Irish Stew, the podcast for the Global Irish Nation featuring interviews with fascinating influencers proud of their Irish Edge. If you're Irish born or hyphenated Irish, this is the podcast that brings all the Irish together Listen Notes
S4E6: Flor MacCarthy - A Broadcaster in Pursuit of Unexpected History
Flor MacCarthy was born in West Cork and shares memories of one of Ireland's most idyllic regions. Her childhood was one rich in the indulgence of curiosity, filled with books, history, and fueled by a Russophile father.
A Trinity College degree in French and Art History led unexpectedly to a career in journalism. Flor worked for 16 years at RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster, reporting on both domestic and international news.
Following her successful career at RTE, Flor took up the position of Politics Presenter at Oireachtas TV which afforded the opportunity to continue her journalistic career while providing enough space to pursue literary ambitions. The President's Letters, An Unexpected History, released in 2021 has proven to be a highly successful product of her expanded brief.
Join Flor and hosts, John Lee and Martin Nutty, as they discuss the surprising, amusing, and, sometimes infuriating correspondence lurking in the archives of the Irish Presidency.
Seamus Plug: West Cork History Festival
The President's Letters: An Unexpected History of Ireland
S4E5: Aedín Moloney – Saying “Yes!” to a Life on Stage
Growing up in a Dublin home with no TV, Aedín turned to books, reading them aloud, drawing out the characters, and letting the words wash over her, which is how at age ten she managed to read James Joyce’s intimidating novel Ulysses.
She was drawn to the rhythms and music in the words of the great writers, no surprise coming from a home with her avid reader mother and her father, Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains.
But she’d feel the lure of the stage and after early acting experiences in Dublin she ventured to London and found success, ironically, considering her upbringing, on television. But New York beckoned, where Aedín has acted in a string of Off Broadway plays often at the famed Irish Repertory Theatre. She has also worked to amplify the voices of women on the stage through the Fallen Angel Theatre Company she founded, focused on Irish and British plays by and about women, which she often performed, directed, or produced.
We talked to Aedín as she was concluding her successful Irish Rep run of Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom, which she and Colum McCann adapted from the closing section of Ulysses, directed by John Keating, with music by Paddy Moloney. It’s a one-woman show where Aiden never leaves the stage for 90 minutes, electrifying for the audience, exhausting for Aedín.
But not so exhausting that she doesn’t want to stop channeling the spirit of Molly Bloom as she and Colum are working to take the show on tour to Ireland and the UK.
And for the second time, Aedín gifts Irish Stew with a passage from Yes!, so be sure to stay to the end when she brings Molly to vibrant life performing the “Mulvey’s Letter” section of Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy.
Website: http://www.aedinmoloney.com/Fallen Angel website: https://www.fallenangeltheatre.org/homeofficialsiteTwitter: https://twitter.com/AedinMoloneyFallen Angel Twitter: https://twitter.com/FallenAngelNYYes! Reflections of Molly Bloom: https://irishrep.org/show/2021-2022-season/yes-reflections-of-molly-bloom-3/
S4E4: Elaine Ní Bhraonáin PhD - Irish Language, Irish In NYC & A Mother With A Story To Tell
Our conversation with the warm and welcoming Elaine Ní Bhraonáin takes us from her childhood in South County, Dublin, to New York’s lively Irish scene, to bucolic Ballymoney on the north Wexford coast where she and her husband raise their three healthy children after three difficult pregnancies.
She talks about being raised in a home where the paternal language was Irish and the maternal tongue was English, growing up as an Irish language “geek” who would earn B.A. and M.A. degrees in Irish language.
Her urge to “break out of the bubble” landed her in New York, where she dove headlong into the city’s thriving Irish scene and taught Irish at the Irish Arts Center. She studied the Irish of New York and tracked the “boundary markers” they used to express their identity, leading to her PhD thesis on Irish identity in the U.S.
Though she still identifies herself as an “Irish New Yorker,” she knew when it was time to return to Ireland. Settling in Ballymoney, she and her husband Dean set about raising a family, but it was not to be easy. Elaine shares the challenges of three difficult pregnancies, especially the premature birth of their second child Odhrán, the medical battles he faced but against all odds triumphed. Elaine now aids other mothers and families facing similar battles through her advocacy for the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance.
While she is raising her three sons, she is teaching Irish in Dublin for Notre Dame University and is working on turning her scholarly PhD on Irish identity in the U.S. into a book more accessible to the public.
When she does, we hope she’ll join us again on Irish Stew.
LinkedIn: Elaine Ní BhraonáinIrish Neonatal Health Alliance
S4E3: Larry Kirwan – Rocking Renaissance Man from Black 47 to Broadway
We’re not sure what’s more impressive—that Larry Kirwan originated and co-wrote the Broadway hit Paradise Square, or that his early band with Pierce Turner was banned from the notorious New York punk rock club CBGB for being “too demonic.”
Larry talks of how his unusual childhood in Wexford and his need to maneuver through different points of view--Republican vs Free State, Catholicism vs Atheism, Irish vs British—laid the foundation of an artistic vision that could see the world through the prism of others.
A quest for adventure brings Larry to the U.S. where he dives into the underbelly of New York, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a hard-edged, multi-cultural neighborhood where somehow he thrived. And though he didn’t know it at the time, Larry had already started doing his field research for the play that became Paradise Square.
