The Explainer

By TheJournal.ie

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Subscribers: 361
Reviews: 2

CJB
 Sep 27, 2021
The topics are always interesting and it's always very insightful.

Ciarán Nestor
 May 13, 2019
Really insightful. Breaks difficult news stories down really coherantly.

Description

The Explainer is a new weekly podcast from TheJournal.ie that takes a deeper look at one big news story you need to know about. What's the background? Why is this in the news? Get the facts behind the story from Ireland's biggest news website.

Episode Date
Does global vaccine inequality put us at risk of new Covid variants?
00:34:01
Virologist Dr Kim Roberts and Dimitri Eynikel from Doctors Without Borders join us to examine the new Omicron variant and vaccine inequality. While richer countries are busy administering booster jabs, others are struggling to get even an adequate amount of jabs for their frontline healthcare workers. We look at the scale of the problem, what the solutions are, and discuss how vaccinating more of the world's population is a way of reducing the risk of new variants. The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Dec 02, 2021
Why do we need another dose of a Covid vaccine?
00:27:55
Christine Loscher, professor of immunology at DCU, joins us on this week's episode to examine the need for booster shots. How much does the efficacy of initial jabs wane, how much does the booster top them up, and what type of lasting immunity could we have against Covid as a result? Also, will they turn the tide of the recent rise in case numbers? The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Nov 25, 2021
What is the standoff on the Belarus-Poland border about?
00:26:58
As the tensions grow on the border between Belarus and Poland, we’re joined by DCU politics professor Donnacha Ó Beacháin, an expert on post-Soviet states, to examine the origins of the current crisis. He gives us a primer on Belarus itself, before discussing the situation faced by migrants on the border right now, and what the end goal could be for Alexander Lukashenko, considered Europe’s ‘last dictator’. The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Nov 18, 2021
Why is there so much talk about Ireland's cows?
00:36:26
There has been a lot of attention on Irish cows recently. In this episode, head of economics at Teagasc Trevor Donnellan and our reporter Orla Dwyer, live from the Cop26 climate summit, join us to explain why. How many cows are there in Ireland, why are they dominating headlines, how much do they contribute to Irish emissions, and what can be done to make cattle farming more sustainable? We also take a look at elements of the most recent cycle of The Good Information Project. The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at www.thejournal.ie/contribute/ (edited)
Nov 11, 2021
By Noteworthy: Why are the school days of Traveller children being reduced?
00:30:11
In another episode by Noteworthy, Susan Daly speaks to reporter Maria Delaney and Anne Marie Quilligan – a social care worker for the Tipperary Rural Traveller Project - about the findings of the team's latest investigation into supports for Traveller children. This forms part of the recent TOUGH START investigation by Noteworthy and The Journal which revealed poor outcomes and lack of supports for Traveller children across the multiple State systems and policy areas. The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at https://www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Nov 09, 2021
Will Sinn Féin lead the next government?
00:34:00
Our Political Correspondent Christina Finn and Aidan Regan, associate professor at UCD, join us on this week's episode to examine what comes next for Sinn Féin. The party has performed well in recent opinion polls, but what challenges remain between now and the next general election - due to be held in 2025 - for it to lead the next government? The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Nov 04, 2021
How do you get a book published in Ireland?
00:33:31
Authors Sophie White and Alice Taylor join us to explain how they entered the world of publishing, share tips for would-be book writers, and answer the all-important question - can you make a living from it? Both Sophie and Alice are nominated for Best Irish Published Book of the Year, The Journal's sponsored category at the 2021 Irish Book Awards. The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Oct 28, 2021
Why are Covid cases rising despite Ireland's high vaccination rate?
00:28:54
Nicky Ryan, author of The Journal's coronavirus newsletter, and Dr Gerald Barry, assistant professor of virology at UCD, join us on this week's episode to examine the latest concerning rise in the number of Covid cases. How much pressure are hospitals under, what could the next few months look like, and why is having 94% of adults fully vaccinated not enough to stop the spread of the virus? The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Oct 21, 2021
Who is Stephen Kenny and why does he divide opinion in Irish football?
00:35:21
The 42's Gavin Cooney joins us on this week's episode to examine Stephen Kenny's role as manager of the Republic of Ireland men's soccer team - why is he proving so controversial, just how poorly has the team performed recently, and how has he retained so much support from fans? The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at https://www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Oct 14, 2021
By Noteworthy: What is the issue with farm subsidies and nature?
00:34:08
In another episode by Noteworthy, Susan Daly speaks to journalist Ella McSweeney and reporter Niall Sargent about how the EU's agri-subsidies (Common Agricultural Policy, CAP) are encouraging farmers to cut back on nature. The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. You can contribute to ensure we can keep questioning, investigating, debunking, explaining and informing at https://www.thejournal.ie/contribute/
Oct 12, 2021
How is post-Brexit Britain handling migration?
00:32:29
Our reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha and immigration journalist CJ McKinney join us this week to look at how post-Brexit Britain is handling migration. They share insights from the latest instalment of The Good Information Project, which looked at everything from what the situation is for EU citizens living in the UK, to the issues behind the shortage of HGV drivers.
Oct 09, 2021
What does 'missing white woman syndrome' tell us about media coverage of missing people?
00:31:24
Washington Post reporter Brittany Shammas and our producer Aoife Barry join us to discuss how recent high-profile murders raise questions about the media's handling of missing person cases.
Oct 01, 2021
Why are there fears about Ireland facing power shortages this winter?
00:29:47
Most people will have heard some talk recently about household energy bills rising and the shortage of natural gas. This week, Sinéad O’Carroll speaks to The Journal's business reporter Ian Curran and Muireann Á Lynch of the ESRI about the perfect storm of events both in Ireland and internationally that have brought us to a winter of energy shortages.
Sep 23, 2021
Should we be ordering our Christmas presents now?
00:22:55
Yes, we're talking about Christmas in September. Our reporter Ian Curran joins us to discuss the strains facing global supply chains and how it could result in some items being hard to find during the busy winter retail season. And it's not just Covid to blame - semiconductors, pallets, and our old friend the Ever Given are in the mix too.
Sep 16, 2021
Where does Ireland fit into the space race?
00:39:07
Space expert Leo Enright joins us on this week's episode to look up at the heavens, and examine what role Ireland plays in getting more stuff up there. We discuss how space technology can benefit us on Earth, the ins and outs of how Ireland's first satellite will work, and how we have Dublin's Royal Canal to thank for a fundamental element of space travel.
Sep 10, 2021
By Noteworthy: What can be done to halt the decline of our biodiversity?
00:23:00
In a bonus episode, brought to you by our investigative team at Noteworthy, Susan Daly chats with reporter Niall Sargent about the state of Ireland’s biodiversity and what needs to be done to better protect it.
Sep 03, 2021
How is Australia battling its biggest Covid outbreak to date?
00:29:55
Peter Bodkin, formerly of this parish but now editor of AAP Factcheck in Sydney, joins us to look at how Australia is handling its latest Covid outbreak. What is life like right now, how is the vaccine rollout going, and what does Delta mean for Covid Zero strategies? We also take a look at what level of misinformation there is down under.
Aug 30, 2021
What's the future for women in Afghanistan?
00:26:20
As Afghanistan descends further into an uncertain future, we're joined by Heather Barr, associate director of the women's rights division at Human Rights Watch, to look at what lies ahead for women in the country. Barr, who lived in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2013, shares her insights on what life was like before the US-led invasion, to what extent the situation improved for women since then, and just what is facing them now.
Aug 26, 2021
Is Ireland doing enough to fight climate change?
00:39:56
Journalist John Gibbons and our reporter Lauren Boland join us on this week's episode to look at the recent stark report on climate change from the IPCC and what it means for Ireland. Are Ireland's targets enough for the country to play its part in reducing global emissions, is it even worthwhile if other larger nations fail to do their bit, and what's the best way to help at an individual level?
Aug 19, 2021
What happened to Ireland’s rail network - and what's its future?
00:25:40
Our reporter Lauren Boland joins us to examine how Ireland went from having an expansive rail network, with thousands of kilometres of track, to some counties having little or no access to rail services at all. Was it all just cutbacks or were consumer habits at play as well? Also, what's the future for Ireland's railways?
Aug 13, 2021
From the Olympics to Ryanair flights, why is Belarus making international headlines?
00:38:16
Radio Free Europe's Moscow correspondent Matthew Luxmoore joins us on this week's episode to examine Belarus and the hold of 'Europe's last dictator' on the country. We look at who Alexander Lukashenko is as well as the background to recent high-profile incidents like the grounding of a Ryanair flight in Minsk and the mysterious death of an opposition activist in Ukraine.
Aug 05, 2021
What sparked rare protests in Cuba?
00:39:17
Author and former editor of The Observer Magazine Ruaridh Nicoll joins us from Havana to examine what sparked recent widespread protests in Cuba. He shares what life is like on the island right now, how we likely haven't seen the end of the protests, as well as what exactly the people of Cuba want.
Jul 29, 2021
Why does the British government want to stop Troubles prosecutions?
00:20:15
David Blevins, senior Ireland correspondent with Sky News, joins us on this week's episode to examine proposals to ban prosecutions for killings that took place during the Troubles - what's the exact aim, what do the families of victims want instead, and how has it caused some rare unity among parties in Northern Ireland?
Jul 21, 2021
What could your holidays look like for the rest of the year?
00:30:55
Travel writer Eoghan Corry and our producer Nicky Ryan look ahead to holidays in 2021 - how will the Digital Covid Certificate work, will I have to quarantine, and what is it actually like to holiday in other EU countries right now?
