Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Today With Sean O Rourke Thursday 28 November 2013

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    Today with Sean 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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    Brendan Ogle

    Management and union leaders at the ESB are heading into talks this morning in an effort to avert threatened power cuts in the run-up to Christmas.

    Groups representing business, the sick and the elderly have expressed their concern at the costly and potentially life-threatening consequences that may arise from industrial action in the coming weeks.

    Sean spoke to ESB union head, Brendan Ogle.

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    Contemporary Australia

    The exodus of thousands of Irish people to the other side of the world in the past five years has increased our long held interest in life down under. As Australia continues over two decades of prosperity, everything in the antipodean garden seems rosey.

    But my next guest believes there are challenges ahead and what’s more Australia may not be prepared for the rocky waters it faces. As Editor At Large for The Australian newspaper, Paul Kelly has been covering Australian life and politics for decades.  He’s in Ireland on a brief lecture tour and he spoke to Sean.

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    GP's Survey

    Almost one-fifth of GP trainees and establishing GPs will be lost to Irish medicine according to a new survey by the National Association of General Practitioners of their attitudes towards their career in general practice.

    Sean spoke to Dr Aifric Boylan of the NAGP’s Executive Council, who conducted the survey.

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    Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection

    As the unemployment figures fall for the fifth quarter in succession to a number not seen since 2009, you would think that the person sitting across from me should be on the crest of a wave. But with criticisms of the social welfare budget coming from all quarters and with the Labour party at a 25 year low in the opinion polls, it’s a challenging time for the Minister for Social Protection.

    Sean spoke to Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection.

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    Hunger Strike,Margaret Thatcher's Battle with the IRA, 1980 - 1981

    When Margaret Thatcher died in April of this year, Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin, offered a withering assessment of her, arguing that she would be ‘especially remembered for her shameful role during the epic hunger strikes of 1980 and 81’ and suggested that ‘her Irish policy failed miserably’. The hunger strikes of 1980, and more significantly of 1981, created ten martyrs for the Irish Republican pantheon. While Thatcher has been demonised for her role in these deaths since 1981, more recently questions have surfaced about the role of the republican leadership. Now, with the release of recently declassified documents, Professor Thomas Hennessey forensically examines the origins and evolution of the prisons dispute, leading up to the first hunger strike of 1980, and setting the scene for the final confrontation with the British government in 1981, and addresses the controversial issue of whether there was a deal on the table in July 1981 that could have saved the lives of six men, in his new book, Hunger Strike: Margaret Thatcher’s Battle with the IRA. Sean spoke to Thomas Hennessey.

     

    Hunger Strike: Margaret Thatcher’s Battle with the IRA, 1980 – 1981 by Thomas Hennessey. Published by Irish Academic Press.

    Price: €20. 50 in paperback.

     

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    Dublin Gospel Choir

    The Dublin Gospel choir performed Happy Days and Brid Ain't No Mountain Higher.

    The Dublin Gospel Choir will be performing at Harbour Plaza, Dun Laoghaire for the launch of their Christmas Festival this Saturday.

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    Missing Update

    As you’ll have heard in the news bulletins the urgent alert issued by Gardai yesterday in relation to a woman and her three children who had been missing from Roscommon since yesterday has been cancelled.

    Sean spoke to crime correspondent Paul Reynolds.  

    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.

    Music Played on the Show

    • Title: Oh Happy Day
      Composer: Trad Arr
      Performer(s): Dublin Gospel Choir
      Performer(s): Dublin Gospel Choir
      Duration: 3:40
    • Title: Aint No Mountain High Enough
      Composer: Nicholas Ashford And Valerie Simpson
      Performer(s): Dublin Gospel Choir
      Performer(s): Dublin Gospel Choir
      Duration: 3:30

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