Today With Sean O Rourke Friday 4 April 2014

Today with Sean O'Rourke

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.

Opinion Poll

Opinion Poll

The latest Irish Times / MRBI poll shows support for the government falling. 

The poll has backing for Fine Gael down five percentage points. Fine Gael is now  level-pegging with Fianna Fail. Labour is struggling on eight percent. Sinn Fein is unchanged on 21, while support for Independents is up. 

The poll is a dose of bad news after a week of sustained political pressure on Justice Minister Alan Shatter. 

Pat Leahy, political editor of the Sunday Business Post, joined Sean in studio.

A Life Worth Living

A Life Worth Living

By Michael Smurfit (Oak Tree Press)

Michael Smurfit is one of the wealthiest men that this country has produced.

The son of a tailor turned box maker, Michael Smurfit took the family business and oversaw its evolution into a global success story.

His autobiography, which was launched yesterday, documents 50 years as chief executive of the Jefferson Smurfit Group, his public falling out with Charlie Haughey, his two marriages, and his coup in bringing the Ryder Cup to Ireland, to his own K Club.

John Banville as Raymond Chandler

John Banville as Raymond Chandler

John Banville is best known as the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea but he leads a double life as the crime writer, Benjamin Black.

Now he has added a new alter-ego to his list, writing as Raymond Chandler. He talks to Sean about reviving Raymond Chandler’s most famous character, the private detective Philip Marlowe.

The Gathering

The Gathering

For a look back of the events of the week – from the motion of no confidence in the Justice Minister and the discovery of yet more tapes, to the decision of the GAA to go with Sky-ward.

Sean was joined in studio now by Fine Gael deputy for Meath East, Regina Doherty; Eugene McGee, former Editor of the Longford Leader and GAA columnist with the Irish Independent; soccer pundit, Eamon Dunphy and Sinead Ryan, Consumer columnist with The Herald.

Kids At Easter

Kids At Easter

The first school holiday of the year starts next Friday and many of you with children will be wondering how you are going to occupy their time over the coming fortnight without breaking the bank or leaving them seated in front of the television for the duration. Well, fear not, Jill Holtz from  was here to  help you fill that diary.

Easter Roundup

Once again we have rounded up loads of fun things for kids and families to do over the Easter Break.   You can start by checking out our Easter Events page and our 50 Easter Activities for Kids.

Easter Camps

Kids Create Easter Craft Camp in Ballysimon 10 mins from Limerick, has hands on play with clay ceramics and learning how to make silver jewellery as well.  That runs April 22 – 24 and costs €95 incl. materials & tools. Advance booking required as places are limited


Ever wanted to bring Lego mini figures to life? Now you can thanks to Createschool's new Stop Motion Workshops - build, film, edit and add sound!  Taking place in Tallaght on April 14th This is suitable for ages 8 – 12, bring your lunch along and their favourite lego mini figure. Cost €15 per child.


Make a Movie at The Gaiety School of Acting Easter Camp in Temple Bar which runs Monday 14th to Thursday 17th April, 10am to 4pm, for ages 7-18yrs (3 different age groups) Join the experts as they will help you write, act, light and do the sound in your very own movie. They then send the footage to be professionally edited and you will receive a copy of your movie on DVD.  Cost: €200.

Galway Atlantaquaria are holding Science Easter Workshops for children aged 7 – 10 years of age which focus on Living Things: Discover more about animals and plants, Technology: Design and making and Engineering at the aquarium. Cost is €75 for 3 days, €60 for 2 days & €35 for 1 day. Workshops run 15th, 16th & 17th of April and 22nd, 23rd & 24th of April.

There’s a 3 day Create your own Comic Book camp with Wayne O Connor, a super talented fantasy illustrator, for ages 12 -14 years at the Hawk’s Well Theatre Sligo running 14 – 16 April, cost: €30.

Canoeing Ireland will be running Easter Kayaking Camps over the Easter break. The camps are aimed at juniors Young Pirates (8-12 yrs. age) and Young Captains (12 – 16 yrs. age) €80 per child Young Pirates / €100 per child 5hrs per day. There are places in the Young Pirates camp on the 2nd week 22nd – 25th April, and for the Young Captains on both weeks 14th – 17th April or 22nd – 25th April.

