The Irish Times

Irish Times Inside Politics

The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times reporters and columnists, outside experts and political guests. Hosted by Hugh Linehan.
Irish Times Inside Politics


The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times reporters and columnists, outside experts and political guests. Hosted by Hugh Linehan.



News & Politics


"Diatribe and Vitriol" On Day One Of The Dáil

Feb 21, 2020 00:18:17


Fiach Kelly joins Hugh Linehan in studio to discuss a fraught first meeting of the 33rd Dáil.

"It's Up To Sinn Féin", Fianna Fáil In A Bind, Alan Or Aodhán

Feb 19, 2020 00:32:37


On today's podcast: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are both spinning that Sinn Féin must step up and try to form a left-wing government - hoping that Mary Lou McDonald will fail, of course. Michéal Martin and Fianna Fáil arrive at a major inflection point: should they try to court younger working class voters or older middle class voters? The future of the party may be at stake. And the Labour Party faces its own dilemma. Which section of the party's traditional support base should its new leader represent? Hugh is joined by Fiach Kelly and Jennifer Bray.

Ask Us Anything: #GE2020 Edition

Feb 14, 2020 00:45:44


Now that the dust has finally settled on the Irish general election, Hugh is joined in studio by Pat Leahy, Jennifer Bray and Harry McGee to answer any of your lingering questions.

Sinn Féin and The IRA: Anything to Worry About?

Feb 12, 2020 00:34:25


Sinn Féin is poised to take power in the next Dáil after winning a strong mandate in #GE2020, but for many people questions remain over its relationship to the Provisional IRA. Today we attempt to sort through what we know and what we don't know on this question. Does the IRA Army Council still remain at the top of the republican political movement? If so, does it pose a threat to security or has it become toothless? And to what extent does it influence modern Sinn Féin? Simon Carswell is here to help. Plus, Sam McBride on unionist reaction to Sinn Féin's political success down south.

Election Daily - So Long

Feb 11, 2020 00:18:18


Election 2020 is over and so is Election Daily. On this final episode, Fiach and Pat join Hugh to talk about what happens next. Leo Varadkar could remain as Taoiseach longer than people may realise, says Pat. There's a split in opinion as to whether Sinn Fein really wants to be in government, and agreement that Fianna Fail are in the most difficult position of all. Thanks to everyone who listened to Election Daily. Inside Politics will be back tomorrow. Email the podcast:

Election Daily - Monday - Day Two of the Count

Feb 10, 2020 00:16:45


Jennifer Bray joins Hugh Linehan from the RDS as the count rattles on into the evening there. Jennifer O'Connell was at the count centre in Waterford yesterday as Sinn Fein's David Cullinane won his seat with twice the required quota of first preference votes. It's been a dismal day for Fianna Fáil as the party continue to lose seats. Where are the transfers going & who is benefiting from the SF surge?

Election Weekend in The Newsroom (And What Now?)

Feb 10, 2020 00:26:06


Pat Leahy is here to assess the results of #GE2020. How did Sinn Fein turn its fortunes at the ballot box around so spectacularly in a few short months? And can Micheal Martin really do a u-turn on governing with Sinn Fein? But first we relive the weekend as it played out in The Irish Times newsroom.

Election Daily - Count Day - Sinn Féin Surge

Feb 9, 2020 00:16:09


The Sinn Fein surge is real and it's playing out in constituencies all across the country today. Harry McGee and Jennifer Bray are here to discuss the story of the election so far.

Election Daily - Exit Poll - The Big Two Become The Big Three

Feb 8, 2020 00:22:50


Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy are here with analysis of the Ipsos / MRBI poll that projects a tie between Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and a new realignment of the Irish political landscape.

Election Daily - Friday - The Campaign Ends

Feb 7, 2020 00:16:58


Pat, Jennifer and Fiach join Hugh to look back on the campaign as it draws to a close. Plus, what happens if Met Eireann tell people to stay home? And we hear a clip of Paschal Donohoe's reflections earlier today on what made this campaign a different and difficult one. If you're enjoying the podcast, please take our survey: it should only take a few minutes.

Calling (Some of) It

Feb 7, 2020 00:39:55


Damian Cullen, The Irish Times's self-described "go-to guy" for general election numerology, joins Hugh and Harry to bravely call the results of a few of the more interesting constituencies in tomorrow's general election, from Dublin Central to Tipperary and from Galway West to Wicklow.

Election Daily - Thursday - 'Amadán Economics' & Low-key Greens

Feb 6, 2020 00:13:37


As we reach the final stages of the election campaign, how are the political parties holding up? Is there a sense of panic within Fine Gael & are the Greens failing to get their message through? Harry & Fiach are here to discuss. Plus if you're enjoying the podcast, please take our survey on it should only take a few minutes.

#GE2020 Live Show - Ireland Wants Change, The Poll Effect, FG's Negative Campaign

Feb 6, 2020 00:55:11


To mark Election 2020 last night we put on a live show in Trinity College, Dublin for subscribers to The Irish Times. Regulars Hugh, Jennifer and Pat were joined by Mary Minihan, Jennifer O'Connell and Fintan O'Toole to talk about the big picture of this campaign: Fine Gael's negative campaign, Sinn Fein's rise, and the effort to understand exactly what kind of change the people of Ireland want. The discussion went on for two hours; in this podcast you can hear some of the highlights.

Election Daily - Micheál Martin on Sinn Féin 'Omertà', Final Seats and Coalitions

Feb 5, 2020 00:21:20


Fianna Fail party leader Micheal Martin talked to Pat Leahy earlier today. On the agenda: the murder of Paul Quinn and why he thinks Sinn Fein is a party unfit for government, his justification for excluding Mary Lou McDonald from a future coalition, and what the potential path to power is for Fianna Fail in this election.

Election Daily - Leader's Debate Reaction with Jennifer Bray

Feb 5, 2020 00:15:32


What were the high and low points for Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar and Mary Lou McDonald on tonight's RTE debate? And can it move the dial for voters? Jennifer Bray talks to Hugh.

Election Daily - Leo Varadkar on Why FG is Struggling, Micheál Martin & Sinn Féin

Feb 4, 2020 00:24:08


Fiach Kelly chatted to Leo Varadkar at Fine Gael HQ earlier on, and he's here with the audio. The Taoiseach is asked about polls, says Micheál Martin can't be trusted not to break his pledge on partnership with Sinn Fein and gives some clear indications what his party's strategy will be over the final days of the campaign.

Election Daily - POLL - Sinn Féin Take The Lead

Feb 3, 2020 00:13:31


It's a first for the long-running Ipsos MRBI / Irish Times politics poll. Sinn Féin have overtaken Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and now enjoy the most support of any political party. The result is certain to make waves in this election campaign. Pat Leahy is here with analysis. For more on the poll, go to

Election Daily - Monday - FG Press The Panic Button

Feb 3, 2020 00:14:54


Jennifer Bray and Harry McGee are here to talk about Mary Lou McDonald's addition to tomorrow night's leaders debate on RTE and Fine Gael's tanking campaign. How bad could it get for them on a bad day? Harry crunches some numbers.

The Climate Crisis: Promises, Policies and Politics

Feb 1, 2020 00:29:58


It was supposed to be the climate change election. It hasn't turned out that way so far, even if it is a sign of progress that all the parties have detailed climate proposals in their manifestos, says Joseph Curtin, a climate change expert working in the NGO sector and a member of the Climate Change Advisory Council. But that doesn't mean you should take the figures in the manifestos too seriously. Joe talks to Hugh and Harry McGee about some of those proposed policies, which parties are most ambitious, and the best way to implement carbon tax.

Election Daily - Friday - Focus Groups & Dirty Tricks / Brexit Day with Denis Staunton

Jan 31, 2020 00:24:41


In a special, slightly extended episode of Election Daily, Denis Staunton joins us from London to talk about the momentous but strangely muted occasion of Brexit Day. But first Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy are here with news from the campaign including insights from an Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI focus group and some of the tactics allegedly used when constituency partnerships go bad.

Election Daily - Thursday - On The Canvass with Gerry Adams and Dara Calleary

Jan 30, 2020 00:15:17


Jennifer Bray is in Mayo following the campaign of Fianna Fail deputy leader Dara Calleary, who is confident local issues can deliver two seats again despite the Saoirse McHugh factor, while Simon Carswell is in Louth with Gerry Adams who is canvassing with Sinn Fein's candidates there. Can Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú take the seat Adams is vacating?

Election Daily - Wednesday - Carbon Tax & The Green Party

Jan 29, 2020 00:15:48


We're focusing on the Green Party today with Irish Times journalist Harry McGee who attended their briefing on transport earlier & Assistant News Editor Mary Minihan who has literally written the book on the Greens. Up for discussion is Saoirse McHugh's carbon tax comments and the perception of the party in rural Ireland.

It's Housing, Stupid: Sinn Féin's Youth Appeal

Jan 29, 2020 00:37:37


Sinn Féin has carved out a space for itself as the main party of left-wing opposition, and its manifesto proposes radical change. Polls show it has gained support in recent months, and it is the most popular party among those under 35. It has made the housing issue its own. Will its strategy work on February 8th? To understand the party's appeal, with its unique characteristics in Irish and even European politics, and to examine some parts of its generous manifesto, Hugh and Pat are joined by Jane Suiter, Associate Professor at DCU's School of Communications, and Aidan Regan, Associate Professor of Political Economy at UCD.

Election Daily - Tuesday - Varadkar Forgives Noone & Labour's Manifesto Launch

Jan 28, 2020 00:17:15


Following on from the leaders debate in NUIG last night, Fiach Kelly was in Galway early this morning on the canvas trail with Leo Varadkar. But how did the Taoiseach respond to the controversial autism comments & subsequent apology made by Fine Gael's Catherine Noone? Plus Jennifer Bray attended the Labour manifesto launch earlier today and talks us through their promise of a living wage, a three year rent freeze and the potential for an 'omnibus referendum'.

Election Daily - Leader's Debate Reaction with Fiach Kelly

Jan 28, 2020 00:10:33


Fiach joins Hugh to assess the second debate of #GE20, this time with seven party leaders. Who impressed, who failed to make their mark, which issues dominated, and which were ignored?

Election Daily - Monday - Moving Week, Project Fear, Debate II

Jan 27, 2020 00:14:34


Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray are here with your daily update on the events of the general election campaign. It's a critical week for all the parties and candidates as the large block of undecided voters - over 20% according to polls - should begin to make up their minds. Which message is winning out? Plus, what to watch for in tonight's seven-way debate.

Housing: What Are The Parties Proposing?

Jan 25, 2020 00:32:17


As the political parties begin to launch their manifestos, and to coincide with a major series in The Irish Times on the causes and potential solutions to the housing crisis, we talk to three of our journalists: - Political reporter Jennifer Bray on the key policies being proposed by the political parties and the major differences between them; - Business reporter Eoin Burke-Kennedy on the problems with measures designed to help buyers, like the SSIA scheme proposed by Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael's expanded Help-To-Buy programme; - Dublin Editor Olivia Kelly on the role of the Land Development Agency, a key component in Fine Gael's Rebuilding Ireland strategy, and its uncertain future after GE20.

Election Daily - Friday - Party Manifestos & A Look Ahead to Next Week

Jan 24, 2020 00:14:12


Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both released their party manifestos today, but what are the real differences between them? As we reach the end of the first full week of GE2020, Pat Leahy and pollster Kevin Cunningham dissect the party promises and also take a look at what lies in store for the remainder of the campaign.

Election Daily - Thursday - Leo's Answer, Coalition Partners, The Disunited Left

Jan 23, 2020 00:16:11


Harry McGee and Mary Minihan join Hugh to dig into last night's debate some more, including the fallout from Leo Varadkar's awkward answer about his past use of drugs, and analyse what Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have been saying about potential coalition partners like the Greens. Plus Harry explains what is going on within the Solidarity / People Before Profit group, who risk splitting the left wing vote in Dublin South-West.

Election Daily - Wednesday - Debate Reaction and Analysis

Jan 22, 2020 00:15:33


Fiach, Jennifer and Hugh react to the first debate of the general election between Micheal Martin and Leo Varadkar.

What's Really Motivating Voters? With Jennifer O'Connell

Jan 22, 2020 00:32:38


Over the last week, Irish Times journalist Jennifer O’Connell has been travelling across the country speaking to people and learning about their thoughts on #GE2020. From a book club in Míchael Martin’s constituency of Cork South Central, to a livestock mart in Ennis Co. Clare, Jennifer came across disillusioned voters who want for change, but feel nothing can be done. Pat Leahy takes a look at whether the latest Irish Times Poll reflects Jennifer’s findings amongst the electorate and why Irish people are choosing policy over personality.

Election Daily - Tuesday - SF on a Roll & The Latest Poll

Jan 21, 2020 00:17:31


As Sinn Féin perform well in the polls, Mary Lou McDonald continues to fight for her place in the televised leaders debate. Fiach Kelly spoke to the SF leader at the candidates launch in Dublin today about the possibility of becoming the next Taoiseach. Also Pat Leahy discusses the most important policy issues for voters according to the latest Irish Times poll.

Election Daily - POLL - Fianna Fáil Opens A Lead, Sinn Féin Surges

Jan 20, 2020 00:12:26


The latest Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI poll, conducted in the days after the calling of the general election, shows Fianna Fáil edging ahead of Fine Gael and Sinn Fein gaining significant support. Pat Leahy is here with all the numbers and analysis.

Election Daily - Policies, Pensions & Polls

Jan 20, 2020 00:15:28


For Fine Gael, week two of #GE2020 opens under the shadow of a poll in a Sunday newspaper that put them 12 points behind Fianna Fail. The Irish Times will publish our own poll soon. Meanwhile, Harry McGee and Mary Minihan join Hugh to talk about the eruption of pensions as an election issue, Sinn Fein's strength on the housing issue and the head to head debate between Micheal Martin and Leo Varadkar.

So How Did The Last Government Do?

Jan 18, 2020 00:38:21


How has Fine Gael performed in government since 2016? We ask four of our specialist journalists - Paul Cullen on health, Kitty Holland on social housing and homelessness, Carl O'Brien on education and Cliff Taylor on the economy - to compare what was promised to what was delivered.

Election Daily - Varadkar Visits Drogheda & Labour Seeks Commuter Vote

Jan 17, 2020 00:16:53


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar & Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan met with senior Garda in Drogheda today as gang wars escalate in the town. Simon Carswell was following the action and spoke to Hugh Linehan and Pat Leahy about how locals reacted to the political presence. Plus Labour were also in Drogheda for the launch of their campaign 'Getting Ireland Moving'.

Election Daily - Aboard The Battle Bus, FF's Spending Pledge, SF on Defensive

Jan 16, 2020 00:13:43


Jennifer Bray spent the day aboard the Fine Gael 'battle bus' as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited Longford, shook some hands and avoided some bolshy locals. Fiach Kelly attended the launch of Fianna Fail's economic strategy, an event light on detail but which confirmed that public spending would be a key part of its campaign. Plus, a mini-controversy over a Sinn Fein councillor's remarks about Leo Varadkar that put his party on the back foot.

Election Daily - Controversial Remarks & Campaign Launches

Jan 15, 2020 00:16:59


Harry McGee and Pat Leahy join Hugh Linehan in studio to dissect day two of #GE2020. As campaign launches took place across the country, the homeless crisis became the main issue facing the parties following an accident along the canal in Dublin.

What's at Stake in #GE2020? - with Fintan O'Toole

Jan 15, 2020 00:45:37


Is there potential for real change emerging from the results of this general election? Fintan O'Toole joins Hugh and Pat to talk about the politics of patronage, how politicians respond to what they perceive voters want and why we need to talk about Sinn Fein's legitimacy as a partner in government.

Election Daily - Day One - Slogans, Saturday Voting, TDs Stepping Down

Jan 14, 2020 00:13:53


Election Daily is our new podcast series covering #GE2020 in under 15 minutes. We'll publish a new episode every weekday evening. Fiach Kelly and Jennifer Bray run through the events of day one of the campaign including the big reveal of February 8th, a Saturday, as election day, the unveiling of campaign slogans and a slew of announcements by sitting TDs that they won't run this time.

What Kind of Election is #GE2020 Going to Be?

Jan 13, 2020 00:09:49


The election hasn't been called yet but the political attacks have already begun. What kind of election campaign is in store? With a real head-to-head clash between Varadkar and Martin for the job of Taoiseach, the political stakes are higher than in recent years. Pat Leahy is here to discuss the early manoeuvres in the campaign. Attention listeners: we will be publishing a short daily election podcast five days per week throughout the campaign . You don't need to do anything; "Election Daily" will show up in your Inside Politics feed every evening. And don't worry, we'll still publish our regular shows with the more in-depth stuff.

Brexit Party MEP Claire Fox on The "Vacuous, Corrupting" European Union

Jan 10, 2020 00:35:54


Claire Fox stands out in the UK political landscape as a Brexit Party MEP with a background in far-left politics. In Dublin to deliver a talk about the reasons behind Brexit at the pro-EU Institute of International and European Affairs, she visits the Irish Times to argue that the loss of national sovereignty that comes with EU membership is intrinsically harmful to democracy.

RIC Row, What's Happening in Stormont, A February Election? - with Newton Emerson

Jan 8, 2020 00:36:54


With its clout in Westminister dead and buried, the stakes couldn't be higher for unionism in the current negotiations to restore power-sharing in Stormont. Why then is the DUP unwilling to make some compromises? To explain what's happening up north, Newton Emerson joins Hugh and Fiach. But first they discuss the row over a centenary commemoration that has backfired on the Government down south, exposing the durability of the very divisions it was designed to help heal. And finally Fiach has the latest on the timing of a general election.

Ask Us Anything 2019, Part 2

Dec 31, 2019 00:29:18


Hugh is joined by Jennifer Bray, Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy to answer some more of your questions on diverse topics, from the rough and tumble of political reporting to the success of the Tories in UK politics and their own podcast listening habits. Inside Politics will return on Wednesday, January 7th. Thanks for listening in 2019.

Ask Us Anything 2019 Edition

Dec 24, 2019 00:37:45


Hugh is joined by Jennifer Bray, Fiach Kelly, Pat Leahy and Harry McGee to answer some of your questions about politics, politicians, political reporting and more. This is part one of the 2019 edition of Ask Us Anything. We'll publish part two next week. Happy Christmas to all our listeners!

2010s: The Left's Failure, The "Rigged System" & The Intrusion of Tech - with Fintan O'Toole

Dec 21, 2019 00:48:43


As the 2010s dawned, it seemed the economic turmoil of the great recession would bring about social and political change. It did, but in unexpected ways, and increasingly under the warping influence of Big Tech. Hugh is joined by Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole to look back on a troubling decade.

Northern Ireland's Changed Political Landscape - with Dr Katy Hayward

Dec 18, 2019 00:25:24


What lessons will political parties in Northern Ireland take from the results of last week's election? Hugh and Pat talk to Dr Katy Hayward, a political sociologist at Queens University Belfast and a senior fellow in the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, and a trusted voice on Brexit and its implications for Northern Ireland.

A Landslide for Johnson, Labour's Destruction, What Now for Brexit

Dec 13, 2019 00:40:35


The results are in. Boris Johnson has secured a historic victory in the UK general election, with the Conservative Party winning a majority of 364 seats to Labour's measly 203. With Britain’s departure from the EU securely on the horizon for January 31st 2020, Boris has succeeded in his mission to ‘Get Brexit Done’. Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, is on the way out. In Northern Ireland, it was a bad night for the DUP. Up bright and early to discuss the results and ramifications with Hugh Linehan is London editor Denis Staunton, academic and former Uk Labour pollster Dr Kevin Cunningham and political editor Pat Leahy.

The Beginning of The End, The UK Votes

Dec 11, 2019 00:37:18


The current Dáil is living on borrowed time, but how will its final act play out? To talk about confidence votes, party strategising and, yes, the timing of the next general election, Hugh is joined by podcast stalwarts Pat, Fiach and Jennifer. They also reflect on the closing days of a UK election campaign characterised by misinformation and mistrust.

UK Election Update / The Rise of The Political ‘Boomer Meme’

Dec 6, 2019 00:41:57


At a Labour press conference this morning, Jeremy Corbyn revealed a confidential Northern Ireland Brexit report, which drives a ‘coach and horses’ through Boris Johnson’s promise of no border in the Irish Sea. London Editor Denis Staunton joins Hugh to discuss the implications, if any, this might have for the Conservatives. They also examine how the parties are shaping up as the election campaign enters the home stretch. Also, Finn McRedmond joins us from London to discuss how political parties are using micro-targeting, poor quality ‘boomer memes’ and celebrity endorsements to enhance their online election campaigns.

Hope and Disillusionment on the Campaign Trail - with Patrick Freyne & Jennifer O'Connell

Dec 4, 2019 00:33:22


In recent months Irish Times journalists Patrick Freyne and Jennifer O'Connell have spent time meeting people across the UK and learning about their thoughts on Brexit, their opinions of their political leaders and their fears about the direction of UK society. They've found a confused, disillusioned and, at times, hopeful electorate.