Jul 15, 2021
What is the mica scandal and how has it affected homeowners?
00:23:31
Our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy joins us to delve into the mica scandal. What exactly is it, how has it impacted the homes - and lives - of those affected, and what are the issues with the support available?
Jul 07, 2021
What is going on with the National Maternity Hospital?
00:21:55
Our reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha sets us straight on everything to do with the new National Maternity Hospital - why is the hospital moving, who will be in control of it, and what are the top clinicians saying?
Jul 02, 2021
How much do we know right now about the Delta variant?
00:40:08
TCD virus expert Dr Kim Roberts and our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy join us to explain just how much more contagious the Delta variant of the coronavirus is, what the latest data on vaccine efficacy tells us, and why it appears to be a matter of time before it becomes the dominant variant of the virus in Ireland.
Jun 24, 2021
What's all this about a Brexit sausage war?
00:31:38
BBC Radio Foyle's Dominic McGrath and our own Gráinne Ní Aodha join us to discuss the latest Brexit spat and why it's being dubbed a sausage trade war. How could it be resolved, what is the fallout going to be, and why does it come at such a bad time for Northern Irish politics?
Jun 17, 2021
What's next for the Mother and Baby Home commission?
00:38:54
Renowned archivist Catriona Crowe and our reporter Órla Ryan join us to discuss the latest controversy over the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes - what problems are becoming apparent with the report, what did one of its authors say to anger survivors in their first public comments, and what can the government do next?
Jun 11, 2021
Who are the Uighurs and what is going on in China?
00:32:22
For the latest instalment of The Good Information Project we are joined by Clifford Coonan to talk about claims of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang autonomous region of China.
Jun 04, 2021
Why are you hearing so much about cryptocurrency?
00:42:33
Nick Charalambous, managing director of Alpha Wealth, and our business reporter Ian Curran join us on this week's episode to talk cryptocurrencies. Why are they grabbing headlines, what's driving their prices up and down, and is it actually a good way to invest your money?
May 27, 2021
What is the impact of the HSE cyberattack?
00:36:20
Brian Honan, cybersecurity expert and CEO of BH Consulting, and our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy join us to discuss the impact of the cyberattack on the HSE. What is ransomware, how do you go about fixing the damage done, and how is it impacting patients on the ground?
May 23, 2021
What's the story with rapid Covid tests?
00:26:43
Our reporter Cónal Thomas examines what a Covid antigen test is, and why the sale of them in Lidl has sparked such debate. He explains how their results should be (cautiously) interpreted, as well as how they are already being used by the HSE in certain situations.
May 13, 2021
How has Covid changed the way we work?
00:30:28
Our reporters Sean Murray, Adam Daly, and Brian Whelan join us to discuss the latest instalment of The Good Information Project, examining how the pandemic could have a lasting impact on the way we work. How soon might be people be back in the office, and what is the 'right to disconnect' for those who remain working from home?
May 07, 2021
Why did Arlene Foster make the shock decision to step down as DUP leader?
00:26:39
Last week, Arlene Foster abstained in on a vote on banning gay conversion therapy. That decision snowballed this week into Foster being effectively ousted as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party following a letter of no confidence from a majority of the party's elected representatives. We're joined by BBC Radio Foyle's Dominic McGrath, who explains what led to this decision, who could take over as leader of the party, and what it all means for Northern Ireland's fragile political landscape.
Apr 30, 2021
Why did everyone hit the roof over plans for a football Super League?
00:37:13
It was impossible to escape the news of plans for a European Super League this week - plans which soon fell apart. The42's Gavin Cooney is on hand to explain the ins and outs of the brief saga, how much money is on the line, and what it means for the future of soccer.
Apr 21, 2021
From influencers to QAnon - how misinformation changed in Ireland over the past year
00:43:38
Our deputy editor Christine Bohan and Ciarán O'Connor of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue join us on this week's episode to look at how the spread of misinformation has evolved in Ireland over the past year. Who is it targeting, who benefits, and how did QAnon crop up on this side of the Atlantic?
Apr 15, 2021
Has the pandemic had an effect on housing prices?
00:25:43
Ronan Lyons, associate professor of economics at Trinity College Dublin, joins us on this week's podcast to examine what impact the pandemic is having on housing prices. Are prices being pushed up, or were they drifting up anyway? And what's the best advice for someone considering buying a home right now?
Apr 10, 2021
How likely is a united Ireland in the next 10 years?
00:31:15
Our reporters Rónán Duffy and Gráinne Ní Aodha examine the possibility of - and the appetite for - a united Ireland in the next decade. How would a border poll work, and what's this Shared Ireland Unit the government set up? This episode is part of The Good Information Project - we're also joined by Brian Whelan to explain more about this new initiative from The Journal.
Apr 01, 2021
Why is there talk of an EU-UK 'vaccine war'?
00:29:18
Our reporters Gráinne Ní Aodha and Michelle Hennessy join us to examine why vaccines are causing tensions to almost boil over between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The former is now weighing up plans to halt exports of jabs to countries with higher rates of vaccinations than its own member states. We look at the origins of all this (it's not Brexit again, is it?), what it has to do with the 1970s oil crisis, and why a single pharmaceutical plant in the Netherlands is in the spotlight.
Mar 24, 2021
How do you get nominated for an Oscar?
00:27:02
Co-director of Wolfwalkers, Tomm Moore, joins us on this week's episode to discuss the film's nomination for an Academy Award. What type of groundwork goes into it, what does it mean to even get close to winning an Oscar, and what is it like for Cartoon Saloon to grow from a small Kilkenny-based studio to a name respected worldwide in animation?
Mar 19, 2021
Banks, brokers, and bonds are back in the news - should we be worried (again)?
00:30:38
Our business reporter Ian Curran joins us to look at recent stories about banks and brokers, from Ulster Bank pulling out of Ireland and Bank of Ireland closing branches, to Davy being fined over a 2014 transaction. Should we be concerned that we're hearing so much about them?
Mar 11, 2021
What is the government's radical new plan for Direct Provision?
00:39:56
Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, our reporter Cónal Thomas, as well as Ola Mustapha, who lives in Direct Provision, join us on this week's episode to explore the new plan to bring the current regime of Direct Provision to an end by 2024. What are conditions like current, and how feasible is the new plan?
Mar 04, 2021
Why is the government changing the Living With Covid plan again?
00:33:38
Is there anything to be said for another Covid plan? Our Political Correspondent Christina Finn and Senior Reporter Michelle Hennessy join us to examine the latest changes to the Living With Covid framework. What are the government's aims for the next few weeks, and when might lockdown be lifted?
Feb 24, 2021
What's the latest with Ireland's vaccine rollout?
00:24:35
Our reporters Órla Ryan and Michelle Hennessy bring us to speed with the latest on Ireland's Covid vaccine rollout. What happens once the over 70s are vaccinated, what's the latest estimate on when the entire rollout might be complete, and how do we compare to other countries?
Feb 18, 2021
What is Article 16, and why has it been causing hassle?
00:29:08
TheJournal.ie's Brexit reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha and BBC Radio Foyle's Dominic McGrath (formerly of this parish) join us on this week's episode to examine Article 16, and why it has lead to problems in Dublin, Belfast, London, and Brussels. What exactly is its function in the Northern Ireland Protocol, and why was the triggering of it so unexpected?
Feb 11, 2021
Delivery woes, efficacy questions, and Brexit - what's going on with AstraZeneca?
00:37:34
Our reporters Ian Curran and Michelle Hennessy lay the entire AstraZeneca vaccine saga out on the table and go through it piece by piece - from the initial questions over its clinical trials, its success in the UK, to the delivery woes and Brexit complications now impeding the vaccine's rollout in the EU. Read more of Ian and Michelle's reporting on the vaccine roll-out here https://jrnl.ie/5339732
Feb 03, 2021
What happens next with Trump's impeachment - and what does it mean for his future?
00:37:20
Larry Donnelly, NUIG lecturer and TheJournal.ie's columnist, joins us on this week's episode to look at Trump's second impeachment. What happens next, how likely is it that he will be convicted in the Senate, and what does it all mean for his future?
Jan 28, 2021
What are the issues with the mother and baby home report?
00:30:08
Dr Ciara Breathnach, associate professor at the University of Limerick, and our reporters Cónal Thomas and Órla Ryan, examine the findings of the mother and baby home report, and how it could provide more questions than answers.
Jan 21, 2021
In Depth: A GP, nurse, ICU consultant and contact tracer on working during the third wave
00:56:10
Ireland's third wave of Covid-19 is putting the health service under unprecedented strain. We speak to those on the frontlines about what they're experiencing.
Jan 13, 2021
The third wave - what happened, and what restrictions are in place?
00:31:00
Our reporters Michelle Hennessy and Cónal Thomas bring up to date on the latest restrictions; the discussion over what led to the rocketing Covid-19 case numbers; how vaccination is going; and how the healthcare system is coping.
Jan 06, 2021
Out favourite explanations of 2020
00:24:33
As this tumultuous year draws to a close, The Explainer team sits down to pick their favourite clips from the year.
Dec 29, 2020
Interview: RTÉ's Brian O'Donovan on reporting in Trump's America - and what 2021 holds for Biden
00:44:14
Sinéad O'Carroll chats to RTÉ Washington Correspondent Brian O'Donovan about reporting on the ground in Trump's America and how his achievements compare to his 2016 promises. We also look ahead to 2021 and the uphill battle Joe Biden faces one he enters the White House.
