Joining us this morning for the Friday Gathering were John Downing political correspondent with the Irish Independent, Lise Hand, journalist and broadcaster, Willie O’ Dea, TD for Limerick City and Fianna Fáil spokesperson on social protection and Damien English, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal and Fine Gael TD for Meath West.
Book: The Doctor's Wife is Dead
Author Andrew Tierney joined us this morning to talk about his new book ‘The Doctor’s Wife is Dead, A Peculiar Marriage, a Suspicious Death, and a Murder Trial in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’. In the book, Andrew examines the story of a woman called Ellen Langley who died in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary in suspicious circumstances in 1849.
To the poisoning of Kim Jong Nam, half brother of the North Korean dictator. Malaysian police have confirmed that a deadly nerve agent was deployed in Kuala Lumpar’s airport. Professor Alastair Hay is an expert on chemical weapons and professor of environmental toxicology at the University of Leeds and he joined us this morning.
Bus Éireann Drivers
Bus Éireann has suggested that it will get rid of routes between Dublin and Clonmel, Athlone and Westport, and Dublin and Derry to make immediate savings of €1.1 million as it faces the threat of insolvency in May. Mark Fitzgerald, a bus driver with Bus Éireann, joined us in studio.
Ronan O'Gara was back in Dublin for the Ireland v France RBS Six Nations game happening tomorrow at the Aviva Stadium. He joined us in studio to give his predictions.
Chairperson of the Policing Authority
Senior Garda management appeared before the Policing Authority yesterday. It was the first public appearance by the Garda Commissioner since allegations of a coordinated smear campaign against whistleblower Sergeant McCabe aired on Prime Time just over two weeks ago. Josephine Feehily, Chair of the Policing Authority joined us this morning.
The Book Club: The Good People
This month we’ve been reading The Good People, the second novel by award-winning author Hannah Kent.
John Connolly, author, Natasha Fennell, Director of Stillwater Communications, Rick O’Shea, broadcaster and Anne Lucey, journalist joined us in studio.
Kilkenny Repossessions Court
Brian O'Connell has been at the Kilkenny Circuit Court speaking with people facing possession orders on their homes.
The National Children's Hospital
Reports today suggest that the proposed National Children's Hospital will be the most expensive hospital to be built anywhere in the world. Paul Cullen is the Irish Times’ health correspondent and he took us through the costs expected.
Club Players Association
That bitter row within the GAA over calendar reform: The Gaelic Players Association has now come out against GAA Director General Paraic Duffy’s proposal for a new Super 8 format, something the Club Players Association has already rejected. Chairman of the CPA, Micheál Briody spoke to us this morning.
Covanta Energy Ireland
To the iconic Poolbeg peninsula - located near the communities of Irishtown, Ringsend and Sandymount stands the new Dublin incinerator.
Officially known as the Dublin Waste to Energy plant, it will be run by Covanta Energy and starts burning waste next month. John Daly, the Managing Director of Covanta Energy Ireland, joined us this morning.
Sexting - the sending or receiving of sexually explicit messages or images by text - is now the norm rather than the exception among young people. That’s according to the ISPCC who appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs yesterday. Grainia Long is chief executive of the ISPCC and she joined us on the line.
Reaction to Enda Kenny
Fionnan Sheahan, Editor of the Irish Independent, Alison O’Connor, Broadcaster and columnist with the Irish Examiner, Gary Murphy, from the School of Law and Government in DCU and Pat Deering, Vice Chair of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party spoke to us this morning about what Enda Kenny had to say at the Parliamentary Party meeting last night.
TUSLA at the Children and Youth Affairs Committee
The CEO of TUSLA Fred McBride has appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.
This comes in the aftermath of the agency apologising to Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
Harry McGee, Irish Times’ political correspondent, joined us from our Dáil studio.
Bus Routes Considered for Closure
Paddy O'Gorman has been speaking to users of some of the bus routes that are being considered for closure. He based himself in Bus Áras where two of the three routes operate from.
Oireachtas Transport Committee
Anne Graham CEO of the National Transport Authority was before the Oireachtas Transport Committee earlier this morning. We spoke to Greg Ennis, SIPTU divisional organiser this morning.
The Readers' Voice
The Laureate for Fiction - Anne Enright - in collaboration with Today with Seán O’Rourke and the Arts Council and the library system is touring the libraries of Ireland, connecting readers with authors using libraries as the meeting point. The second author in the series is Bernard MacLaverty.