Reading the Byelection Results

Dec 2, 2019 00:31:27


Fiach Kelly and Jennifer Bray join Hugh to look at the results of four byelections in Wexford, Cork North-Central, Dublin Mid-West and Dublin Fingal. How good a day was Saturday for Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and the Greens? How bad for Fine Gael? And will the ugliness of some of the debate persist into the general election campaign to come?

The Strange World of The DUP - with Sam McBride

Nov 29, 2019 00:57:53


What makes the DUP tick? The big beast of unionism has played an outside role in politics across Ireland and the UK over the past few years, yet understanding of the party south of the border or on the other side of the Irish sea is often lacking. To find out a bit more about the party and its view of the world, Hugh and Pat were joined by Sam McBride live on stage at the Dublin Podcast Festival last week. Sam is political editor with the Belfast Newsletter and author of Burned, a book about the "cash for ash" scandal that has plighted the party.

The Toy Show Elections

Nov 27, 2019 00:39:33


Four constituencies, four battles for four seats in Dáil Éireann. On Friday (which is the same day as the Toy Show, as Leo Varadkar pointed out while canvassing with Verona Murphy in Wexford) voters go to the polls in Dublin Mid West, Dublin Fingal, Wexford and Cork North Central. The team talks through the constituencies one by one, with a few digressions along the way, and finally make some predictions.

UK Election: Can Anything Stop Boris Johnson? - with Dr Kevin Cunningham

Nov 22, 2019 00:24:38


First-past-the-post, tactical voting, Labour leavers, Tory remainers... it all ads up to a a formidable task for pollsters to call the outcome of GE19. But the numbers we have so far strongly suggest Boris Johnson is on course for a majority. Pollster and politics lecturer Dr Kevin Cunningham joins Hugh and Pat to look at those polls and ask is there any scope for Labour and other parties to stop Johnson, or is it too late?

O'Devaney Gardens, Verona Murphy In Hot Water and A Remainer's Perspective on the General Election

Nov 20, 2019 00:48:23


Dublin Editor, Olivia Kelly gives us the low down on what's happening with O'Devaney Gardens. Last week City Councillors approved a deal which would see more than 800 new homes developed on the site, so why is Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy questioning it's approval now? Fine Gael's Verona Murphy was forced to apologise this week for her comments concerning asylum seekers in Ireland. Political reporter Jennifer Bray was canvassing with the by-election candidate last week and joins us to discuss the disparaging remarks that were made on the canvas trail. Plus, Ros Taylor from Remainiacs Podcast gives her take on last night’s Leaders Debate on ITV and gives us a remainer’s perspective on the British General Election.

UK Election: Could Flooding Cost Johnson The Election? - with Denis Staunton

Nov 15, 2019 00:27:11


Hugh and Pat are joined by London editor Denis Staunton to talk about the first full week of the UK election campaign. Are the big two parties starting to squeeze the smaller groups out? Are tactical voting considerations having an impact? Is it a Brexit election so far? And could flooding and the government's slow response cost Boris Johnson the election?

Northern Ireland's New Political Battle Lines, Lorraine Clifford-Lee

Nov 13, 2019 00:32:58


Northern correspondent Freya McClements on the party plans and pacts that are turning Northern Ireland's Westminster election into one of the most interesting in years. Is it remain versus leave, green versus orange or a mixture of both? Plus Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy have an early look at the by-elections taking place in four constituencies in a few weeks' time. Derogatory social media posts about Travellers and others made by Fianna Fail's Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee are threatening her campaign in Dublin Fingal. Will the party stick by her?

Micheál Martin on Party, Policies and a "Wind-down" of Confidence & Supply

Nov 11, 2019 00:35:24


Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin gave an interview to our deputy political editor Fiach Kelly last week, covering the veteran politician's approach to the next general election, rebuilding trust in his party, his plan for bringing to an end the confidence and supply deal that props up Leo Varadkar's government, and more. Fiach plays back some clips of the interview and discusses them with Hugh Linehan.

US Politics: One Year Out, Should Democrats Worry? / Fobgate, Money Messages & Election Wobbles

Nov 6, 2019 00:48:16


Yesterday was a good day for the Democratic Party, winning control of the legislature in Virginia and the governorship of Kentucky, while President Trump's impeachment problems deepened again. But with one year until the presidential election, there are some worrying signs that the party could struggle to select a candidate who can compete with Trump in the places that matter. To look at the state of that campaign Hugh talks to our Washington correspondent Suzanne Lynch.  But first, deputy political editor Fiach Kelly is here to talk about last week's general election wobble, the row over "money messages" and the intricacies of Fobgate. Are the rules for TD's expenses being abused?

#GE19 Tactics, What Different Results Mean for Brexit - with Patrick Maguire and Paddy Smyth

Nov 1, 2019 00:28:14


The UK general election campaign is, among other things, a battle for what kind of Brexit will ultimately happen. Our Europe editor Patrick Smyth sets out five possible election outcomes and the sort of Brexit the EU expects from each, from No Deal to a new deal - or no Brexit at all. But let's not get ahead of ourselves: the campaign is just beginning. To understand the dynamics and tactics at play in these early stages we talk first to Patrick Maguire, a political correspondent with New Statesman magazine.

Direct Provision Tensions: "The Lack of Consultation Isn't Working"

Oct 30, 2019 00:39:38


Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny's car was torched a few days after he spoke out against rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the Dáil. Kenny, who has supported the provision of accommodation for asylum seekers in the town of Ballinamore in his constituency, talks to Fiach Kelly and Harry McGee about his fears that real issues are being twisted to win support for extreme views.  And Irish Times journalist Jennifer O'Connell talks about why two towns,  Borrisokane and Ballinamore, have reacted differently to the arrival of direct provision centres. How can the government better engage with communities? But first, London editor Denis Staunton on the forthcoming UK general election. Could this election throw up a worse Brexit than Boris Johnson's deal from an Irish point of view? And can Jeremy Corbyn repeat the trick of 2017 and outperform expectations?

Is The UK Ready for What Brexit Brings? - With Ruadhán Mac Cormaic and Helen Thompson

Oct 25, 2019 00:37:24


Leaving the European Union will have consequences for politics in the United Kingdom. What are they, and is the UK ready for them? To chat about that and other Brexit-related themse, Hugh is joined again by Helen Thompson, professor of political economy at Cambridge University, and by Ruadhán Mac Cormaic, assistant editor with The Irish Times.

Tangled Up in Brexit, Proxy War of The Buttons

Oct 23, 2019 00:39:51


Hugh is joined by Denis Staunton, Pat Leahy, Harry McGee and Jennifer Bray. What will UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson try to do first: win a general election, or pass his Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the House of Commons? Last night was the first time any Brexit deal was approved in a vote, but Johnson's joy was short-lived when a procedural vote denied him a rapid debate stage. This complicates things in various fiendish ways, as keen Brexit watchers won't be at all surprised to hear. Denis explains.  After that, our political team discuss the tit-for-tat row over errant votes in Dáil Éireann. Is it significant or simply a pre-election proxy war?

Votes for A Deal, Ireland's Bittersweet Brexit Success - with Fintan O'Toole and Denis Staunton

Oct 18, 2019 00:34:51


London Editor Denis Staunton on where Boris Johnson might find - or lose - support in tomorrow's House of Commons vote on the Brexit deal. Fintan O'Toole on how the strategies of the different parties to Brexit played out in the extraordinary week that led to Johnson abandoning the DUP and striking a deal with Ireland and the EU.

Brexit: Can This Deal Pass?

Oct 17, 2019 00:17:47


Pat Leahy and Denis Staunton are on the line to discuss the Brexit deal agreed today and the reaction here, in Northern Ireland and in Westminster. Can Johnson's deal pass? And what are the implications of the consent mechanism for Northern Ireland?

Brexit: Issues Remain as Deadline Looms – with Peter Foster

Oct 16, 2019 00:32:19


At this moment in time there is still optimism that a deal may be struck in Brexit talks between the EU and the UK ahead of tomorrow’s European Council meeting, though the outstanding issues may see it go right down to the wire. The elements of the deal are set to be a customs border in the Irish Sea - rebranded and sweetened for the DUP - as well as a hefty financial package for Northern Ireland. Details of the other key issue - that of consent, and how Northern Ireland agrees to whatever special treatment it is given - have yet to emerge. Hugh is joined by Peter Foster, Europe Editor of the Daily Telegraph, and by our own Fiach Kelly and Denis Staunton to analyse the state of play.

Poll: Varadkar’s Approval Up, Little Between Fine Gael & Fianna Fáil

Oct 14, 2019 00:23:31


Political Editor Pat Leahy is here with the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll which shows Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are in pretty much a dead heat, while the Green Party is enjoying a steady upward trend in support. Significantly, there has been an 15 point increase in Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s personal satisfaction rating, ending an 18-month long period of decline.

Remembering Children Who Died in The Troubles - with Joe Duffy & Freya McClements

Oct 14, 2019 00:29:00


When remembering the Troubles, we tend to focus on the acts of perpetrators. But a new book focusses on the 186 children who died in the Troubles, some of whose deaths have, up to now, appeared nowhere on any list of victims. 'Children of the Troubles' is written by RTÉ's Joe Duffy and The Irish Times Northern correspondent Freya McClements. In this interview, Freya and Joe tell Hugh that, for many of the parents and loved ones left behind, time has not moved on - their losses are not "legacy issues".

Brexit: A Backstop for Slow Learners, The Tunnel, The North's Opportunity - with David McWilliams

Oct 11, 2019 00:38:32


Our columnist, economist David McWilliams joins Hugh and Pat. Their discussion weaves together the significant events of the past 24 hours and the longer term economic and social impacts of Brexit on Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Another Brexit Breakdown, Paschal's Budget Message

Oct 9, 2019 00:42:18


The Spectator's political editor James Forsyth had the biggest Brexit scoop of the week on Monday when he reported that, per a Downing Street source,  Brexit negotiations were breaking down. The reason? As Downing Street sees it, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has gone back on a promise to soften his negotiating position if the UK made the first move, a promise he made to Boris Johnson when the latter visited Dublin last month. But is this all spin or a genuine belief? And what does it mean for next week's EU Council summit? Hugh and Pat talk to James about that first.  Then they are joined by UCC's Dr. Theresa Reidy and economist John Fitzgerald about yesterday's budget. What political messages were Paschal Donohoe and Leo Varadkar trying to send?

The DUP's Brexit Ruse - with Sam McBride & Patrick Smyth

Oct 4, 2019 00:35:43


In agreeing to regulatory checks in the Irish Sea, the DUP have made a major Brexit concession, a "massive shift", says the Belfast Newsletter's political editor Sam McBride, the importance of which has not yet been grasped outside Northern Ireland. Hugh and Pat talk to Sam about the thinking behind the move and the significance of the proposed Stormont veto. Then they talk to our Europe editor Patrick Smyth about the specific problems Brussels has with Boris Johnson's new Brexit proposals. Is there is any sign of negotiators reentering "the tunnel"?

A Boring Budget, Johnson's 'Final' Brexit Offer, Bring Back Wolves

Oct 2, 2019 00:38:24


It might not feel like it, but there is a small matter of a budget to think about next week. Hugh is joined by Harry McGee, Jennifer Bray and Fiach Kelly to discuss what Paschal Donohoe is likely to do with what should be a tight budget dominated by Brexit. Speaking of Brexit, Boris Johnson set out his ‘final’ Brexit offer to the EU at the Tory conference in Manchester today. We look at the leaks overnight about that offer and the political reaction to it in Dublin. Plus: Paul Murphy's new political grouping 'Rise' and Eamon Ryan's calls for the reintroduction of wolves to the Irish countryside.

Brexit: Rancor in Westminster as EU Hopes Fade - with Nick Gutteridge and Simon Carswell

Sep 27, 2019 00:28:50


The Brexit week began with Lady Hale delivering a famous judgement against Prime Minister Boris Johnson. That might have been expected to dominate the news for days, but Johnson, prematurely returned to Westminster, produced another 'dead cat', whipping his parliamentary opponents into a frenzy with his use of what they called dangerous language. Looking on from Brussels, the European negotiators believed they were watching hopes of any deal passing the Commons evaporate. To discuss the week that was, political editor Pat Leahy is joined by public affairs editor Simon Carswell and Nick Gutteridge, a Brussels-based journalist with The Sun,.

Brexit: A Brutal Defeat for Boris, Green Shoots, A Growing Threat to Journalism

Sep 25, 2019 00:55:37


Boris Johnson faces an uncertain future and narrowing options after yesterday’s brutal supreme court ruling that his prorogation of parliament was unlawful. London editor Denis Staunton talks to Pat Leahy about the prospects facing the under-fire British prime minister. Also today: Green Party councillor Hazel Chu and our own Cliff Taylor join Pat to discuss the carbon tax, green washing and the Green Party’s ambitions for the next general election. Plus: In an op-ed on press freedom by New York Times publisher A G Sulzberger this week, we learned of the story of how the paper’s Cairo bureau chief, Irishman Declan Walsh, had to be spirited out of Egypt by Irish diplomats because of a threat of arrest after Trump administration officials refused to intervene. Declan talks to Pat about how that came about and what the episode says about the US government’s role in protecting journalists working abroad.

Naomi Klein on The Need for Radical Climate Action

Sep 20, 2019 00:38:27


Canadian journalist and social activist Naomi Klein is best known for her 1999 book No Logo which exposed corporate malpractice. Two decades on, her focus has shifted towards climate change. In her new book On Fire she argues the case for a "Green New Deal" to stymie global warming and tackle climate injustice.

Election Talk, Brexit Back-Channels

Sep 18, 2019 00:30:28


The dawning political season in Leinster House is overshadowed by the prospect of a general election and still by the uncertainty over Brexit. Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy join Hugh to talk about factors that will decide the timing of an election, and what the Taoiseach has been saying about a post-election deal with Fianna Fáil. They also discuss the "informal talks' that have been taking place between Tánaiste Simon Coveney and his UK counterparts about post-Brexit border arrangements. But there is little optimism in the studio that a deal before October 31st is looking more likely.

Brexit: A Backstop In All But Name?

Sep 11, 2019 00:34:19


The DUP has publicly rejected proposals for a Northern Ireland-only backstop amid speculation at Westminster that Boris Johnson is considering an all-Ireland solution for the Border after Brexit. But with different shades of opinion within Arlene Foster’s party behind the scenes, is there room for manoeuvre? Could the DUP sell the idea of a ‘soft’ backstop to its supporters? Belfast-based political commentator and former UUP director of communications, Alex Kane, and Irish Times northern correspondent Freya McClements, join Hugh and political editor Pat Leahy to discuss.

Brexit: Has Boris Johnson's Visit Changed Anything?

Sep 9, 2019 00:17:44


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for a "positive, constructive" meeting. But has the Irish government's view of the Brexit stalemate changed at all? Pat Leahy is here to discuss.

Bracing for Johnson's General Election - with Fintan O'Toole

Sep 5, 2019 00:39:01


Fintan O'Toole pops in to review the incredible week that has unfolded in Westminster and what we can expect from the election that seems inevitable now. Will it be the dirtiest political campaign we've ever seen?

Brexit: A Bad Day for Boris, Election Calculations, A Chink of Light? - with Katy Balls

Sep 4, 2019 00:35:26


After a day of drama and political upheaval in Westminster, Hugh is joined by our own Pat Leahy and Denis Staunton, and by Katy Balls, deputy political editor with The Spectator magazine, to ask: - What have we learned from the past 24 hours? - For how long will Jeremy Corbyn withhold his support for an election? - What impact will the dramatic expulsion of Tory rebels from their party have on UK politics? - Does Boris Johnson have a plan? - Is a possible post-election path to an alternative deal emerging?

Northern Ireland Past, Present and Future - with Professor Brendan O'Leary

Aug 30, 2019 00:35:03


Brendan O'Leary, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, has written a three-book treatise on the entity we call Northern Ireland that is both accessible and erudite. He talks to Hugh about the past, present and uncertain future of Northern Ireland,

Brexit: Sit Back and Remain on the Edge of Your Seat – with Lisa O’Carroll

Aug 29, 2019 00:28:22


The dust is beginning to settle after British prime minister Boris Johnson’s surprise announcement on Wednesday, that he is to prorogue parliament for five weeks in order to bring forward his Government’s new legislative agenda. The move has been attacked as anti-democratic, but what happens next? Is a general election now more likely to be called before the October 31st Brexit date that Johnson has long since promised to honour? Or, can opposition MPs manage to coalesce around an alternative PM to form a government of national unity and halt Johnson in his tracks? Hugh is joined by The Guardian’s Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll and Irish Times political editor Pat Leahy to discuss how this could all play out in the weeks ahead.

Can a Capitalist Economy Solve the Climate Crisis?

Aug 28, 2019 00:45:21


Is it possible to run a capitalist economy and also address climate change? Or, is the greed-driven system destined to destroy itself? Hugh is joined by Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett to discuss what role socialism and left-wing green politics can play in helping to bring about real democratic change to fight climate change.

Maureen Dowd on Trump, Washington in Turmoil and Thriving Journalism

Aug 23, 2019 00:30:04


New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is the undisputed queen of the Washington commentariat. President George W Bush called her 'the Cobra' and in 1999 she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for a series of columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the Clinton administration. In today's podcast, she tells Hugh that journalists in Washington are in a strange position because while Donald Trump's presidency is "the most incredible thing that’s ever happened in politics", it has seen journalism thrive. She also talks about the Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the party's prospects in 2020 and why President Obama must shoulder some of the blame for Trump's election. Maureen Dowd will take part in a public conversation at the Kennedy Summer School on Saturday, September 7th. Her column appears every Monday in The Irish Times

Brexit: The 'Phoney War' Phase - with Prof Ronan McCrea

Aug 21, 2019 00:41:00


Almost a month after becoming British prime minister, Boris Johnson has restated his opposition to the backstop in a four-page letter to European Council president Donald Tusk, in which he failed to put forward a single idea for replacing it. As the Brexit stalemate continues, there is a sense that we have reached the phoney war phase, with apathy growing among many EU nations who just want to bring the matter to a close, whatever that might mean. Is Johnson serious about finding a solution to the backstop? What happens when the House of Commons returns from its summer break? What role can Jeremy Corbyn play in preventing a 'no-deal' crash out on October 31st? And, where do the negotiations between the EU and Britain go from here? Guests: Professor of Constitutional and European law at University College London, Ronan McCrea, and Irish Times political editor, Pat Leahy.

Radicalisation and the Amplification of Extremism Online

Aug 16, 2019 00:50:42


In today's podcast we look at issues around radicalisation, disinformation and the amplification, sometimes unwittingly, of extremism online. What role do the big tech companies play and what, if anything, can be done about it all? Guests: Director of FuJo and the PROVENANCE project at DCU, Jane Suiter, and Liz Carolan of Transparent Referendum and Digital Action.

The Struggle for Independents - with Finian McGrath

Aug 14, 2019 00:35:37


Do independent politicians get their fair share of coverage in the Irish media? Independent TD and Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath, talks to Hugh and Fiach about the place of independents in Irish politics, why he thinks they are ignored by the media and what impact Brexit is going to have on the government's budgetary decisions over the next few months. He also brought his guitar into studio, so listen right to the end to hear why.

Sinn Féin's Westminster Seats, Social Housing - with Eoin Ó Broin and Fintan O'Toole

Aug 7, 2019 00:49:12


Is it time for the state to build much more social housing? Sinn Fein TD Eoin O Broin feels that it is and he has written a book about how that can be achieved. But first Eoin debates with Fintan O'Toole about Fintan's controversial column. In the column Fintan argued that Sinn Féin should give up its Westminster seats and allow for the election anti-Brexit replacements in time to thwart Boris Johnson's drive towards No Deal.

Billy Bragg on Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn & Why Labour Should Support A Second Referendum

Aug 2, 2019 00:40:34


Best known as a unique musician with a political edge in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and The Clash, Billy Bragg is a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and an outspoken opponent of Brexit. He's written a book about how to fix the problems he sees in modern democracy, called "The Three Dimensions of Freedom". He talks to Hugh about Labour's approach to Brexit, Corbyn's leasdership, the diminished role of music in politics today, and more.

Brexit: Is The Political Landscape Shifting? - with Helen Thompson

Jul 31, 2019 00:29:49


Britain’s MPs are now on holidays but Boris Johnson and his cabinet are working away on their preparations for a No Deal Brexit in October. Will this have an effect on the political calculations in Dublin, in Brussels and across Europe, where EU member states' own domestic politics may soon add further complications into the mix? And if it does, will it be enough to force any workable compromise? To discuss this Hugh is joined by professor of political economy at the University of Cambridge Helen Thompson, London editor Denis Staunton and deputy political editor Fiach Kelly.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Brexit, Boris Johnson and What "No Deal" Means for The North

Jul 26, 2019 00:39:44


With Brexit tensions hitting new highs, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar answers Pat Leahy's questions about how he views Prime Minister Boris Johnson's hardline approach, what No Deal could mean for Northern Ireland and what measures are being taken to protect the domestic economy. The interview was recorded live at the MacGill Summer School.