Dec 22, 2020
How Ireland plans to roll-out Covid-19 vaccines
00:28:26
Our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy shares all the detail you need on the plan to roll-out Covid-19 vaccines in Ireland, including who gets the first doses, who will be administering the vaccine, where you'll get it, and a rough idea of when it all might happen.
Dec 16, 2020
Virologist Dr Cillian de Gascun on how Covid-19 vaccines work
00:33:10
Ireland could start its rollout of a Covid vaccine as soon as next month, but how exactly do they work? We're joined on this week's episode by head of the National Virus Reference Laboratory and NPHET member Dr Cillian De Gascun. We examine the main differences between the leading vaccine candidates, why mRNA could be a significant gamechanger in medicine, and more.
Dec 11, 2020
Why has the Irish media been barred from reporting the names of children who have been murdered?
00:24:54
RTÉ legal affairs correspondent Órla O'Donnell and Fianna Fáil's Jim O'Callaghan join us on this week's episode to discuss a surprise ruling which means that Irish media can no longer report the names of children who have been murdered. We examine Section 252, and the impact it has both on reporting cases like this and on survivors of abuse who want to tell their story.
Dec 05, 2020
Why is the 27th Amendment back in the news?
00:25:04
We speak to doctoral researcher Hilary Hogan to examine the 27th Amendment. Unanimously passed in 2004, it meant that children born to non-Irish citizens would no longer be entitled to birthright citizenship. New legislation proposed by Labour seeks to provide a path to citizenship for these children.
Nov 26, 2020
Professor Philip Nolan on what the numbers are telling us about Covid-19 right now
00:42:06
NPHET's modelling expert Professor Philip Nolan joins us on this week's episode to discuss the recent trends in the Covid-19 cases at this halfway point in Ireland's second lockdown, as well as answering some of your questions.
Nov 19, 2020
Did the polls get it right in the US election?
00:31:10
Dr Kevin Cunningham, lecturer in politics and in the School of Media at TU Dublin, as well as an independent pollster, joins us on this week's website episode to examine whether the polls accurately predicted the results of the US election - or whether that's even possible within the electoral college system.
Nov 12, 2020
In Depth: What exactly happened with the mother and baby home legislation?
00:51:12
Sinéad O'Carroll is joined this by our reporter Órla Ryan, co-director of the Clann Project and NUI Galway lecturer in human rights Dr Maeve O’Rourke, as well as solicitor and director of Data Compliance Europe Simon McGarr. The government has received a copy of the findings from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, but it has already attracted significant controversy before it has even come near to being published, as fears were sparked among survivor and campaign groups that the records would be sealed for 30 years. We look at what exactly a mother and baby home was, what the Commission of Inquiry was investigating, how this spiraled into a controversy as well as what exactly the GDPR says about access to records like these.
Nov 05, 2020
The Explainer LIVE: What could Trump's legacy be?
01:08:26
We recorded this week's episode live on Zoom. Presenter Sinéad O’Carroll was joined by our columnist Larry Donnelly of NUIG, associate professor at Trinity College Dublin Dr Daniel Geary who has a special interest in political ideologies and the intellectual and cultural history of America, and Seana Davis of Euronews, who examines how misinformation and American politics have intertwined over the past four years. We focused on what Trump's legacy could be - either from his first term or his entire presidency, depending on how Tuesday falls.
Oct 30, 2020
What led to Ireland moving to Level 5 restrictions?
00:31:51
Our reporters Michelle Hennessy, Cónal Thomas, and Nicky Ryan join us on this week's episode to examine what led to Ireland moving to the highest level of Covid restrictions. We discuss the available capacity in our healthcare service, whether our contact tracing system is up to scratch, and what WHO's position is on lockdowns.
Oct 21, 2020
Is assisted dying going to become legal in Ireland soon?
00:26:53
Our reporter Stevie McDermott talks us through the new assisted dying legislation and explains what happens next. He speaks to presenter Sinéad O'Carroll about why this was a somewhat unexpected Bill, how it got to the stage it did, and the importance of the free vote. He also gives an insight into what how other countries treat assisted dying, and how their legislation differs from what's proposed in Ireland.
Oct 15, 2020
How did Covid-19 get so bad in Northern Ireland?
00:29:01
TheJournal.ie contributor Dominic McGrath joins us from Tyrone to discuss the escalating situation in Northern Ireland. What has led to the sudden surge in new cases, and what have authorities done to rein it in? What were the early days of the pandemic like there compared to the Republic, and is there much co-operation between governments north and south?
Oct 09, 2020
What is the Stay and Spend scheme and how does it work?
00:40:44
Author of 'How To Be Good With Money' Eoin McGee and travel expert Eoghan Corry chat through the new Stay and Spend scheme. How will it work in practice, how do you claim that money back in tax credits, and how much do you need to spend in the first place?
Oct 02, 2020
Interview: The story of Unquiet Graves
00:50:11
For this week’s episode, we sat down with filmmaker Seán Murray to talk about the Glenanne Gang, fighting for justice and the reaction to Unquiet Graves.
Sep 25, 2020
What you need to know about the new Covid-19 levels and restrictions
00:38:18
Reporters Michelle Hennessy and Cónal Thomas look at the various levels and what is allowed under the new Living With Covid plan; NPHET's relationship with the government and how this has evolved; and what the restrictions mean for the arts, sport, and weddings.
Sep 15, 2020
Why is Brexit back in the news?
00:19:54
Shona Murray, reporter from EuroNews, joins us this week to talk us through exactly why Brexit is back in the news this week. After a story broke in the Financial Times about new Brexit legislation, British PM Boris Johnson found himself in hot water. Senior EU figures are not happy, and neither are Irish political figures. Here's what's going on.
Sep 08, 2020
Leaving Cert results are out on Monday - here's how it'll work
00:28:50
Sinéad O'Carroll is joined this week by TheJournal.ie reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha who has drilled down into the detail of how students will be awarded calculated grades for this year's Leaving Cert exams. We also look at what students can do if they're unhappy with their points, and how Ireland aims to avoid the angry scenes witnessed in the United Kingdom by pupils whose results were downgraded by an algorithm.
Sep 03, 2020
How could Golfgate impact Irish people’s behaviour?
00:30:46
Behavioural scientist with the ESRI, Pete Lunn, chats to us in the wake of Golfgate about whether the behaviour of politicians can trickle down to others. He also tells us what the ESRI's studies show about adhering to regulations, and how we can make life easier for ourselves this coming winter.
Aug 27, 2020
What led to the new Covid-19 restrictions?
00:38:59
Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, talks us through the reasoning behind the new restrictions in Ireland aimed at preventing community transmission of Covid-19, and what the government means when it says we are a 'critical time' for the country. We're also joined by author of The Journal's coronavirus newsletter Nicky Ryan to talk us through the ins and outs of the restrictions.
Aug 19, 2020
What the Covid-19 clusters tell us about the meat industry in Ireland
00:34:21
On this week's episode of The Explainer, journalist with the Irish Farmer's Journal, Hannah Quinn Mulligan, talks us through what the Covid-19 outbreaks tell us about the meat industry in Ireland. She talks Sinéad O'Carroll through how the clusters emerged in Kildare, Laois, and Offaly; how important the meat processing industry is to Ireland; the conditions inside the plants; and the issues that staff might face. We also examine international clusters, and what this situation could mean for the future of the meat industry in Ireland.
Aug 14, 2020
Why is Ireland delaying the reopening of pubs again?
00:28:16
Political correspondent Christina Finn and reporter Sean Murray join us to talk through the decision to delay Phase 4, and in turn delay the reopening of pubs that don't serve food. Why was the decision made, and what does it mean for pubs?
Aug 05, 2020
What's Ireland's plan for reopening schools - and how does it compare to other countries?
00:20:40
It has been a fraught subject for months - when will Ireland's schools be reopening? And when they reopen, what measures will have to be put in place to keep the risk of Covid-19 low? Yesterday, we got our answer, when the new Minister for Education Normal Foley unveiled the plan for schools. Under the €350m plan, we'll see 'bubbles' and 'pods' introduced, along with a number of other measures designed to allow children return to the classroom. In this week's podcast, we look at what the plan lays out. We also take a look at how Ireland's plan compares to other countries, like Denmark and Germany. Are we doing anything radically different? And what does the latest research tell us about children and Covid-19 risk? The Explainer's assistant producer and author of TheJournal.ie's coronavirus newsletter Nicky Ryan joins presenter Sinéad O'Carroll to explain more.
Jul 28, 2020
How close is a Covid-19 vaccine?
00:21:13
Dr Teresa Lambe from the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, one of the researchers behind the British Covid-19 vaccine trials, joins us on this week's episode. She talks to presenter Sinéad O'Carroll about how the UK trial in particular is going, and gives us an insight into this week's good news that this vaccine was found to be safe and induce an immune reaction in the early stages of the trial. Features a clip from Lancet Voice.
Jul 21, 2020
Why are tourists able to visit Ireland right now?
00:29:49
We're joined by TheJournal.ie's senior reporter Michelle Hennessy to examine this further - she breaks down just how tourists can arrive in Ireland, and what their legal requirements are. With presenter Sinéad O'Carroll, we also look at how the legal requirement to quarantine on arrival is murky, at best, and what the appetite for potential solutions are, such as testing on arrival.
