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Pat Leahy, Jennifer Bray and Jack Horgan-Jones from the Irish Times politics team join Hugh to discuss the major considerations for the government ahead of Budget day on October 12th. They also look at the divisive politics of the public service pandemic bonus and the latest on the Mica redress scheme.…
 
Berlin correspondent Derek Scally joins Hugh for a deep dive into the most interesting German federal election in decades, which takes place on Sunday. How did Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU, now under the leadership of Armin Laschet, blow its lead in the election race? And who are the other leaders and parties in contention?…
 
After a turbulent summer break for the coalition, the country’s political parties hunkered down for their respective think-in meetings over the last two weeks, before the return of the Dáil. Pat Leahy and Jack Horgan-Jones of The Irish Times political team report back to Hugh on the dominant narratives to emerge from the Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and …
 
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin’s latest book, Defects: Living with the legacy of the Celtic Tiger, tells the stories of some of the thousands of people living in dangerous homes with serious fire safety and structural defects in different parts of Ireland. The book also explains how decades of light touch building regulation and the de…
 
Hugh is joined by Pat Leahy, Jennifer Bray and Cormac McQuinn from the Irish Times politics team to discuss the Government's roadmap for the easing of pandemic restrictions, as revealed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin yesterday. They also look ahead to Minister Daragh O'Brien's much vaunted 'Housing for All' plan, the hurdles the Government is likely t…
 
Patrick Radden Keefe is an American writer and investigative journalist. His new book, Empire of Pain is a detailed history of the Sackler dynasty and their role in the American opioid epidemic. Known for their dedication to cultural philanthropy, the family built their wealth on pharmaceuticals, starting with tranquillisers like Librium and Valium…
 
As one of the world's most respected newspaper editors, Lionel Barber spent over a decade at the helm of The Financial Times. His tenure coincided with some of the biggest events to shape the early part of the 21st century including the rise of China, Brexit, the tech boom and the crisis of western liberal democracy. Barber has documented his time …
 
Jack Horgan-Jones and Jennifer Bray join Hugh to assess the damage done by the recent Zappone controversy. Now that the dust has settled, what will it mean for Coveney, Varadkar and the future of the government. The team also discuss the easing of Covid restrictions and the recent UN Climate Change report, which signals a ‘code red’ for humanity.…
 
Suzanne Lynch arrived in the US to take up her new role as Irish Times Washington correspondent ten days after Donald Trump's inauguration. As she prepares to leave the US capital this week for a new role in Brussels, she talks to Hugh about what it was like to report on the most extraordinary presidency in US history.…
 
This week, London Editor Denis Staunton engaged in a brief, yet courteous Twitter exchange with former Downing Street advisor Dominic Cummings. Here he tells Hugh the details behind their interaction and about Cummings’ latest musings on Brexit and the Northern Ireland protocol. But first, Hugh is joined by Jennifer Bray and Jack Horgan-Jones to di…
 
The 2020 election marked the end of an era in Irish politics, with Sinn Féin winning the most votes for the first time ever and the previously dominant parties reduced to a fraction of their former strengths. In today’s episode Hugh is joined by Pat Leahy and UCC’s Dr Theresa Reidy to look back at the last general election and how it broke the moul…
 
Labour’s Ivana Bacik looked on course to top the poll in the Dublin Bay South byelection since tally figures on Friday morning put her on 30%. She went on to top the first count more than 1,000 votes ahead of Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan. Bacik’s win gives her party its first moment of electoral good news in a decade and leaves the government partie…
 
The Government is coming under increasing pressure from all angles, as it wrestles with the toughest decisions for months on how to manage the pandemic. The hospitality sector desperately wants indoor dining to resume on July 19th, but there is growing concern among public health advisers at the prospect of a surge in cases driven by the Delta vari…
 
On Thursday July 8th, voters in Dublin Bay South will cast their votes in a byelection, triggered by the resignation of former Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy. What might the results tell us about the wider political picture here in Ireland and will this be an early indicator for the next general election? To take a look back through some pivotal byelec…
 
The DUP will have its third leader in the space of two months when Jeffrey Donaldson is officially appointed on Saturday. Can he lead the party out of crisis? Pat Leahy talks to editor of the Slugger O’Toole website, Mick Fealty, about the challenges he faces. But first, Pat is joined by Jennifer Bray and Jack Horgan-Jones to discuss the threat pos…
 
21 years on from her book Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People, Susan McKay revisits the lives of that community in her new book Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground. She talks to Hugh about the strong forces now acting on northern Protestants, Unionists and Loyalists.Door Inside Politics
 
Five months on from the final report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation, controversy still surrounds the methodology used by the three inquiry members, the treatment of witness statements and the conclusions reached regarding the culpability of church and state. Members of the commission have not replied to calls to appear bef…
 
Historian Niall Ferguson’s new book 'Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe' offers a sweeping compendium of the many appalling catastrophes that have befallen mankind, and how we have dealt with their aftermath. He talks to Hugh about his book, Covid and the possibility of a war between China and the US.…
 
Today the team take a look at what role Sinn Féin will play in forming the next government. Although there is a widespread assumption in political circles and elsewhere that Mary Lou McDonald’s party will take the majority, will their path to power be that straightforward? And if there is a Sinn Féin led government, what will it look like and how w…
 
British broadcaster and writer James O’Brien has built a loyal listenership on his LBC radio programme, dissecting the opinions of callers live on air every day. In his 2018 book, How To Be Right... in a World gone Wrong, he set out his opinions on Islam, Brexit, political correctness, LGBT issues, feminism, Trump and other flash points. Now his la…
 