Pine Forest Art Centre in the Dublin Mountains have a 1 week Easter Art Camp for children ages 5–12 years and 13-16 years running Monday 14th - Friday 18th April 2014. Each child/ young person will participate in a variety of art and craft activities according to the student's age, ability and interests. Price €145 per child including all materials

There are gymnastics Easter Camps at The Little Gym in Liffey Valley, running daily from April 14th to 25th, the camps are suitable for ages 3-12 and the kids do arange of gymnastics skills and activities, they take a short break and have a light snack and then finish up with some arts and crafts. Cost €25 for a day camp for non-members and you can book weekly too.

There are all sorts of fun workshops for kids at The Ark in Dublin between 22nd and 26nd April for ages 4-12, from Warrior Shield Making to High Kings and Queens to Music.

At the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan, there are a few spaces left at the Wonderland Theatre Workshop running Mon 14-Thurs 17 April for 7-12 year olds where they will make new friends, partake in workshops with actors, writers, dancer & singers, and make a ‘Play in a Day’! Limited to 22 children, prebooking essential. Costs: €75 / €65 (sibling concession)

Easter Nature Camps at Brigit’s Garden in County Galway take place Tuesday 22nd to Friday 25th April for 5-10yr olds. This story-themed camp will ignite curiosity about the natural world in springtime through Irish myths and legends, woodland and animal games, creative activities and lots of imaginative fun. Cost €55 (€50 for Brigit’s Garden members)

There are fun outdoor based Easter camps at Fota Wildlife Park Wed 23rd  – Fri 25th April for ages 5-12 years, doing Easter Arts & Crafts, exploring woodlands, meeting the animals.  Cost: €25 for single day / €68 for three days

Easter Egg Hunts

There are some great events on around the country listed on our Easter Events page. Here are some fun egg hunts taking place:

There are fun Easter treasure hunts at Easter weekend at a brand new attraction, Ireland’s first lavender farm Wexford Lavender Farm near Gorey. The treasure hunt costs €5 per child (free entry to adults) and as well as the Easter hunts they have activities and walks. Bookings essential – email  or tel: 0870686774.

In Dublin, there’s a free Easter Egg Hunt at the National Museum at Collins Barracks on Sunday 20th between 3 and 4.30 pm, where you can follow the trail and test your knowledge to find the golden egg. If you complete the trail you will receive an egg-cellent edible reward. No booking required.

In Cork, on April 18th Good Friday there’s the Easter Egg Challenge at Lifetime Lab with a host of activities including face painting, make and do, balloon making, falconry and magic shows and of course an eggciting Easter Egg Challenge. That’s €5 per entry.

In Roscommon at Lough Key Forest and Activity Park there’s an Easter Forest Treasure Hunt on Saturday 19 April 2014 where you can follow the Easter Trail through the Woodland to discover natural treasures. Then use your imagination to design and decorate a crafty Easter memento to take home.  Suitable for children aged 4 -10 years old with adult supervision, €10 for a family ticket to that.

On Easter Sunday 20th at the Museum of Country Life in Mayo you can fill out their Easter Activity Sheet and be entered into a competition to win a prize for the best drawn Easter egg or card design. Free entry.


The Easter Celebrations at Bunratty Castle & Folk Parkinclude their special Easter Egg Trail as well as bouncy castles, face painters, balloon making, jugglers, a stilt walker, a fire eater, unicycle, and a puppeteer. There will also be a chance for visitors to see the new Spring arrivals at the Park, baby lambs and goats, and little chicks and meet with resident Irish Wolfhounds, Fionn and Grainne, as well as donkeys, pigs, sheep, ponies and other farm animals. Usual entry rates apply.

At Easter at Craggaunowen, their special guest, the Easter Bunny, will be making an appearance on Easter Sunday and the Bunny is promising to give away hundreds of Easter eggs. There’s music, puppet shows, traditional story tellers and more. Normal admission rates apply.

The Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Belvedere House takes place on Easter Sunday 20th April and Easter Monday 21st April at 12 noon sharp.  Meet the Easter Bunny join in the hunt for Thousands of eggs & Golden Tickets. Three areas for different age groups.  Booking not necessary just be sure to be in plenty of time for 12noon start. Normal entry prices apply, there is no extra charge for the Hunt.

At Newgrange Farm in Slane in Co. Meath there is all sorts of Easter Fun over the Easter Weekend 19th, 20th & 21st of April 2014 with Painted Egg Judging, Easter Hat & Bonnet Judging, sheep racing teddy jockeys and calf feeding. Children should bring their Easter Hat/Bonnet and/or Painted Egg with them to the farm. Admission Rate 8€ per person.


