Today With Sean O Rourke Monday 21 October 2013

Today with Seán O'Rourke

Today with Seán O'Rourke

The mid-morning current affairs magazine with the stories of the day, sharp analysis, sports coverage, in-depth features and consumer interest.



In the aftermath of last week’s budget one Ministerial name has repeatedly cropped up in the headlines. Health Minister James Reilly should quit according to Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin, but his record has been defended by his colleagues, Brian Hayes insisted the Government had every confidence in him.

Joining Sean was John Downing, Columnist with the Irish Independent.

Glin Industrial School

Glin Industrial School

At a church in Raheen in Limerick on Saturday, and afterwards at the South Court Hotel, over 100 people who were once enrolled at St Joseph’s Industrial School in Glin, gathered for the first time for a reunion and reconciliation event and the launch of a book by one former resident. For some, there can never be closure on the horrific physical and sexual abuse they experienced at the industrial school. Brian O’Connell was at the event yesterday and met some of the former pupils.

Command and Control

Command and Control

by Eric Schlosser (Allen Lane)

In the early hours of September 1980 in a small town in Arkansas, a missile repairmen was carrying out routine maintenance on a Titan II missile, the most powerful missile in the US’ nuclear arsenal. A socket slipped from his wrench and fell 70 feet below before piercing the fuel tank. His first thought was ‘This is not good’. What followed was a race against time to prevent a nuclear explosion that could have incinerated the state of Arkansas.

This was just one incident in an ongoing pattern of near-misses and bureaucratic blunders that have brought America to the nuclear brink again and again, according to my next guest Eric Schlosser, best-selling author of previous books such as Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness. Drawing on declassified information and interviews, he reveals a world that has until now been shrouded in secrecy and hidden from public view in Command and Control.

Wind Farms

Wind Farms

Wind turbines have become a common feature on the landscape over recent years, harvesting energy from our island breezes and strong gales.

But if a turbine was placed in close proximity to your home - and if it was the size of the Spire topped off with Liberty Hall - you might think again about how welcome an addition they are.

Plans for a number of wind farms across five counties in the midlands are currently with An Bord Pleanála and if they go ahead, hundreds of those massive turbines will be erected near rural dwellings.

As you might expect, there is opposition to this from many groups and to debate the topic Sean was joined in studio by Labour Senator John Whelan; by Tim Cowhig, the Chief Executive of Element Power Ireland, one of the companies looking to develop wind farms in the midlands and also by our reporter, Valerie Cox.

Kids at Hallowe’en

Kids at Hallowe’en

Hallowe’en being just around the corner, many of you with children will be looking for things to do, not just on the 31st, but for the entire week, as most children will be of school for the entirety for next week.
So, what to do?

Fear not, with a host of suggestions and ideas, Sean was joined by Jill Holtz of website  

Hallowe'en Events fomr

There are heaps of spooky events on around the country listed on our Halloween Events page. Here are some fun ones we picked out:

Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park, Rathangan, Co. Kildare

The Halloween Ha ppenings Festival is back for 7 Spooky Days from October 26th to November 1st. Lots of ghastly ghouls and terrifying treats in store at Lullymore including Haunted Holograms, Spooky Train Trips, Terror Treasure Hunts and freaky fun in the devilish den of play—the Funky Forest. Prepare for the Fright of your Life. Come in fancy dress (optional) with prizes for best Fancy Dress costumes in the Indoor Centre every day! NO TIME LIMIT. Open daily 10am – 6pm  (Halloween prizes start at 2pm)


Westport House

Halloween Fest October 26th-November 3rd– Westport House is transformed into a not too scarey haunted house and they are running loads of workshops including Jack o’Lantern Carving and a Thriller Dance moves workshop. On Sunday 27th there is an explosive fireworks display and loads of great prizes for the best costumes.


