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Aftershock - Ireland After the Crash

Monday, 10 May 2010

Aftershock is a week of programmes on RTÉ which focus on Ireland after the crash - how people are coping, what lessons we need to learn and how we might get from here to recovery.

Across the week, it will reflect the after-effects of the boom and bust: from the reality of unemployment and life in so-called "ghost towns" to positive stories of businesses and families who are thriving in spite of the recession. Other programmes will look at the bigger picture and present challenging ideas as to how we as a nation can move on from the shock of economic collapse.

John Murray - Broadcaster

John Murray is an award winning journalist who presents Morning Ireland daily and The Business on Saturdays on RTÉ Radio One.

Tonight's episode, Aftershock: The Business features our guest, John Murray, presenter of The Business on RTÉ Radio One, as he embarks on the NAMA tour in London to see if the Irish taxpayer is in danger of inheriting some toxic UK assets; tracks down Irish entrepreneurs trying to strike gold in the run-up to the Olympics, and gets an assessment of the post-Tiger era from two of the country's most successful exports.

What are the programmes about?

The programmes are a look at Ireland after its society has been battered by eighteen months of economic turmoil which will hopefully kick-start a debate on how we might secure the future.

A series of documentaries specially-commissioned for the Aftershock season begins with Ghost Land, an observational documentary filmed in unfinished estates throughout Ireland which illustrates the reality of life for thousands of Irish home-owners in the aftermath of our building boom. In Aftershock: Where to Now?, four of Ireland's leading commentators will outline a range of radical ideas that they believe are fundamental to Ireland's reform. A special Aftershock edition of The Frontline straight afterwards will see their ideas put to the test by a live studio audience.

Life After Dell went into production when the first layoffs at Dell's Limerick plant were announced in January 2009. This observational documentary charts the journeys of four people through their first year after redundancy and will reflect the experiences of many all over the country. Prime Time has commissioned a special report which focuses on how Ireland compares with other nations also struggling to find a way through the crisis, while Capital D and Nationwide will each present special editions which focus on the business and organisations that are thriving in spite of the bust.

The week ends on a note of cautious optimism with Rising After Redundancy. Since last summer, RTÉ has been following six newly-unemployed people as they work with a career coach who specialises in helping unemployed people return to the workplace. Rising After Redundancy is a 6-part television series which charts their seven-month journey from despair and uncertainty to new direction and renewed hope.

What's your episode about?

The episode is basically a TV version of the radio show. Every week on the radio show we visit a different place and analyse it economically. In this episode John visits London and looks at the affect NAMA is having on Irish investment over there. Over 20% of loans heading for NAMA are from UK property investments. Battersea Power Station is one such place that John visits.

Also in London, John visits Richard Corrigan in his Mayfair restaurant, Corrigan's, and finds out how he's survived in London as an Irish entrepreneur. John says green shoots are already showing and growing in London's economy which he says will always remain relatively stable as it is one of the powerhouses of the financial world. Big cities represent smaller risks for investors and entrepreneurs, so even properties that are being drawn into NAMA now, can be guaranteed to have their loans paid off sooner.

Conclusions from this episode?

The aim of the episode was to track the Irish economy's effect in London and if our investment there is sounder than it would have been back home. The answer is yes. Of course times are tough, but what always carries Irish entrepreneurs through is our ability and skill to strike up good deals and lasting business relationships.