There’s a Cadbury Easter Egg Trail in aid of Barnardos Ireland at Merrion Square on April 19th, every little Eggsplorer will receive a delicious Cadbury Easter egg on completion of the trail and if that’s not enough, there will also be plenty of other eggciting entertainment for all the family, including storytelling, face painting, sack racing, three legged racing, balloon modeling and Victorian games. Family tickets cost €20

Granny’s go free on Easter Sunday at Secret Valley Wildlife Park, you can visit the park during Easter Break they are open 10th - 27th April and they will have Easter adventure hunts, you can meet and feed baby goats, see the baby Meerkats, pony rides and more. Usual admission rates.

There’s an Easter Egg Hunt at Brigit’s Garden in Galway on Easter Sunday, April 20th. Every child gets a prize! There will be a longer treasure hunt around the nature trail for older children and a shorter one around the gardens for younger ones. And also Easter crafts, face-painting, and of course the fun of exploring the Celtic Gardens, Family of five €25.00.

Other Easter Events

It’s the 3rd Galway Food Festival taking place at Easter Bank Holiday Weekend Thurs 17th – Monday 21st April, with lots of free family friendly and children’s events. As well as open air markets, food events, talks and demos, there are kids’ activities and family fun and a Taste Trail too.

Also in Galway, the Galway City Museum has great free events including a Tribal Arms workshop on Thurs 17 April for 8-12 years, Children’s Storytelling on Wed 23rd April and Thurs 24th April with Rab Fulton. And Bird Watching for Children on Thursday 24 April for ages 7+ where you can join Tom Cuffe to learn about birdlife on the Corrib River and estuary. All the Museum events are FREE but places are limited so advance booking is ESSENTIAL. For further information or to book a place please contact the museum on (091) 532460.

There are free Pony Rides and more at The National Stud in Kildare this Easter break 17 April – 27 April inclusive.  The Free Pony Rides will take place daily at the Kildare Yard, there’s also a family friendly restaurant and a brand new playground as well. Family Ticket for entrance costs €29.50.

There’s a Tulip Festival at Powerscourt Estate & Gardens in Wicklow taking place from 10th to 24th April and you can take a Tulip Walking Tour on the 16th of April with head gardener, a family ticket for that costs €25 for 2 adults + 2 kids, under 5s free. They also have teamed up with Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum for Scientific Story Adventure which is a fun trail through Powerscourt all based around scientific characters and dilemmas.

If you have any Harry Potter fans in the house, check out Potted Potter - All 7 books in 70 mins!

That is on from April 14th - 20th at the Gaiety Theatre, from Apr 29-May 4 in the Town Hall Theatre in Galway and April 22 to 26 at The Everyman Theatre in Cork.

Catch Ten14 which launches at The Ark in Dublin and features Moya Brennan, the voice of Clannad, and celebrated harper Cormac De Barra on a magical musical journey for everyone aged 4 to 104, on Saturday 19th and Monday 21st April at The Ark and at

  • Draíocht, Blanchardstown: Wed 23 April
  • Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge: Thu 24 April @ 3pm
  • Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray: Sat 26 April
  • An Grianán, Letterkenny: Sun 27 April
  • glór, Ennis: Mon 28 April
  • Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise: Tue 29 April

April 19 & 20th there’s the Battle of Clontarf Festival at St Anne’s Park, D5, where Dublin City Council will stage the largest Viking village and living history battle re-enactment ever produced in Ireland. There will be interactive displays of Viking life and include demonstrations of Viking Skills and Crafts. Free admission.

The Little Museum of Dublin at 15 St Stephen’s Green is offering a 50% discount off family admission during the Easter holidays, Saturday 12th April to Sunday 27th April inclusive. Admission for a family of two adults and up to three children will cost just €7 (instead of €14).

Entertainment for the Car

Finally if you’re on the road over the Easter Break check out our Car Games for Kids and here are 2 smartphone apps that have been recommended by families:

Subway Surfer (iPhone, iPad & Android) FREE

Navigate your way around the subway avoiding getting run over by the trains, collecting coins and other items. Go over bridges and up ramps and slide under trains. Every once in a while it changes country. Rated 9+

“It’s like Temple Run, it’s fun because it has loads of scenes and I like it because it is exciting” - 9 yr old

Toca Doctor Lite (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) FREE

Let your kids be a doctor for a day! Examine a patient and solve fun puzzles and mini games that take place in the human body. Beautiful artwork and fun sounds guides your kids through 5 different puzzles. Good for younger kids.



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Presenter: Sean O'Rourke


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