Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane

Saturday, Sunday, 11 - 1pm

Marian Finucane Saturday 30 December 2017

Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane

Live stimulating mix of news, interviews, reports and discussion.

Enda Brady

Enda Brady

Sky News reporter Enda Brady joins Marian in studio.

Family Friendly Activities - Claire Ronan

Marian is joined in studio by Claire Ronan who has been looking at cost effective and mainly free ways to spend time with your children that you can all enjoy.


Beaches are great for young kids because they are flat and generally no cars about.

  • BUT don’t forget if you have a buggy that they can be a bit of a nuisance.  Even if there is hard sand to push the buggy on down near the sea you still might have to carry them over soft sand like a sherpa so factor that in.
  • INCH BEACH, Co Kerry – great access to parking and beach is 6.5km long.  Sand dunes for young kids to run through as well.  Obviously you don’t have to do the whole walk if it’s too much.
  • ROSSNOWLAGH BEACH, Co Donegal – 2km with hard sand when the tide is out so can accommodate a buggy.
  • DOUGHMORE BEACH, Co Clare -  Surfers paradise near Doonbeg with a sandy beach that stretches for miles.
  • Rosses point Beach in County Sligo has three beaches all safe and great for throwing a ball or just exploring the sand dunes and of course the sea air is great for helping little ones sleep.
  • Not a beach but equally easy for the younger members of the family and particularly if you’re giving a bike that Santa brought a run out you might consider the WATERFORD GREENWAY 46km from Dungarvin to Waterford city and the older MAYO GREENWAY between Westport and Achill.
  • Some great Cycling routes for the whole family especially if Santa has brought a bike for Christmas
  • Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Co Roscommon

Lough Key forest Park is great for kids they do have an adventure play kingdom there but if you have a bike there are 8km of trails to enjoy all flat surfaces so great for a fun family afternoon.

  • Phoenix park Dublin
  • If you’re cycling with the family go in an anti-clock wise direction from the entrance and the hills will all be in your favour
  • Doorly park in Sligo have an easy 5km cycle route and on the way there is fantastic play ground with an outdoor gym if you really want to burn off that Christmas pudding


  •  PHOENIX PARK, Dublin – Perfect for all the family and plenty to look at.  Spot your own deer.  Look at Aras an Uachtarain, People’s Gardens, Magazine Fort, Dublin Zoo etc
  • PORTUMNA FORST PARK LOOP WALK, Co Galway -   Paths are wide and flat and in places have a timber boardwalk.  It’s about 1.5km so short and easy with good buggy access.  You can stop at the wooden viewing deck overlooking the shores of Lough Derg.
  • JENKINSTOWN WOODS, Co Kilkenny - Public toilets here.  The walled garden loop is approximately 3km with good signposted walkways.
  • DUN NA RI FOREST PARK, Co Cavan - This is in Kingscourt, Co Cavan with four walks to choose from with different highlights and each is 1.5 – 2km with well maintained tracks suitable for all ages.


  •  BRAY TO GREYSTONES COASTAL WALK, Co Wicklow – Not buggy friendly with steps and roughish terrain to negotiate.  7km start from Bray bandstand and you can spot the seals and birds along the cliffs.
  • BIANCONI LOOP, Co Tipperary -  It’s 4km  and the terrain is generally easy enough but there are wooden steps you need to go down to get to the trail.
  • MARCONI LOOP, Co Galway – Begins and ends at the Marconi Station beside the R341 in Clifden, Connemara.  It’s 5km and the track is marked with purple arrows and is over bog so better for slightly older kids and teens.

Knocknarea Queen Maeves Trail  Co. Sligo – This would be for older kids as well it’s just under 2.5 km but it is uphill and quite strenuous but when you get to the top it is so worth it the view is incredible and you can see where Queen Maeve is buried.


And keeping with the theme of keeping things free the National Gallery has something for the whole family to enjoy tomorrow (SUNDAY 31st DECEMBER) morning.  You can join them for the CHRISTMAS FAMILY ART WORKSHOP which is a drop-in workshop session with artist Sarah Ward which is suitable for all the family.  Children aged 4 – 10 years.  It’s free admission.

  • From Monday 1st – 31st January 2018 – GOOD MORNING MISTER TURNER – as per tradition the Gallery starts the New Year with the annual exhibition of Turner watercolours.  This year the Turner exhibition features new work by master printmaker, Niall Naessens.  All welcome.  Free admission.


