The Love and Courage podcast features interviews with inspirational people who are making a real difference in the world today. Guests are typically people passionate about social justice, and who have demonstrated courage and conviction in their lives.
Ruairí McKiernan is a multi award winning Irish social innovator, campaigner, writer and public speaker. He is the founder of the pioneering SpunOut youth organization, and helped set-up the Uplift and the A Lust For Life non-profits. In 2012 the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins appointed Ruairí to the Council of State, a constitutional advisory body whose members include all former leaders of the country. Ruairí is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Fulbright fellowship, and he contributes regularly to the media on youth, health, community and social justice issues.
Keith Walsh - Writer and Broadcaster
Keith Walsh is a popular writer and broadcaster. Keith is also the host of the popular Keith Walsh podcast and at the time of recording he had just completed a tour of his debut play, titled Pure Mental, which you’ll hear about shortly. We also get talking Keith’s 20-year career in radio, his thoughts on success, therapy, relationships, parenting, alcohol, masculinity, and lots lots more.
A huge thanks as always to all you wonderful patrons and supporters who chip in to support the podcast over at LoveandCourage.org.
As always, your support in promoting, sharing, rating and reviewing the podcast is hugely appreciated, especially as it helps get voices like Keith’s out into the world. If you're new to the podcast, please be sure to hit subscribe in your app to be notified of upcoming episodes and have a look through the archive of great conversations once you finish this one.
Sarah Clancy - Poet and Activist
Sarah Clancy is a well-known poet, activist and commentator who works in community development in County Clare where she now lives. Sarah grew up in Galway immersed in the world of ponies and horses which led her to working all over Ireland and later in Australia and New Zealand. Although she dabbled in poetry in her youth, it wasn’t until her 30s that she really found her poetic voice. And when she did, things really took off. It wasn’t long before she was winning awards, performing on major stages and on radio. She also released 3 separate poetry collections, published by Lapwing Press and Salmon Poetry. During this same period Sarah delved deeper into the world of social justice, both through academia, and through community organising and campaigning.
This is when I first met Sarah. I was running the SpunOut youth organisation which was based in Galway at the time. We ended up involved in different campaigns together and over the years I always found her to have one of the sharpest and most insightful minds I’ve ever encountered.
This conversation covers a lot of ground and although it’s a long one, it’s worth going the distance and listening to the end, or perhaps in different sittings. In it, we talk about Sarah’s early years, her travels, some of the campaigns she has been involved in, as well as her courageous and difficult personal journey of reporting the man who abused her. Sarah also talks about how poetry helped her navigate this particularly turbulent period, as well as discover an unexpected platform for social and political expression.
I had a couple of minor issues with the online sound recording which resulted in me turning my microphone down but in general the quality should be okay. I’m working on improving the overall sound recording for remote recordings and appreciate your support and patience while I work on this.
As always, your support in promoting, sharing, subscribing, rating and reviewing the podcast is hugely appreciated, especially as it helps get voices like Sarah’s out into the world.
Anne Rynne - Singer, Songwriter, Community Stalwart
Anne is a singer, songwriter and community stalwart living in Miltown Malbay not too far away from me here in County Clare on the wild west coast of Ireland. Anne took up the guitar in her 60s and since then has created and released 2 albums. It might be no surprise that music was calling Anne given her family background. She grew up in Co Kildare in the same household as two famous Irish folk musicians, Luka Bloom and Christy Moore. Anne is hugely respected in her community as a real force for love and courage. This episode was originally created for my other podcast, the Creative Souls of Clare podcast, and it got a great response so I thought Love and Courage listeners might enjoy it too. It was recorded over Zoom during one of the lockdown periods so the video version is also available if you just look up Anne Rynne Creative Souls of Clare.
Declan O'Rourke - Singer-songwriter and author
Declan O’Rourke is one of Ireland’s finest singer-songwriters and musicians and is respected and loved by music lovers around the world. He has received praise from the likes of John Prine, Paul Weller and other luminaries. Declan has created 7 excellent albums, including the latest Arrivals, which I have to say is one of my favourite albums of recent years. A truly stunning piece of art for your ears. Do check that out. Declan is also wise and informed voice when it comes to history and social issues, as evidenced in his 2017 album Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine. Continuing with the theme of An Gorta Mór, the great hunger, and showing he is a man of many talents, Declan is about to release his first book, a novel of historical fiction called The Pawnbroker’s Reward.