Johnson's No Deal Cabinet, Varadkar's Determination

Jul 25, 2019 00:28:34


Buckle up: it's going to be a bumpy ride between now and the end of October. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet purge and appointment of hard Brexiteers to key positions looks to be setting the UK up for a no-deal Brexit. To understand yesterday's unprecedented events in Westminster and what they mean for Ireland, Hugh talks to London editor Denis Staunton, The Guardian's Brexit correspondent Lisa O'Carroll in London and here in Dublin by Deputy Political Editor Fiach Kelly.

Boris Johnson's in Charge, Maria Bailey's Punishment, End of Dáil Review

Jul 24, 2019 00:38:44


The front pages are dominated by two stories today: Boris Johnson’s Tory leadership and Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey’s punishment for her claim against Dublin’s Dean Hotel for falling off a swing. Pat Leahy is joined by Harry McGee and Jennifer Bray to discuss what the mood is like around Dublin as Boris Johnson prepares to assume the role of British prime minister and whether the Taoiseach bottled it by not removing the party whip from Bailey. Also in today’s show, the team run the rule over the highs and lows of the Dáil term, as Cabinet meets for the last time at Glenties on Thursday.

Brexit: What is Boris Johnson's Strategy? - with James Forsyth

Jul 17, 2019 00:37:19


Both contenders for the Tory leadership, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, mades news on the hustings the other day by stating that even a time-limit to the backstop would not be enough: the backstop simply must go. Assuming Boris Johnson becomes the next PM, as seems likely, how does he plan to get any kind of deal with the EU with such a hardline approach? What, in short, is his game? To find out, Hugh and Pat talk to political editor of The Spectator magazine, James Forsyth. Later on, Una Mullally is here to look back on the life, achievements and allyship of the late Noel Whelan.

Ailbhe Smyth's Life of Activism - Live at Body & Soul

Jul 12, 2019 00:47:35


Everyone at Inside Politics was shocked and saddened to learn of the death this week of our colleague and friend, Noel Whelan. Our condolences to his wife Sinéad, his son Séamus and the rest of his family at this difficult time. Inside Politics will pay tribute to Noel next week. Today's podcast is an interview with Ailbhe Smyth, recorded live at the Body and Soul music festival in Westmeath last month. Ailbhe was co-director of the Together for Yes campaign that helped secure the repeal of constitutional abortion restrictions in Ireland last year, talks to Hugh Linehan about her life, her politics and the origins of her activism. "It is that way for so many women. Something happens in your life, it can be big or it can be small... the first thing is, this is hurting me, this is damaging me, and then there is that realisation: if this is hurting me, it's hurting others. That's the first step into the political arena".

Is No-Deal Brexit Now Inevitable? With Fintan O'Toole, Lisa Chambers, Katy Hayward

Jul 10, 2019 00:54:07


Is a no-deal Brexit inevitable? What will happen at the border if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal? And how will our own political system deal with such a crisis? To discuss, Pat Leahy is joined by Lisa Chambers, Fianna Fail Brexit spokesperson, columnist Fintan O'Toole, Katy Hayward of Queens University Belfast and our own Fiach Kelly.

Mercosur Adds to Govt Woes, President Von Der Leyen, EU Dealmaking

Jul 3, 2019 00:39:17


As Dáil term nears a close, the government is creaking a bit under the pressure of a growing number of fronts: agriculture, broadband, Brexit and hard budgetary choices to come. Pat Leahy, Jennifer Bray and Gerard Howlin add up the problems and wonder if this government's race is run. Who is Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen and why is she the new EU Commission president? Her appointment is a natural expression of the power struggle at the heart of the European Union, while her skill set will come in handy for challenges to come, explains Derek Scally. Fianna Fáil MEP-in-waiting Barry Andrews says there is life in the Spitzencandidate approach yet, and criticises EU centre-right political group EPP (of which Fine Gael is a member) for allowing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban be kingmaker in the allocation of top jobs.

A United Ireland? Live at Body & Soul with Mary Lou McDonald, Sophie Long & Simon Carswell

Jun 28, 2019 00:53:27


After several years of turmoil in the UK over Brexit, there is a feeling that the union is under strain like never before. But are we really any closer to a united Ireland? To talk about this, Hugh was joined by Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, unionist writer Sophie Long and Simon Carswell from The Irish Times for a special live recording of the podcast at the Body & Soul festival last week.

Russian intelligence & 'fake news' about Northern Ireland / Govt Plans Brexit Budget

Jun 26, 2019 00:41:57


An investigation by the Digital Forensic Research Laboratory at Washington-based think tank, the Atlantic Council, found that Ireland was one of several Western countries targeted by a Russian-based information operation which used fake accounts and dozens of online platforms to spread fake news. Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow for information defence at the DFRLab, joins Hugh and Irish Times public affairs editor Simon Carswell to discuss what the investigation uncovered, how the disinformation war operates and whether it can be policed. But first - Tuesday saw the publication of the summer economic statement, with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe saying a budget-day package of €2.8 billion - with €700 million for new spending - will be available to him on October 8th, deal or no-deal Brexit. Fiach Kelly and Jennifer Bray report on the ins and outs of it.

Michael Wolff on the Trump Presidency, Journalism & Politics Without Ideas

Jun 21, 2019 00:31:06


American journalist Michael Wolff has written a follow up to 'Fire and Fury', his infamous bestseller detailing the chaos of the Trump White House. He talks to Hugh about his work, the decline of the Trump presidency, the deficiencies of Donald Trump and the starring role of Steve Bannon in Wolff's new book 'Siege: Trump Under Fire'.

An Ambitious Climate Action Plan

Jun 19, 2019 00:46:48


This week the Government published its much-anticipated plan to tackle climate change. It's an ambitious proposal, aiming to cut emissions and make Ireland carbon-neutral by 2050 through new climate legislation, budgets and targets which will ensure greater oversight. Sounds good on paper, but will it work in practice? Plus - The Government will publish the summer economic statement next week, laying out what resources will be available under two Brexit scenarios: a no-deal Brexit or an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU later this year. Which option will make it in to the budget-day package? Guests: UCD lecturer in environmental politics & green political theory, Sadhbh O'Neil, Harry McGee and Fiach Kelly.

How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change - with Jared Diamond

Jun 14, 2019 00:35:42


Bestselling author, geographer and historian Jared Diamond's latest book, Upheaval, is about how countries come through turmoil while adopting selective changes - a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises. In today's podcast, he talks to Hugh about the book and about his broader views on how societies develop, survive or fail to sustain themselves.

Brexit, Scotland and Rockall / Fiscal Slap-Down

Jun 12, 2019 00:45:41


First: No sooner than it had begun, our new national rivalry with Scotland seems at an end as territorial tensions over Rockall abate. But why did the spat happen, and what does it tell us about Scotland's place in this period of political upheaval? Hugh talks to Glasgow-based journalist Peter Geoghegan about the political scene in Scotland as Brexit, the Tory leadership race and the SNP's ambition for another independence referendum intersect in interesting ways. Then: 'Fiscal' Cliff Taylor and 'Political' Pat Leahy bring their respective perspectives to bear on the Fiscal Advisory Council’s warnings this week over irresponsible government spending.

Brexit And The Problem with British Media - with James O'Brien

Jun 8, 2019 00:30:25


British broadcaster and outspoken Remainer James O'Brien has become widely known for the exasperated monologues and heated debates that feature on his daily LBC radio call-in show. He’ll be appearing next week at the Dalkey Book Festival to discuss his book, How to be Right... In a World Gone Wrong. He talks to Hugh about his unique broadcasting style, the British media landscape, the nature of disagreement and the prospects for Britain.

The Tory Leadership & Brexit, Gender Quotas in Local Elections

Jun 5, 2019 00:43:27


As the Tory leadership hopefuls compete to succeed outgoing prime minister Theresa May, the party has tightened the rules for the contest amid concerns about the size of the field. Whoever wins, the task of delivering on Brexit remains and the stark choices facing the UK as it staggers towards the extension date of October 31st are unlikely to change. London editor Denis Staunton is on the line to discuss the various runners and riders with Hugh and Pat. Plus: The National Women’s Council of Ireland has welcomed the increased number of women elected as councillors in the recent local elections but says it is very disappointed about the missed opportunity to break the critical barrier of 30% of women’s representation in local government. NWCI director, Orla O’Connor, explains why a poor showing by the larger parties in particular highlights the need for gender quotas.

Who is Emmanuel Macron? - with Sophie Pedder

May 31, 2019 00:33:03


Journalist Sophie Pedder is the Paris bureau chief of the Economist, writing about French politics and economics. The author of “Revolution Française: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation”, she talks to Hugh about who Macron really is and what it is that drives his politics. Sophie will be at the Dalkey Book Festival June 15th and 16th to discuss Macron and the role of modern media in the era of fake news.

Exit Polls, The Left, Where's the Electoral Commission? – with Fintan O’Toole

May 29, 2019 00:55:49


As the dust begins to settle on the local and European elections, we look at why, not for the first time, an exit poll was wide of the mark and whether that’s a cause for concern. We also look at the state of the left and whether disappointing results for Sinn Féin and People Before Profit are an indication that the politics of protest has dried up post-austerity. Plus - Nobody has ever said an electoral commission is a bad idea. So, why hasn’t it happened yet? Guests: Fintan O’Toole joins Hugh, Jennifer Bray and Harry McGee.

Election Special: Sinn Féin in Crisis, A Green-Left Alliance?, Fianna Fáil's Path to Power

May 27, 2019 00:46:51


Fiach Kelly, Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray join Hugh to talk about all the results we have so far from the weekend's local and European elections. What is behind Sinn Féin's slump? Could good news for Fianna Fáil in Dublin foretell a return to power for the party? Will anything come from talk of a Green-left alliance at the next general election?

The Strategies of Right-Wing Populism - with Jan-Werner Mueller

May 24, 2019 00:41:01


As voters go to the polls in 28 countries this weekend to select the new European Parliament, the expectation is of a significant surge in support for populist parties, from La Lega in Italy to Alternative für Deutschland in Germany. But what do we mean when we describe a political party as populist? Hugh talks to Jan-Werner Müller, professor of politics at Princeton University and author of the 2016 book, What is Populism? Jan-Werner was in Dublin to address the Institute of International and European Affairs on how modern democracies can combat what he sees as a threat to democratic norms and liberties.

Is Our Political System Capable of Tackling Climate Change?

May 22, 2019 00:50:39


A 'climate emergency' has been declared in Dáil Éireann, and green issues are coming up on the doorsteps in this election campaign, putting pressure on our politicians from below to take the problem seriously. But even if they do, and even if the predicted 'Green wave' materialises, is our system really capable of tackling a problem the size of climate change? To discuss, Hugh and Fiach are joined by Gavin Daly of the European Spatial Planning Observatory Network and Sadhbh O'Neill, a former Green party councillor, PhD candidate in political philosophy and lecturer in environmental politics at the School of Politics and International Relations at UCD. But first Hugh and Fiach discuss the latest news from the local and European election campaigns.

EU Elections: The State of the Race

May 17, 2019 00:40:15


To talk about what has been a rather low-key EU election campaign so far, Hugh is joined by Pat Leahy, Fiach Kelly and Jennifer Bray.

Going Through The Motions: The Problem With Local Government

May 15, 2019 00:44:03


They are powerless, frustrated, underpaid and too often reviled by their constituents. Many local councillors have spoken out about how unattractive the role has become. Today we talk to two young, promising sitting councillors, Fianna Fáil's Frank Kennedy of Dublin City Council and Labour's Grace Tallon of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, about why they are not running for reelection in #LE2019. The Irish Times Dublin correspondent and council-watcher Olivia Kelly is also here with her analysis of what's going wrong in the DCC chamber.

Trump, Truth & US Politics - with Bob Woodward

May 11, 2019 00:29:00


At the age of 76, Bob Woodward has now covered nine different American presidents. That's 20% of all presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump. Most famously he contributed to the downfall of one, Richard Nixon, with his reporting on the Watergate scandal. Fear: Trump in the White House is published by Simon and Schuster. A public conversation with Bob Woodward on the state of the US presidency, moderated by Fintan O’Toole, will take place in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin, on Monday, June 10th

POLL: Who Leads in the Race for Europe?

May 10, 2019 00:24:26


Today's Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI poll is actually three polls, with one conducted in each of our three European parliament constituencies: Dublin, Midlands-North-West and South. It gives us the first look on a candidate-by-candidate basis at who is winning the battle for European Parliament seats. If the numbers are right, we're in for some extremely close races. Political Editor Pat Leahy is here to explain the poll and its findings.

Plebiscites and Populism and Broadband, Oh My

May 8, 2019 00:44:51


It's the topic none of you has been asking us to cover: the forthcoming plebiscites in Limerick, Cork and Waterford to see if those cities should have a directly-elected mayor. On the ground, journalist Patrick Freyne has found a total lack of knowledge of or engagement with the issue among voters. Has this process been designed to fail? Hugh and Pat are also joined by DCU's Jane Suiter to discuss the presence of right-wing populist candidates on the European ballot papers. And finally the panel worries about the future take-up of budget-busting rural broadband in the mistiest corners of Ireland and questions the wisdom of deciding on €3bn project spends right before an election.

Nationalism & The Irish-American Identity - with Michael Brendan Dougherty

May 3, 2019 00:36:39


Our guest today is Irish-American writer Michael Brendan Dougherty, who is a journalist with the New York-based conservative magazine National Review. His new book 'My Father Left Me Ireland' examines his own relationship with his Irish roots, competing views of Irish history and Irish nationalism.

The New IRA and Politics in the North

May 1, 2019 00:37:17


Nearly a fortnight on from the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry, local elections take place in Northern Ireland tomorrow. Will those who come out to vote decide to make an appeal for compromise and moderation following her death, or hold to the polarised status quo? Belfast-based reporter Amanda Ferguson joins Hugh, Pat and Harry to discuss the New IRA and the political situation in the North, ahead of the planned resumption of talks on powersharing next week. In the second part of the show, Hugh, Pat and Harry also discuss the early rounds of campaigning in the local and European elections south of the border.

Bret Easton Ellis on US Politics Invading His Apolitical Life

Apr 25, 2019 00:38:28


Bret Easton Ellis, best known as a fiction writer of novels including American Psycho and Less Than Zero, has just published his first non-fiction book, White. The collection of eight essays responding to contemporary culture has caused a stir due to the writer's views on US politics, the overreaction - as he sees it - of middle class liberals to the presidency of Donald Trump, the shortcomings of movements like #MeToo and the moral and intellectual failings of millennials. Easton Ellis, who says he never votes, talks to Hugh about the book and about why the election of Trump has seen politics invade his otherwise apolitical life. Bret Easton Ellis will tonight - April 25th - be in conversation with Nadine O’Regan at the O’Reilly Theatre, Belvedere College, Great Demark St at 7pm as part of the International Literature Festival, Dublin. Tickets from

Anti-EU Parties in the European Parliament - with Dr Kevin Cunningham

Apr 24, 2019 00:46:52


Political scientist and polling expert Dr Kevin Cunningham joins Hugh, Pat and Fiach to discuss a report he co-authored for the think tank, the European Council on Foreign Relations, on the shape of the next European Parliament. The study found that anti-EU parties are likely to form the second largest bloc in the parliament after next month’s elections. How will their opposition to EU initiatives impact on how the other pro-EU parties work together? They also talk about how the European elections will play out in Ireland, two wildly different opinion polls in Irish Sunday papers last weekend and what effect the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry will have on politics in the North.

"This Is Not A Retirement" - Clare Daly on Running for Europe

Apr 17, 2019 00:46:31


Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly joins Hugh and Fiach to discuss her decision to run for a seat in the European parliament. Why has the TD some see as one of our most accomplished parliamentarians decided to leave the Dáil? They also discuss Garda reform, Francis Fitzgerald's ouster, the rise of far right politics and her own criticism of the media. After that, there's time for Fiach's overview of the many runners and riders in the European parliament race.

Brexit Day Blues II - with Fintan O'Toole & Denis Staunton

Apr 12, 2019 00:43:30


The new October Brexit deadline impacts British politics in myriad ways, obvious and subtle. But it also has implications for politics here in Ireland and across Europe. First Denis Staunton and then Fintan O'Toole join Hugh and Pat to talk it through and take stock, as one Brexit chapter ends and another begins. Warning: this podcast contains major spoilers for Flann O'Brien's 'The Third Policeman'.

Brexit: Ireland's Wasted Opportunity - with David McWilliams, Shana Cohen & Cliff Taylor

Apr 10, 2019 00:46:30


As Theresa May waits to find out what Brexit extension EU leaders will offer her, we ask what, if anything, Irish society can gain from Brexit. To do that Hugh is joined by economist David McWilliams, Dr Shana Cohen, director of think-tank Tasc, and columnist Cliff Taylor. They also discuss property tax and the Irish obsession with property ownership. Is a unique Irish mindset or government policy chiefly to blame?

Brexit: Can Corbyn and May Strike A Deal? - with Helen Thompson

Apr 5, 2019 00:29:26


As Theresa May sends a letter to Brussels seeking another extension, Hugh and London Editor Denis Staunton are joined again by Helen Thompson, Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge and co-host of the Talking Politics podcast, to assess the difficulties facing Prime Minister May and Jeremy Corbyn as they seek to strike a deal on Brexit that will pass muster with enough members of their own parties.

Zuckerberg in Dublin, A Green Consensus, The Carbon Tax – with Eamon Ryan

Apr 3, 2019 00:39:57


Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made a flying visit to Dublin this week, during which time he met with politicians including Green Party leader Eamon Ryan on the issue of fake news. On today’s podcast the Dublin Bay South TD joins Hugh and Pat to discuss what Zuckerberg said and what it really means. They also talk about why a greater focus on the issue of climate change hasn’t improved the Greens standing in the polls and how to prevent the carbon tax going the way of water charges.

Brexit Day Blues

Mar 29, 2019 00:30:56


It was meant to be the day when "church bells were rung, coins struck, stamps issued and bonfires lit to send beacons of freedom from hilltop to hilltop", to paraphrase Boris Johnson. Instead, UK PM Theresa May has suffered another defeat of her withdrawal agreement, albeit by a slimmer margin of only 58 votes. Our London Editor Denis Staunton and Ronan McCrea, Professor of Constitutional and European Law at University College London, talk about what comes next, and some longer term Brexit problems we haven't even begun to think about.

Indicative Vote Day, or 'Strictly Come Brexit' - with Denis Staunton

Mar 27, 2019 00:45:27


First: Later today in the UK House of Commons, 'indicative votes' - designed to show how much support different Brexit options enjoy - will be held, upending the normal, natural state of government-led parliamentary procedure. The various votes will encompass a range of options from revoking Article 50 entirely to a straight-up No-Deal Brexit. Denis Staunton in London and Pat Leahy on what it all means and how different factions might vote. Then: Fiach Kelly and Jennifer Bray on the Fine Gael party conference, political ground clearance for a carbon tax in the next budget, and the efforts of Bill Browder to build support for a Magnitsky Act in Ireland.

US Politics: Suzanne Lynch on the 2020 Democratic Candidates

Mar 21, 2019 00:31:48


Taking a break from the chaos of Brexit, we turn to a rather chaotic and already crowded field of candidates for the Democratic Party nomination to take on President Trump in next year's US presidential election. There are many factors at play and to help us understand them we talk to Suzanne Lynch, The Irish Times's Washington correspondent.

Brexit: What is The EU's Strategy? / Councillors & Gambling Machines

Mar 20, 2019 00:39:56


First: Patrick Smyth in Brussels joins Hugh and Pat to talk about the thinking behind the EU's stance on a potential Brexit delay. Then: Jennifer Bray on why councillors in Donegal, using one of their few regulatory powers, have voted to legalise gaming machines despite the risks of addiction.

David Runciman on Democracy's 21st Century Problems

Mar 15, 2019 00:41:36


Western democracies are beset by a variety of problems: fractured legislative bodies, the rise of the far right, the erosion of norms and the dangers posed by technology. But we shouldn't confuse those with the problems of the past, according to David Runciman in his book How Democracy Ends. Ahead of his talk at the Mountains to Sea festival on Sunday March 31st, he talks to Hugh about his ideas. And about Brexit too, of course. David Runciman is Professor of Politics at Cambridge University and host of Talking Politics podcast.

Politics Fails Utterly in Westminster - with Fintan O'Toole & Lisa O'Carroll

Mar 13, 2019 00:37:30


Prime Minister Theresa May has failed spectacularly in her bid to pass a Brexit deal through the House of Commons. The Guardian's Brexit correspondent Lisa O'Carroll on the fallout in Westminster, the few paths forward and the 'atomisation' of conventional politics. Fintan O'Toole on the characteristics that have brought Theresa May and the nation she leads to this point of political breakdown. How much blame for Brexit is hers?

Poll: Northern Ireland Is United in Opposition to A Hard Brexit

Mar 7, 2019 00:29:18


The second set of results from the Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI poll reveals attitudes to Brexit and Irish unity across the island of Ireland, north and south. Among the most significant findings: respondents from all communities in Northern Ireland are heavily in favour of "the softest of soft Brexits". A majority of voters would choose to remain in the EU in a second referendum. And majorities of both Catholics and Protestants feel the DUP and its leader Arlene Foster are not representing Northern Ireland's interests well. Pat Leahy is back with more analysis.