But before Broadway, there was Black 47, the band he formed with Chris Byrne in 1989 that would tour the country, guest star on top TV shows, and record music for 25 years. Larry shares the origin of the band’s name, his approach to songwriting, how the music came together on stage, and tales from the rock and roll road.
But while he was writing music, he was writing columns, essays, memoirs, novels, and plays. One of those plays was Hard Times, set in New York’s ultimate interracial melting pot, the downtown neighborhood Five Points in the run-up to the disastrous Civil War Draft Riots. A Broadway producer who saw it at the intimate Cell Theater brought it to Broadway where it is now running on a grand scale as Paradise Square.
We wrap up with a look into his latest novel, Rockaway Blue, set in the aftermath of 9/11 in a world of Irish American cops and firefighters on the fringes of NYC.
This fall Larry will receive the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irish American Writers & Artists. It’s always a hell of a party, so we hope to see you there!
Wikipedia: Larry KirwanParadise SquareBlack 47Rockaway BlueCeltic Crush: Website FacebookIrish American Writers & Artists
S4E2: John McCourt - Tracking James Joyce in Trieste
Our Bloomsday episode with the engaging James Joyce scholar John McCourt takes us to Italy for the first time, specifically its outpost across the Adriatic Sea, Trieste.
“There, I can safely say I discovered James Joyce,” McCourt says of Trieste. “Having encountered him occasionally in Ireland, I found myself in the city that had been his home for ten years.”
After earning his BA, MA, and PhD. from University College Dublin, McCourt launched an international academic career, focused mainly in Italy–at the Università Roma Tre, Università di Macerata, where he is Head of the Department of the Humanities, and as a researcher and lecturer in Università di Trieste.
The president of the International James Joyce Foundation and founder of the Trieste Joyce School, McCourt has written a bookshelf’s worth of volumes on Joyce, most recently Consuming Joyce. Part a study of how Joyce was perceived in Ireland, part social history, this book uses the changing interpretations of Ulysses to explore the religious, social, and political changes sweeping Ireland. The Literary Review called the book "scandalously readable” while The Irish Times wrote "This book was crying out to be written.”
Join us as we explore his circuitous route to an academic career, the colorful cosmopolitan town of Trieste that McCourt feels so influenced Ulysses, his experience of Italy where he’s perceived as a “britannico,” the funny side of Ulysses, and his perception of Bloomsday as “a dressed-up alternative to St. Patrick’s Day.”
Books by John McCourt
Consuming Joyce: 100 Years of Ulysses in IrelandJames Joyce in Context James Joyce: A Passionate ExileThe Years Of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste 1904-1920
Links for John McCourt
University of Macerata Page: Profile PageTwitter: @mccourtitalyLinkedIn: Profile PageThe Trieste Joyce School: Home PageInternational James Joyce Foundation: Home Page
S4E1: Mark Little - from RTÉ to journalism’s digital frontier
Our new season of Irish Stew opens with trailblazing journalist Mark Little, a former RTÉ newscaster working to make sense of social media.
Coming from a family where there was a daily scrum over who got the newspaper first, armed with “premature cynicism” and blessed with an insatiable curiosity for what made the world work, journalism beckoned and after graduating Trinity College he landed a job with RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster.
In this episode he shares stories from his “eyewitness to history” vantage point on some of the biggest news stories of his time as RTÉ’s first Washington correspondent and later host of Prime Time.
And somehow he found time to write three books.
He explains why he switched gears and dove into the uncharted waters at the intersection of global journalism and digital media with his tech startup Storyful, the first social media newswire created out of the need to break the news faster and use social content to add context to reporting.
He’d sell Storyful to News Corp about five years later, and after leadership roles at Twitter, he and Áine Kerr founded a new company in Dublin called Kinzen with the mission to protect every online community and public conversation from disinformation campaigns and harmful content.
Join us for an entertaining, occasionally sobering, and always engaging tour of the global media world with one of its true pioneers, Mark Little.
Kinzen Website: https://www.kinzen.comMark Little’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/marklittlenews Kinzen’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeAreKinzen LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marklittlenewsWikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Little_(journalist)
2002 - Book: Turn Left at Greenland - in search of the real America2004 - Book: Zulu Time - When Ireland Went to War2009 - Book: The New America
Martin Nutty's Favorite Paid Media Sites
Per Mark Little's Seamus Plug - he encourages the support of small/local media which contribute to a rigorous news environment. Some of you might know Martin has a serious news habit, Here is a list of the sites he subscribes to, or supports
New York TimesWashington PostIrish TimesThe New YorkerThe AtlanticThe GuardianTalking Points MemoWNYC - Local New York National Public Radio AffiliateWNET (Channel 13) - Local New York PBS Affiliate
Loved the conversation!
Just found this podcast! So glad I did! The hosts discuss such interesting topics and leaving me wanting to hear more. Check it out!
An Irish podcast for its time, and place.
After hundreds of years of outward migration, especially since the mid 19th century, the global Irish have never been as connected across generations and locations as they are today, thanks to the Information Age. It is no surprise therefore, that a podcast is looking to capture this magic, and no surprise either that it comes out of New York, the power capital of the Irish abroad. But the great thing is that the hosts, John Lee and Martin Nutty, are doing a masterful job of it. If you are not Irish, then the extent and reach and depth of talent of a small nation on the edge of Western Europe that’s on exhibit here in this podcast will surprise you. And even if you count yourself as Irish, you might even be surprised too-but you’ll certainly feel proud. That’s my review, hope it helps you decide where to spend your listening time :)