Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Today With Sean O Rourke Friday 25 October 2013

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    Today with Seán O'Rourke

    The mid-morning current affairs magazine with the stories of the day, sharp analysis, sports coverage, in-depth features and consumer interest.

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    Greek Roma

    Its seems authorities in Europe now know a lot more about the young blonde haired girl found in the Roma community in Greece.

    After a Europe wide alert a Bulgarian couple suspected of being the biological parents of the girl known as Maria, been questioned by police.

    Officials said they have DNA samples and were investigating how the child came to end up in Greece.

    The ripples also spread to this country with two Roma children being taken into temporary care by the authorities here – and later handed back to their families.

    On the line from Athens was journalist Maria Kagkelidou and UK based Romany Journalist Jake Bowers.

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    NSA Tapping

    Revelations that the US National Security Agency may have tapped the phones of up to 36 international leaders have put the Wikileaks story back on the top of the international agenda and increased tensions between the EU and its biggest ally.

    James Walston, chair of the Department of International Relations and Global Politics at the American University of Rome joined Sean this morning.

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    Death Row

    Sister Helen Prejean is a Roman Catholic nun who has spent a large part of her life working on Death Row in the United States.

    Her book, Dead Man Walking, won her the Pulitzer Prize and was made into an Oscar-winning film, where she was played by Susan Sarandon. It started a conversation in the US and took her to Rome, where she persuaded John Paul II to oppose capital punishment. 

    She has since ministered to many other inmates on death row and witnessed several more executions.

    She is currently in Galway where she will be the speaker at the ‘Voices of Hope Conference’ in Galway Bay Hotel this evening.

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    Bram Stoker

    Dracula was the bloodsucking creation of Irish author Bram Stoker.  The dark count from Transylvania was pretty catholic in the victims he desired, but his preference was for beautiful women. In Bram Stoker’s novel the women are portrayed as vampires or virgins – at this weekend’s Bram Stoker event one of the discussions is on women in Dracula. Sean was joined in studio by crime writer Jane Casey, author Martina Devlin and Dr. Jarlath Killeen, School of English TCD.

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    UCI Presidency

    Well, whatever Pat McQuaid did and didn’t expect when he heard the result of the UCI Presidential election last month, he probably didn’t expect his successor’s haste in seizing the old President’s laptop.

    But that is precisely what happened. Within minutes of the result, Corporate investigators from the highly-regarded Kroll company were waiting outside the UCI’s headquarters in Aigle and once they were informed of the outcome.

    Sean was joined by cycling journalist Shane Stokes of velonaton.com

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    Food

    Well, you may remember we did what to do with your kids the Hallowe’en at the beginning of the week

    If you’re a traditionalist, or even if you’re not, some of your Hallowe’en games will no doubt involve the good old barn brack and who better to give us a low down than Catherine Fulvio.

    Ballyknocken Barm Brack

    350 ml / 12 ½ fl oz cold water

    540g / 1 lb 2 oz sultanas

    275g / 9 oz sugar

    275g / 9 oz butter

    400g / 14 oz self raising flour

    1 tsp / 5 ml mixed spice

    3 – 4 beaten eggs

     

    Optional: Chopped nuts, glace cherries mixed into cake

     

    22.5cm / 9 inch square cake tin

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C / 300° – 350°F / Gas 4

    Line the cake tin with greased parchment paper

    Wrap trinkets such as coins, rings in parchment paper (as tightly and neatly as possible)

    Put the water, fruit, sugar and butter in a saucepan and bring to boil. 

    Boil for 5 – 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

    Sieve flour and mixed spice into a large bowl.

    When boiled mixture has cooled, pour into the flour and mix well. 

    Add beaten eggs and beat well.  Pour into the prepared cake tin.

    Push the wrapped trinkets into the cake mixture (i.e. below the surface so there is no trace of them when the cake is cooked)

    Bake in a preheated moderate oven for approximately 1 ½ hours. After 30 minutes reduce oven temperature to 160°C / 325°F / Gas 3 for the remainder of the cooking time.  Test with a skewer – if skewer is dry, the cake is ready.)

     

    This cake can easily be made without the trinkets.  If you are putting the trinkets in, don’t forget to forewarn your guests.

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    The Gathering

    This week the media was gripped by the case of two  children  who were taken from the homes of Roma Families and placed in State care.  Now Minister Shatter says reports on cases will be referred to Ombudsman for Children Emily Lowe….

    Meanwhile the pressure is on Minister Reilly since it emerged that the cuts of €660 million announced for health in the budget may actually be increased to €1 billion….

    Alex Ferguson savages former Man United captain Roy Keane in his explosive autobiography....  And Angela Merkel is said to be furious at reports that her personal mobile phone was tapped by the Americans 

    Joining Sean for a look back at the stories of the week were Irish Independent journalist, Lise Hand; Carl O’Brien, Chief Reporter, Irish Times; Mary Regan, Deputy Political Editor, Irish Examiner and David Quinn, Columnist Irish Independent/Irish Catholic.

    If you require a CD copy of this programme please e-mail tapes@rte.ie or click here for RTÉ Archives sales form. Transfer fees and terms and conditions apply.

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