Jul 16, 2020
How Covid-19 brought misinformation to Ireland
00:34:13
A flood of misinformation and disinformation followed Covid-19's arrival to Ireland. You likely saw a lot of this firsthand. Maybe it was the rumours of the Irish military being deployed to enforce lockdown, or a suggestion that drinking water would prevent you from catching Covid-19. It has become a significant feature of public discourse on the crisis in recent weeks and months, but is it here to stay, or as we begin to live alongside the virus until a vaccine arrives, will it simply ebb away? TheJournal.ie examined this in a webinar last week, organised in partnership with the European Parliament Office in Ireland. Presenter Sinéad O'Carroll was joined by our own Deputy Editor, and the lead of TheJournal.ie's FactCheck project, Christine Bohan as well as FullFact’s Nicola Aitken, Per Enerud of the European External Action Service and MEP Billy Kelleher.
Jul 08, 2020
How do you handover a government?
00:31:05
Former government press secretary Feargal Purcell gives us an insider-look at how one government hands over the reins to next. Would Leo have left a 'how to' guide for Micheál? How do you transfer staff between newly created Departments, or even start one from scratch?
Jul 02, 2020
How likely are you to catch Covid-19 in Ireland right now?
00:32:11
Is it a "one-in-a-million chance"? Professor Paul Moynagh, Head of the Department of Biology at Maynooth University and Director of the Human Health Research Institute, joins us to discuss how we can start to figure out how common Covid-19 is in Ireland right now, as well as what studies will help us learn the true number of people infected and the most important things to bear in mind during phase three.
Jun 25, 2020
Here's what Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and the Greens plan to do if they form a government
00:36:03
Our own political correspondent Christina Finn and Professor Gary Murphy from Dublin City University's School of Law and Government join us this week to examine the programme for government. Yesterday, we finally received the news that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party had made an agreement and drafted a list of what they planned to do together. That document is known as a programme for government, and is currently in its draft stage - it has to be voted on by each party's members. If they all agree on the contents, FG, FG and the Greens will all be going into government together. It's been over 100 days of waiting for this moment. But what does the draft programme for government promise? That's what we're looking at in this week's episode of The Explainer.
Jun 16, 2020
What does defunding the police mean?
00:29:56
Vox reporter Matthew Yglesias joins us from Washington on this week's podcast to talk to presenter Sinéad O'Carroll about what the phrase 'defund the police means'. We've heard this phrase used in the US a lot during Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But why is this phrase being used, and what does it mean? In addition, what can it tell us about how policing currently works in the US? That's what we discuss on this week's podcast.
Jun 11, 2020
What does the George Floyd killing mean for America?
00:35:08
On this week's episode, Glenn Burkins joins us from North Carolina to talk about the impact of the protests in the US following the death of George Floyd. On 25 May, a man named George Floyd went to buy cigarettes in a corner store. After the transaction, he was accused of using a counterfeit €20 bill, and when he denied the accusation the police were called. Part of what happened next was captured on video by a bystander: the incident ended with a police officer spending almost nine minutes with his knee to the neck of a handcuffed Floyd. George Floyd died after the incident. The release of the video led to huge outcry, not just in the US but globally. The police officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on 29 May, which was upgraded to second-degree murder on 3 June. Three other officers are to be charged in relation to George Floyd's death. With protests against the death ongoing, the conversation has turned globally to how George Floyd's treatment was part of the long history of racism and discrimination against black Americans. On this week's The Explainer, Glenn Burkins, editor of the Q City Metro in North Carolina, joins us to give an American perspective about the events. He tells us about what the protests mean for African Americans, what they could mean for the Trump administration, and his feelings as an African American reporter and publisher.
Jun 05, 2020
Why is Daniel Kinahan back in the news again?
00:45:39
On this week's podcast, The42's Gavan Casey and TheJournal.ie reporter Garreth McNamee join us to look at why Daniel Kinahan is back in the news again.
May 29, 2020
100 days after the election, what's happening with government formation?
00:36:52
Gavan Reilly, Virgin Media political correspondent and host of On The Record on Newstalk, and TheJournal.ie's political correspondent Christina Finn join us on this week's episode to discuss we still have no government more than 100 days since the general election. We discuss what the main sticking points have been through the talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, and whether we'll definitely see the Green Party joining them to government, as well as examine how a 'caretaker' government works, what role the Seanad plays in all this, and how things might play out for the next few weeks - or months.
May 21, 2020
What is the mysterious syndrome linked to Covid-19 that's affecting children?
00:19:59
Late last month, a national alert was issued in the UK for healthcare professionals, warning them about potential links between a life-threatening syndrome being seen in children, and Covid-19. Over a month earlier, doctors in Italy started to notice cases of the same syndrome. In the intervening time, cases were seen in France, Spain and Portugal. The World Health Organization put out an alert about the potential links between the syndrome and Covid-19. Cases of the syndrome in children escalated in New York, where there's thought to be some 100 cases. Three deaths in the state have been linked to the syndrome. But what is this syndrome - similar to Kawasaki Syndrome - and how could it be connected to Covid-19? That's what we're looking at in this week's episode of The Explainer. Our reporter Sean Murray gives presenter Sinéad O'Carroll the most up-to-date information on what we know about the syndrome, and what Irish medical experts have to say. Some further reading on this topic: • What to Know About Kawasaki Disease and Coronavirus (TIME) https://time.com/5832461/kawasaki-disease-covid-19/ • The Pandemic Doesn't Have to Be This Confusing (The Atlantic) https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/pandemic-confusing-uncertainty/610819/ • How coronavirus attacks the human body (The Washington Post) https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/10/coronavirus-attacks-body-symptoms/?arc404=true • ‘Finally, a virus got me.’ Scientist who fought Ebola and HIV reflects on facing death from COVID-19 (Science) https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/finally-virus-got-me-scientist-who-fought-ebola-and-hiv-reflects-facing-death-covid-19 • Covid-19 impacting patients' kidneys with many ending up needing dialysis (TheJournal.ie) https://www.thejournal.ie/coronavirus-kidneys-5089817-May2020/
May 14, 2020
Will it be possible for pubs to open before 10 August?
00:24:02
There's five dates to mark on your calendar: 18 May, 8 June, 29 June, 20 July, 10 August. These are the tentative dates for each phase of the government's roadmap for the lifting of restrictions. The situation is going to be closely monitored. If the virus starts spreading widely again, some elements might be pushed back or suspended. If good progress is made in keeping it at bay, elements could be brought forward. Right now cafes and restaurants will reopen - with social distancing measures in place - from 29 June, but this is a problem for publicans and anyone who is looking forward to a drink in their local, as pubs are currently slated to open on 10 August. Our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy joins presenter Sinéad O'Carroll to examine this situation. We take a look at how the roadmap might work, how it's a 'living document' with changes being made on the fly, but also whether it is possible for pubs to open before August. We also talk through the proposals released by publicans on how it might happen, and how likely the government is to overrule the advice of the health experts in favour of an early return to normality.
May 06, 2020
Where are we at with testing for Covid-19 in Ireland right now?
00:39:23
Testing for Covid-19 is an essential part of fighting against the spread of the disease, and the Irish government has pledged to process 100,000 a week. But it isn't easy to get to that number - so are we there yet? Why is testing important? And what about the future?
May 01, 2020
How well is the State informing the public about the coronavirus crisis?
00:28:20
The coronavirus crisis has seen important figures like Ireland's chief medical officer, Tony Holohan, become household names. At a time of crisis like now, the State has to assess carefully how it will communicate with its citizens. It needs to be clear and in charge, and listen to the people affected by what it's telling them. How is Ireland doing this, and how effective is it? That's what we're looking at in this week's episode of The Explainer. We talk you through how the HSE and Department of Health communicates the latest facts and figures to people -
Apr 24, 2020
What is the current thinking - in Ireland and abroad - about wearing masks?
00:26:04
People living in Ireland do not have to wear masks as part of the effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 - but people in New York and the Czech Republic do. So should we be wearing masks, or not? What does the science say? And are homemade cloth masks any use? On this week's episode of The Explainer, we take a look at the question of mask-wearing.
Apr 16, 2020
What does the data tell us about Ireland's fight against coronavirus?
00:49:17
There are a lot of numbers flying around the place that tell us things about the coronavirus outbreak - but analysing them can be tricky. Is it possible to read too far into some numbers, and too soon? Or is tracking the trajectory of death and diagnosis tolls our best way of getting a handle on how the coronavirus is affecting Ireland?
Apr 10, 2020
How are other countries dealing with Covid-19 compared with Ireland?
01:16:48
Skip to 0:58 for Germany, 19:23 for the United States, 41:48 for Sweden, and 1:01:47 for South Korea. The world is united in fighting the spread of the coronavirus, but every country has had its own journey. This week for The Explainer podcast we speak to reporters from four different countries to find out how things are going where they live. When did the restrictions come in? How have their country leaders been dealing with it? Are there any local customs or habits which make have helped or hindered the actions being taken there?
Apr 03, 2020
What are the British doing to battle Covid-19?
00:39:36
While every country has had its own individual response to the coronavirus, there has been a fairly consistent approach of acting as soon as the issue became apparent. However, the UK stood out for taking a slightly different approach, and introducing social distancing and a shutdown at a later point than countries like Ireland. Stories in the UK press suggesting the country had initially aimed to pursue herd immunity and encourage vulnerable and older people to stay at home were much criticised. So why did the UK take the approach it did, and what has it meant for the people living there?
Mar 26, 2020
How did misinformation about the coronavirus spread on Whatsapp in Ireland?
00:26:26
The country is in the middle of an unprecedented crisis - schools are shut, people are working from home when they can, and the government has been reassuring people that it's doing all it can to stop the spread of Covid-19. But besides the very obvious unusual things about this situation, there has been something else people have had to contend with: the spread of misinformation. On this week's episode of The Explainer podcast, we look at the spread of misinformation, and at TheJournal.ie's work of debunking the claims.
