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.
Is affordable housing achievable?
In January, the Affordable Housing Bill was published by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien. The Bill introduces a shared equity scheme and a cost rental scheme, both designed to tackle the housing affordability crisis in Ireland. However, with the supply of houses under extreme pressure, due in part to the construction sector shutdown, will a shared equity scheme only lead to higher house prices? When can we expect to see any positive effects on the market and what are the risks involved? Joining Hugh to discuss the plan is Minister O’Brien and Irish Times business journalist Eoin Burke-Kennedy.
Poll: what is the public's attitude to lifting restrictions?
Political editor Pat Leahy joins Hugh to look at the results of this week's Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI poll on Irish people's attitudes to relaxing Covid-19 restrictions, as well as the level of support for parties and political leaders.
"The EU needs to look at its own problems" - Clare Daly on civil rights, Russia & life as an MEP
This week Harry and Hugh talk to MEP Clare Daly, who since her election as an MEP for Dublin in 2019 has been an outspoken voice in Brussels on the issues she champions, such as her opposition to defence spending and the imprisonment of Julian Assange.
They talk about Clare's controversial comments on jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Covid-19 restrictions and the challenge to get people back home to pay attention to what goes on in the parliament.
But first Harry explains what went so badly wrong with the government's Covid-19 communications in the past week.
Politics, culture and the centenary of Northern Ireland
Following last week's podcast with professor Brendan O’Leary on the creation of Northern Ireland, today’s show looks at this year’s centenary in respect of the politics and culture of the region. Hugh is joined by unionist political commentator Sarah Creighton to discuss the future of Northern Ireland, its changing relationship with both the UK and the Republic, and her views on the prospect of a united Ireland. In the second part of the show, Hugh talks to Northern Irish writers Jan Carson and Rosemary Jenkinson about the centenary in terms of culture and identity.
Covid-19: How is Ireland performing?
Education is top of the agenda this week, as talks continue regarding the reopening of schools and the scheduling of state exams. In today’s episode, Hugh is joined by The Irish Times education editor Carl O’Brien, health editor Paul Cullen, and by political correspondent Jennifer Bray. The team also take a look at the national vaccine rollout and a gloomy report by the ECDC.
The centenary of Northern Ireland - with Prof Brendan O'Leary
This year marks the centenary of partition on the island of Ireland. The official commemoration takes place in May, but what were the key political and legislative events that led to the establishment of Northern Ireland? On today's podcast, Hugh speaks to Brendan O'Leary, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, who last appeared on this podcast to discuss his three-volume A Treatise on Northern Ireland. He talks to Hugh about the creation of Northern Ireland, how its structures have changed in the past 100 years and what preparations for a referendum on Irish unity should look like, if there is to be one.