697 episodes

The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times journalists, political thinkers and the occasional politician. Hosted by Hugh Linehan.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Inside Politics The Irish Times

    • News
    • 4.7 • 100 Ratings

The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times journalists, political thinkers and the occasional politician. Hosted by Hugh Linehan.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Is Catherine Martin in political danger?

    Is Catherine Martin in political danger?

    The latest scandal engulfing RTÉ and Minister for Media Catherine Martin may be more cock-up than conspiracy, but it is no less damaging for that. 
    The fallout from the dispute over who knew what, when about retirement payments to outgoing executives has already resulted in the departure of RTÉ board chair Siún Ní Raghallaigh. Just how much damage the affair will do to the Minister remains to be seen. 
    Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has complained that €19 million of funding allocated to reduce waiting times for children in need of spinal surgery may not have been used as intended. Delays in the treatment of childhood Spina Bifida and scoliosis have been one of the worst features of our healthcare system, resulting in much pain and suffering. 
    And we remember our colleague, former political correspondent and regular Inside Politics panelist Michael O’Regan, who died last week.  
    Plus the panel pick their Irish Times pieces of the week: 
    Finn McRedmond on the drinking habits of the young
    An expert weighs in on whether a snail could outpace the development of Dublin’s Metro 
    And Miriam Lord ’s dissection of a frustrating Dáil squabble

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    • 39 min
    Is Ukrainian democracy functioning after two years of war?

    Is Ukrainian democracy functioning after two years of war?

    As the second anniversary of Russia's invasion approaches, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy is still a very popular figure among voters. But with no elections having been held since 2019, and with martial law applying in the country, is democracy being undermined? Dan McLaughlin talks to Hugh Linehan about Ukraine's politics, the recent progress of the war, how critics of Zelenskiy are growing louder and whether there are any mainstream voices calling for compromise or negotiations with Russia.
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    • 40 min
    Referendums: What the amendments would really mean

    Referendums: What the amendments would really mean

    An Coimisiún Toghcháin, Ireland’s independent electoral commission, has taken over the functions previously held by the Referendum Commission in relation to referendums. That means it is responsible for explaining the forthcoming referendums on care and the family.
    Chair of An Coimisiún Ms Justice Marie Baker and Chief Executive Art O'Leary join Hugh to talk about about what exactly is being asked of voters and the legal implications of yes or no votes on March 8th.

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    • 43 min
    Was Sinn Féin's licence fee amnesty proposal a misstep?

    Was Sinn Féin's licence fee amnesty proposal a misstep?

    Jack Horgan-Jones and Cormac McQuinn join Hugh Linehan to discuss the week in politics:

    In another awful week for RTÉ before an Oireachtas committee, was it a mistake for Sinn Féin to raise the idea of an amnesty for those refusing to pay their licence fee? And is is sustainable for prominent ex-RTÉ figures like Dee Forbes, Rory Coveney and Breda O'Keeffe to avoid appearing at the committee?
    The spiralling cost of the National Children's Hospital means renewed analysis of the Government's ability to plan and deliver big projects.
    And as the Social Democrats get ready for their conference this weekend, the panel takes stock of the party's fortunes. 
    Plus the panel pick their favourite Irish Times pieces of the week:

    What's in and what's out of the new CSO consumer basket.
    Replacing Ireland's small embassy building in Washington 
    And has Trump awoken Europe's sleeping beast?
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    • 40 min
    Head-to-head: The Yes and No arguments ahead of the family and care referendums

    Head-to-head: The Yes and No arguments ahead of the family and care referendums

    At this point we are definitively into the campaign for the two referendums on family and care due to take place on March 8th. The data from the recent Irish Times/Ipsos B&A poll showed substantial majorities in favour of both proposed amendments to the Constitution, but also showed a majority of voters that felt they knew very little about the issues that are involved, which might mean that the debates that take place over the course of the campaign itself could possibly change a lot of people’s minds.
    The opinion pages of the Irish Times have already played host to a range of differing views on the subject, but two weekly columnists have been particularly forthright – Justine McCarthy has argued strongly in favour of the changes and Michael McDowell has been equally forceful against them. They joined host Hugh Linehan to give their thoughts ahead of March 8th.

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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Sinn Féin poll slump: ‘tide not gone out for them just yet’

    Sinn Féin poll slump: ‘tide not gone out for them just yet’

    Pat Leahy and Cormac McQuinn join Hugh Linehan to look back on the week in politics:
    The latest Irish Times/Ipsos B&A poll shows support for Sinn Féin took a significant dent, down six points – its lowest level in three years. As Pat explains, a lack of clarity around immigration and the misstep that was the ill-judged motion of no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee last December are just two reasons why the party are losing ground to smaller parties and Independents.
    And data from the poll also threw up some interesting insights into what way voters will vote in both proposals in the upcoming referendums recognising non-marital families and care in the Constitution, and how much they know actually about what they are voting for.
    Former taoiseach John Bruton passed away this week, the panel discuss the profound consequences of his time leading government, not least the beginning of runaway economic success and the road to the Good Friday Agreement.
    Plus, they pick their favourite Irish Times articles of the week, on diverse topics: Ukraine war updates, Dublin traffic transformation and Dee Forbes.

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    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
100 Ratings

100 Ratings

Johnny in the Mass Hills ,

Greatly enjoyed your Friday wrap program

Pat outdid himself there at the end.

c_o_shea ,

Surprisingly Funny

The most recent episode was the funniest podcast I’ve listened to in quite a while (nod to Pat’s impressions. More please. Spinout pod perhaps?) As a recent emigrant, Inside Politics keeps me feeling engaged and connected with Ireland.

CogetteUS ,

Hosts and contributors draw you in by speaking to the audience

Enjoy this podcast more than most as Hugh & Pat draw you in with their comfortable and natural way of discussing and exploring in depth topical events, while occasionally making hilarious digs at one another. All the journalists wear their erudition lightly and their easy camaraderie makes listening to their discussion a fun experience. I listen to a wide variety of political podcasts from 6 countries and the Irish Times podcasts continue to outperform those from media outlets focusing primarily on radio & TV. RTE ABC and CBS are found wanting. Also no question but there are those among us who would happily pay to listen to Denis Staunton read aloud from a phone book.

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