Mar 19, 2020
How can Ireland stop an Italy-style spread of coronavirus?
00:35:41
With the Covid-19 outbreak comes significant challenges, including huge pressure on our health service and disruption to our day-to-day lives. Minister for Health Simon Harris has already flagged that we are likely to see significantly more cases in Ireland, but many would be hoping that we can avoid what's happening in Italy. Italy has the second-highest number of cases in the world, after China, and the number of cases continues to spiral into the thousands. The entire country was put into lock-down on Monday night in an effort to contain the virus This week on The Explainer we're looking at how Covid-19 virus spread so fast there, and what can be learned from the approach of the Italian government. Joining presenter Sinéad O'Carroll is our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy as well as Professor of Health Systems at DCU Anthony Staines to examine what exactly happened in Italy, whether Ireland might have to implement a similar approach to contain the virus, what our other options might be, and how other countries are approaching the challenge.
Mar 11, 2020
Super Tuesday - what is it, how did it go and what will it mean for Trump?
00:38:03
Super Tuesday has come and gone, and it's impact is already being felt - we've a comeback kid and already one hopeful has dropped out(that would be billionaire Michael Bloomberg). People in 14 states voted for their preferred Democratic candidate, which means that we get a greater sense of who could face Donald Trump in the 2020 election. But what is Super Tuesday exactly, what states were involved, and what could it mean for Trump?
Mar 04, 2020
What you need to know about Covid-19
00:36:40
You might have many questions about the situation around this coronavirus – is it a pandemic? If it becomes one, what does that mean for Ireland? How can you keep yourself and your family safe? What does ‘self isolation’ mean? In this week’s episode, we cut through the scaremongering to answer your questions with facts and the most up-to-date information from experts. In studio we have Noteworthy investigative reporter Maria Delaney and Dr Kim Roberts, Assistant Professor of Virology at Trinity College Dublin.
Feb 27, 2020
Why don't we have a government yet?
00:38:05
The general election has come and gone - so why don't we have a government? The Dáil has sat for the first time, but party leaders were unable to gather enough votes to become Taoiseach, leading to Leo Varadkar's resignation. There's talk of a left-wing coalition let by Sinn Féin, but there's also talk of a grand coalition between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Where do we go from here? Nicky Ryan is joined by Gavan Reilly, political correspondent with Virgin Media News, DCU politics professor Gary Murphy, as well as our own political correspondent Christina Finn to figure out what exactly is going on.
Feb 21, 2020
What’s happened so far in the general election count?
00:43:28
The exit poll indicated we'd be talking about Sinn Féin throughout count day but it didn't point to the absolutely huge first preference votes its candidates would get across the country.  The party has topped polls in multiple constituencies, with popular sitting TDs, deputies who had feared for their seats and unknown names who came from seemingly nowhere.  Storm Ciara brought turbulence in more ways than one. We know a number of ministers will lose their seats, with Shane Ross the first formally eliminated in the fifth count in Dublin Rathdown.  What else has been happening and what should we expect on Monday?
Feb 10, 2020
LIVE: How does Ireland get the politicians it has?
01:11:56
For our first live episode, recorded at Crow Street in Dublin's Temple Bar, we're looking at how Ireland ends up with the politicians it has. How much do polls, debates, and social media have to do with it - and how much is people voting for party or country? Sinéad O'Carroll is joined by journalist and broadcaster Lise Hand and Professor Gary Murphy, Associate Professor of Politics at DCU, and Maynooth University’s election guru Adrian Kavanagh.
Feb 06, 2020
How worried should we be about the coronavirus in Ireland?
00:29:19
On this week's episode, we look at the novel coronavirus outbreak and ask - how worried should we be in Ireland about it? What is a coronavirus? How can you stop its spread? And is the Irish health system prepared for a possible outbreak here? Joining Sinéad O'Carroll in studio are Noteworthy investigative journalist Maria Delaney and Nigel Stevenson, associate professor in immunology at Trinity College Dublin. We also hear from John Cuddihy, Director of the HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre, about how the Irish health system is dealing with the coronavirus threat.
Jan 31, 2020
How did the Drogheda feud reach north Dublin?
00:31:27
Last year, we brought you the story behind the Drogheda feud. This week, we take another look at the feud, in the wake of the shocking death of teenager Keane Mulready-Woods. The young teen's remains were found in a holdall in Coolock on Monday 13 January. Two days later more remains were found in a burning car in Ballybough. The shocking discovery and subsequent garda investigation showed that the Drogheda feud had reached north Dublin. Keane disappeared on Sunday 12 January and gardaí described what happened to him as “a brutal and savage attack on a child and is completely unacceptable in any normal democratic society”. In this week's episode, TheJournal.ie reporters Garreth McNamee and Conal Thomas discuss with Sinéad O'Carroll the circumstances that could have led to this latest twist in the feud. They examine the response to gangland activity and how the garda investigation into Keane Mulready-Woods' death is going.
Jan 24, 2020
What is going on between Harry, Meghan and the British Royal Family?
00:33:10
Update: Since we recorded this episode, it has been announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer be working members of the royal family. This month is a significant one for the British Royal Family. In an almost unprecedented move, Prince Harry and Meghan announced on 8 January that they plan to step back as senior members of the family, removing themselves from frontline royal duties. They want to, they said, carve out a "progressive role" in the monarchy. The rest of the family were seemingly left in the dark over the decision, but Queen Elizabeth has confirmed that they will be 'entirely supportive' of the pair. But what happens now? In this week's episode of The Explainer, presenter Sinéad O'Carroll is joined by David McClure, royal finances expert and author of Royal Legacy, journalist and broadcaster Conor Behan and TheJournal.ie reporter Rónán Duffy to look what happened since 8 January, what the future holds for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, what money - public or otherwise - they currently receive, how they could grow Brand Harry and Meghan. They also look at the couple's fractious relationship with the media and how that could have played into their decision.
Jan 18, 2020
Why #blackandtans was trending in 2020 - and what's next for State commemorations?
00:37:05
It was supposed to be fairly straightforward - a commemoration for those who served in the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP), to be held in Dublin Castle. But due to the varied complications of Irish history over the past centuries, as soon as the event was publicised the criticism and questions began to roll in for the government over the past week. We're joined by two experts to discuss what went wrong and what we can learn from it.
Jan 11, 2020
How does Met Éireann decide on weather warnings?
00:28:22
In Ireland, we really do love talking about the weather - and often guiding the importance of these conversations is Met Éireann's colour coding system. It has been in use over the past decade, but it's often not that straight-forward. Some weather conditions with lower ratings have felt the same as others with higher ratings, sometimes they're announced at the last minute, or others seem to signal impending doom pass without incident. Joining us in studio is TheJournal.ie reporter Sean Murray, and we speak to the national meteorological service's head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack, who talks about what goes on behind the scenes when meteorologists are looking at looming bad weather, what considerations are made when deciding to alert the public on bad weather - and why Storm Lorenzo seemed like it was going to be worse than it actually was.
Jan 03, 2020
Our favorite explanations of the year
00:33:39
Earlier this year, TheJournal.ie launched a new podcast - The Explainer. Aimed at taking a deeper look at one big news story each week, we've now hit episode #44 and was named as one of the Best Listens of 2019 by Apple Podcasts. Since March we've covered everything from the trouble Prince Andrew has caused for the Royal Family to Patrick Nevin and the 'Tinder rape case', as well as looking at whether Ireland can grow its own medicinal cannabis and why exactly there's so much controversy over the Public Services Card. In today's special edition, the whole team sit down in studio - presenter Sinead O'Carroll and the show's producers Christine Bohan, Aoife Barry, and Nicky Ryan - to run through our favourite explanations, the moments from the past year when our expert contributors set something clear in our minds or offered a new piece of information that stuck with us.
Dec 27, 2019
Is it possible to have a green Christmas?
00:25:33
How possible is it to have a green - or environmentally-friendly - Christmas? That's what we've been looking at in our Green Christmas series on TheJournal.ie over the past few weeks. In this week's episode of The Explainer, our producer Aoife Barry steps into Sinéad O'Carroll's shoes and presents the show. She interviews reporter Dominic McGrath and Pat Kane of Reuzi.ie about how listeners can have a 'green Christmas'. They examine what exactly 'green' means, and whether big changes are necessary at your dinner table this 25 December. Our Green Christmas series is supported by Volvo, a car manufacturer which has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040.
Dec 18, 2019
What just happened in the UK general election?
00:27:02
Boris Johnson was in jubilant form after the election result. "We broke the deadlock," he told reporters early this morning. "We ended the gridlock. We smashed the roadblock." This was a momentous election for the future of the UK. Boris Johnson will be Prime Minister with a huge Conservative majority, and Brexit will almost certainly happen next month. Jeremy Corbyn will not lead Labour into another election after a disastrous defeat. But beyond the headlines, there is a lot more to unpack. In this week's episode of The Explainer, recorded this morning as the final results were coming in, we're joined by TUD lecturer and polling expert Dr Kevin Cunningham along with TheJournal.ie staff Ronan Duffy, Dominic McGrath and Christine Bohan, who were following the events overnight. We give you the low-down on everything you need to know about this election. We look at whether the polls got it right; how Northern Ireland now has more nationalist MPs than unionist MPs; and how this was an unusually siloed election, with the main parties focusing on the issues important to them rather than engaging with each other.
