CAO

    To assist all aspiring third level students Sean was joined again this morning by Brian Mooney guidance counsellor and Irish Times educational columnist.

    Vasectomy

    In June Bill Linnane decided to have the snip, having sired 4 children and he joins me now from our Cork studio. I’m also joined by relationship counsellor, Mary O’Connor and by Dr Andrew Rynne a physician who has performed over 30,000 vasectomies But first our reporter Brian O’Connell spoke to men in Cork about their thoughts on getting the snip.

    Student Accommodation

    Two weeks ago Jackie Fox spoke to us about the pressure students are under while trying to find accommodation. Jackie joined Sean again this morning with an update. We also spoke to Matt Doran, Administrative Officer at Student Services in NUI Galway

    Ferguson

    Crowds of protestors have been out again on the streets of Ferguson Missouri, where local people have confronted riot police ten days after the shooting dead of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. There are fears that the situation could boil over again with the shooting of another man yesterday by police. Sean spoke to Matt Sczesny of News 4 TV

    Autism

    Tomorrow, a new online support and advocacy service - AsIAm.ie - will be launched to help people with autism deal with the major challenges they face at school. Sean was joined by the founder of that website, Adam Harris; Sally Maguire, a resource teacher and past president of the ASTI and Carrie Burton, a mother of three children with autism-related difficulties.

    Foreign Affairs

    The news this summer has been driven by stories of air strikes and rocket launches as the conflict between Palestine and Israel and events in Ukraine have dominated headlines. In the midst of all of that, Charlie Flanagan was handed the brief for Foreign Affairs. He spoke to Sean this morning.

    Journalist Beheading

    Two years ago, James Foley, an American journalist was kidnapped in Northwest Syria – he has not been seen since. Until yesterday when a video was posted on line which showed Foley being beheaded. His mother, it is reported, has accepted his death. Joining Sean was Terence McCoy from the Washington Post.

    Tuesday 19th August

    The General

    Former Detective Garda and columnist with the Hearld Gerry O Carroll on 20 years since the murder of Martin Cahill also known as the General

    Future of Local Papers

    Eugene McGee Former Editor, The Longford Leader, Frank Mulrennan CEO, The Celtic Media Group and Regina Hennelly join Sean to discuss the future for Local Papers

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