Poll: Support Dips for Varadkar and McDonald

Mar 7, 2019 00:19:16


Political Editor Pat Leahy is here with the latest Ipsos / MRBI poll which brings bad news for most political groups but especially for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, support for whom has dipped significantly.

Digestible Truth, The Soc Dems Rift, Unspinnable Brexit - with Peter Foster

Mar 6, 2019 00:49:17


First: Fiach Kelly explains what we've learned from a cache of documents featuring exchanges between Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, his party colleagues and an international umbrella organisation for socialist politics, while Jennifer Bray has the latest on internal divisions within the Social Democrats. Then: Is there any version of the backstop that could be accepted by the EU, Ireland and Britain? In part two we're joined by Peter Foster, Europe Editor of British newspapers The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, who says the political realities of Brexit and the implications of the backstop mean the border issue still looks completely irreconcilable.

Brexit Endgame, Beware The Ides of March, Looking for Ladders

Feb 27, 2019 00:38:20


Finally it seems that meaningful moves are being made in Westminster toward some sort of conclusion to the Brexit saga. Denis Staunton and Pat Leahy analyse the public shifts in position made in recent days by Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and hard Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, and the private strategising of the Irish government, the DUP and the European Union.

Brexit in The Desert: Progress, or Another Mirage?

Feb 25, 2019 00:13:16


The EU-Arab League summit in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, today has been dominated by talk of Brexit. And it has turned out to be a more eventful day than promised, with expectations growing that UK Prime Minister Theresa May will take steps to avoid 'No Deal', reports our Deputy Political Editor Fiach Kelly.

Ready, Steady, Wait: Fianna Fáil, Brexit and The Next Election

Feb 23, 2019 00:38:40


At the Fianna Fáil ardfheis in City West, everyone, from the regular delegates on up to the party leader Micheál Martin, wants to take the fight to Fine Gael in a general election. But not right now, of course. As all are at pains to point out, the party must hold off in the national interest. Harry McGee and Pat Leahy were there to assess the party mood. They were joined by the party's Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers and European candidate Barry Andrews to talk about the party's direction, the Brexit waiting game and working with the SDLP. After that, Pat and Harry analyse the speech delivered on Saturday evening by Micheál Martin.

Children's Hospital: Questions Remain / The Politics of Dissident Republicans

Feb 20, 2019 00:42:13


Jennifer Bray and Fiach Kelly join presenter Harry McGee to discuss the big political stories this week: the continuing National Children’s Hospital controversy, the government's Brexit omnibus, UK Labour resignations and Fianna Fáil's Ard Fheis this weekend. Later: Historian Dr Marisa McGlinchey talks to Harry about her book, Unfinished Business - The Politics of 'Dissident' Republican Groups, for which she spoke to 90 members of paramilitary groups about their motives and ambitions.

A Short History of Brexit (with Kevin O'Rourke)

Feb 15, 2019 00:40:11


As a professor of economic history at Oxford University, and an Irishman, Kevin O'Rourke is well placed to explain how the different economic experiences of the UK and Ireland have led both nations to very different views of the European Union. His book on the subject, A Short History of Brexit, holds plenty of surprises for Irish and British readers. And Professor O'Rourke has a message for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar when it comes to the issue of the border. A Short History of Brexit is published by Pelican.

Dara Calleary on the Children's Hospital, the SDLP & the Nurses Strike

Feb 13, 2019 00:42:04


Amid apologies and ‘learnings’, the row over the massive overspend on the National Children’s Hospital rumbles on. Two big questions remain: What will the final bill be? And, which other projects will suffer as a result? Hugh is joined by Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary, Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray to discuss the controversy and how budgets on capital projects can be controlled better in the future. Later: the new SDLP-Fianna Fáil alliance, the nurses’ strike and Brexit.

Life After Brexit: Lives, Livelihoods & Communities At Risk

Feb 8, 2019 00:34:05


Simon Carswell has been investigating the potential impact of Brexit on people - their lives, their communities and their businesses. He talks to Hugh Linehan about what he has discovered, including the fear of the return of violence, the threat to trade and the concerns of children in border communities.

May's Subtle Backstop Shift / Children's Hospital Blame Game

Feb 6, 2019 00:47:01


First: A subtle but deliberate shift was noted in Theresa May's position on the Brexit backstop during a trip to Belfast yesterday. As the two-day Northern Ireland visit draws to a close today, is her strategy any clearer and what are its chances of survival? Plus: The blame game over the dramatic cost overrun on the proposed National Children's Hospital is lurching from controversy to full-blown crisis. What might it mean for the government? Guests: Denis Staunton, Pat Leahy, Jennifer Bray and Harry McGee

Brexit: What is Theresa May's Strategy?

Jan 30, 2019 00:37:07


Theresa May has united Tory MPs behind her plan to go to Brussels to seek legally binding changes to the Brexit withdrawal agreement, exploring 'alternative options' to the Irish backstop. The trouble is, the EU won’t reopen the deal and they’ve said so time and again. The Guardian’s Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll, Irish Times Europe editor Patrick Smyth and Irish Times deputy political editor Fiach Kelly join Hugh to cut through the spin to explain what happened in Westminster last night and what it all means.

Deborah Lipstadt on Antisemitism of The Right And Left

Jan 25, 2019 00:41:18


Sunday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and to mark it Hugh talks to academic and author Deborah Lipstadt about her new book Antisemitism Here and Now. They discuss the growth of antisemitism in Europe and the United State, what distinguishes antisemitism of the political left from the political right, and why she has a problem with an initiative in the Seanad to boycott goods from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Deborah Lipstadt is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. Her book Antisemitism Here and Now is available now from Scribe.

Brexit Reality Bites / No Child 2020 with Tanya Ward & Fintan O'Toole

Jan 23, 2019 00:56:04


First: Pat Leahy on the comments yesterday by an EU Commission spokesperson suggesting that a hard border will appear in the case of a no deal Brexit, a suggestion flatly rejected by Simon Coveney. But what are our plans in the case of a no deal Brexit? Is a softening on the backstop being considered behind closed doors? Then: The Irish Times's Fintan O'Toole and Children's Rights Alliance CEO Tanya Ward join Hugh to talk about No Child 2020, an initiative of the two organisations to draw attention to the issues of child poverty and deprivation that still afflict Ireland 100 years after the first democratically elected Irish parliament promised to serve children as its "first duty".

Peadar Tóibín on Building A New Party With 'No Taboo Subjects'

Jan 18, 2019 00:38:32


Public meetings to introduce pro-life TD Peadar Tóibín's new, as-yet unnamed political party have been drawing decent crowds around the country in recent weeks. Already 1,400 people have joined the party. Who are they, and what will the party stand for beyond opposition to abortion? Peadar sits down with Hugh and Pat to explain.

May's Crushing Commons Defeat

Jan 16, 2019 00:39:51


Green Party leader Eamon Ryan joins Hugh and Pat to consider last night's historic House of Commons defeat for Theresa May's Brexit plan. Has the likelihood of a 'no deal' crash out increased? And, how prepared is the Irish government for such a scenario? Also on the agenda: Fine Gael's "old-fashioned environmentalism", the carbon tax and the Green Party's ambitions for the local and European elections.

Nurses Pay: Why Fine Gael Won't Back Down

Jan 9, 2019 00:39:45


As nurses prepare for days of strike action, our politics team consider the problem it poses for Minister Paschal Donohoe and how he is likely to respond. In part two the panel look ahead to the new political season and discuss the significance of upcoming European elections in an utterly changed European political landscape and the meagre legislative agenda. But as ever, it's all overshadowed by the B-word.

Repost: Timothy Snyder, Author of "On Tyranny" (November 2017)

Jan 4, 2019 00:34:20


Today, for the benefit of those who recently discovered Inside Politics, we're reposting a podcast with one of our favourite interviewees: American author, historian and academic Timothy Snyder. In November 2017 Hugh interviewed Timothy Snyder about his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, in which he makes provocative and unsettling comparisons between today's politics and the rise of the Third Reich and suggests how we can avoid the terrible mistakes of the past. Timothy Snyder is a professor of history at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He has spent ten years in Europe, and speaks five and reads ten European languages. He has also written for The New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, and The New Republic as well as for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers. He is the author of several award-winning books including The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. His latest book is called The Road to Unfreedom.

Ask Us Anything #2

Jan 2, 2019 00:39:25


The second of two AMA episodes of Inside Politics. Answering your questions about politics and more are Pat Leahy, Fiach Kelly, Jennifer Bray and Harry McGee with host Hugh Linehan.

Ask Us Anything #1

Dec 26, 2018 00:29:11


We invited you to submit questions for our politics team and we received a lot of responses, so today is the first of two episodes dedicated to answering them. Thanks to everyone who sent in a question!

What We Got Wrong About 2018

Dec 19, 2018 00:37:31


What did The Irish Times politics team expect to see happening in 2018 that failed to materialise? Which politicians impressed us? What disappointed us? Fiach Kelly, Jennifer Bray and Harry McGee join Hugh to look back on the year in politics.

The Transformative Election of 1918

Dec 14, 2018 00:42:15


This day 100 years ago, citizens (including, for the first time, women) across the entire island of Ireland voted together for the final time for a national parliament. To look back at that vote and its historic consequences, Hugh is joined by Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times columnist and Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD, and Dr Mary McAuliffe, a lecturer in Gender Studies who specialises in Irish women's history, also in UCD. But first Hugh shares some family history of his own.

May Digs In Her Heels

Dec 12, 2018 00:44:16


Today's podcast focusses on Brexit and the Sinn Fein party's fortunes. London Editor Denis Staunton explains why UK Prime Minister Theresa May is unlikely to lose a confidence vote called by her own backbenchers and what the process means for Brexit, for The Tories and parliamentary politics in Britain. Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty is here to discuss his party's showing in the presidential election, the loss of TDs Peadar Tóibín and Carol Nolan over the abortion issue and why Fine Gael's budget arithmetic is "batsh*t crazy".

Historic Times in Westminster, Peadar's Party, Paschal's Reprimand

Dec 5, 2018 00:40:44


With Hugh to appraise all this week's political news (including high drama in Westminster, the personalised abortion legislation debate, Peadar Tóibín's new political movement and the Fiscal Advisory Council's reprimand of the Government's budgetary policies) are UCC political scientist Dr Theresa Reidy and Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray from our politics team.

Bill Browder on Putin's Kleptocracy & A "Cold War Against Crime"

Nov 30, 2018 00:37:34


"Putin and his regime are going to become more hostile, malicious and deadly to the rest fo the world, and we need to understand this". Since the murder in Russia of his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, Bill Browder has been on a mission to highlight and punish corruption and crime in that country and beyond. He is in Dublin this week to push for the introduction here of a law to mirror the US Magnitsky Act that penalises Russian officials by targeting their assets. He talks to Hugh about Vladimir Putin, the Russian regime and the decade-long campaign that he believes has placed his life at real risk.

What Really Caused Brexit? With Fintan O'Toole & Professor Helen Thompson

Nov 28, 2018 00:50:59


As we wait for UK parliament to vote on Theresa May's deal, Hugh talks to two people with thought-provoking and divergent ideas about what brought about Brexit in the first place: Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole and Professor Helen Thompson of Cambridge University. The conversation touches on everything from the Norman invasion to the nature of the EU single market, and even a fictional EU prohibition on prawn cocktail-flavour crisps.

Abortion Bill Hurdles, Leo's Tax Promise, Brexit Rubber Stamp

Nov 21, 2018 00:43:28


Concerns are growing that the Government’s proposed abortion legislation will not pass through the Oireachtas in time for its planned introduction date in January. Was Minister Simon Harris naive in setting the deadline? Irish Times politics team new recruit Jennifer Bray joins old timers Hugh, Pat and Harry to talk about this and other matters including Brexit, Leo's tax cuts promise, and the national broadband scheme.

Simon Coveney on Brexit, the DUP & No Deal Contingencies / Leo's Big Tax Cut

Nov 17, 2018 00:37:48


On the floor at the Fine Gael National Conference, the Inside Politics team interviews Tanaiste Simon Coveney about Brexit, what happens if the deal is not approved by UK parliamentarians and the role of the DUP. Plus: A major policy announcement has been made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in his speech: a pledge to raise the threshold for the higher rate of income tax from €35,000 to €50,000 over five budgets. Huge if true. But is it wise? Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy analyse the news.

The Audacity of Theresa May

Nov 14, 2018 00:40:07


With a Brexit deal agreed between Britain and the EU, now all eyes turn to Westminster. Will Prime Minister Theresa May be able to bounce her cabinet, the Commons and the EU into a deal that nobody likes and many despise? And ultimately could the markets scare the Commons into accepting anything to avoid No Deal? Meanwhile in Dublin, all focus is on whether the wording of the border backstop will be sufficiently resistant to 'interpretation' down the line. Plus: Confidence and Supply negotiations continue in Brexit's shadow, and Fianna Fáil's forever delayed move into Northern Irish politics. Today's guests: Fianna Fáil TD & Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers, our own Pat Leahy and Denis Staunton in London.

Michael Lewis on Cronyism in The Trump Administration & The Unsung Virtues of Civil Servants

Nov 12, 2018 00:34:33


Author Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Big Short, The Undoing Project)talks to Hugh about his new book 'The Fifth Risk'. The book concerns the Trump Administration and what Lewis says are astounding levels of cronyism and corruption in the appointments it has made in key government organisations with responsibility for everything from nuclear weapons to weather forecasting.

Patrick Radden Keefe on Murder, Memory and Denial in Northern Ireland

Nov 9, 2018 00:49:12


New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe has written a book about the killing of mother-of-ten Jean McConville by the IRA in 1972. As well as uncovering new facts about the circumstances around McConville's killing, and making a new allegation about the identities of those who killed her, the book is a valuable outsider's view of the enduring legacy of The Troubles and the roles of republican leaders like Gerry Adams. On today's podcast Patrick Redden Keefe talks to Public Affairs Editor Simon Carswell. "Say Nothing: a true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland" is out now.

US Midterms / David McWilliams on The Successes of Centrism & The Property Problem

Nov 7, 2018 00:52:23


First: Washington Correspondent Suzanne Lynch on a night of mixed results for both parties and President Trump in the US Midterms. What message will Democratic Party take from this when selecting a presidential challenger to Donald Trump for 2020? Then: economist and Irish Times columnist David McWilliams joins Hugh and Fiach to talk about his new book Renaissance Nation, the success of political centrism in Ireland, what divides the generations and how the property problem ("the primacy of feudalism over creativity") threatens to undo our hard-won progress.

Martina Fitzgerald on 'Madam Politician', Labour's Next Moves

Oct 31, 2018 00:41:53


RTÉ political correspondent Martina Fitzgerald has written a book about the experiences of the small number of women - 10% of the total - who have sat at the cabinet table in Ireland. Madam Politician features interviews with all "the living members of this exclusive club". She's here to talk about what she found with Pat Leahy and Harry McGee. They are also joined by Labour councillor Rebecca Moynihan who shares her own experience at the local government level, and discusses what the Labour party should do to grow its support.

Result Day Special: Higgins's Victory, Casey's Appeal, Sinn Féin's Problem

Oct 27, 2018 00:39:46


The official numbers are not yet in but the result is clear. Kitty Holland, Pat Leahy and Fiach Kelly are here to talk about the reelection of Michael D Higgins to the presidency, the surge in support for Peter Casey, who today denied the growth in his support was due to his comments about Travellers, and the disappointing showing from Sinn Féin's Liadh Ní Riada. Has this election exposed a flaw in the party's broader strategy?

Tedious, Shallow & Lacklustre: The Final Full Presidential Debate

Oct 24, 2018 00:39:45


There’s still one more live debate left to endure in this presidential campaign, but last night’s on RTÉ’s Prime Time was the final one to feature all six would-be presidents. Did we learn anything new about the candidates? Director of the Institute for Future Media and Journalism at DCU, Jane Suiter, joins Hugh and Pat to discuss their performances, whether there were too many contestants in the race and how the blasphemy referendum might play out.

Mary Lou McDonald on Brexit, Border Polls, The Presidency & Frances Fitzgerald

Oct 22, 2018 00:40:19


In this bonus podcast, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald explains why her party is working “might and main” to ensure there is a Brexit backstop. She also speaks to Hugh and Fiach about her belief that a Border poll will happen in the next 5-10 years and why a hard Brexit would in fact speed that process up. Asked whether she regretted criticising former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald following her exoneration in the Charleton report, McDonald said it is her job to challenge the government, adding that she could play her violin and list how many times she has been criticised, but sometimes you just have to take your knocks in politics, even when you think it's wrong. Also on the agenda: the presidency, the DUP and going into government.

Fintan O'Toole on The Unfolding Tragedy of Brexit

Oct 17, 2018 00:48:42


Could Brexit be "one of those historic circumstances where you end up with something only a hardcore of loopers really wants", asks Fintan O'Toole? Fintan joins regulars Hugh and Fiach to talk about the carnival of diabolical scheming, treacherous backsliding and barmy brinkmanship that is Brexit, as Theresa May meets EU leaders in Brussels. After that they discuss the presidential election and what Fintan has called social housing snobbery in the pages of The Irish Times.

POLL: Fine Gael Maintain Steady Lead

Oct 16, 2018 00:16:56


Pat Leahy joins Hugh to take a look at the latest poll from The Irish Times and Ipsos/MRBI showing Fine Gael enjoy a steady lead over nearest rivals Fianna Fáil, with an average 8 point advantage over the last 12 months. The results point towards a reasonably settled political landscape, so where do voters stand on the issue of a general election? And, how did Paschal Donohoe's Budget 2019 go down with the electorate?

Denis Naughten's Exit & Micheál Martin Plays a Weak Hand Well

Oct 12, 2018 00:23:58


Hugh is joined by Pat Leahy for a bonus Friday episode of Inside Politics. On the agenda: - Denis Naughten’s shock resignation as Minister for Communications leaves the government with a fibre optic headache. - Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin pens a 'Dear Leo' letter.

A Social Democratic Budget?

Oct 9, 2018 00:31:00


Leo Varadkar won the Fine Gael leadership on a promise of rewarding those who "get up early in the morning". 18 months later his government has delivered a budget in which spending increases dwarf the tax cuts those early risers might have expected. To discuss the measures, the thinking behind them and the beginning of the endgame in the Varadkar-Martin deal, Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy join Hugh Linehan for a late night podcast.

FG Taking Hits as Housing Crisis Intensifies, Budget Business, Pugilistic Peter Casey

Oct 5, 2018 00:19:50


Hugh is joined by Fiach Kelly and Harry McGee for a bonus Friday episode of Inside Politics. On the agenda: - It was another terrible week for Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, with a well-attended protest outside the Dail followed by a harrowing RTE radio report featuring a teenage girl in emergency accommodation. It was the sort of interview that breaks through the noise and forces everyone to sit up and pay attention. - Housing is also likely to dominate next Tuesday's budget. What else can we expect from Paschal Donohoe? - Alone among presidential challengers, Peter Casey is dropping the motivational speaker approach and going straight for the jugular - Michael D's jugular, that is. Will Casey's pugilistic politics pay dividends?

Blood-Red Lines, Brexit Crunch Time, Money in Presidential Politics

Oct 3, 2018 00:34:41


The DUP's line on Brexit is "blood red", according to Arlene Foster. Her apocalyptic choice of words might reflect a deep-seated unionist fear of betrayal by London, says Pat Leahy. Meanwhile over at the Tory conference a more pragmatic attitude to Brexit prevails, says The Guardian's Lisa O'Carroll. Still: something, somewhere, has to give. "Small Country, Big Nation", "Leading With Purpose", "Better Together" - just some of the inspirational slogans chosen by presidential hopefuls ahead of the election in a few short week's time. But the campaign so far has been dominated by much pettier matters. Harry McGee has been following.

Senator Lynn Ruane on 'People Like Me', Housing Wars & 'Reverse Snobbery'

Sep 26, 2018 00:44:38


Today's guest is Senator Lynn Ruane, the author of an excellent new memoir, who insists there is no such thing as 'reverse snobbery'. Or at least it's not something that a well-heeled person like (say for example) Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy needs to worry about, not in the way someone from Lynn's own neighbourhood needs to worry about the real, oppressive thing. With Political Editor Pat Leahy and Hugh, she discusses housing , educational opportunities and the lack of working class voices in the Oireachtas.

Housing Activists 'Take Back the City'

Sep 19, 2018 00:36:34


A group of housing activists have been occupying vacant properties in Dublin city centre since early August as part of a protest over the amount of vacant housing in the city. Last week the Take Back the City protesters drew national attention to their cause when men wearing black balaclavas repossessed 34 North Frederick Street, which the group had been occupying since mid-August. Two of the activists, Aisling Bruen of the Housing and Homeless Coaliation and Óisín Vince Coulter president of the Trinity College graduate students union, speak to Hugh and Pat about their campaign and what they hope to achieve. Later: Hugh and Pat discuss the political impact of the housing movement, the presidential contest and what's topping the agenda as business resumes at the Dáil this week.