Dec 13, 2019
What is happening with the white-water rafting plan for Dublin's city centre?
00:30:58
Dublin is set to gain a new tourist attraction in the coming years, but it's one that caught many people by surprise. A white-water rafting facility was given the green light by councillors this week. It's expected to cost in the region of €22 million and take 18 months to complete. The location earmarked for the project is George's Dock in the city centre, adjacent to the CHQ building and a short walk from Connolly Station and Busarus. The facility has received support from athletes and emergency services who will be able to use it for training, as well as those who say it will attract thousands of visitors to Dublin, but has also been criticised as an outlandish project at a time when the country grapples with a homelessness crisis. In this week's episode of The Explainer, we're joined by TheJournal.ie reporter Conor McCrave, Green Party councillor Patrick Costello, and kayak slalom champion Samuel Curtis to discuss the ins and outs of this project - what the facility itself would consist of, its main benefits, how the scope for developing the site in other ways is somewhat limited, as well as the main criticisms it has faced.
Dec 06, 2019
How much trouble has Prince Andrew caused for the royal family?
00:30:20
On this week's episode, Sinéad O'Carroll is joined by Anton Savage of the Communications Clinic and reporter Rónán Duffy to discuss the recent news stories around Prince Andrew, and what impact they might have on the royal family.
Nov 29, 2019
What is antibiotic resistance and why should we be concerned about it?
00:29:05
The term antibiotic resistance might sound a bit futuristic - but it's something that's very much an issue in the here and now. It refers to certain bacteria becoming immune to the antibiotics that are usually used to treat them. This can result in health issues for patients, and dangerous superbugs. In this episode, Maria Delaney, investigative reporter with Noteworthy, is joined by Professor of biology Fiona Walsh from Maynooth University to talk us through the topic.
Nov 22, 2019
What's the story with RTÉ's finances at the moment?
00:27:24
In this week's Explainer podcast, we take a look at what the situation with RTÉ is right now: what the financial issues are, what it's planning to do about it, and what the future looks like for the broadcaster. Is the key to fixing the crisis in a broadcasting charge, or is this deflecting conversation from other cuts that need to take place? Joining presenter Sinéad O'Carroll in studio are reporter Stevie McDermott and Steve Dempsey, the Sunday Independent's media and marketing columnist.
Nov 15, 2019
How did the judge decide the sentences in the Ana Kriegel case?
00:24:12
This week saw the two teenage boys convicted of the murder of 14-year-old Ana Kriegel sentenced at the Central Criminal Court. Boy A was also convicted of aggravated sexual assault. A term of 12 years was imposed for that count, to be served concurrently. Boy B is to serve a term of 15 years, with the sentence to be reviewed after 8 years, the judge said. Due to the age of the teenagers and the nature of the crime, Mr Justice Paul McDermott would have given careful consideration to the sentences imposed in this difficult case. In this week's episode of The Explainer, we're joined in studio by reporter Garreth MacNamee and barrister-at-law Marc Murphy to examine how the judge reached his decision and what precedent in Irish legal history he could have looked at, as well as looking at what the next steps are for Boy A and Boy B, who will both be held in Oberstown Children Detention Campus.
Nov 08, 2019
Why are people risking their lives to get to Europe?
00:31:50
We look at why people are risking their lives to travel to Europe by sea and by land - what are the 'push and pull factors? What faces people on their journey, and what are the huge risks they take? And what is Europe doing about the migrant crisis? Host Sinéad O'Carroll is joined by former Economics lecturer from TU Dublin, Sean Byrne, reporter Órla Ryan and Médecins Sans Frontières nurse Aoife Ní Mhurchú to discuss the issue.
Nov 01, 2019
WTF is happening with Brexit right now?
00:26:30
Sometimes, there's so much happening with Brexit that it's hard to keep up. So if you're still wondering 'what was Super Saturday?', 'Who is this Letwin fella?' or 'is there going to be a general election in the UK anytime soon?', we're here to answer your questions. Joining presenter Sinéad O'Carroll in studio to discuss all things Brexit are our reporters Gráinne Ní Aodha and Rónán Duffy.
Oct 24, 2019
What are Northern Ireland’s abortion laws and how might they be changing?
00:23:12
Northern Ireland is going through a lot politically right now - although there is a Brexit deal, there are still a lot of questions about what life will be like for those living in the north afterwards. On top of that, there is no Stormont Assembly - and there hasn’t been for over two and a half years. There has been a little talk of direct rule. But that will all change soon, because over the summer MPs in Westminster voted for an amendment that would extend same-sex marriage and abortion to Northern Ireland unless power-sharing is restored by 21 October 2019. With that date falling in just a few days' time, for this week's podcast we wanted to ask: What does all this mean? Does the amendment have wider implications for how laws are made for NI? And how would the laws be implemented?
Oct 19, 2019
So what's actually in this new Brexit deal?
00:21:02
It's been some week for Brexit. On Monday, we knew one thing: that the pressure was on for a deal to be struck between the EU and the UK on Brexit. After all, there was the Benn Act which meant that should no Withdrawal Agreement be agreed on, Boris Johnson would have to approach the EU and ask for an extension (something he really, really did not want to do). Then there was the EU summit that was due to begin on Thursday, tightening the pressure further. And beyond that, the looming 31 October deadline. But still, in these Brexit days no one really knows what's going to happen. Yet when the chatter started to ramp up on Tuesday and Wednesday, it was really looking like all involved wanted things to come to a swift and positive conclusion. Downing Street was working hard; Barnier believed an agreement was still possible; Donald Tusk was hopeful; Leo Varadkar was confident. Then, on Wednesday night, we heard rumblings that an agreement was about to be struck: all that remained was getting the DUP on board for one thing. By Thursday morning, that had changed to the DUP being against the legal text. And yet, just a few hours later, we got word: the deal had been agreed. But what's in this agreement, what does it mean, and what are the next steps?
Oct 18, 2019
What is this carbon tax you have to pay - and how does it work?
00:26:56
Budget 2020 didn't set the world on fire - but it did contain an element that's aimed at making sure the world doesn't burn in climate change hell. That was an increase in the rate of carbon tax, by €6 a tonne (bringing the carbon tax rate up to €26 per tonne). The tax hike came into effect at midnight on Tuesday, meaning that petrol and diesel prices have now risen across the country. Meanwhile the rise in the tax for home-heating fuels will kick in from May 2020. Finance Minister Patrick Donohoe said the increase in the carbon tax will raise €90 million in 2020. But what does the carbon tax do, and how much will you end up paying? That's what we look at in this week's The Explainer podcast. Joining presenter Sinéad O'Carroll is reporter Gráinne Ní hAodha and Muireann Lynch, Research Officer at the Economic and Social Research Institute.
Oct 11, 2019
How does a US president get impeached?
00:25:36
There has been talk of impeaching US president Donald Trump since he was first elected back in 2016, but the wheels began to move in earnest over the past week. It all centres around a whistleblower revealing details of a call last July between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A 'favour' was requested, one which could amount to interference in the 2020 election campaign. This was enough to spark impeachment proceedings, launched by by US Democrat and speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. But what happens next?
Oct 03, 2019
Why was a Quinn Industrial Holdings director abducted?
00:27:34
On Tuesday 17 September, Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) director Kevin Lunney was abducted on his way home. He was taken to another location where he was savagely assaulted. Lunney was then left at the side of the road in Co Cavan. Gardaí now believe that a gang led by a former IRA member with a string of convictions was behind the planning of the attack. QIH is a well-known company in Cavan - it was established in 2014 and comprises elements of businessman Sean Quinn’s former businesses. This latest attack was the most severe of a number of incidents which have targeted QIH in recent years. There have been over 70 reported incidents, including arson attacks and bullets being sent to a contractor. What has been happening with these attacks? Do investigators know why QIH is being targeted? And what do locals think about things have progressed?
Sep 26, 2019
Why is chemsex in the news in Ireland and the UK?
00:32:01
On this week's podcast, we look at chemsex: what is it, what accounts for its rise in popularity in Ireland, and what is its connection to the drug GHB? To find out more, we speak to the experts: Dr Kiran Santlal, registrar in psychiatry of substance misuse at the National Drug Treatment Centre (NDTC) and Graham Ryall, treatment services coordinator at the Rialto Community Drug Team. They join our reporter Órla Ryan, who has been writing about chemsex, and presenter Sinéad O'Carroll to discuss the topic.
Sep 20, 2019
Why is there so much controversy over the Public Services Card?
00:30:12
In 2011, the Public Services Card (PSC) was introduced in the form of a pilot scheme for some social welfare recipients. The idea was simple: Streamline the delivery of multiple services such as social welfare by confirming the user's identity on a simple card. But in recent years, it has become nothing but a headache for government. Criticism grew over the use of the card for more services than originally intended, sparking concerns it was quickly becoming a de-facto national ID card backed by a database of citizens' biometric data, accessible by dozens of agencies. It has come to a head after the Data Protection Commissioner ruled in a landmark investigation that there was no lawful basis for anyone to be required to get a PSC for anything other than social welfare payments and benefits. So where did it go wrong with the card? Was this inevitable or could it have been avoided? And why exactly is it so controversial?
Sep 13, 2019
Who is Dominic Cummings?
00:27:56
Dominic Cummings: Is he, as some suggest, the disruptor's disruptor - a strategically single minded and ideologically iconoclastic man? Or is he an unelected foul mouthed liability who has no place at the heart of a conservative Downing Street? On this week's episode of TheJournal.ie, we look at Boris Johnson's special adviser and his career. To help make some sense of Cummings and his very important and strategic role, presenter Sinéad O'Carroll is joined in studio by our Brexit reporter Grainne Ni Aodha, and Dr Kevin Cunningham, TU Dublin politics lecturer. We also chat to Tom Chivers, science writer and journalist, to get his thoughts on what makes Cummings tick.
