Today With Sean O Rourke Tuesday 15 September 2015

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.

Computers in Schools

Computers in Schools

We keep hearing how digital learning is the way of the future.

However, a major international study released today has found students who use computers frequently in the classroom and at home actually perform worse than students who use them a little.

The report, carried out by the OECD looked at performance levels of students from more than thirty countries has surprised education experts and parents across the world.

Joining Sean on the line was Aine Moran the principal of the Le Cheile Secondary School at Tyrellstown.

Paul Murphy Summoned for False Imprisonment

Paul Murphy Summoned for False Imprisonment

Paul Murphy of the Anti Austerity Alliance joined Sean this morning following being served a summons for false imprisonment of Joan Burton and her assistant in November of last year. 

Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

Sinead Crowley, arts and media correspondent for RTÉ news joined Sean on the line following the announcement of the Man Booker Prize shortlist, a varied list but no sign of Irish author Anne Enright for The Green Road. 

Those who have made it on to the list are: 

Satin Island Tom McCarthy,
Chigozie Obioma The Fishermen
THe Year of the Runaways Sunjeev Sahota
Anne Tyler A Spool of Blue Thread
Hanya Yanagihara A Little Life
A Brief History of Seven Killings Marlon James

Death of Henry McErlean in Ardoyne

The circumstances of the death of a former Republican prisoner could not be more tragic. 62 year old Henry McErlean had been putting up a suicide awareness poster in North Belfast when he was arrested by police. Sadly he died by suicide at his home in Ardoyne at the weekend days after a court hearing relating to a charge of obstucting police. 

Henry's solicitor Seamus Delaney joined Sean on the line. 

Proposed Modular Housing for the Homeless

Four local authorities in Dublin are examining the possibility of housing families in modular housing as a temporary measure to ease the homelessness crisis.

The units will have two bedrooms, a kitchen/living space, storage facilities and bathrooms, 6 of the proposed units are gone on display this morning in East Wall and they will remain in place for 4 weeks. 

Fr. Peter McVerry of the PMV Trust was one of the voluntary organisations invited to view them this morning and he joined Sean.

Science: Longer Lasting Batteries

We take batteries for granted, but it is hard to imagine a world without them. Think about it for a moment. Almost everything that requires power, makes use of battery power.

The list includes cars (electrical and fuel powered), children’s toys, bicycle lights, recording devices, hearing aids, and, of course, our beloved laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Batteries have, however, become a limiting technology, and for years have been acting like a brake on the development of ever faster, more powerful electronic devices and gadgets.

Whereas, the power of a microchip - the brain of our electronic devices - has doubled every two years or so, since the 1970s, battery power, upon which they rely, hasn’t kept pace. While the microchip has been doubling its power relentlessly every couple of years, engineers have struggled to get an extra 30 per cent of power from batteries over the same time frame.

The remarkable thing is that until recently, the technology upon which batteries are based hadn’t changed much since the first working battery designed by Alessandro Volta in 1799. We have Sean Duke, our science and technology journalist, with us in studio this morning to tell us why better batteries have been so hard to produce, and what has now changed.

Migrants/Borders Closed

Turkish media this morning was reporting that another boat has sunk in the Aegean with 22 migrants feared drowned.

EU justice ministers failed to reach unanimous agreement on relocating 120,000 refugees at a meeting in Brussels last night.

Meanwhile Hungary has introduced stringent new rules to reduce the influx of refugees into the country.

Sophie Magennis who’s head of ‎the Irish office of the United Nations Refugee Agency joined Sean. But first reporter Daniel McLoughlin who’s on the Hungarian – Serbian border.

Restorative Justice

A young woman who was violently sexually assaulted in an unprovoked and random attack joined Sean this morning. In trying to come to terms with the devastating impact this had on her life, she felt a compelling need to confront her attacker, to meet him face to face and to put questions to him that only he could answer.

Restorative justice offers victims an opportunity to face their offender and Marie Keenan, psychotherapist and a restorative justice practitioner, told us more about this process.

Listen back: 

A Tribute to James Horner

A Tribute to James Horner

Just about everyone would be familiar with that tune, the main title from the blockbuster film Titanic.

The famous film score was penned by composer James Horner who died in a plane crash earlier this year.

The Oscar-award winner wrote the music for many blockbuster films including Braveheart, Avatar and Aliens. And this Thursday the RTE Orchestra will perform a selection of his works at the National Concert Hall, led by conductor David Brophy who joined Sean in studio.

The RTE Concert Orchestra and Chorus will perform works by the late James Horner this Thursday, September 17 at the National Concert Hall.

Organic Farming

Organic Farming

Organic farming is set to take a record jump in output this year, with an estimated 500 new entrants, following the launch of a new and improved ‘organic scheme’.

Joining Sean in studio to talk more about the prospects and challenges facing the sector is the Irish Independent's farming correspondent, Darragh McCullough.

Beef Farmer Eugene Kirrane

Red Clover


Organic Farming in Mayo



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Presenter: Sean O'Rourke


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