  •  They have a great website which makes this very easy for parents to check out.  If you look up and then click on the What’s On link on the left hand side of the webpage you get a handy chart with all four museums with the time and date of different events coming up.
  • Most if not all of the events are free.  Most don’t need booking but you do need to check that before turning up. They give you important information about what age range of children the events are suitable for. 
  • So for example the whole family can enjoy an activity trail around the Natural History Museum from 2nd January until the end of the month any-time during opening hours. Or maybe for children over 8 they can enjoy at the Natural History Museum on January 6th something called A Selection Box of Natural History Mysteries where kids get to work out whether something is an animal, mineral or fossil?
  • Adults and children over 12 can TOMORROW between 3 – 3:45pm  at the Collins Barracks site enjoy the public tour Proclaiming the Republic
  • All ages can enjoy a performance at Nollaig na mBan Little Women’s Christmas at the Museum of Country Life in Turlough Park, Co Mayo between 2pm – 3pm on 6th January.
  • Or for children over age 7 what about going to the Kildare Street site on 6th January between 2pm – 4pm for a drop in activity on Precious Gifts and Where to Find Them.  Where the kids get to create a special bookmark, decorate it with precious objects and decide if they should be close to the surface or deep underground.
  • That’s just a selection of many more options so check it out yourself to see what suits the age of your kids and interests.


  • Also the great news about the OPW sites is that they are free to children under 12.  Very welcome after the expense of Christmas.
    • Co Meath – Battle of the Boyne – Bru na Bóinne Visitor Centre
    • Tipperary –Cahir Castle - Rock of Cashel
    • Kildare – Castletown house with it beautiful parkland and café
    • Offaly – Clonmacnoise
    • Donegal Castle
    • Wicklow – Glendalough visitor centre
    • Dublin – Kilmainham goal and Dublin castle state apartments
    • For more info go to


  •  The deer live around the visitor centre, and you can enjoy a walk on one of the numerous trails around the woods.  The nature reserve is open all year round but REMEMBER the visitor centre and the tearooms are CLOSED at the moment. 
  • And don’t forget the Moving Crib on Parnell Street will run until January 7th 2018.  Can you believe they are celebrating 61 years of delighting children for free.


  •  In the realm of the bizarre you could go along to the CASTLECOMER WELLIE RACE, in Co. Kilkenny on January 1st 2018.  All are welcome to come along in wellies to support the runners and raise money for charity.


  •  DUBLIN events on the New Year Festival running tomorrow and Monday January 1st.  For smaller people you can ring in the New Year a bit earlier between 6:30pm – 7pm at the Countdown to Midnight Moment Performance as acrobats take to the streets and the sky and  the river liffey and flyboarders perform amazing stunts displays some tickets have been released for this event so check out  The LIFFEY LIGHTS MIDNIGHT MOMENT already sold out before Christmas.   Then on Monday at the Custom House Quay there is a family friendly entertainment day with mime artists, flyboarders, stilt walkers, the garda band and much more to enjoy.  This is a non ticketed event and everyone is free to come along
  • LIMERICK - Limerick has loads going on for the family.  From 8:30pm there is music and there will be illuminations onto King John’s Castle for everyone to enjoy.  Then at 9pm there is a big fireworks display.  All free for the whole family to enjoy.
  • CORK - Doneraile Park in cork are doing a guided tour tomorrow at 2.30 free event and all welcome you can check that out on their facebook page for details

WICKLOW: Bray Lyons  Club  Co Wicklow have a new years day swim at noon and Culdaff on the Inishowen peninsula county Donegal have one of the longest running new years days swim at 2.30

Weather Update

Weather Update

Marian talks to Siobhan Ryan from Met Eireann.

Recovering from Brain Injury

Recovering from Brain Injury

Marian is joined by former Labour Senator Jimmy Harte and his wife Mary.

New Years Eve Recipes - Domini Kemp

New Years Eve Recipes - Domini Kemp

‘Real’ Texas Chili

(serves 4-6)

1 kg chuck steak, cut in 2" chunks

salt and pepper

25ml olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinammon

½ tsp allspice

2 tsp dried oregano

1 dried chili, chopped, or 1 level tsp chili flakes

500ml stock/water

In a large, heavy saucepan with a lid, brown the meat in the olive oil in batches and set aside. Next, turn the heat down to medium and sweat the onions, garlic and chili until soft. Add the spices and herbs and cook out for a minute or two before returning the meat to the pan along with the stock. Bring to a simmer, put the lid on, and cook for two to two and a half hours, until the meat is tender. Serve with the guacamole, and if you really want to (and I usually do), some grated cheddar, diced tomatao and red onion and a dollop of sour cream.

‘Real Guacamole’

(makes enough for 4)

2 ripe avocadoes, peeled and diced into 1cm dice

½ sweet white onion or 1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced

1 tsp tabasco sauce


20g fresh coriander, roughly chopped

juice of 1 lime

In a blender, blitz together all the ingredients except the avocadoes until it reaches a pesto-like consistency. Then, in a bowl, dress the cubed avocado with the dressing and serve.