Sep 06, 2019
Why are we being told to eat less meat?
00:29:55
In this week's episode of The Explainer, we look at the issues around climate change, meat eating and farming in Ireland. Reporter Cormac Fitzgerald, who has written our week-long climate change series this week, gives the latest updates on the three major reports which recommend people cut down on meat. Meanwhile, Dr Jesus Frias, Academic Leader Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute (ESHI) at TU Dublin, tells us more about meat, health and food trends. And journalist and beef farmer Darragh McCullough gives us the farmer's perspective.
Aug 30, 2019
How does Ireland deal with sex offenders after prison?
00:33:45
Tom Humphries was known as one of Ireland’s finest sports writers when he was accused of grooming and the defilement of a child. He was released last week after spending 22 months in Midlands Prison. Cases like the Tom Humphries case can be an opportunity to focus the national conversation on the more difficult aspects of the justice system. It’s an incredibly complex policy area that is fraught with emotion – not just on the part of victims and their families. Humphries’ release also comes against a background of a number of vigilante attacks on other convicted sex offenders in Dublin. So how does a country deal with all of the facts and emotions around such a topic? To explain to us what currently is done in Ireland with sex offenders after their release from prison, host Sinéad O’Carroll is joined in studio by TheJournal.ie reporter Michelle Hennessy, Eileen Finnegan, clinical director of One In Four, creator of the Phoenix programme for offender treatment/intervention and Fíona Ní Chinnéide, executive director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust.
Aug 23, 2019
How are we still making discoveries at Newgrange?
00:34:08
Newgrange is one of Ireland's most incredible sites - but despite it and the surrounding Brú na Bóinne complex being an area of intense historical interest, and having been studied now for hundreds of years, it is still revealing more and more discoveries. Just last week, a team of archaeologists lead by UCD's Dr Steve Davis uncovered around 40 previous unknown sites of interest. In this week's episode of The Explainer, presenter Sineád O'Carroll is joined in studio by editor of Archaeology Ireland Dr Sharon Greene, Dr Jessica Smyth of UCD's School of Archaeology, and TheJournal.ie's editor Susan Daly to examine why, including the new techniques that have led to recent discoveries and the roadblocks that archaeologists face when they want to examine a site in-depth.
Aug 16, 2019
What is the Irish backstop?
00:29:16
'The backstop' is one of the most contentious parts of the Brexit agreement. But it's also something that can fall foul of bad explanations, misunderstandings, and being used as a political football. This week on The Explainer podcast, we're taking a good and proper look at the Backstop. What is it? Why is it so controversial? Is everything that's being said about it true? To help guide us through the conversation, joining host Sinéad O'Carroll in studio is reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha and Euronews reporter Shona Murray.
Aug 08, 2019
What is Fortnite and how can people make money from it?
00:27:08
Whether you are a gamer or not, you'll most definitely have heard of the game Fortnite. Earlier this week, the hugely popular game hit the headlines after an Irish teenager picked up $50,000 while competing in the Fortnite World Cup. Joshua Juliano, who is just 17, came 58th out of 100 gamers. So what is Fortnite? Well for starters, it's an online first-person shooter game that involves dropping 100 players on to an island where they have to find weapons, build bases and try to eliminate the competition until only one player is left standing. It's hugely popular and a big revenue driver for its creators. In this week's podcast, our reporter Órla Dwyer explains what the game is, while tech reporter Quinton O'Reilly talks us through why it's so popular, and the concerns that some parents and people have about it.
Aug 02, 2019
Can people applying for citizenship spend a day outside Ireland?
00:19:40
Last week, a shock ruling saw an Irish judge rule that citizenship cannot be granted to an applicant if they have spent a day outside Ireland in the past year. But how did this come about - and can it be appealed? And does it really mean what it seems to? That's what we're discussing in this week's The Explainer podcast. Reporter Dominic McGrath talks us through everything you need to know about what this ruling says and how it came about. David Kenny, Assistant Professor in Law at Trinity College Dublin, explains the ruling's impact, and what could happen next.
Jul 26, 2019
Why was there such controversy over Lizzo’s ticket sales?
00:29:36
When tickets for US singer Lizzo's debut Irish show at the Olympia this coming November went on sale last week, people knew there would be demand. But there were questions raised when fans found it difficult to get their hands on tickets via the Ticketmaster website, and when, hours later, 'Platinum tickets' went on sale for €140 each. In addition, resold tickets were immediately on offer as soon as the original tickets went on sale. Some asked: Did a presale earlier in the week have a major impact on what tickets were available? This week, we look at what this situation tells us about ticket selling in Ireland. Do the issues stem from the ticket-selling company, or is Ticketmaster being used as the focus of people's ire when there are more systemic issues to blame? What are Platinum tickets and what sales model do they follow? And what's happening with the legislation being planned to fight back against ticket reselling at inflated prices? Joining presenter Sinéad O'Carroll in studio this week, our assistant news editor and podcast producer Aoife Barry outlines what went on when Lizzo tickets went on sale. Fine Gael TD Noel Rock explains what stage his and Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly's legislation on ticket reselling is at, and music guru and RTÉ Brainstorm editor Jim Carroll talks us through the world of ticket sales.
Jul 19, 2019
Why are your insurance premiums increasing by so much?
00:40:41
It's not every day that a video of a politician talking about insurance at an Oireachtas committee goes viral. You've likely seen the clip of Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty grilling insurance company bosses - if not, you can watch it here. Its virality has prompted more people to look at their insurance premiums and ask: Why do they keep going up, and up, and up? Many are feeling the pinch, with several summer festivals under threat due to the large sums of money now required to cover public liability insurance. This is at a time when the insurance industry is recording profits of more than 1,300% and is blaming fraud for the increase, something which Doherty's contribution at the committee disputed. But what exactly is going on? That's what we examine in this week's podcast as Sinéad O'Carroll is joined in studio by TheJournal.ie reporter Orla Dwyer to discuss her FactCheck looking at the rate of fraudulent claims in Ireland, Peter Boland of the Alliance for Insurance Reform who talks us through the complications in how a claim is processed, and Pearse Doherty, who speaks more about his questioning of insurance chiefs while also examining the finer points of insurance industry in Ireland - and what can be done to fix it.
Jul 14, 2019
What's behind the Drogheda feud?
00:21:30
On 5 July last year, Owen Maguire was shot four times in Drogheda, Co Louth. This is seen as the start of a feud between two gangs in the town. By November the situation began to boil over with a range violent attacks taking place. Locals are becoming increasingly fed up of the feud, and efforts are now underway to bring it to an end. Gardaí have stepped up armed patrols, and the town is eager to make next month's Fleadh Cheoil pass without a hitch. However, ending a cycle of violence like this isn't easy, and often requires a community-wide approach. In this week's podcast, TheJournal.ie reporter Garreth MacNamee and Ged Nash, a Labour senator who has represented Louth for two decades, join Nicky Ryan in studio to examine the origins of the feud, the scale of the violence so far and the impact on the local population, but also how gardaí and the community can take action to prevent the situation spiraling.
Jul 05, 2019
How Patrick Nevin was found guilty in the 'Tinder rape case'
00:30:03
On Monday, Patrick Nevin was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He had been found guilty of attacking two women in the space of 11 days, after meeting them on Tinder. He was found guilty of raping one of the women, and sexually assaulting the other. For the rape, he was given a 14-year sentence, with two suspended on a number of conditions. For sexual assault he was sentenced to eight years, which will run concurrently. Nevin is currently in prison on another term for sexually assaulting another woman who met in similar circumstances to the above women - on Tinder. The courts heard that in all of the attacks Nevin would convince the women to meet him for a drive and he would pick them up at their home in a blue BMW. The court heard the women were fearful after the attack because Nevin knew where they lived. In this week's podcast, we talk Declan Brennan, managing editor of court reporting service CCC Nuacht, who was present when Nevin sat trial, and Noeline Blackwell, the CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
Jun 27, 2019
The Explainer: The story of the Ana Kriegel trial
00:26:47
Note - some of the details in this podcast might be upsetting to listeners. On 14 May 2018, teenager Ana Kriegel went out for a walk with a boy now known as Boy B. Hours later, when she had not returned home, her parents reported her missing to the gardaí. What began as a missing teenager case turned into a murder case when Ana's body was discovered in a derelict house three days later. Two boys - Boy A and Boy B - were arrested in connection with her disappearance. On Tuesday of this week, Boy A and Boy B were found guilty of the schoolgirl's murder. Boy A was also found guilty of aggravated sexual assault. The jury reached the verdict after over 14 hours of deliberating. The case was an unprecedented one, and an upsetting one. Ana Kriegel's family were present in court for every day of the trial. Journalists who reported from the trial described it as one of the toughest jobs of their careers. TheJournal.ie reporter Garreth MacNamee was present in court throughout the trial. On this week's episode of The Explainer podcast, he speaks to Christine Bohan (stepping in for Sinéad O'Carroll) about the details of the trial, what we know about Boy A and Boy B, and about the tributes paid to Ana Kriegel.
Jun 21, 2019
How did a woman who died in Direct Provision come to be buried without ceremony?