Kilkenny Group Row
The Kilkenny Group, best known for its eleven flagship stores selling luxury goods across the country, also operates an online outlet and cafes. However it is now making headlines for the bitter family feud playing out in the courts. Dearbhail McDonald, Group Business Editor with Independent News and Media joined us this morning.
The Road Traffic Minimum Passing Distance
Later today the Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty and Fine Gael TD for Galway East Ciaran Cannon will publish a bill called The Road Traffic Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists Bill 2017. If the bill makes it to law then a driver who’s driving too close to a cyclist will be fined €80 and receive three penalty points. Ciaran Cannon joined us.
Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Meeting
It's D-Day for Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Will he stay or will he go? It’s expected that the Taoiseach will make an announcement at a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party later about his plans to step down as party leader. Brian Dowling, of our Political staff, joined us in studio.
Book: The Good People
While trawling through old newspapers researching her debut novel, Burial Rites, author Hannah Kent came across a story of a murder trial in Kerry in 1826, involving a woman who put forward a most unusual defence.
This led Kent to writing her second novel, The Good People, which is our book of the month, and she joined us in studio this morning.
Fermoy District Court
Paddy O'Gorman visits Fermoy District Court.
Wills with Tim Bracken
Barrister and Probate expert Tim Bracken spoke to us this morning on the importance of making a will and the beneficiaries of a will and their rights. Tim begins with the duty of care.
Death of Cardinal Desmond Connell
The death is announced of Cardinal Desmond Connell. Born in 1926, he was Archbishop of Dublin from to 1988 until 2004 and Cardinal since 2001.
Joe Little took us through the life and times of Cardinal Desmond Connell.
A report last week by the Waterford Boundary Committee recommended a change in boundaries that would see Waterford expand to the north. This change has drawn strong criticism from the marble county with allegations of a land grab and loss of identity.
Yesterday, our reporter Brian O’Connell was in the south east region and heard from both sides.
Children's Rights Alliance
This morning the Children’s Rights Alliance released their annual report card on how the government has performed.
Over the last five years the government received a Grade C in children’s rights but has the situation improved?
Tanya Ward is CEO of the Children’s Rights Alliance and she joined us in studio this morning.
Talks between Bus Éireann and unions adjourned last night without resolution, as the sides bid to avoid industrial action over proposed cost-saving measures.
We spoke to Economist, Moore McDowell; Dermot O’Leary, General Secretary of the NBRU; Robert Troy, Fianna Fáil’s Transport spokesperson and Mattie McGrath, Independent TD for Tipperary.
For a look at the weekend sport, Damian Lawlor, presenter of RTE’s GAA Podcast and journalist and broadcaster, Marie Crowe joined us.
Telematics in Cars
What is telematics, how does it work, and what kind of insurance savings can be made from its adoption?
Sean Duke, our regular science and technology contributor was in studio to tell us more and on the line was Kian Griffin founder of Ireland Underground.
HSE Data Breach
X-ray report left in Penneys, patient's mental health data faxed to a bank ...
With more on this we spoke to Priscilla Lynch, Editor of the Medical Independent.
The sudden death of Kim Jong-nam – the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - has sparked a diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea.
For more, John Sweeney, journalist with the BBC and author of North Korea Undercover: Inside The World's Most Secret State joined us.
Gun Victim Targeted Online
Last week 30-year-old Gavin Sheehan was sentenced to 14 years in jail for possession of ammunition and firing a gun through the front window of a house in Cork hitting a young woman in the neck.
Since the incident in 2016, the victim’s family say they have been subjected to on-going abuse and threats. Brian O’Connell met with the family.
Former GSOC Commissioner
Last week the Independent Alliance announced that it had secured an international review of An Garda Síochána.
An independent policing expert will examine the administration, ethos and culture of the force.
But will it achieve anything?
Former GSOC Commissioner and Irish Times Editor Conor Brady joined us from our Galway studio.
Fine Gael Party Leadership
Speaking to us this morning was Alan Dukes, former leader of Fine Gael, Fiach Kelly of the Irish Times and John O'Mahony, Fine Gael Senator and former Mayo TD.
Alan Dukes tells Sean that a change in Fine Gael leadership is inevitable and it should happen as soon as possible.