Christmas Quiche

(Serves 8)


200g plain flour

100g butter

1 egg


1 tbsp olive oil

2 leeks, topped and tailed, washed and thinly sliced

2 onions, very thinly sliced

1 pear or apple, peeled and diced

130g cooked ham

375ml cream

225g cream cheese

4 egg yolks

150g leftover cheese (whatever you've got)

flatleaf parsley, to garnish

Preheat oven to 180C

To make the pasty, place the flour and butter in a food processor and blitz till it's like breadcrumbs before adding the egg and blitzing for few seconds until it forms dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour. Then roll out onto your tart case (26-28cm approx will do) and bake it blind until just done.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, sweat the leeks and onions in the olive oil until they're soft. Decant the lot into a large bowl and add the apple/pear, cheeses, cream, ham and egg yolks. Mix well together, and season. Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry case and bake until golden and bubbling – about 30 minutes. To serve, sprinkle the chopped parsley on top.

Turkey & Truffle Croque Monsieurs

(Serves 4)


25g butter

25g flour

200ml milk

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

100g Gruyere cheese, grated


150g Brie or Camembert

4 tbsp cranberry sauce

8 slices good wholemeal or sourdough bread

300-400g sliced turkey

Few splashes truffle oil

Make the béchamel by melting the butter and then adding the flour to make a roux. Cook it for a few minutes over a low heat so the flour is cooked out a little. Add the milk gradually while whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Season well. When it's cooked – about ten minutes - add the Dijon and the grated cheese and stir well.

To assemble the sandwiches, butter each slice of bread on the outside and then place some cranberry sauce, turkey slices and Brie in between two slices, along with a good spoonful of the cheesy béchamel. Place the sandwiches on a tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. If you want to get a bit of "colour" on them, you can stick them under the grill until they're golden brown. To serve, drizzle with a little truffle oil.

Spiced Salmon Tartare

(Serves 4 as a starter)

400g fillet (skin on) of the best fresh salmon or trout you can get


2 tbsp flaky sea salt

1tsp fennel seeds

Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

Ground black pepper


50ml olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp honey

Pinch cumin seeds

Thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated


1 pomegranate, seeds removed

1 tbsp chopped coriander

A few radishes, sliced

Watercress and/or mixed mini leaves

Place the fish skin side down on foil in a gratin dish and sprinkle the salt (yes, all of it), fennel seeds, citrus zest and pepper on top. Fold over the foil to form a snug parcel, weigh it down with a plate or bowl on top, and marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Then remove from the fridge, and rinse it well before drying thoroughly with a clean tea towel or strong kitchen towel. Next, remove and discard the skin and dice the flesh into 1cm dice.

To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Place the diced fish in a bowl with the pomegranate seeds, and toss well in the dressing, reserving a little for drizzling over the plate when it's ready to serve. Arrange some of the fish/pomegranate mixture on a plate, garnish with finely sliced radish and watercress of mini salad leaves, drizzle with some of the remaining dressing and serve.

Potted Pork with raisins and thyme

(serves 8)

Preheat oven to 150 C

400g minced pork

4 rashers streaky bacon, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

Pinch of mace

Bunch thyme (leaves from 8-10 sprigs)

100g raisins

50g shelled pistachios

8 juniper berries, crushed

1 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed

Splash of brandy or sherry

1 tsp. fennel seeds

Mix all the ingredients together and press into a bowl or terrine dish. Fill a deep roasting tin halfway up with boiling water to make a Bain Marie, and place the terrine dish or bowl in the middle. Put the whole lot in the oven and cook for 2 hours. Cool down and serve cold on a platter with Melba toast, with rocket, apple balsamic and roasted sliced apple as a garnish.

Mejdool dates stuffed with Parmesan and wrapped in bacon

(Makes 24 bites)

Preheat oven to 200 C

24 large Mejdool dates, stones removed (this is very easy to do yourself)

200g Parmesan cheese, cut into small rectangles

12 rashers of streaky bacon

Olive oil

Stone the dates. Dates are quite dry in texture, so the stones come out easily, like peas from a pod. Place a Parmesan rectangle inside and push it in so that the date seals it up. You're trying to replace the stone with some Parmesan.

Next, take the rashers, and with the back of a chopping knife flatten and lengthen each piece of bacon, and then cut in half. Wrap each date in bacon and secure with a toothpick. Set aside till ready to cook and then drizzle with a little oil to get them going. You can cook under a very hot grill or in a very hot oven, until brown and crisp (about 15 minutes in the oven). Take care not to burn them, but do try to get the bacon crisp.

About The Show

In-depth interviews, human interest stories, consumer and lifestyle news as well as a lively panel discussion on issues of the week and newspaper reviews.

Saturday and Sunday from 11am-1pm



Contact the Show

Call: 1850-715150 / 08457-853333 Northern Ireland & U.K

Text: 51551

Presenter: Marian Finucane


Ways to Listen

Radio Player