Cash for Ash, CervicalCheck, And Then There Were... Five?

Sep 12, 2018 00:37:21


Harry McGee is back on the politics beat and back in the Inside Politics studio to tell us about the political problems created by the CervicalCheck report, beginning with a leak of details from the report to media outlets yesterday. Harry has also been watching the nationwide tour of presidential hopefuls as they seek to hoover up county council nominations. For an exciting October election campaign, the signs are inauspicious. Later: Up North, the Cash for Ash scandal just gets more and more embarrassing for the DUP as the enquiry into how millions of pounds went almost literally up in smoke continues. But without any possibility of accountability, the worse it gets, the more the central question becomes: so what? Guests: Newton Emerson and Amanda Ferguson

FF and FG Stand-Off, Leo Defends Eoghan, Blimp Incoming

Sep 5, 2018 00:43:24


DCU's Jane Suiter joins Hugh and Pat to talk about the exchange of letters between and Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin on the topic of renewing their little arrangement. Martin rebuffed Varadkar's advance - what next for confidence and supply? Plus, Varadkar defends embattled Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and criticises Sinn Fein and local government on housing, and Dublin readies itself for the arrival of Donald Trump.

Paschal Donohoe on Social Change, Conservatism & 'The Radical Centre'

Sep 3, 2018 00:39:59


Last week, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe gave a talk at the Collins Institute, a Fine Gael-associated think tank in Dublin. The talk was about the political centre, how it is weakening in other jurisdictions and how he sees Fine Gael's role as a party of the centre. Before delivering the address he talked to Hugh Linehan about his politics, including his rejection of the label conservative and Fine Gael's desire to position itself as the party of social change. Today's podcast features that interview, plus some analysis of Paschal's politics and how his words may or may not translate into actions from our political editor Pat Leahy. You can watch and listen to Minister Donohoe's speech here:

"Unless we set priorities, nothing is a priority" - The State & Social Housing

Aug 29, 2018 00:52:44


Ireland's housing crisis is complex and multifaceted, but one key element that the government must address in seeking a solution to it is the social housing sector. Two-thirds of all social housing in Ireland is now privately owned, while funding for the sector was cut by 82% during the last recession. Experts say the system is broken and reforming it needs to be prioritised by government. Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has said his policies aimed at tackling the housing crisis are working, but with homeless figures continuing to rise, his critics say otherwise and there are rumblings of a motion of no confidence from the opposition benches. Joining Hugh on today's podcast: UCD professor and chair of the Housing Finance Agency Michelle Norris, head of policy at Clúid Simon Brooke and Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin O Broin.

Craig Unger, 'House of Trump, House of Putin'

Aug 25, 2018 00:23:08


Craig Unger's new book, House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia, analyses links between the Russian mafia, Vladimir Putin and the Trump Organisation. On today's podcast Unger, a veteran journalist for The New Yorker, Esquire and Vanity Fair, talks to Hugh Linehan about why he believes that the current U.S. president is a Russian asset.

FF-SDLP Merger, Uncharted Waters for Michael D., Papal Visit

Aug 22, 2018 00:40:25


This week UCD professor Diarmaid Ferriter joins Hugh and Fiach to look at some of the issues currently on the civic and political agenda through the lens of history. First it’s Fiach’s story that a Fianna Fáil takeover of the SDLP appears to be in the offing, with a merger being discussed at the highest levels of the parties. What are the origins of this political alliance, and how would a merger work? Also on the podcast: In seeking another seven years at the Áras, Michael D. Higgins becomes only the second sitting president in Ireland’s history to face a contest to do so. In 1966 President Éamon de Valera chose not to run a campaign as he sought a second term, so Michael D. now finds himself in uncharted waters as he prepares to do battle in what could be a nasty contest. And, as Ireland’s Catholics prepare to give Pope Francis a ‘céad mile failte’, how will his visit differ to that of John Paul II in 1979?

Interview: Cody Keenan, Speechwriter for Barack Obama

Aug 17, 2018 00:35:37


Cody Keenan has been a speechwriter for President Barack Obama for more than a decade, rising from a campaign intern in Chicago to Director of Speechwriting at the White House. Keenan has helped craft the president’s remarks on every topic for every audience, from backyards in Iowa, to State of the Union addresses. Now he is helping President Obama write a memoir of his time in the Oval Office. On today’s podcast Keenan speaks to Hugh Linehan about getting his start with Obama, what he believes the 44th president’s legacy will be, whether US politics is suffering irreparable damage under the Trump presidency, and more.

Labour's Leadership, Presidential Potentials

Aug 15, 2018 00:36:18


It’s a quiet week on the political front, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. Brendan Howlin’s Labour leadership has come into question of late, with a number of councillors calling for him to stand aside. But as the party seeks to renew itself, who is likely to replace him? Also today: As the impending presidential contest gains pace, who will win the nomination to do battle with Michael D. Higgins? And, what questions he will have to answer in the debates? Guests: Sarah Bardon and Fiach Kelly

Breaking Down a Border Poll

Aug 8, 2018 00:42:17


Former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson was criticised for telling the MacGill Summer School last month that he did not think the North would vote to leave the UK in a Border poll but it was no reason not to prepare for the eventuality. As the Brexit deadline approaches, what is the feeling in Northern Ireland on the issue? Has the DUP's support for Brexit backfired? And, what would a road map for unification actually look like? Also today, rumblings of a leadership heave at Labour and Shane Ross mishits with his granny grant and hockey funding. Guests: Matthew O'Toole, Susan McKay and Fiach Kelly.

Amnesty and "Foreign Money" in Politics / Colm O'Gorman on Pope Francis's Visit

Aug 1, 2018 00:41:24


First we look at the news that broke yesterday that Amnesty International Ireland has won its challenge to an order made by the Standards in Public Office Commission, or Sipo. Sipo ordered Amnesty to return money to a foreign donor as it was given to be used 'for political purposes'. The news raises questions about how Sipo came to its flawed decision but also about how we control the flow of money in our politics. Hugh discusses these issues with Colm O'Gorman of Amnesty, Liz Carolan of the Transparent Referendum Initiative and our own Political Editor Pat Leahy. Later on Colm, who is a survivor of clerical abuse, talks about his attitude to the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland next month.

Fintan O'Toole on "Pre-Fascism" & The Yeats Test

Jul 27, 2018 00:46:40


Fintan O'Toole's recent column about the characteristics of the Trump Administration, entitled 'Trial runs for fascism are in full flow' has found a large international audience. He talks to Hugh Linehan about what he sees as Donald Trump's method for gradually pushing the United States further towards authoritarianism. There's also time to consider whether W.B. Yeats foretold the ascendance of Donald Trump, and a novel use of his poetry in today's troubled world. You can read the original article here (recommended before listening)

Different Schools of Thought

Jul 25, 2018 00:33:29


Last weekend in Rialto a new event took place: The Danielle Carroll Summer School. Named in honour of a woman who took her own life after her and her family become homeless, focussed on social issues and featuring all-female speakers, the event was quite different in theme and tone to this week's MacGill Summer School in Glenties, County Donegal. Hugh talks to Kitty Holland, who was at the Rialto event, and Conor Gallagher, who is in Glenties this week, about the events and the place of such events in today's Ireland. But first: A bewildering array of potential nominees for the presidency are popping in and out of contention. Fiach Kelly looks at some of the more likely ones.

Chaos in Westminster, Slow-Moving Sláintecare

Jul 18, 2018 00:43:03


This week: Turmoil at Westminster means Ireland’s plans for a ‘no deal’ Brexit have stepped up a gear. The Tories were supposed to unite behind Theresa May’s Chequers deal and Brexit white paper, but that plan unravelled spectacularly and instead the Prime Minister finds herself presiding over an increasingly divided government. Denis Staunton is on the line from London to talk to Hugh and Pat about what has happened in Westminster and what it might mean for the Border backstop, which has yet to be agreed. Later: The blueprint for a reform of the health service was delivered by an all-party committee a year ago, but the government has yet to come up with a plan to implement Sláintecare. Health policy analyst at Trinity College, Sara Burke, who worked with the committee, and Irish Times industry correspondent Martin Wall join Hugh and Pat to discuss the outstanding issues and what happens next.

"Women's Life Within the Home", Race for The Áras

Jul 11, 2018 00:41:23


This week: Hot on the heels of the #8thRef, the government has scheduled a referendum for October 26th on Article 41.2 of the Constitution. It refers to a woman’s life in the home and is considered sexist and outmoded by many. The government is pushing for a straight deletion of the Article, but has there been enough discussion around what that actually means? The Oireachtas Women’s Caucus feels they weren’t consulted enough on the matter and there is an argument for the Article to be amended to be more inclusive, rather than removing it completely. Joining Pat and Sarah to debate the issue on today’s podcast is Dr Laura Cahillane from UL’s law department. Later: Micheal D Higgins has announced he'd like to continue life within his home, Áras an Uachtaráin. Moves are afoot by some independent politicians to facilitate a challenger to President Higgins in an autumn election. Can they succeed? Pat asks Fiach Kelly and Noel Whelan.

"Freewheeling" Varadkar Attacks the Media

Jul 4, 2018 00:29:36


The Taoiseach went off-script in New York yesterday, sympathising with Donald Trump’s views on the media and spoiling an otherwise unremarkable visit to make Ireland’s case for joining the UN Security Council. In a “freewheeling” discussion, Leo Varadkar surprised guests at a private lunch when he criticised the media, saying political journalists were more interested in gossip than the story. Now his Ministers say he was taken out of context. What really happened, and what does it tell us about Taoiseach Varadkar? First we hear from Simon Carswell who was among the Irish journalists present in New York. He joins Sarah, Pat and Fiach on the line. Also today: Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s pre-election phony war.

New Commissioner in Town, Brexit Dawdling & Michael D

Jun 27, 2018 00:37:31


The air’s been let out of this week’s EU Summit with no sign of the significant progress on Brexit negotiations that the Irish government had sought when they last convened. With October’s meeting now the next important date on the calendar, is the threat of talks grinding to a halt becoming more real? Will the much vaunted backstop ever materialise? Is the likelihood of a hard Brexit increasing? And, does the British government know what it wants? The Guardian’s Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll joins presenter Pat Leahy, Irish Times public affairs editor Simon Carswell and political reporter Sarah Bardon to discuss the myriad outstanding issues in the negotiations, as the March 2019 withdrawal deadline looms large on the horizon. But first on the agenda: the appointment of the new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Fianna Fáil’s declaration of support for a second run for the presidency by Michael D Higgins.

Interview: James Comey, Former FBI Director

Jun 23, 2018 00:59:47


On June 22nd, the man Hillary Clinton blames for her 2016 presidential election defeat to Donald Trump, the former FBI director James Comey, was in Dublin to promote his book A Higher Loyalty. Coincidentally, less than a kilometre away, Clinton was also in town to receive an honorary degree from Trinity College. Comey was interviewed by Hugh Linehan at a live event at the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar. They spoke about his book, the election and his interactions with Donald Trump before he was sensationally fired by the US president, as detailed in A Higher Loyalty. You can hear that interview in this podcast, with thanks to the IFI.

Prudent Paschal, Leo's Public Image & Sinn Féin's Ard Fheis

Jun 20, 2018 00:42:12


Sarah and Fiach join Hugh for a roundup of what has been happening in and around Leinster House this week, with preparations for the 2019 budget well underway. Will prudent Paschal Donohoe stick with his hitherto cautious mantra? Also, does Leo Varadkar’s tactic of standing back and letting his ministers do the talking impact on the public’s perception of him? And, there’s a bit of healthy disagreement in the ranks on a number of things, including the Taoiseach’s role in the recent referendum and gender balance in political debate.

The Separation of Church & State

Jun 13, 2018 00:37:50


As the country moves on from the resounding Yes vote in the referendum to repeal the Eighth amendment and with plans for another referendum on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution in the autumn, Ireland is dramatically renegotiating the relationship between Church and State. As Irish Catholics look forward to the Papal visit at the end of the summer, what does the future of that relationship between the institutions of the State, the political establishment and Catholicism look like? Joining Hugh on today's show: Irish Times religious affairs correspondent Patsy McGarry, professor Áine Hyland, who was a founder of the Dalkey School Project in the 1970s, and editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper Michael Kelly.

The Political Landscape after The Referendum

Jun 6, 2018 00:37:59


Thousands of women and young people mobilised for the referendum campaign, but will many remain politically active in its aftermath? Sinead Gibney, the new Dún Laoghaire candidate for the Social Democrats, joins Hugh, Pat and Harry to discuss what lasting impact of the campaign will have on the political process. Also, with a general election looming somewhere on the horizon, is the Left becoming too crowded?

Referendum Debrief with Una Mullally, Pat Leahy, Jane Suiter & Sarah Bardon

Jun 1, 2018 00:55:50


One final Friday referendum podcast. Columnist Una Mullally and DCU political scientist Jane Suiter join Hugh, Pat and Sarah to debate what really happened. How did the media fulfil its role? What were the decisive factors in voters' minds, and can the success of the grassroots campaign for liberalisation be parlayed into electoral success for the politicians who supported the people?

"A Lot of My Colleagues Didn't Show Leadership" - One Fianna Fáil TD's Blunt Assessment

May 30, 2018 00:29:15


It will take a few podcasts to digest the historic referendum results of last weekend. Today we begin by looking at what lies behind the divergence between opinion polls and the final result. Then Michael O'Regan has the view from rural constituencies like Kerry where many TDs were left at odds with the majority. And we turn to Fianna Fail and reports of an unhappy meeting last night as the party struggles to figure out what its position on abortion should be. Is the party at risk of a major rupture? We talk to Niall Collins, the Limerick TD, FF spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Yes campaigner, who is blunt in his assessment of the motives and leadership of some of his colleagues. He demands the party now row in behind leader Micheal Martin on the issue as legislation works its way through the Oireachtas. We'll be back with another podcast on Friday, with columnist and campaigner Una Mullally and political scientist Jane Suiter of DCU.

Referendum Special with Kitty Holland, Fintan O'Toole, Sarah Bardon & Pat Leahy

May 26, 2018 00:33:29


The count is underway but the result is not in doubt. Social Affairs correspondent Kitty Holland, columnist Fintan O'Toole and Sarah Bardon and Pat Leahy from our politics team talk to Hugh about the ramifications of the resounding vote to remove our constitutional ban on abortion.

Exit Poll: A Landslide for Repeal

May 25, 2018 00:10:26


The people have voted to repeal the 8th Amendment. But not only that. If the results of The Irish Times exit poll are borne out when the final vote is counted, the scale of the victory for Yes in this referendum points to a profound transformation in Irish attitudes to abortion.

The Story of The 8th with Ruadhán Mac Cormaic (October 2016)

May 24, 2018 00:31:49


"One of the most poisonous debates witnessed in twentieth century Ireland" is how historian Diarmaid Ferriter described the run-up to the passing of the 8th Amendment in 1983. Against a backdrop of intense political division, moral outrage and conflicting understandings of how a rebalancing of the rights of a woman and an unborn child would play out in public courts and private lives, the referendum passed with a two to one majority. When the Citizens' Assembly first met in October 2016 to once again examine the abortion question, Ruadhán Mac Cormaic took us back to the early eighties to understand how and why the controversial amendment came about and its legacy in politics and society. This podcast was originally published in October 2016.

Debate Drama, Pat v Sarah, Mick Heaney on Referendum Radio

May 23, 2018 00:37:50


Which side won last night's referendum debate on RTÉ? Pat Leahy sees it as a tie, while Sarah Bardon calls it for Yes. The deciding vote is cast by our radio critic Mick Heaney, who also tells us about the how the referendum battle has played out on the airwaves. But first Sarah explains the strange goings-on that resulted in two male politicians going head to head over abortion.

This Referendum is Different, Leaders Canvass, John Waters Takes A Stand

May 18, 2018 00:31:05


Sarah, Pat and Harry return for another referendum roundup, including more poll analysis, a look at the nationwide canvass, the campaign activities of Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin and a welcome moment of levity provided by a popular rival podcast.

POLL: A Further Decline in Support for Repeal

May 17, 2018 00:11:11


Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy discuss the latest poll from The Irish Times and Ipsos/MRBI that shows a further decline in the number of those responding they will vote yes, and an increase in those saying they will vote no. With just over one week left until polling day, which side does the trend now favour?

Referendum Heats Up, The Rural Vote, 'Max Fac' Brexit - with Fianna Fáil's Lisa Chambers

May 16, 2018 00:38:17


To discuss the latest news from the 8th Amendment referendum campaign, the division of the Fianna Fáil party on that same issue, and the latest on British Prime Minister Theresa May's struggle to find a way through the Brexit-Customs-Irish-Border thicket, today's podcast features Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Brexit and Yes advocate Lisa Chambers, Fiach Kelly and Sarah Bardon from our politics team, and London Editor Denis Staunton.

Referendum Countdown, Tech Ad Ban Harms #SaveThe8th, More Fact Checking

May 11, 2018 00:29:02


Liz Carolan of the Transparent Referendum Initiative joins Hugh, Pat and Sarah to talk about the biggest story of the campaign this week: the pulling of the digital rug from under campaigners by Facebook and Google. It's clear which side is hurting most, with Google's move a particularly damaging blow to #Savethe8th. But will it be a decisive one? Plus, Sarah reports on another fraught week checking facts for an ungrateful public.

Facebook, #8th Ref Ads, CervicalCheck & Mandatory Reporting

May 9, 2018 00:36:02


Transparency campaigner Gavin Sheridan joins Hugh Linehan and Pat Leahy to discuss Facebook's announcement that it will no longer accept foreign advertisements relating to the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment and the need for new legislation on political campaigning in the digital era. But first, Pat explains how the Dáil has failed to bring in mandatory reporting in the face of opposition from health professionals, as the controversy over failures in the State’s cervical screening service continues.

Three Weeks Until Referendum Day

May 4, 2018 00:43:13


Referendum Day is drawing near, and over the next three weeks The Irish Times politics team will be bringing you extra podcasts on the campaign. What are campaigners hearing on the doors? What are the contentious points dominating discussion? And what role are our elected leaders playing in the fight to save or repeal the 8th Amendment? Pat Leahy, Harry McGee and Sarah Bardon join Hugh for the first in this series.

CervicalCheck Scandal, More Brexit Fudge, #8thRef - with Minister of State Helen McEntee

May 2, 2018 00:38:41


Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee talks to Hugh Linehan and Fiach Kelly about another critical period in Brexit negotiations and the contours of the ongoing referendum campaign. But first they look at the major scandal emerging over CervicalCheck that is taking its place alongside other historic State failures in its treatment of women.

Interview: Yascha Mounk, Author of "The People Vs. Democracy"

Apr 27, 2018 00:39:11


Hugh talks to Harvard University lecturer and Slate columnist Yascha Mounk about his book "The People Vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It", in which he shares his theories about why confidence in democracy is dwindling worldwide.

#8thRef, Labour's Hopes, Public Sector Pay, Paschal's Test - with guest Brendan Howlin

Apr 25, 2018 00:39:10


Labour leader and former Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin joins Hugh, Sarah and Harry on today's politics podcast. They talk about the referendum campaign, Labour's hopes in the face of poor poll numbers, how the question of public sector pay is framed and the challenges ahead for Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

POLL: With Most Minds Made Up, Repeal Maintains Its Lead

Apr 20, 2018 00:16:10


As the referendum campaign intensifies, the latest Irish Times / IpsosMRBI poll is here. 47% of respondents to this poll support repeal of the 8th Amendment. It is a drop of 9 percentage points in support of repeal, down from 56% in February. But despite this downward trend, a close look at today's numbers suggests the referendum will pass, says Political Editor Pat Leahy.

Save the 8th's John McGuirk

Apr 18, 2018 00:43:10


Hugh Linehan and Sarah Bardon sit down with John McGuirk of the Save the 8th organisation to talk about some of the key issues, fundraising, conducting a civil campaign and Mr McGuirk's approach to social media.

A Slow Start for Repealers? No, Says Ailbhe Smyth

Apr 11, 2018 00:37:22


Co-Director of Together For Yes Ailbhe Smyth joins Pat and Hugh to talk about the campaign so far, the intense fundraising activities of the past few days and to rebut the suggestion that #savetheeighth has been doing the early running. But first Pat talks about a change for the worse in Anglo-Irish relations on the 20th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.

Confidence & Supply, Presidential Election, INM

Apr 4, 2018 00:33:52


Sarah Bardon, Fiach Kelly and Hugh Linehan discuss the increased likelihood of a general election in the short term, after comments by Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen suggesting his party is unlikely to renew its confidence and supply arrangement with Fine Gael. Also, just who will contest the presidential election? And, what sort of impact could the allegations of a data breach at Independent News and Media have on journalism in general?