In studio this morning were Mick Clifford, special correspondent with the Irish Examiner, Joan Burton Labour TD for Dublin West and former Tanaiste, Mairead McGuinness Fine Gael MEP for Midlands North West and Niamh Lyons, political editor of the Times, Ireland Edition.
Southern Protestants and UCD Folklore Project
Researcher Deirdre Nuttall of the National Folklore Collection and journalist and farmer from Wexford, Margaret Hawkins spoke to us this morning.
North East Inner City
Back in July, after a spate of gangland shootings in the north inner city of Dublin, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny ordered a report into measures that could address the social and economic challenges facing the area.Put in charge of compiling the report was the former chair of the Workplace Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey.
Fine Gael and Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny didn’t sound like a man about to hang up his political boots yesterday, With us this morning was Fionnan Sheehan, Political Editor of the Irish Independent.
Trump Press Conference
President Trump gave an extraordinary press conference yesterday lasted 77 minutes, he took questions from reporters, bashed various media outlets, denied involvement with Russia, had another go at Hillary Clinton and said the White House was running like a ‘finely tuned machine’. Larry Donnelly, Law Lecturer in NUI Galway joined us this morning.
Clonmel District Court
Paddy O'Gorman has been to Clonmel District Court.
Creches in Cork facing Closure
Now in recent week fears have emerged about some community crèches in disadvantaged areas. In Cork city alone, seven such crèches say they will close in September, impacting on 233 children, and a further 6 are set to be in danger shortly after. Brian O’Connell had the story for us.
HSE Signals the End to Lung Disease Drug
It looks increasingly likely that the HSE will reject the use of a drug called Respreeza on cost grounds. The drug is used for treatment of a group of patients with Alpha 1 type emphysema. Professor Gerry McElvaney, Consultant in Pulmonary Medicine and Gerry Finnerty a patient who is currently on Respreeza joined us this morning.
Cabinet Meeting and the Independent Alliance
Harry McGee, political correspondent with the Irish Times joined us to discuss developments over the last 24 hours.
The Independent Alliance has said it has secured an independent review of garda operations following a meeting with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday. Joining this morning was Minister of State at Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, and member of the Independent Alliance Sean Canney.
Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur
Over 1800 people applied to enter this year’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition. Fiona Edwards Murphy, Brian Henderson and Alvan Hunt are three finalists in the contest which is supported by Local Enterprise Offices. They joined us in studio along with Sheelagh Daly who is Head of Enterprise at the LEO in Wicklow.
End of the Road for Enda?
Micheal Lehane, Brian Dowling, Senator James Reilly, Colm Brophy, Fine Gael TD for Dublin South West and Noel Rock, Fine Gael TD for Dublin North West joined us this morning to take a look back over all that has happened in the last 24 hours and to look ahead as to what an Taoiseach Enda Kenny is going to do. Is Will he jump, walk or be pushed?
White House under Pressure
Following the resignation of US National Security Advisor Mike Flynn on Monday, there is increasing pressure on the Trump administration to explain the contacts with Russian officials prior to taking office.
Marion McKeone, US based journalist with the Sunday Business Post spoke to us this morning.
Valentines spent in the Graveyard
Paddy O'Gorman spent Valentine's Day speaking to those that visit the graveyard on this day.
Age of Online Consent
Communications Minister Denis Naughten is currently weighing up whether to set up a new watch dog for social media. What needs to be done to help protect young people online?
Grainia Long, CEO of the ISPCC, Avril Ronan, Global Programme Manager for Internet Safety at Trend Micro and teenager, Sarah McGuinness joined us this morning.
This morning the Independent Alliance has been meeting to discuss their response to the Garda crisis. The Government is facing a motion of no confidence tabled by Sinn Féin. Fiach Kelly is The Irish Times’ political correspondent and he joined us in studio.
Ireland's Record on Women's Rights
We turn to Geneva, where the human rights of Irish women are under close scrutiny.
The UN’s CEDAW committee will examine the track record of the Irish Government later today.
The director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland has appeared before the committee over the last two days. Orla O’Connor joined us in studio.
Barrow Tow Path
Waterways Ireland is currently holding a series of public meetings on the Barrow Tow Path development project, an ambition project to create a hard surface path to cover one hundred and fifteen kilometres across Kildare, Laois and Carlow. Broadcaster Olivia O’Leary and Martin O’Brien, a business man from St Mullins in Carlow joined us this morning.
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