00:22:34
Last month, a woman who died in Direct Provision was quietly buried by the State without ceremony. Sylva Tukula, originally from South Africa, died in August 2018. All efforts by gardaí to find her next of kin, a process with included with assistance of Interpol, had been exhausted. Friends and colleagues of Tukula had previously been told they would be notified of arrangements for her burial. This did not happen. In this week's episode of The Explainer, we examine the chain of events that led to this situation. We're joined in studio by TheJournal.ie reporter Cónal Thomas, who broke many details of the story surrounding Tukula's death last week, and Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, to discuss the timeline leading to the burial, the current scale of the Direct Provision system in Ireland, as well as how deaths are currently recorded in Direct Provision.
Jun 16, 2019
Why was there controversy over Katie Taylor's recent win?
00:29:19
Katie Taylor was crowned undisputed lightweight champion on Sunday. But almost immediately, there was controversy. In this week's The Explainer, we're joined by The42.ie's Gavin Casey to talk us through what happened. He was ringside on the night and wrote the definitive examination of the aftermath of the win for The42.ie. Joining him in studio is presenter Sinéad O'Carroll, who also interviews longtime boxing US-based promoter Lou DiBella about the boxing world, Katie's win, and how judging works.
Jun 07, 2019
How have the Healy Raes never lost an election?
00:25:12
The Healy Raes are a clan to be reckoned with. The Co Kerry family has not one one but two TDs in it, and recently saw three more family members elected to Kerry County Council. The family political dynasty was kicked off by patriarch Jackie Healy Rae, who after many years working with Fianna Fáil went independent and got elected to the Dáil in 1997. But why are they so popular, and what makes them so beloved in Co Kerry? That's what we're looking at in this week's episode of The Explainer. Presenter Sinéad O'Carroll is joined by reporter Rónan Duffy, columnist and former Irish Independent editor Gerry O'Regan, and author Donal Hickey to discuss what makes the Healy Raes so successful. http://jrnl.ie/4663189 Image: RollingNews.ie / Palash Somani
May 31, 2019
What's the story with an EU army?
00:21:38
Irish MEPs have recently been raising concerns about a future 'EU army'. While this isn't surprising, given the issue of Irish neutrality and the EU, it is a topic that garners strong opinions. Added into this is the issue of Pesco, – the EU’s permanent structured cooperation arrangement that 25 states have signed up to. Ireland's one of those countries. But what is Pesco, why do some people criticise it, and what does it mean for our defence forces? We looked at the subject of an EU army and Pesco for this week's edition of The Explainer podcast. Joining presenter Sinéad O'Carroll in studio is TheJournal.ie reporter Rónán Duffy and former Irish soldier, defence analyst and author.
May 24, 2019
Why are so many US states tightening abortion laws right now?
00:24:10
Last week, a restrictive abortion law was signed in the US state of Georgia which banned terminations after six weeks gestation. This week, another state followed suit: Alabama's governor signed a law on Thursday which banned abortions in nearly all cases. With a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives and a pro-life president, this type of shift in abortion legislation in the US had been expected for some time - so what happens now? In this week's episode of The Explainer, TheJournal.ie's Aoife Barry and Christine Bohan, with contributions from NUIG law lecturer Larry Donnelly, look at the legislation which has been introduced in Alabama and Georgia and examine what the next steps might be. Why do supporters of the bills want them challenged? Could a bill end up in the Supreme Court and potentially lead to an overturning of Roe vs Wade? And could Trump simply ban all terminations across America?
May 16, 2019
How did Patrick Quirke get convicted of the murder of Bobby Ryan?
00:27:48
On 1 May, the longest-running murder trial in the state's history came to an end when Tipperary farmer Patrick Quirke was found guilty of the murder of Bobby Ryan. A jury of 12 people found Quirke guilty of the murder of Ryan – known by locals in Tipperary as DJ ‘Mr Moonlight’ - by a majority verdict of 10 to 2. Quirke had pleaded not guilty but was sentenced to life in prison after the 13-week trial. Details of the DJ’s life, circumstances surrounding his death, as well as an affair involving the two men and Mary Lowry, were laid out in the court room. In this week's episode of The Explainer, we look at Patrick Quirke's conviction: what evidence did the jury hear? What do we mean by 'circumstantial evidence' and how big a role did that play in the case? How usual is it to have a majority verdict in a murder trial? To help us answer those questions, host Sinéad O'Carroll speaks to our reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha and barrister-at-law Marc Murphy.
May 13, 2019
Can Ireland grow its own medicinal cannabis?
00:22:01
2019 will likely be the year when it becomes significantly easier for patients to access medicinal cannabis in Ireland. The government has found a supplier, and Minister for Health Simon Harris is due to bring his plans for a cannabis access scheme to cabinet. Currently it is only available to a small number of patients. This will make it significantly less of a grey area in Irish law - and it could also herald the start of the Irish cannabis industry. In this week's episode of The Explainer, we're examining whether Ireland will be able to grow its own medicinal cannabis. TheJournal.ie's Political Correspondent Christina Finn examines the legal hurdles the government would still face, with Minister Simon Harris explaining where they currently stand on the issue and how he's open to 'Ireland Inc' taking control of its own supply. We also speak with the CEO of Cannabis Danmark Rikke Jakobsen to look at how the industry was set up in Denmark.
May 07, 2019
How will the UK’s new porn blocking law work?
00:22:31
Imagine popping down to your local newsagents with this shopping list: Bread, milk, eggs, Lotto quick pick, an official government porn pass. That's the situation anyone living in the United Kingdom could face from July if they want to view pornography online, when the British government brings in radical new laws. Websites which primarily host porn will be required to carry out age-verification checks to ensure anyone visiting the site is over 18 years old. It's a world first. Because of that, it's not clear how it will be implemented or if it will even be effective in preventing children from accessing pornography. In this week's episode of The Explainer, Caroline West, a doctoral scholar in sexuality at DCU, and TheJournal.ie's Senior Reporter Michelle Hennessy join us in studio to examine all aspects of the new law, from privacy concerns if age verification is carried out online, the impact accessing pornography has on children under-18, the question over whether certain sexual acts are banned under the legislation, and whether Ireland is considering following the UK's lead on this.
Apr 29, 2019
Why haven't any supervised drug injection centres opened in Ireland?
00:31:37
Back in 2015, the then-government announced that the first supervised drug injection centre in the country would open within two years. The centres - known as medically supervised injecting facilities (MSIFs) - provide drug addicts with a safer, sterile environment in which to inject heroin, cocaine or others drugs under the supervision of a medical professional. Users source their own drugs and inject themselves in booths in the centre It's more than four years since that announcement was made. It was included in the Programme for Government, the enabling legislation was passed - and yet the first centre still hasn't opened, currently stuck in planning permission limbo. Why has it taken this long? In this episode of The Explainer, TheJournal.ie's Cormac Fitzgerald and Christine Bohan delve into the current situation around supervised drug injection centres in Ireland, how Irish politicians have lagged behind on drug policy, the concerns expressed around opening the pilot scheme in Dublin city centre, as well as the facts behind their effectiveness.
Apr 23, 2019
What exactly happened with Brexit on Wednesday night?
00:27:04
On Wednesday night, the latest stage of the Brexit saga began: The Flextension. The United Kingdom and European Union agreed a flexible Brexit extension until 31 October following marathon talks in Brussels. This now gives UK prime minister Theresa May extra wiggle room to get her Brexit deal over the line - but we've already been hearing about this for more than two years, and for many people, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. In this episode of The Explainer, presenter Sinéad O'Carroll is joined by TheJournal.ie's Gráinne Ní Aodha and Christine Bohan as well as executive director of European Movement Ireland Noelle O'Connell to look at exactly what is happening with Brexit now, and what it means for Ireland and the upcoming European elections.
Apr 11, 2019
Why is John Delaney in the news so much right now?
00:38:37
He's not a professional sports person, but John Delaney is one of the most well-known names in Irish sport. The longtime head of the Football Association of Ireland - the FAI - followed in the footsteps of his father Joe to get involved in the organisation. He held the role treasurer of the FAI before moving on to become its chief executive. However, earlier this month he moved from the role to become executive vice-president of the FAI. Around the same time, Delaney became the focus of a number of news articles. In the latest episode of The Explainer, we look at the media attention around John Delaney, alongside his achievements in the FAI, how he rose to power within the organisation, and his appearance before an Oireachtas committee next week.
Apr 07, 2019
Is Ireland getting rid of Daylight Savings Time?
00:25:02
Daylight Savings Time has been a fixture in Ireland for as long as most of us can remember, but MEPs recently voted to scrap it - and Ireland has 12 months to say if it will follow suit. That's what we look at in this week's episode of The Explainer, where we dive into why this is happening, the history of daylight savings in Ireland (including why Dublin Mean Time isn't a thing any more), and whether Ireland will be getting longer, brighter evenings or mornings...
Mar 31, 2019
What can the Irish government do about returning Islamic State members?
00:37:23
In the episode, we look at the case of Irish Islamic State member Lisa Smith, who is Irish and was married to an Islamic State member. We examine the current state of play regarding Islamic State in Syria, why its members are leaving the country, and what Ireland's options are for returning citizens.
Mar 24, 2019
Why has there been a 208% rise in measles cases in Ireland?
00:31:06
Measles is on the rise in Ireland. We examine the latest outbreaks and discuss how linked it is to wider anti-vaccination trends.
Mar 17, 2019
How will Brexit affect the food that you buy?
00:31:02
In the week where the major decisions will be made about what Brexit will look like, TheJournal.ie looks at your shopping basket to see what will happen to prices and supply in Ireland after 29th March
Mar 10, 2019