Lough SpoooKey, Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Join in the fun at the Lough SpooKey Forest Park this Halloween. Running from October 26th to November 2nd as well as the hugely popular ‘Boda Boo’ they have a host of events including, Witch & Monster Halloween Orienteering, Lantern lit walk with storytelling & yummy treats in ‘The Big Tree’, Pumpkin Carving, Falcolnry Display, Halloween Baking, Craft, Art, Music & Kayaking Classes!  Many events are free but all must be pre-booked


Glendeer Farm, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Cast spells with our scary witch, toast marshmallows over an open fire, enter the eerie maze but be warned, it’s as your own risk. Enter the forbidden forest and be scared by lots more ghosts and ghouls at Glendeer Pet Farm this Halloween! – NEW this year is the SOFT PLAY BARN for toddlers and the ALL WEATHER outdoor sand pit…just beware of the ghosts and ghouls in the Forbidden Forest on your way there! Great place to break the journey with kids if travelling Dublin-Galway, or driving North or South this mid-term.


Belvedere House, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

On Hallowe’en Weekend Belvedere hosts its second Scarecrow Festival with local schools, groups and individuals competing for great prizes. The Scarecrows are on public display from Fri 25th until 31st October and there is a people’s choice prize. Trick or Treat Tails on 27th & 28th October.  On Bank Holiday weekend Sun and Mon at midday Belvedere hosts its Trick or Treat Trail through the ancient whispering woodland where thousands of goodies are hidden on the 160 acre estate but be careful not to disturb the Yeti. Belvedere Spook on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th & Monday 28th

October 2013 from 7pm (not suitable for young children – under 8) & Spook Walk in the Forest of Fear. Pre booking essential

Brigits Garden, Roscahill, Co. Galway

Mid-term week, 27th Oct to 4th Nov open 10am to 5.30pm daily for spooky treasure hunts and more! Their Halloween Samhain Celebration takes place Thursday Oct 31st 4.00 to 8.30pm with a spooky treasure hunt, Ghostly and wondrous stories and music from the Wacky Witch and others. Mask making with natural materials, try traditional games including Apple-fishing. Halloween Bonfire with the Puca.


Hullabaloo Children’s Arts Festival, Birr,Clara & Edenderry Co. Offaly

October 30th- November 2nd

Hullabaloo! – Offaly’s Children’s Arts Festival offers a packed programme of exciting and creative opportunities for children aged 3-12 and offers workshops in arts, crafts, dance, music, story telling and much, during the October mid-term break. You can learn how to dance like a skeleton, write ghosts stories, be a human beatbox or make a scary board game to bring home.


Hawks Well Theatre, Sligo

If you want a break from Scary stuff, The Hawks Well Theatre in Sligo are hosting two wonderful events this mid-term.  On October 26thThe Ukranian Clown troupe Mimrichi present Paper World a hilarious slapstick show, inviting you to the biggest paper fight of your life!

On October 27thas part of the Sligo Live Festival Dervish & the Sligo Academy of Music present Mini Proms, introducing children &families to the joys of traditional music.


Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Clare

For a family-friendly and Halloweeny Bank Holiday Monday, October 28th look no further than Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The Folk Park and Village Street will be adorned with Jack-o-lanterns while visitors will be entertained by the all new Captain Jack’s Spooktacular Show, Unicycle Show and the Monsieur Gusto Escapologist, a Houdini style escape act! Visitors are encouraged to dress-up in their spookiest and scariest costumes, and some amazing prizes will be on offer for the most creative and haunting attire. To complete the disguise, free face painting will be available upon arrival so that trick-or-treating can be at its scariest during the afternoon.


Powerscourt - Wicklow

The Perils of Powerscourt 28th October, 1pm & 4pm This Halloween, ghosts and ghouls are creeping out to play at Powerscourt House and Gardens &and so is Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum! Any brave families hoping to enter into the spirit of the spookiest of seasons are welcome to explore the grounds of Powerscourt at their own risk! With only a map to lead them to safety, the walkers will be sure to encounter some creepy characters along their journey through Powerscourt’s haunted grounds. The walk will finish at the Pet Cemetery where your hair will stand on end and your blood will be chilled! Fancy dress is encouraged.


Imaginosity – Dublin

The Festival of Stories is back with a jam-packed schedule of events for families this Halloween. Come along and listen to storytelling, create your own stories and share them with everyone. Throughout the festival there will be a Festival Story Corner with some very special story tellers daily 

and a host of workshops and activities including;

  • Hocus Pocus Movie Night October 30th at 6pm
  • Spooky Story-Making Halloween Workshop with authur Deirdre Sullivan October 31st at 11am

Pensioners are Outraged at the Budget Cuts

Paddy O'Gorman was in Dundalk



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Presenter: Sean O'Rourke


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