Colm O'Gorman - Author, Activist, Amnesty Director, Charity founder
Colm O’Gorman is an author, activist, cook, charity founder, and lots more. Colm is one of Ireland’s best known activists. Colm O’Gorman was born in Wexford, Ireland in 1966.
He’s from a farming background and spent the first eleven years of his life in the village of Adamstown before moving with his family to Wexford town in 1977. He left Wexford in 1984, living in Dublin for a few years before moving to London in 1986.
He has had an impressive list of jobs and careers to date. He previously worked as a waiter, a barman, a charity fundraiser, a hair salon manager, a security guard, a coat check attendant, a radio dj, a cook, a restaurant manager and a mini cab driver before he finally decided to get serious about a single career and train as a therapist.
He qualified as a physical therapist in 1994, and as a psychotherapist in 1996. He worked initially in private practice before founding the organisation One in Four in 1999 to support women and men who have experienced sexual violence.
In 1998 he launched a legal case against the Roman Catholic Church as a result of his experiences of sexual abuse at the hands of one of its priests when he was a teenager. He went on to sue the Bishop of his home diocese of Ferns and the Pope.
In 2002 he took part in a BBC documentary, which told the story of his battle with the Roman Catholic Church. The film, Suing the Pope aired in March 2002 and resulted in the resignation of the Bishop of Ferns Dr Brendan Comiskey.
Colm returned to live in Ireland in 2003 to found One in Four Ireland. In his role as Director of One in Four, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Ferns Inquiry, the first state investigation into clerical sexual abuse in Ireland. The inquiry investigated the management of child sexual abuse concerns and allegations by the Catholic Church and by State authorities.
In 2005 he helped to establish Gorey Educate Together National School ; a multi-denominational, co-educational, child centred and democratically run primary school.
Colm is a regular media commentator and contributor, has written extensively on social justice and human rights. He has made a number of documentary films, including the BAFTA awarding winning A Family Affair (2000), Suing the Pope (2002) and Sex Crimes and The Vatican which he presented for BBC Panorama in 2006.
Colm’s work as a human rights defender is driven by a deep commitment to human rights and social justice and an abiding belief in the power of advocacy and activism, which challenges all of us to use our individual and collective voices to demand change where it is most needed.
Colm served briefly as a member of Seanan Éireann, the upper house of the Irish parliament. He unsuccessfully contested the 2007 Irish general election and discovered that electoral politics was most definitely not his thing.
In February 2008, Colm was appointed Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
His first book Beyond Belief was published by Hodder & Stoughton. It became an instant bestseller, reaching number one in the Irish non-fiction bestsellers list within a week of its publication.
Colm lives in County Wexford with his family.
Razan Ibraheem - Irish-Syrian journalist and activist
Razan Ibraheem is an Irish-Syrian journalist and activist. She first came to Ireland to do her MA at the University of Limerick and ending up unable to return home after the war started in her native Syria. Razan worked for several years with the Storyful news agency and recently joined Kinzen as a senior editorial analyst researching misinformation on social media. Part of her past work has included contributing additional research to The New York Times visual investigations team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2020.
Razan’s deeply personal connection to the tragic situation in Syria prompted her to volunteer on two occasions to help refugees arriving in the Greek islands. Razan is increasingly recognised as a trailblazing force for change and is a recipient of an International Woman of the Year award by Irish Tatler.
As if we didn’t already love Christy Moore, this confirms he’s the man I thought him to be. And he reminds me not to give up on the craziness of the 21st century, that it is people, like our host, who gives us hope through ‘Love and Courage.’ Time for me to go pick up all the plastic lining my roadside... because that does take love and courage.
Great content! Keep shedding love and light
I look forward to listening to all of the podcast and to share them with my network in the US
We need more podcasts like this and people like Ruairí in the world!
Been a subscriber and patron of this podcast from the beginning. I really admire the work Ruairí does and what he stands for, and with this podcast he brings heaps of love and courage into the world. I dare you to listen to it and not feel hopeful and inspired. Thanks Ruairí for everything you do.