Coveney Blunders, SCU, How To Win A Sports Grant

Mar 28, 2018 00:39:25


First up today, Hugh, Pat and Harry discuss Tánaiste Simon Coveney's difficult few days, and the disbandment of the ill-fated Strategic Communications Unit. Then they take a close look at a recent story that revealed a lot about how Irish politics really works: the controversy over the allocation of a sports grant to a private Dublin school. UCC economist (and former All Ireland winning Cork hurler) John Considine explains how it really works.

Weaponised Facebook: It Couldn't Happen Here (Yet)

Mar 21, 2018 00:31:22


The Inside Politics team look at the harvesting of Facebook user data to target citizens with news, of both the real and fake varieties, to manipulate their opinions and ultimately their votes. It seems that technology has raced ahead of democracy. Is now the time to rein tech in? Elaine Edwards is The Irish Times's data security expert and she joins Hugh, Pat and Fiach to talk about the story, and what it means for the political system here in Ireland. After that Fiach tells us how the mood music around Leinster House suggests a general election is not far away.

Taoiseach Talks Trade with Trump

Mar 14, 2018 00:31:21


Leo Varadkar meets Donald Trump for the annual St Patrick’s Day White House visit by an Irish leader tomorrow. How will the encounter differ to that of his predecessor Enda Kenny? Suzanne Lynch joins Hugh Linehan and Pat Leahy on the line from Washington to discuss. And, with just health minister Simon Harris staying behind to deal with the ongoing hospital overcrowding crisis, we look ahead to the return of the Dáil next week, when the referendum Bill and corporate tax will be topping the agenda.

Referendum Obstacle Cleared & Katy Hayward on Brexit

Mar 7, 2018 00:32:14


The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the government to proceed with plans to hold a referendum on the Eighth Amendment, ruling that the unborn has no constitutional rights outside the right to life in Article 40.3.3. Pat Leahy and Hugh Linehan discuss the landmark unanimous judgment by the seven-judge court. Later, political sociologist at Queens University Belfast, Dr Katy Hayward, on the possible solutions to the question of the border with Northern Ireland after Brexit.

Strategic Communications, Brexit Fudge Hits the Fan

Feb 28, 2018 00:36:47


The role of the Strategic Communications Unit has come under the spotlight thanks to this week's controversy over a series of 'advertorials' placed in regional and national newspapers, including The Irish Times, concerning the new national development plan, Project 2040. To discuss this story, Hugh and Pat are joined by Gerard Howlin, a public affairs consultant, Irish Examiner columnist and former senior political adviser to the Ahern government who says the origins and characteristics of the SCU suggest an unwelcome blurring of lines between politics and the Civil Service. Also on the podcast: cans last seen flying down the road towards Brexit are reappearing this week. The Irish Border question is back and is posing a major threat to UK-EU negotiations.

Live: Can The Big Three Parties Learn to Work Together?

Feb 24, 2018 00:49:24


A special live episode of the podcast featuring Minister for Arts Josepha Madigan, Fianna Fáil TD Thomas Byrne and Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly. They joined Hugh Linehan and Fiach Kelly to discuss the relationship between their three parties, and more. Thanks to our guests and to everyone who attended the live recording on Thursday, February 22nd here in The Irish Times. For information on future events, subscribe to The Irish Times political digest email.

Michael D's Challengers, FF's Vulture Signalling, Unborn Rights

Feb 21, 2018 00:27:29


Michael D Higgins is going to run for a second term. The major parties do not want to put a candidate up against him - but might they have to, for the sake of appearances? Pat Leahy and Sarah Bardon join Hugh Linehan to discuss the potential for an accidental race to the Áras. Will Michael D be challenged, and if so, who will the challengers be? Then they turn to Fianna Fáil's determination to have a row about vulture funds, who Fianna Fáil say must be regulated before they can get their claws into billions of euros worth of non-performing Permanent TSB loans. Lastly the panel look at two stories concerning the 8th Amendment: a Supreme Court case taking place this week that has the potential to upset Government's plans for an early summer referendum on the 8th, and the political reaction to polls showing a tightening of opinion on the 12 week proposal.

Best Laid National Plans & Impasse Remains in Belfast

Feb 14, 2018 00:33:13


The government will unveil two key documents mapping out its plans for Ireland’s future this Friday - the €115bn 10-year Development Plan and the National Planning Framework. Previous plans have proved ineffective in achieving their goals by spreading the wealth too thinly in an attempt to appease all sides and the initial drafts of the latest documents have seen the debate over the rural-urban divide reignited in recent weeks. On today’s podcast, former environment editor of the Irish Times Frank McDonald, who first warned of the ruination of Irish villages through a suburbanisation of the countryside 30 years ago, joins Harry McGee and Fiach Kelly to discuss the merits of the government’s latest plans. In the second part of the show, Amanda Ferguson reports from Belfast, where talks on re-establishing power-sharing at Stormont appear to have come asunder once again, with the DUP leader Arlene Foster making clear her party’s opposition to proposals for an Irish Language Act.

Interview: Former Press Secretary Feargal Purcell

Feb 10, 2018 00:32:13


"Enda didn't get a fair hop from the media". Feargal Purcell served as Enda Kenny's press secretary for six years, and briefly as Leo Varadkar's after that. As government press secretary during the years of austerity, Purcell was no stranger to crisis. Among his responsibilities was find and brief TDs and ministers willing to bat for Enda Kenny's administration when the chips were down. Sometimes they were hard to find. On this episode of Inside Politics, Feargal talked to Political Editor Pat Leahy about his time at the heart of government, the nature of the relationship between the politicians and the media, and the style and substance of the new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. He also talks about his new role with Edelman, a global international public relations firm that this week published its annual Trust Barometer, a study examining public attitudes to institutions including government and the press.

Vincent Browne on Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin & the Media's Failures in Reporting The Troubles

Feb 7, 2018 00:37:17


'Gerry Adams: War, Peace and Politics', a new documentary by Vincent Browne, airs tonight and tomorrow night on TV3. The veteran broadcaster and journalist talks to Hugh about his personal view of Adams, the evolution of Sinn Féin and why he feels the media, including The Irish Times, failed in its coverage of Northern Ireland at the outset of the Troubles. Also on the panel today are Colm Keena, who wrote a biography of Adams, and political reporter Sarah Bardon.

After A Historic Night, Campaigning Intensifies

Jan 31, 2018 00:32:22


The Taoiseach’s statement on Monday night that the Government will propose a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment and that he would personally back it, was a historic moment that will be recognised in hindsight as the official start of the abortion campaign. With the Cabinet divided on the issue of legislating for abortion up to 12 weeks, that will prove to be a key part of the campaign as it progresses. Pat Leahy and Sarah Bardon join Hugh Linehan to discuss the change in the framing of the debate in recent week to focus on women, rather than the unborn, and why the wording of Health Minister Simon Harris’s proposed legislation that would follow a repeal of the Eighth Amendment will be the next significant moment in the lead up to the referendum.

Poll: Permit Abortion Up To 12 Weeks? Yes, Say A Clear Majority

Jan 26, 2018 00:20:52


Pat Leahy talks to Hugh Linehan about the findings of the latest Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI poll that asked voters for their views on abortion, including the recommendation of the Dáil committee on abortion to allow unrestricted access up to the 12th week of pregnancy that is likely to form the basis of a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment this summer.

Fianna Fáil Divided / Leo's Bank of Mum & Dad

Jan 24, 2018 00:32:57


Micheál Martin took his party by surprise with his statement of support on repealing the 8th Amendment last week. Is there now a risk of rebellion in the ranks? Sarah Bardon and Harry McGee join Hugh Linehan to discuss this and why Leo Varadkar's 'lots of us did' comment about housebuyers borrowing from the 'bank of mum and dad' has rankled some.

Decision Time Nears on 8th, Referendum Battle Lines, Sinn Féin's Growing Pains

Jan 17, 2018 00:36:35


On the question of the 8th Amendment, there remains in Leinster House a good number of fence sittters. The time for them to jump off is drawing near, say Sarah Bardon and Fiach Kelly. For Sinn Fein TD Peader Tóibín, who supports the full retention of the 8th Amendment, concerns about "sex selection" abortions and abortions when the foetus has been screened for Down Syndrome will be key points on which the referendum campaign will be fought. He talks to Hugh, Fiach and Sarah about his views on abortion and opposing his own party's position. Deputy Tóibín also answers questions about a difficult week for Sinn Féin, as the Barry McElduff affair raised questions over the party leadership and how Sinn Féin handles its own dark legacy.

Fianna Fáil's Prospects, Homelessness, Property Tax & more

Jan 10, 2018 00:35:13


Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee joins Hugh, Pat and Harry to discuss why, even after recent opinion polls show Fine Gael's support gathering pace at the expense of Fianna Fáil, Mícheál Martin's party isn't spooked by the numbers just yet. Also on on the agenda, the housing crisis, homelessness and how the property tax can be calculated more fairly.

New Year, Old Problems

Jan 3, 2018 00:33:24


As 2017 drew to a close political staff did the traditional round of Christmas interviews with senior politicians. Familiar themes emerged: the extremely thorny issue of housing, the popularity contest between the two major parties, and what a future coalition government involving Sinn Féin might look like. Today Simon Carswell and Fiach Kelly talk to Hugh about the major political challenges in the year ahead: Michael Martin - can his party recover ground lately lost to Fine Gael? Eoghan Murphy - can he define success in housing and then achieve that success? Mary Lou MacDonald - as leader, can she finally manoeuvre Sinn Féin into power?

The Year in Politics

Dec 27, 2017 00:37:15


Pat Leahy, Fiach Kelly and Michael O'Regan look back at some of the big events of 2017 and speculate about the forces at home and abroad that will shape Irish politics in 2018.

Senator Catherine Noone

Dec 20, 2017 00:33:02


Senator Catherine Noone, chair of the abortion committee that today published its report, talks to Hugh and Pat about how a majority of the group came to the view that the 8th Amendment to the constitution should be removed outright.

Brexit: What's Our Strategy Now? Live at the IIEA

Dec 13, 2017 00:33:54


The question of the post-Brexit status of the Border may be settled for now, but broader questions remain. What will Ireland's place in Europe be, once the UK, its traditional partner and ally, has departed? What is our European strategy and how will we achieve our goals? Podcast regulars Pat and Hugh talked to Ruadhan Mac Cormaic and Lucinda Creighton in front of an audience at the Institute of International and European Affairs on North Great Georges Street last night. Apologies for the temporary sound quality deterioration as a street cleaner passed by an open window. Thanks to our hosts the Young Professionals Network and the IIEA.

Poll Special: 8th Amendment, Political Parties & Brexit

Dec 9, 2017 00:20:03


This week, there were three Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion polls. This morning's asked respondents whether or not they would vote to change the constitution in relation to the Eighth Amendment. Earlier in the week, we took the temperature of the electorate and found a five point surge in support for Fine Gael, while yesterday's poll focused on Brexit. Pat Leahy and Hugh Linehan provide an analysis of the results.

Brexit: High-Stakes Game Playing

Dec 6, 2017 00:35:19


The Guardian’s Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll joins Irish Times political editor Pat Leahy, deputy political editor Fiach Kelly and presenter Hugh Linehan to discuss what went wrong in the Brexit negotiations this week and how likely it is that the deadline for an agreement will be met. The panel also assess the impact of tensions surrounding Brexit on Anglo-Irish relations and ask whether creative ambiguity is being used as a deliberate tactic by leaders on all sides.

Fintan O'Toole: "An act of defiance of Irish democracy" / Britain's Pesky Irish Problem

Nov 29, 2017 00:43:41


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar called the Department of Justice 'dysfunctional' yesterday, but it is worse than that, says Fintan O'Toole: the failure by the Department to give the infamous emails at the heart of Frances Fitzgerald's downfall to the Charleton Tribunal is an act of defiance of Irish democracy that requires a independent investigation with the power to question witnesses under caution and seize documents, phones and computers. He talks to podcast regulars Hugh Linehan, Fiach Kelly and Sarah Bardon in part one of today's podcast. In part two they hear from London Editor Denis Staunton about the persistent belief in London that Dublin's 'bloody difficult' position on Brexit is motivated by party politics, the rise of Sinn Féin, or even a forthcoming presidential election - anything really, except for what Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are actually saying.

After A Day of Drama, Questions Remain

Nov 28, 2017 00:30:44


Pat Leahy and Harry McGee talk to Hugh about the dramatic events of the last week that were capped today with the resignation of Frances Fitzgerald, and the questions that remain. How could such important documents be missed - or was it more sinister than that? Is the Department of Justice facing a reckoning? Why did Leo Varadkar handle this situation as he did?

No Hand, Act or Part

Nov 22, 2017 00:30:25


This week there proved to be at least one more political sting left in the tail of the McCabe controversy. This latest entanglement involves a dubious legal strategy, a curiously incurious former Minister for Justice, a poorly written email and a frustrated Taoiseach. It's confusing, but we hope this conversation between Sarah Bardon, Harry McGee and Hugh Linehan will leave listeners with as clear an understanding of the affair as possible.

Exit Adams / Live at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis

Nov 20, 2017 00:40:49


Inside Politics returned to the RDS on Saturday for the final stop on our tour of party conferences in what has amounted to a festival season for Irish politics. Louise O'Reilly, TD for Dublin Fingal, and Conor Murphy, MLA for Newry and Armagh, joined Hugh, Sarah Bardon and Northern Editor Gerry Moriarty to discuss some of the thorny challenges facing Sinn Féin. But first Fiach Kelly and Hugh discuss the news that, as expected, Gerry Adams will step down as Sinn Féin leader.

The Brexit Riddle

Nov 15, 2017 00:38:40


As the deadline for completing the first stage of Brexit negotiations draws near, and with the British political establishment in the midst of a nervous breakdown, our Government is fast approaching a critical point in how it handles this most intractable of situations. Divergent national interests - on trade, on EU relations, on the border question - mean it is far from simple for us to stake out a coherent position. So what is our bottom line? Pat Leahy and Cliff Taylor join Hugh to see if they can imagine what solutions, or even the process of finding solutions, might look like.

The Taoiseach's Speech, Republic of Opportunity, Brexit Realities (Live at FG Conference)

Nov 11, 2017 00:50:15


Last month we went to the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis for a close look at that party's policies, politics and personalities. This weekend it was Fine Gael's turn for their annual get-together, so Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and TD for Dublin Rathdown Josepha Madigan joined Hugh, Harry McGee and Fiach Kelly for another live recording of the podcast. They discussed the style and substance of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's speech, the new policy proposals outlined in the "first iteration" of their "rolling manifesto", and the remaining doubt over how far we are willing to go to secure a a frictionless border with post-Brexit Northern Ireland.

Sexual Harassment, Languishing Bills, Alan Shatter

Nov 8, 2017 00:33:41


The Houses of Parliament in Westminster have been engulfed by allegations of sexual harassment in the past week. How does the environment in Leinster House compare? Fiach Kelly and Sarah Bardon join Hugh Linehan to discuss. Also on the agenda, the intense lobbying around plans for the display of alcohol in shops, why Bills are being left hanging at committee stage and Alan Shatter's Facebook post in which he said he won't stand for Fine Gael in the next general election.

Inside Story - Paradise Papers

Nov 6, 2017 00:15:59


Paradise Papers is the name given to a journalistic project organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington DC along with 96 media partners around the world, including The Irish Times. It is one of the largest data leaks in journalistic history, and involves the largest number of documents ever leaked. The leaked documents show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers. Irish Times Legal Affairs Correspondent Colm Keena has been working on the project, and on this podcast he talks to Hugh Linehan about what has been uncovered, including the investments made by famous figures such as Bono and Queen Elizabeth, and the legal advice received by AIB when The Revenue Commissioners requested information about offshore deposits.

Interview: Timothy Snyder, Author of "On Tyranny"

Nov 3, 2017 00:34:35


Hugh Linehan speaks with American author, historian and academic Timothy Snyder about his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, in which he makes provocative and unsettling comparisons between today's politics and the rise of the Third Reich and suggests how we can avoid the terrible mistakes of the past. Timothy Snyder is a professor of history at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He has spent ten years in Europe, and speaks five and reads ten European languages. He has also written for The New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, and The New Republic as well as for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers. He is the author of several award-winning books including The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.

Can Labour Come Back?

Nov 1, 2017 00:41:46


Labour is in the doldrums, stuck on five or six per cent in the polls and struggling to have its voice heard. What are its chances of getting back to ten per cent or more by the next election? Is its brand becoming less toxic? What is the purpose of Labour in Ireland now? Guests: Fiach Kelly, Political Correspondent; Ed Brophy, political columnist with the Sunday Independent and former chief of staff to Tánaiste Joan Burton; and Dublin City Councillor Rebecca Moynihan, who will run for Labour in the Dublin South Central constituency in the next election.

Repeal or Replace, Crimes in The National Interest

Oct 25, 2017 00:42:57


Hugh and Pat are joined by Social Affairs Correspondent Kitty Holland and columnist Fintan O'Toole to discuss the direction being taken by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil at the Abortion Committee, and why "scandal" is the perfect word to describe the tracker mortgage situation - there are cries of outrage and numerous investigations, and ultimately no-one will be held accountable.

Interview: Martin O'Malley on Life in Politics, Trump, Running in 2020

Oct 20, 2017 00:36:01


Irish-American politician Martin O'Malley is best known for terms as governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore, and for his unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential candidacy in 2016. Earlier this week he talked to Political Correspondent Harry McGee about his Irish connections, his upbringing and political philosophy, his views on the Trump presidency and how he squares his own liberal views on abortion and marriage equality with his Catholicism. He also shed some light on his relationship with David Simon, creator of tv show The Wire which portrayed the social and political problems of Baltimore in the early 2000s.

Storm Ophelia, 8th Amendment Committee & EU Summit

Oct 18, 2017 00:33:26


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar held a number of press conferences throughout Storm Ophelia, did live interviews and donned a high-vis jacket to assess the resulting damage in its aftermath. On today's podcast, Pat Leahy, Sarah Bardon and Harry McGee from the politics team join Hugh Linehan to discuss the government’s disaster response and compare it to that of previous years. The panel also discuss the Oireachtas committee examining the Eighth Amendment, the Fianna Fáil ardfheis last weekend and the upcoming EU summit where Brexit will take centre stage.

Are Fianna Fáil Ready for Government? Live at the Ard Fheis with Dara Calleary & Fiona O'Loughlin

Oct 14, 2017 00:44:52


Inside Politics has made the short trip from its office to the RDS where a resurgent Fianna Fáil are holding their annual Ard Fheis, to ask whether the party is really ready to return to government after a long spell in the political wilderness. Joining Hugh, Pat and Sarah were Dara Calleary and Fiona O'Loughlin, while Fiach canvassed the opinions of some special guests in the audience.

Interview: A.C. Grayling - Rethinking Democracy

Oct 13, 2017 00:35:10


Philosopher A.C. Grayling is known for his writings on the intersections between belief systems, individual liberties and systems of government. In his new book Democracy And Its Crisis, he explores the challenges facing representative democracy today. He talked to Hugh Linehan about his ideas, including the "weaponisation" of social media, potential reforms to our political systems and when referendums are useful.

Budget Special: More Porridge, Less Pyrotechnics

Oct 10, 2017 00:35:25


No big bonanza and no pyrotechnics, but Budget 2018 is more exciting than it might seem on the surface. So say the Irish Times political team. Paschal Donohoe may not have found any money down the back of the couch, but has he delivered a budget that will take this government to the next election? On today’s Inside Politics podcast, Pat Leahy, Fiach Kelly and Mary Minihan join Hugh Linehan to discuss the political impact of the measures introduced in today’s budget.

Poll Special: 8th Amendment, Framing Questions, Leo's Bounce

Oct 6, 2017 00:23:47


Pat Leahy talks to Hugh Linehan about the results of the latest Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI poll. The poll showed greater support for a limited revision of abortion restrictions than their outright removal. But some pro-choice activists have criticised how the question was framed - Hugh puts their position to Pat. And there's time at the end to look at the other major finding: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is the most popular party leader with an impressive 49% approval rating. But will his rising tide lift other boats for Fine Gael?

Any Budget Surprises in Store? Leo vs LCD Soundsystem, Catalonia Reaction

Oct 4, 2017 00:32:14


With just six days left until Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe announce their first Budget as Taoiseach and finance minister respectively, the most surprising thing in the lead up to it has been the lack of anything surprising. On today's podcast, Cliff Taylor joins Fiach Kelly and Hugh to discuss the likelihood of any big bombshell being dropped next Tuesday, at a time when money is tight and any significant giveaway would have to be financed either through tax increases or cuts to another department. They also discuss the reaction in Leinster House to the political unrest surrounding the Catalonia independence referendum in Spain and whether or not Taoiseach Leo Varadkar can get away with going to gigs anymore, after the LCD Soundsystem debacle.

Interview: Robert Harris on The Transformation of Britain

Sep 29, 2017 00:33:22


Novelist and former political journalist Robert Harris returns to Inside Politics to discuss his new novel 'Munich', set over the course of the four-day crisis talks between the British, French and Nazi governments which prevented the outbreak of war in 1938. He talks about the modern misapprehension of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, the nature of appeasement and the current state of politics in the United Kingdom as it moves through the painful Brexit process.