The political focus has shifted from the pandemic to the housing crisis, with Taoiseach Micheal Martin this week declaring it the Government’s “number one priority”. Jack Horgan Jones and Pat Leahy join Hugh to discuss the political decisions and policy failures that have led to the crisis and the resulting generational divide.But first, not escapi…
 
Denis Staunton talks to Hugh about the results of last Friday's local and regional elections in England, Scotland and Wales. The results have thrown up many stories, including how Labour's leader Keir Starmer contrived to turn a setback into a leadership crisis, and how pro-independence politicians increase their dominance of the Scottish parliamen…
 
For decades, Ireland has used a low corporation tax rate to attract foreign direct investment. That is now threatened by a major tax reform plan announced by US president Joe Biden, which proposes to tax the overseas earnings of US corporations at 21 per cent. Talks are also taking place at the OECD on a global minimum level of corporate tax, which…
 
What led to Arlene Foster's ouster this week, who will succeed her and what will it mean for politics on the island? To find out we talk to Sam McBride of the Belfast Newsletter. Then Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray look at the other big political news of the week: the major moves towards reopening the country, and the surprise resignation of Fine Gael…
 
For much of the pandemic, the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group (ISAG) has recommended that Ireland should aggressively suppress virus transmission as part of a zero-Covid policy. That strategy has, however, failed to find favour with either the Government or health officials. As we prepare for the next phase of reopening in May, ISAG spokesper…
 
To what extent can political beliefs and behaviour be understood through the science of psychology and the study of human cognition? In today’s episode, Hugh talks to award-winning political columnist and host of the excellent Politics on the Couch podcast, Rafael Behr, about the way our minds respond to politics and how psychology drives everyone’…
 
Since coronavirus, governments around the globe have abandoned traditional concerns about deficits and enacted emergency measures in the interest of saving countries from the devastating effects of lockdowns. But in a post-pandemic Ireland, what should the role of the state be? Will the Covid crisis help bring to an end the old economic orthodoxies…
 
CBS News political reporter, Slate Political Gabfest panelist and proud Irish-American John Dickerson talks to Hugh about the office of President of the United States, which is the subject of his book "The Hardest Job in the World". He explains how the role has evolved in complexity and now places impossible demands on whoever holds it. They also d…
 
The Government's Covid-19 policy was dealt a double blow this week, as it was forced to pause the mandatory hotel quarantine system and issues with two vaccines threw the planned inoculation programme into doubt. Hugh is joined by Jennifer Bray and Jack Horgan-Jones from The Irish Times political team to discuss the latest hurdles the coalition mus…
 
It's not just Brexit, or the Bobby Storey funeral, or the constant talk of a border poll. Many factors fed into this week's violence and rioting on the streets of Belfast. The violent clashes involved youths from loyalist and nationalist areas, but today's conversation with Newton Emerson focuses on the roots of the anger and disillusionment felt b…
 
The debate surrounding mandatory hotel quarantine rumbles on between government departments, but what are the logistical, legal and diplomatic issues at stake? Will the introduction of a vaccine passport or a digital green certificate be enough to smooth over the cracks? And with the long promised ramp up in vaccinations now on the horizon, will th…
 
Behavioral economist Pete Lunn and political correspondent Jennifer Bray join Hugh to talk about the government's major moves in the Covid-19 fight this week: the easing of some restrictions, particularly around outdoor activities, and the simplification of the vaccine rollout, favouring older people over particular groups such as teachers, Gardaí …
 
Last week was a very good one for the Green Party, but you could be forgiven for getting the opposite impression. Today, Hugh and guests spend a little time on the party's dangerous internal divisions (as demonstrated by the spat over party member and Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu's unsanctioned run for a Seanad seat) and more time on the signific…
 
In his new book Free Speech and Why it Matters, Andrew Doyle questions a new form of social justice activism, which as he puts it, casually disregards the principle of free speech for the sake of what is perceived to be a higher social priority. In today’s episode, the author and podcaster joins Hugh for a discussion on 'wokeness' and cancel cultur…
 
The EU is set to tighten export controls in a bid to prevent Covid-19 vaccines leaving the bloc. It comes as Europe looks destined for a showdown with the UK over a stockpile of AstraZeneca vaccines, said to number up to 30 million doses, and coveted by both sides to shore up inoculation campaigns. As shortfalls and supply issues hold back the roll…
 
In today’s episode Irish Times Berlin correspondent Derek Scally joins Hugh to speak about his brand new book: The Best Catholics in the World. Having spent the last twenty years living and working in Germany, Scally has witnessed a nation engaging earnestly with their past, and asks why the same cannot be said for his native Ireland and the legacy…
 
In today’s episode, Pat and Jen join Hugh for a special edition of “ask me anything”. From the zero Covid strategy to concerns around global vaccine supply, the team tackle your questions on the politics of the pandemic.Thanks to everyone who sent their questions in. Happy St Patrick's Day.Door Inside Politics
 
Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan dominated the news headlines all this week. The most watched programme on RTE so far this year, it shone a light on the inner workings of the long standing British monarchy. Allegations of racism and maltreatment now lead to bigger questions surrounding the legitimacy of the monarchy i…
 
It's just over a week since the Central Bank fined Davy stockbrokers €4.1 million for breaching market rules. On today’s show, Hugh talks to Jack Horgan-Jones and Cormac McQuinn from the Irish Times politics team about the political impact of the scandal. Also on the agenda today: continued delays in vaccine deliveries, progress on mandatory hotel …
 
President Michael D Higgins sparked a debate recently with his sharp critique of British imperialism. In a piece for the Guardian, he accused some academics and journalists of a "feigned amnesia" and a failure to address Britain's imperialist legacy, especially when compared to Ireland's reflections on nationalism, the war of independence and parti…
 
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 constru…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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