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    Today With Sean O Rourke Tuesday 21 January 2014

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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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    Rural Crime

    If there’s one story that jumps out of the papers today it’s the harrowing case of sixty eight year old Michael McMahon who abandoned his home and cycled 30 miles through the night to check himself into a nursing home in County Clare. This was after he had been terrorised by burglars at his remote home where he lived alone. Yesterday at Ennis Circuit Court, three men pleaded guilty to robbing Mr. McMahon and are due to be sentenced in March. Sean spoke to Carol Byrne of the Clare Champion who was in the court in Ennis yesterday.

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    Rural Isolation

    It's a challenge to field a GAA team, the pubs are empty unless the publican drives his customers home, people are in fear of being attacked in their homes, one village has no public water supply, another has no sewage system and there's one village where there isn't even a couple of child-bearing age. Valerie Cox has been to Co Galway.

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    Pylons

    The controversial €500 million Eirgrid plan to construct a 250 kilometres above-ground network of pylons across rural areas of the country has provoked huge debate around  safety and aesthetic issues – there have been 35.000 submissions to Eirgrid  and today’s Examiner reports that 75% of Coalition TDs living along the proposed route say it would damage the landscape. Tonight’s Seacht La TG4’s current affairs programme has been talking to many of those involved in this issue and Páidí Ó Lionáird joined Sean from the Raidio na Gaelteachta studio in Cassla.

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    NCT

    Last year the operators of the National Car Test tested over a million cars – over half of them were so called “fail refusals”. The top five failure items were: front suspension, tyre condition, brake lines/hoses, brake lights and steering linkage.

    Some dissatisfied motorist claim that the NCT is sometimes too fussy and costly, especially if there is a full re-test, though road safety experts will argue that the stringent test keeps dangerous cars off the road.

    We heard from Paddy O’Gorman who has been talking to customers at an NCT Centre and Sean spoke to Conor Faughnan of AA Ireland

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    Syria

    Photographs and files smuggled out of Syria appear to record the deaths of some 11,000 prisoners of the Assad regime.

    The documents provide the most extensive and detailed evidence yet of massive abuses of human rights in Syria, according to lawyers who have examined them.

    A defector from the Syrian military police smuggled them out of the country on memory sticks.

    More details now from Martin Chulov, the Guardian’s Middle East correspondent.

     

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    Leslie Dowdall and the String Factory

    Leslie Dowdall, one of Ireland's most loved and best known vocalists, has teamed up  with The String Factory - John Nolan and John Hunt - and they are heading out on tour in February.  It is a soulful fusion of blues, contemporary and original music with a folky rootsy mix, in which each member brings their own style and experience to this unique trio.

    They were with us in studio to give us a flavour of what they will be doing

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    21 Day Jump Start: The Fitness Guide

    It’s the time of year when gyms enjoy a surge in membership rates and parks and footpaths are packed with walkers and runners, resolving to shed pounds and lead a healthier lifestyle.

    For all those resolutions made however, most will be broken before January is out...but Pat Divilly has come up with what he calls a ‘jump-start plan’ and he is urging people to try it out for 21 days and see if it sets you on the right road.

    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: Killing The Blues
      Composer: John Prine
      Performer(s): Leslie Dowdall
      Performer(s): Leslie Dowdall
      Duration: 3:30
    • Title: Supersonic Magic Man
      Composer: Leslie Dowdall
      Performer(s): Leslie Dowdall
      Performer(s): Leslie Dowdall
      Duration: 3:30

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