Abortion Referendum, Sinn Féin's Culture, Property Tax

Sep 27, 2017 00:44:00


Sinn Fein TD for Dublin Mid-West Eoin Ó Broin joins Hugh, Pat and Sarah to discuss the forthcoming referendum on the 8th Amendment, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael's recent attacks on Sinn Féin, whether there is a culture of bullying in the party, and also its stance on property tax.

Ruled By Fianna Fáil & Fine Gael Forever? (Live at the Dublin Podcast Festival)

Sep 25, 2017 00:58:19


Ten years after an economic and social crisis that it seemed would change the Irish political landscape utterly, the political dominance of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is diminished - but continues. Are we destined to be governed by these organisations forever? As part of the Dublin Podcast Festival, Pat Leahy, Mary Minihan and Fiach Kelly joined Hugh in front of a live audience at The Workman's Club in Dublin to take a close look at our two main political parties today. How do they see themselves and one another? How has the upheaval of the last decade changed them, and where are they headed ideologically? Thanks to Alan Bennet and everyone working on the Podcast Festival. Thanks also to Alan Kinsella for providing our backdrop of historic election literature.

Budget Skirmishes, Michael D's Move, Dáil Returns

Sep 20, 2017 00:28:48


Hugh is joined by Harry McGee and Fiach Kelly to discuss everything and anything on the political agenda this week, including pre-budget skirmishes between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, President Michael D Higgins's noteworthy appearance at the ploughing festival, a potential Water Referendum, and the return to work of the members of Dáil Eireann after a long, damp summer.

"The Trends Are Good, But It's Not Enough"

Sep 13, 2017 00:42:58


This week Hugh, Pat and Harry are joined by Minister of State at the Department of Housing Damien English to talk about the latest news on the housing crisis, the resignation of Noirin O'Sullivan and what we can expect from the Taoiseach as the political season begins.

Barry Cowen Defends His Housing Proposal & FF's Record / SF's Leadership Dilemma

Sep 6, 2017 00:33:20


The negative reaction to Fianna Fáil TD and spokesman on housing Barry Cowen's proposal to incentivise building by reducing VAT rates for builders shows the mistrust that is a legacy of the housing crash could still be a problem for the party. Hugh and Pat talk to Deputy Cowen who defends his proposal and Fianna Fáil's legacy when it comes to housing. Later on we go to Fiach Kelly at the Sinn Féin think-in to hear about the future Gerry Adams' leadership (still murky) and the party's desire for power and a role in southern government (crystal clear).

PSC: Compulsory or Mandatory? Housing Out Of Hand, Strategic Communications

Aug 30, 2017 00:32:49


From E-voting to water charges, there have been plenty of examples of governments getting into hot water over a 'sensible' plan emanating from the civil service. Could the controversial Public Services Card become another example? Or is it a summer story? Far from being a summer story, the housing crisis is very real. It's an acute problem with no short-term solution - the stuff of political nightmares and a major potential liability for Fine Gael. Finally, a look at the modern PR stylings of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Should he be replying to George Hook's criticisms on Twitter? And what exactly is the "Strategic Communciations Office"? Today's panel is hosted by Hugh Linehan, with Pat Leahy and Sarah Bardon.

Housing Crisis: Time for the State to Build

Aug 23, 2017 00:41:27


Can we fix a housing market bedevilled by perverse incentives and bottlenecks? How important have lobbying, vested interests and ideology been in determining our housing policy? Why did the state lose faith in social housing? As the housing crisis gets worse and worse, we ask two experts how we got here and what needs to be done. Guests: Dr Michelle Norris, head of UCD's School of Social Policy, and Dr Lorcan Sirr, lecturer in housing studies, urban economics, and research methods in DIT's School of Real Estate and Construction Economics.

Britain's Border Proposal, Preparing for Failure, Craughwell 2018

Aug 16, 2017 00:28:55


Britain has just released a negotiating paper with details of how it sees a future UK-EU border on this island operating. Here with hot takes are Fiach Kelly and Mary Minihan. After that there is time for a look ahead to the various votes the people could be asked to make in 2018, including referendums and a potential race for the Áras. Could Senator Gerard Craughwell's decision to run for presidency upend Michael D. Higgins' hope of a second term?

Inside Story - Simon Carswell Visits Ireland's Ghost Estates

Aug 12, 2017 00:22:10


Ghost estates - residential building developments began during the boom and abandoned when the crash came - became synonymous with the excesses of the Celtic Tiger. Hundreds still dot the Irish countryside: homes to rats, brambles and despairing residents, as reporter Simon Carswell tells Hugh Linehan. You can read Simon's long read at

Brexit: Fintan O'Toole & Jeffrey Donaldson on Dublin's Tough Talk

Aug 9, 2017 00:35:34


DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson and Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole discuss how well Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is playing Dublin's hand in the rather complicated game of Brexit. They join podcast regulars Hugh Linehan and Fiach Kelly.

Sophie Long on Varadkar, Brexit and the DUP

Aug 2, 2017 00:28:29


Former Progressive Unionist Party member and feminist academic Sophie Long gives her view on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s recent comments about Ireland’s post-Brexit border. Ms Long, who resigned as the PUP’s communications director after she came under fire for tweeting her condolences on the death of Martin McGuinness, joins Michael O’Regan and Fiach Kelly, with Mary Minihan on presenting duties this week. Taoiseach Varadkar travels to Northern Ireland this weekend where he will attend a breakfast Pride event in Belfast on Saturday morning, a move that might annoy the DUP according the Ms Long, but won’t have any major impact. Anthony Scaramucci’s short-lived stint as White House director of communications also gets a mention and the panel talk about Kevin Myers’s controversial column in the Irish edition of The Sunday Times last weekend and the public reaction to TD’s outstanding €5,500 Dáil bar bill.

Don't Party Like It's 1999

Jul 26, 2017 00:20:31


When Government returns to its work in the autumn, the difficult and politically dangerous work of managing our economic recovery by means of the budget will begin, with much of the task landing on Paschal Donohoe's desk. What lessons will he take from past growth spurts in the nineties and noughties, and the problems that followed them?

David Goodhart On Rethinking Political Divides

Jul 21, 2017 00:32:20


In his book "The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics", journalist David Goodhart attempts to provide a framework for understanding UK society that explains Brexit and the collapse of the political centre. Before appearing at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties this week, he talked to Hugh Linehan about his ideas.

Water Refunds, GNI in A Bottle, Brexit Pessimism

Jul 19, 2017 00:25:59


Fine Gael have found the money to repay water charges to those who complied back in 2014, marking perhaps the final chapter in a terrible humiliation for the party. The €170 million needed for that is coming out of €300 million that has been found down the backs of various departmental couches. Won't that money be missed by the Ministers? The country has finally moved on from the water debacle, and today on the podcast we also look ahead to two of the biggest problems facing the country: how we measure and control our economy, and the potential calamity of Brexit. Apart from showing our economy to be much smaller than we all thought, what does the new GNI measurement mean for political decision making? And, one year on, has the assessment of how damaging Brexit can be changed? Pat Leahy is on the line from the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, where Brexit despair and fiscal prudence are dominating this year's discussions, while Mary Minihan recalls the dispiriting lack of understanding of Northern Ireland displayed by Conservative Party representatives at last week's British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Kilkenny.

End of Term, Paschal's Loose Change, The Observing Taoiseach

Jul 12, 2017 00:31:47


The summer break is looming in Leinster House and TDs are rushing to get things legislation through after an underwhelming term. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is making his 'Summer Statement' on the public finances and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is settling in to his role. To discuss all this and more Pat Leahy is joined by Sarah Bardon and Harry McGee.

Trudeaumania, Bin Ideology & DUP's Desperation

Jul 5, 2017 00:34:24


Harry McGee and Pat Leahy talk about the substantive issues addressed by An Taoiseach Leo Vardakar and Justin Trudeau on the occasion of the Canadian PM's visit, issues that were hard to discern with all the smiling, posing, praising and jogging going on. Then they turn to the issue of waste, which is a burning one on the left but not so much for the traditional establishment parties Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour. Why? Finally they call up Newton Emerson in Belfast to find out who really wants what in Northern Ireland, a day after talks to restore power sharing in Stormont were put on ice until the autumn.

Shane Ross's Unloved Bill, NED Talks

Jun 28, 2017 00:29:07


Former Irish Times Legal Affairs correspondent and author of The Supreme Court Ruadhan Mac Cormaic joins podcast regulars Sarah Bardon, Pat Leahy and Fiach Kelly to discuss the controversy surrounding Shane Ross's push to reform the judicial appointments process. Why is he so obsessed with this particular issue, and is the Bill solving the right problems? There's also a few minutes to discuss the National Economic Dialogue event taking place today.

Cringe Actually, Gender Roles, Nóirín Gets The Third Degree

Jun 21, 2017 00:34:22


The grubby appointment of former AG Máire Whelan to the Court of Criminal Appeals, the glaring lack of females in the senior and junior Government ranks and the dropping of Love Actually references in Downing Street all add up to a lacklustre first week on the job for An Taoiseach. What could he have done differently? We also hear some spiky exchanges from the Garda Commissioner's appearance at the Public Accounts Committee yesterday, and wonder what exactly Theresa May was expecting when she opened negotiations with the hard-as-nails DUP. Guests: Fiach Kelly and Mary Minihan. Hosted by Hugh Linehan.

Fintan O'Toole on Brexit, English Nationalism and the DUP

Jun 16, 2017 00:28:09


Hugh talks to Fintan O'Toole, who has just been awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism for his writing on Brexit. Fintan explains why the Irish view on subjects like Brexit and the ascent of nationalism across the Western world is a useful one, and why David Cameron should have asked Enda Kenny for advice. They also discuss the unusual role of the DUP.

Leo's First Day: What We Learned

Jun 14, 2017 00:27:57


After another long day in Dáil Eireann, Irish Times politics team members Pat Leahy, Fiach Kelly and Mary Minihan trooped back to base to chat with Hugh Linehan about the ins and outs of Leo Vardakar's eventful first day as Taoiseach.

Political Theatre, Cabinet Forecast, Mary Lou McDonald on Leo The "Tory"

Jun 7, 2017 00:39:40


Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald returns to the podcast to share her views on Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael's place on the political spectrum, future coalition possibilities for Sinn Féin ("we will talk to everybody"), and whether the northern wing of her party might be convinced to drop abstentionism and support a Labour "Coalition of Chaos" in Westminster. But first we hear from Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy about the feast of political theatre we can look forward to upon Leo Vardakar's elevation next week, and what whisperings they've heard about who will adorn the presumptive Taoiseach's cabinet.

It's Leo

Jun 2, 2017 00:25:51


Leo Varadkar has prevailed. At just 38, the new leader of Fine Gael is practically guaranteed to become our next Taoiseach. Simon Coveney, meanwhile, salvaged dignity by running him closer than looked possible in the early stages of the race. Harry McGee, Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy look back on the two week campaign,and ahead to what kind of leader Mr Varadkar is likely to be and what early challenges he will face in the most scrutinised job in the land.

Interview With Angela Nagle, Author Of 'Kill All Normies'

Jun 1, 2017 00:53:00


Academic and author Angela Nagle first came to many Irish Times readers' attention when she penned an opinion piece on the so-called Alt-Right, in response to the publication of a controversial glossary of terms used by those who so self-identify. Now she has published a fascinating book, 'Kill All Normies', that charts the origins and evolution of that movement and offers a provocative thesis on why the liberal left has largely failed to counter their nihilism. In this podcast she talks to Hugh Linehan about her ideas.

Leo's Last Lap, Simon's Switchers and Yesterday's Men

May 31, 2017 00:31:00


Blue blood stained the floor after the final Fine Gael leadership hustings in Cork on Sunday. Now there are just a few days left for Simon to overhaul Leo's lead. Coveney supporters are helpfully circulating numbers around Leinster House, showing the different ways he can win. Do they add up? What influence are yesterday's men, Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan, having behind the scenes? And is Leo really going to drag the party rightward? Today's guests are Mary Minihan and Sarah Bardon. They also find time at the end to talk about a very welcome Supreme Court decision on Direct Provision.

Inside Story: The Persecution of Sean FitzPatrick

May 27, 2017 00:24:20


Sean FitzPatrick has been vilified for his key role in the economic crash that devastated the country. But has the State wronged him in its pursuit of a criminal conviction against him at any cost? Today we look at the disturbing things we have learned about a bungled investigation of his activities while at the helm of Anglo Irish Bank, an investigation led by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement. Colm Keena, our Legal Affairs Correspondent, talks to Hugh Linehan.

Poll Shows Majority Favour Coveney

May 25, 2017 00:09:20


A new Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI poll brings badly needed good news for Simon Coveney as he tries to overhaul Leo Varadkar's early lead in the race to lead Fine Gael. But will it be enough to sway the TDs and Senators who have already declared for Varadkar?

Mission Impossible? - Simon Coveney's Leadership Fight

May 24, 2017 00:35:13


The chances of Simon Coveney becoming the next leader of the Fine Gael party are slim, but Dublin Bay South TD Kate O'Connell, who is supporting him, says the race is not over yet. She tells Hugh Linehan, Pat Leahy and Fiach Kelly that she's backing Coveney because she wants a statesman and not a celebrity for Taoiseach, and why she would be "very, very" worried about the direction that Fine Gael might take under a Leo Varadkar leadership.

Fintan O'Toole: This Low-Stakes Race Is Meaningless For Most Of Us

May 19, 2017 00:32:46


Leo Varadkar seems to be pulling away in the race to succeed Enda Kenny. But does it really matter whether it is Simon or Leo? Fintan O'Toole talks to Hugh Linehan and Pat Leahy about a race he says is not even a struggle for the soul of Fine Gael, let alone the soul of Ireland, between two candidates who have failed to show real leadership on major social problems.

There Is A Vacancy: Varadkar Holds Early Lead in Race to Succeed Kenny

May 17, 2017 00:11:12


Enda Kenny's leadership of Fine Gael and the country is over. Who will replace him? Fiach Kelly has canvassed every TD, Senator and Councillor to get the most detailed picture possible of the state of the race between Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, the two known contenders. You can find the Irish Times Fine Gael leadership tracker here:

Seán Fleming on Enda's Lingering Leadership, Confidence & Supply and PAC

May 17, 2017 00:34:29


How has Enda Kenny's long goodbye impacted on the Oireachtas? Fianna Fáil TD and chair of the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee, Seán Fleming joins Mary Minihan and Hugh Linehan to discuss the lingering limbo of Enda Kenny's leadership, the future of the confidence and supply arrangement with his party and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan's appearances before the PAC.

Inside Eurovision with Patrick Freyne

May 12, 2017 00:14:07


Eurovision time is here again, and this year it's taking place in Ukraine. Is the tense political context impacting the annual carnival of national pop? And more importantly, why can't Ireland pick the right kind of song to get to the final? Irish Times Eurovision Correspondent Patrick Freyne is in Kiev. You can find more information about Irish Times podcasts at Tweet about the podcast @hlinehan

A Disturbance in the Force, Dáil Decorum, Paschal the Kingmaker

May 10, 2017 00:28:08


Will Nóirín O'Sullivan eventually be invited to follow sacked FBI director James Comey into early retirement? To discuss that developing story, plus the new tradition of silence in the Dáil, Leo Varadkar palling around with councillors and Paschal Donohoe's clever political positioning, Hugh Linehan is joined by Pat Leahy and Sarah Bardon.

A Year of Living Independently

May 5, 2017 00:20:53


The Independent Alliance has been in Government for one year, already longer than many observers predicted at the outset. How has it been doing? Very well, according to its five TDs. Led as ever by Shane Ross, they gave a press conference yesterday in which they proudly outlined their achievements and their undiminished belief in New Politics. Pat Leahy and Hugh Linehan listen to some of what was said and assess the group's impact on the Irish political landscape.

What Ails The Dáil? How To Fix Our Lifeless Legislature

May 3, 2017 00:40:41


What's going on in Leinster House? Not much, but at least we can argue about why that is the case. Today's Irish Times editorial was a little harsh, says Harry McGee - the lack of legislative achievements this term has not been all the Government's fault. And Fiach Kelly says useless bills destined to fail are clogging up the works. Also on the agenda today: what is likely to be a highly unusual 8th Amendment committee, Dáil prayers, Harry's ministerial scorecard and the "worst dinner party in history".

Church, State & Hospital / What Next For Anti-Abortion Groups?

Apr 26, 2017 00:59:09


The row over ownership of the new Maternity Hospital may be dying down, for now, but it has revealed some interesting things about the politics, people, and institutions involved. Mary Minihan and Pat Leahy discuss the story with Hugh Linehan. Later in the podcast they look at the outcome of the Citizens' Assembly. That's after we hear from Cora Sherlock and Breda O'Brien, both campaigners for the retention of the 8th Amendment.

Inside Story - Gardaí Struggle With Hostility On Streets

Apr 22, 2017 00:14:55


It's been a torrid few months for the institutional reputation of An Garda Síochána. Some members of the force believe the various controversies have undermined confidence in, and respect for, the force. Is this jeopardising their safety as they do their work? A spate of recent attacks suggest it could be. For a small section of society, the uniform is now “like a red rag to a bull", as one garda told Conor Lally.

Snap Chat: May's Surprise, Labour's Nightmare, The Forgotten Celtic Fringe

Apr 19, 2017 00:46:57


How the forthcoming UK election could leave the Conservatives with a whopping majority and consign Labour to as much as another decade in the political wilderness. And in Northern Ireland and Scotland, already marginalised by Brexit, will this vote put even more distance between citizens and Westminster? Today's guests are Professor Tim Bale, a political scientist and author of 'The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron' and Peter Geoghegan, a Glasgow-based journalist and author of 'The People's Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again'.

Water Solved? / All Politics Is Local

Apr 12, 2017 00:26:59


Part one: Could water finally be a political issue of the past? Sarah Bardon has the latest on the negotiations that briefly threatened to topple the Government but now seem to have been solved to the relief, if not satisfaction, of most parties. Part two: In Sallins, County Kildare, local people and politicians are not too exercised about who pays for excess water usage. But they are worried about crime, housing, services and amenities in a commuter town whose population has increased tenfold in the past decade. Harry McGee met the good people of Sallins and a few of their representatives: Catherine Murphy of the Soc Dems and James Lawless of Fianna Fáil, and local councillor Fintan Brett of Fine Gael.

Inside Story - IRA veterans' view of Brexit

Apr 8, 2017 00:16:42


Does Brexit threaten peace in Northern Ireland? Simon Carswell asked four ex-IRA men their views. Their answers show that they, like many others, are prepared to contemplate the previously unthinkable as Britain's historic departure from the European Union draws closer.

FG-FF deal fraying / Green's Catherine Martin on maternity leave & rebuilding the party

Apr 5, 2017 00:36:20


The arrangement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is getting ropier by the week, with continued disagreements over water and how to deal with the crisis facing the Gardaí. Pat Leahy has the latest from Leinster House. After that Catherine Martin of the Green Party is here to talk about the effort to rebuild the party after its calamitous experience in power and her private member's bill to reform maternity leave.

Jim O'Callaghan on Garda Controversy & Confidence

Mar 29, 2017 00:33:40


There's a distinct lack of confidence emanating from the opposition benches of late, as the Dáil gets to grips with the latest Garda controversy. Speaking on today's episode of Inside Politics, Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan said public confidence in the force has been undermined once more, by the recording of one million breath tests that never happened. Mr O'Callaghan was critical of the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald for not dealing with wrongful convictions in the courts arising from difficulties with the fixed charge notice system, when she first became aware of the issue last year. The Dublin Bay South TD also accused the government of staying silent on the latest revelations over the weekend and said it has further damaged the relationship between his party and Fine Gael. Hugh Linehan was joined in studio this week by Sarah Bardon and Fiach Kelly from the Irish Times political team.

Inside Story - Victims on Trial?

Mar 27, 2017 00:15:06


Testifying against an abuser in court is a harrowing experience for a woman. When defence barristers ask questions about that woman's personal sexual history, it gets even worse. Why does this have to happen, and does it happen too often? We talk to court reporter Conor Gallagher about what new figures reveal.

Stephen Donnelly on Brexit, Fianna Fáil & "Phenomenal" Ireland

Mar 22, 2017 00:41:03


Fianna Fáil’s newest recruit Stephen Donnelly talks about why he has never been more convinced of the need for the government to appoint a Brexit minister. Donnelly, who has been Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson the issue for the last six weeks, lays out what Ireland’s priorities should be ahead of the triggering of article 50 by Britain next Wednesday and what demands should be made. He also speaks about his decision to join Mícheál Martin’s ranks, saying that while being part of the Social Democrats “did not work”, he still believes that the best way for him to achieve his political goals is from within a party, and Fianna Fáil are the best fit. Asked about the party’s conservative stance on issues of conscience like the Eighth amendment, Donnelly, who is clear in his belief it should be repealed, said he has found there is a freedom within the party to advocate on such issues. Hugh is also joined in studio by Irish Times political correspondent Harry McGee.

