The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times journalists, political thinkers and the occasional politician. Hosted by Arts & Culture Editor Hugh Linehan.
Why talks on the CervicalCheck tribunal have broken down – with Vicky Phelan
The 221-plus group, which represents those affected by the CervicalCheck scandal, has walked away from talks with the Government on a tribunal aimed at providing the women affected with a quicker and less adversarial alternative to lengthy and confrontational court cases.
Little over a year since then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar apologised on behalf of the state to the more than 1,000 women affected by the cervical cancer controversy, how has it come to this?
Advocate Vicky Phelan talks to Hugh and our political correspondent Jennifer Bray, about what has led to the disintegration of relations between the sides.
Later, Pat Leahy joins to discuss the Government’s highly-anticipated plans to re-open the economy for Christmas and the Dáil business committee row.
Trump, Biden and American foreign policy in a changed world - with John Mearsheimer
President-elect Joe Biden represents a traditional approach to US foreign policy that was rejected by a majority of American voters in 2016. Now Biden is back, but the world has changed: China has emerged as a genuine competitor to the US. Can Biden adapt and respond? Are we facing into a new Cold War?
Professor John Mearsheimer is a political scientist and geopolitical analyst.
Takeaway pints and shaky reopening plans
Today Hugh is joined by Pat, Harry and Jen to discuss another not-so-great week for the Government. We hear the latest on the Seamus Woulfe saga, the takeaway pints fiasco and get a look at the wrangling going on behind the scenes between cabinet and Nphet.
A vaccine on the horizon: how optimistic should we be?
This week Pfizer announced positive early results from its coronavirus vaccine trial, but how optimistic should we be about this breakthrough and how will it affect the decisions taken by government in the weeks and months ahead? Joining Hugh and Pat to discuss the latest developments is Irish Times health editor Paul Cullen.
Inside Politics special: the complete story of the Séamus Woulfe affair
The story of Supreme Court Justice Séamus Woulfe's attendance at the infamous Oireachtas Golf Society dinner has already taken many twists and turns.
This week the crisis deepened with the release of an exchange of letters between Woulfe and Chief Justice Frank Clarke, in which Clarke calls on Woulfe to resign.
Woulfe has refused, and the ball is now in the court of politicians who must consider whether to try to remove him.
It's a complicated story so, with the help of actors portraying Woulfe and retired justice Susan Denham, who carried out a review of his actions, Ruadhán Mac Cormaic talks us through it from start to finish, and looks at where the story may be headed next.
Plus, Pat Leahy on how the politics of impeaching a judge might play out in Leinster House.
The origins of Fine Gael - with Stephen Collins and Ciara Meehan
Irish Times columnist Stephen Collins and historian Ciara Meehan have written a book about the history of Fine Gael. "Saving the State" recounts the party's story, from the foundation of the state to this year's decision to go into coalition with its nemesis Fianna Fáil, and the party's periods in power as well as in the political wilderness. They talk to Hugh.