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.
Covid-19: our losing battle with the travel problem
What to do about the risk of international travel bringing the virus into the country has been a problem for the Irish government since the pandemic began, one we've never really got on top of. New measures aim to tighten things up, but do they go far enough? And how do we compare to our neighbours? Naomi O'Leary, Jennifer Bray and Jack-Horgan Jones join Harry McGee to discuss. Plus, what's going on with the Astrazeneca vaccine?
An uncomfortable week for Leo Varadkar
This week the spotlight has been well and truly on Tánaiste Leo Varadkar following the release of internal Department of Health emails, which provide fresh insight into the controversial leaking of a GP contract back in April 2019. Following immense political and media criticism last November, Varadkar apologised in the Dáil for his actions. Now once again, he finds himself in the eye of the storm. Political editor Pat Leahy joins Hugh to discuss.
Covid-19: plans to resume special education postponed
With levels of Covid-19 infection still at an all-time high, the Government failed to get teaching unions on side for a return to school this week for students with additional needs. On today’s podcast Hugh is joined by Jennifer Bray, Jack Horgan-Jones and Harry McGee from The Irish Times politics team to discuss how this happened. We also look at the vaccine rollout, the controversy over how it has been handled by some hospitals and why the next phase is likely to be even more politically difficult. And, one week on from the publication of the report by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, what is the Government going to do about it?
Mother and Baby Homes report
Earlier this week the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes published its long-anticipated report. It investigated decades of abuse at fourteen mother and baby homes and four county homes across Ireland between 1922 and 1998. In today’s episode, Hugh and Pat are joined by Caelainn Hogan, journalist and author of Republic of Shame and by mother and baby home survivor Elizabeth Coppin to discuss the findings within the report, the public apologies and what more needs to be done.
Covid-19: can our hospitals cope?
First, Simon Carswell on the wave of Covid-19 patients hitting our hospitals. When will the wave reach its peak, and will the system be able to handle it? And how are our nursing homes doing this time?
Then Peter Foster, public policy editor at the Financial Times, joins Hugh and Simon to look at the difficulties bedevilling traders and hauliers since Brexit took effect on January 1st, and some of their surprising consequences.
Covid-19: was this inevitable?
In our first podcast of the year, Hugh talks to The Irish Times health and political editors, Paul Cullen and Pat Leahy, and political analyst and statistician Kevin Cunningham about the social and political ramifications of the recent dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases. How has the government responded to the latest crisis and what level of public support is there for the restrictions?