The Legacy of Martin McGuinness

Mar 21, 2017 00:17:54


Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald joins us to pay tribute to the late Martin McGuinness. She calls him a person of grit and remarkable skill, who leaves Ireland at a crossroads and his party with the determination to carry on what he started. Also on the podcast, Mick Fealty, the editor of the Slugger O’Toole blog, discusses McGuinness's role in the Troubles and the peace process, and the legacy he leaves behind. Hugh is also joined in studio by Irish Times Political Editor Pat Leahy.

Colm Tóibín's solution for Northern Ireland

Mar 16, 2017 00:18:09


Author Colm Tóibín believes compromises must be made on all sides and by all traditions to give Northern Ireland the best possible future, one that looks very unlike what exists today, and one neither nationalists nor unionists will much like the sound of. He tells Hugh Linehan about his idea, and why he is not optimistic it can be achieved.

Gerry Adams on Stormont negotiations, a border poll and reaching out to unionism

Mar 15, 2017 00:41:36


Our guest today is Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. On the agenda are negotiations to form the Northern Ireland executive, what should happen if those talks fail, and the future of Northern Ireland, including Sinn Féin's hoped-for border poll and winning over unionists. Hugh is also joined by Political Editor Pat Leahy. Tweet comments, praise, criticisms: @hlinehan Email the podcast: Subscribe to Inside Politics. RSS: iTunes:

Tuam Reaction, Harris Withdraws From FG Race, Enda Goes to Washington

Mar 8, 2017 00:39:47


In the past week the confirmation of the discovery of human remains at a former mother and baby home in Tuam, County Galway has shocked the nation and in the political realm provoked strong reactions from the Taoiseach and others. Hugh Linehan is joined by Sarah Bardon, Pat Leahy and Simon Carswell to discuss the disturbing case and its political fallout. The panel also look at the latest news in the Fine Gael leadership race and ahead to Enda Kenny's troublesome trip to Donald Trump's White House next week.

Bonus Pollcast: Advantage Coveney In Two-Horse Race

Mar 4, 2017 00:11:48


Recorded earlier this week, this podcast features analysis of the final batch of results from the latest Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI poll, this time concerning the Fine Gael leadership race. The numbers reveal it really is "The Simon and Leo Show". The poll also reveals a lukewarm national sentiment for "The New Politics". Political Editor Pat Leahy and our host Hugh Linehan discuss.

Poll Special: Plurality Want 8th Replaced, Not Repealed

Mar 3, 2017 00:24:03


Pat Leahy talks to Hugh Linehan about the findings of the latest Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI poll which show that the question of abortion remains a divisive one - and one that is likely to scare politicians. While more favour outright repeal than no change to the status quo, the largest group - 38% - prefer the 8th amendment to be replaced with another less restrictive constitutional clause. But first Hugh asks Pat about the poll results on the standings of the parties, as reported in yesterday's Irish Times.

Finian McGrath on 'Grace' & punishing HSE staff who failed her, Irish Water & Dáil delays

Mar 1, 2017 00:40:40


Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised yesterday for the appalling treatment of 'Grace', a child with an intellectual disability, in our care system. Independent Alliance TD and Minister of State with responsibility for disabilities Finian McGrath joins Hugh Linehan, Sarah Bardon and Fiach Kelly to talk about the case. They also discuss Irish Water, and Finian mounts a defence of the "do-nothing Dáil".

"A toxic balance of power between FF & FG" - Prime Time's Katie Hannon on a year of New Politics

Feb 24, 2017 00:30:59


It's one year since voters gambled on an uncertain future by returning no clear winner in the general election. Over the next week, in print and online, The Irish Times political team will be examining what exactly that gamble has delivered to the nation. Joining Pat Leahy and Michael O'Regan to kick off the series on today's podcast is Katie Hannon, Political Correspondent with RTÉ's Prime Time.

"He's not like other politicians" - Varadkar and Coveney supporters make their case

Feb 22, 2017 00:29:15


The race to become the next leader of Fine Gael is now on, no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary. On today's podcast we talk to two Fine Gael TDs, Minister of State Damien English and party vice president John Paul Phelan. Damien is a leading backer of Simon Coveney's bid while John Paul's support for Leo Varadkar is no secret. We ask them why Fine Gael members should pick their respective men, and what way they see the race going.

McCabe Crisis: Kenny Departure Hastened, Our Institutions Exposed, How To Run A Tribunal

Feb 15, 2017 00:52:16


It's been a busy week in politics and there's a lot to get through on today's podcast. First political reporter Sarah Bardon looks back at a shambolic few days on the Government front bench. Dáil watchers concur it has been a shocker from Fine Gael, and especially from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, whose tenure as party leader is measured now in days and weeks, not months and years, says Sarah. Then Alan Kelly of Labour and John McGuinness of Fianna Fáil join us to talk about the treatment of Garda whistleblowers Maurice McCabe and Keith Harrison, and what they want from the tribunal of inquiry that is now to be set up. Deputy Kelly says he wants to "flush out" any members of Government who were briefed by senior Gardaí about allegations against Sgt McCabe, while Deputy McGuinness expresses no faith in the government his own party props up. And finally we take a quick look at the history of tribunals of inquiry in this state with Irish Times legal affairs correspondent Colm Keena. Must they be costly, lengthy and largely ineffective? And should they be televised?

McCabe Controversy Entangles Ministers, Senior Gardaí

Feb 10, 2017 00:20:05


Pat Leahy and Sarah Bardon tell Hugh Linehan what is now known about the false rape accusations made against whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe, and how a statement by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone raises more questions than it answers about who in Cabinet knew what, and when.

Politicians Under Pressure

Feb 8, 2017 00:41:29


Donald Trump begins his day at 5am by watching "lies" about him on TV, while new Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly is being told "everyone hates you" on Twitter. Minister for Health Simon Harris is "ashamed", and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan and the DUP's Arlene Foster aren't having great weeks either. Pat Leahy, Sarah Bardon and Michael O'Regan join Hugh to discuss the various calamities befalling our politicians this week.

Repeal Campaigners Talk About Strategy, Tone & "Shrillness"

Feb 4, 2017 00:45:29


The campaign to repeal the 8th amendment enjoys popular support in opinion polls and the dedicated efforts of progressives, but some have criticised how the campaign is communicating its message to the middle ground. Three prominent supporters of the campaign join Hugh to talk about what they make of such criticisms, the campaign's strategy and what lessons can be learned from the success of the same-sex marriage referendum campaign. Thanks to today's participants Ailbhe Smyth, Convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th, Colm O’Gorman, Director of Amnesty International Ireland and Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell.

Brendan Howlin on rebuilding Labour, politics of the left, Trump, & more

Feb 1, 2017 00:56:28


After a catastrophic performance in the 2016 general election, the Labour party must rebuild from its roots and reconnect with working class voters, according to its leader Brendan Howlin. The Wexford TD was speaking to this week’s Inside Politics podcast and said his party is currently working on a review of its constitution, for which there have been “hundreds of submissions”. Deputy Howlin said membership of the Labour party has increased by 1,200 in recent months, thirty new area representatives have been appointed and the process of selecting candidates to contest the next general election will get underway in the coming weeks. When asked if new leadership at both Fine Gael and Sinn Féin in the next general election would mean it was time for a change at the Labour helm, deputy Howlin said he was still “up for the task”. He said the aim is to double the party’s seats, but he acknowledged there would not be a “bounce back” this time round. Deputy Howlin also criticised the current government for “kicking issues a year down the road” with a view to there being a general election before they would have to be dealt with, and said the Dáil is “like a university debating society” that does not get anything done. Asked whether he believed the Taoiseach should go to the White House on St. Patrick’s Day, deputy Howlin said he should not but if he does, Enda Kenny must make it clear both in private and in public that Ireland does not support President Trump’s policies. Also on the podcast, Irish Times political correspondent Fiach Kelly talked about the stories circulating around the Dáil this week, including the debate over pre-clearance at Shannon Airport, Brexit and British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit.

Inside Politics Live with Leo Varadkar, Theresa Reidy, Pat & Hugh

Jan 26, 2017 00:56:48


The first ever episode of Inside Politics recorded in from of a live audience features a stellar line-up of old friends Hugh Linehan, Pat Leahy and Theresa Reidy, plus a first-timer for the podcast, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. They discussed how Ireland's leaders should handle the presidency of Donald Trump, the rise of populism and the potential for Fine Gael to go into coalition with Sinn Féin, while Pat and Hugh tried a few different ways to ask Minister Varadkar about his leadership ambitions.

Mary Lou McDonald on Sinn Féin's 'generational change', the DUP & Stardust

Jan 25, 2017 00:45:56


Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald says her party needs to have "a conversation" once again about whether it would go into government as a junior coalition partner. Speaking to the Inside Politics Podcast this week, the party's deputy leader raised the prospect, saying she wants Sinn Féin to be in power. She also refused to be drawn on whether Gerry Adams is nearing retirement but said she has made no secret of her leadership ambitions, whenever a contest materialises. Ms McDonnell also spoke about Sinn Féin's recently appointed new leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle O'Neill, describing her as fair-minded, decent and with bags of energy.

Inside Story - The Trump Years Begin

Jan 20, 2017 00:24:45


It's here: Trump inauguration day. We talk to our foreign affairs correspondent Ruadhan Mac Cormaic about some of the issues this historic presidency presents: - How Trump and those to whom he has granted power differ from all previous administrations - The domestic political forces that will shape his presidency. - His relationship with China and Russia. - His "abrupt departures" from long-standing protocol in international relations. - The Irish perspective - what does it mean for the Irish in America? Tweet about the podcast: @hlinehan

Micheál Martin on Brexit, Donald Trump & Sinn Fein's "arrogance"

Jan 18, 2017 00:41:53


Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says he is worried the Government has not been prudent enough to prepare us for a Brexit economic storm, but insists any rainy-day fund can't come at the expense of services. He also speaks about his disappointment with Theresa May's Brexit speech yesterday, Sinn Féin's "arrogance" in the Northern Ireland Executive and the message Ireland must send to president-elect Donald Trump.

Inside Story - Patrick Freyne's Warrior Mindset

Jan 13, 2017 00:16:26


"When did businesspeople become such hippies?" Patrick Freyne went to Pendulum, the “world’s leading business and self-empowerment summit”, run by the former Ireland rugby star Frankie Sheahan (tagline: “Unleash Your Warrior Mindset”). He talked to Hugh Lineman about what he found.

"The Ugly Scaffolding Of Democracy" - Eamonn McCann & Mick Fealty On NI Politics

Jan 11, 2017 00:40:21


Martin McGuinness's resignation as Deputy First Minister will almost certainly mean elections in Northern Ireland, and many are questioning whether power sharing can be restored after this breach in the DUP Sinn Féin relationship. But would that be a bad thing? Mick Fealty of NI politics blog Slugger O'Toole says the breakdown is the inevitable result of greater scrutiny of the Executive, while MLA for Folye Eamonn McCann says the assumption that power sharing is required to keep violence from breaking out is false. They talk with Hugh and Political Editor Pat Leahy.

Inside Story - Reaction To An 'Alt-Right' Article

Jan 5, 2017 00:19:48


An opinion piece on about vocabulary used by the so-called 'alt-right' political movement has caused a stir. Opinion Editor John McManus talked to Hugh Linehan about why The Irish Times ran the piece.

"We can't fix our own health system"-John Halligan on HSE woe, his position & cosmic Christmas cards

Jan 4, 2017 00:51:01


John Halligan has a reputation for speaking his mind and on today's Inside Politics podcast he doesn't disappoint. He explains what really happened from his point of view during last years disputes with his Government colleagues. With hospital waiting times back on the agenda, he questions whether the capability exists in Ireland to reform its own health system. He calls for the abolition of the HSE and the appointment of consultants from overseas to put things right. On the Waterford Hospital issue that has troubled his relationship with Fine Gael, he again says he will consider his position if an additional cath lab is not provided. Talking about the difficulties of his own work as a Minister for State, he questions the value of advice he receives from civil servants and recalls asking a Fianna Fáil TD to help him secure €50 million in funding from his own Government for school transport services. And finally he explains his highly unusual choice of Christmas cards. Before all that, our Political Editor Pat Leahy gives us a quick rundown on what is coming up in the short term in Dáil Eireann.

Inside Story - Ireland '86

Dec 31, 2016 00:20:49


Many people old enough to remember 1986 in Ireland will tell you it was a pretty grim time and place. The economy was in the doldrums and unemployment was high. A referendum to permit divorce was voted down as Hurricane Charlie hit. In January, Phil Lynott died. The state papers from I986, released after the mandatory 30 year waiting period, reveal a country trying to deal with problems at home and in Northern Ireland, and to come to terms with a growing demand for equality and social change. Elaine Edwards and Stephen Collins were among the reporters allowed a first look at the annually-released cache of yellowing documents that make up the state papers. They talked to us about the stories they found, major, minor and quirky.

A look ahead to 2017 with Fintan O'Toole, Una Mullally & Pat Leahy

Dec 28, 2016 01:08:21


What does 2017 hold in store for Ireland and the world? We don't claim to know, but we invited Fintan O'Toole, Una Mullally and Pat Leahy in to discuss some of the possibilities on this final Inside Politics of the unforgettable year of 2016.

Inside Story - 2016 In The Newsroom

Dec 23, 2016 00:24:56


2016 was a good and bad year for reporters. There were plenty of stories to report on, but also plenty of challenges to traditional journalism, old and new: the continuing rise of social media, and its sometimes misleading content; Ireland's strict defamation laws that can stifle in-depth reporting; and difficult economic times for the news business. Irish Times News Editor Mark Hennessy talks to Inside Story about some of those difficulties, recaps some of the newsroom output he is most proud of from 2016 and makes some prognostications for the years ahead. From everyone on the Inside Politics / Inside Story team, we wish you all a very happy Christmas.

2016 Review: A bizarre, sometimes dreadful, year in politics

Dec 21, 2016 01:05:04


It was a “bizarre year in politics” says Irish Times political reporter Sarah Bardon, who found herself with very little to report on some nights in Leinster House, as the minority government argued behind closed doors and not much got done. She joined her colleague Harry McGee and historian Diarmaid Ferriter this morning, to review the year gone by for the Irish Times Inside Politics podcast. The panel discussed opinion polls and the dreadful year they have had, with Harry McGee conceding that political pundits are far better at analysing the past than they are predicting the future. This time last year a strong general election performance was predicted for Fine Gael and a disastrous one for Fianna Fáil. How wrong they were, says Sarah Bardon, who cites Enda Kenny’s mantra of ‘keep the recovery going’ and Fine Gael’s obsession with the ‘fiscal space’ as two reasons why the party failed to perform at the polls as expected. Fine Gael advisors were the victims of “brain freeze” when it came to the Taoiseach’s campaign strategy, says McGee, and would have been better served by letting their leader loose on the public more. It has been a frightening year in many ways, says Diarmaid Ferriter, but the 1916 Centenary celebrations were an exception. They were dignified and engaging for the public, he said, with a feeling that they belonged to the people and not the state. The panel also discussed Brexit, Trump’s election and the emergence of activism outside the political sphere internationally. They also talked about the demise of Labour despite being instrumental in the Marriage Referendum and analysed the policy shifts of the Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil parties over the past 12 months.

Inside Story - Dublin's 21,000 Empty Homes

Dec 17, 2016 00:19:44


There are 21,000 vacant residences in Dublin City. This weekend activists have felt the need to appropriate an empty office block to house the homeless, as a shortage of housing sends rents soaring. How has it come to this? Our Dublin Correspondent Olivia Kelly has been investigating.

Coveney's Rent Gambit, Kenny's Calculus

Dec 14, 2016 00:38:51


To take a look back at a six month period of "new politics" that is now ending with ambitious Minister Coveney's new rental reform package, and with Taoiseach Enda Kenny still firmly at the helm, Political Editor Pat Leahy chatted with his chums Michael O'Regan, Fiach Kelly and Sarah Bardon. Will Coveney's hard work pay dividends of power down the line?

Inside Story - Superbugs v Drugs

Dec 10, 2016 00:14:45


When we talk about health and medicine, the immediate problems tend to crowd out the important ones, says our correspondent Paul Cullen. But this weekend he is reporting on a long-term threat that could destroy modern medical practice and jeopardise millions of lives. Antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" are becoming stronger and more prevalent, and are now entrenched in some Irish hospitals. He talked to Hugh Linehan about the story. Tweet about the podcast: @hlinehan If you like this podcast, help us get it to a wider audience by sharing it on social media, or by rating and reviewing it in iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Thanks.

Poll Special: FF up, FG steady, Independents slide

Dec 8, 2016 00:12:08


The latest Irish Times Ipsos-MRBI poll is here. To find out about what it reveals we talked to Deputy Political Editor Pat Leahy. For the full poll findings go to

Ireland's Permanent Housing Crisis

Dec 7, 2016 00:57:35


Ireland’s continual housing crisis will not be solved unless issues of affordability and security of tenure in the rental sector are addressed, according to a Trinity College academic. New legislation aimed at boosting supply in the housing market is currently going through the Seanad. It allows planning applications for large housing developments of more than 100 homes to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála rather than to local councils and forms part of the government’s “Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness”, published earlier this year. Assistant Professor at Trinity College’s Geography department, Cian O’Callaghan, spoke on this week’s Inside Politics podcast about the plan, calling for a “different approach” to the Irish housing crisis. He says we need to look beyond the issue of housing supply and broaden tactics to address problems with affordability and security of tenure in the private-rental and social housing sectors. Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne said he appreciates the need to protect those who are already in accommodation, but until the issue of supply is addressed many others will continue to remain homeless. Director General of the Construction Industry Federation Tom Parlon argued that once supply in the housing market is increased there will be a direct positive effect on the rental sector, freeing up homes occupied by those looking to buy. The panel also discussed issues around vacant housing, improved building standards, the need to solve the apartment problem and the possibilities of building on state-owned land.

Problem solved... or is it? Simon Coveney and Paul Murphy on water

Nov 30, 2016 00:54:26


Will the report of the expert commission on water help bring this vexed issue to a conclusion at long last? Minister Simon Coveney hopes so, but AAA-PBP TD Paul Murphy says "it's not over". They both sat down with Hugh Linhan and Sarah Bardon this morning.

Inside Story - Carers In Crisis

Nov 24, 2016 00:24:29


How much do we as a society ask of those among us who have dependents in need of round-the-clock care? Last Saturday, The Irish Times published an interview by Rosita Boland with Johanne and Alan Powell, a couple in their 60s facing retirement and still caring for their profoundly disabled daughter, Siobhan, at home in Co Wexford. Exhausted and frustrated after three decades caring for Siobhan, who cannot walk, is nonverbal, does not eat solid food and has only one kidney, for the past three years the Powells have been seeking a residential care place for her. She is on a waiting list of 61 people in the county. “I want residential care for my daughter. There is no such thing as retiring for carers unless you die . . . Can I survive 10 more years of this?” she asked. “We’ll need someone to wheel us around then,” Alan says. “I want my life back, and my wife back.” Their story elicited a huge response from readers thanks to the honesty of the Powells about their sad circumstances. In this podcast Rosita Boland talks to Hugh Linehan about the story and the response. She also talks about another family she has written about who face a similar problem, the Colliers. You can read that here: For more on Carers in Crisis, pick up The Irish Times tomorrow and Saturday, or go to You can find more information about Irish Times podcasts at Tweet about the podcast: @hlinehan

"Bread on the table" - Alan Kelly on Labour's future

Nov 23, 2016 00:30:41


Paul Murphy's election at Sinn Féin's expense in the 2014 Tallaght by-election marked the start of a populist "race to the bottom" in Irish politics, says Labour's Alan Kelly on today's Inside Politics podcast. But how can Labour counter this trend and reverse its own electoral fortunes? "Populism is what's foremost in many deputies' minds" says Deputy Kelly. "The only way you can fight that is putting out arguments that are better, real and truthful". With phrases like "support for people who are working","premium on work" and "bread on the table" peppering Kelly's discussion with Fiach Kelly and Hugh Linehan, it is clear where he sees the best hope for the party's regeneration. And the party's liberal agenda on issues like same sex marriage and abortion? They're "part of the party's DNA" but "not the only component" - and have never won the party much thanks at the ballot box.

Inside Story - Pushing The Limits Of Life

Nov 18, 2016 00:14:36


The limits of life have shifted dramatically at the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street in Dublin, where a baby born at 28 weeks now has a 90 per cent chance of survival, while those born at 24 weeks have a 50/50 chance . In the first episode of our new podcast series Inside Story, Conor Pope tells Hugh Linehan about the continuing advances being made in premature natal care and what it means for the parents and families. Conor’s article about Holles Street can be read at You can find more information about Irish Times podcasts at Tweet about the podcast @hlinehan

The Blame Game: Fake News, Social Media and Echo Chambers

Nov 16, 2016 00:59:07


New and old media are themselves in the firing line as liberals point the finger at fake news, Facebook algorithms and social media bubbles to help explain the painful reality of President Donald Trump. David Cochrane, Harry McGee, and Laura Slattery join Hugh Linehan to discuss the trends that are undermining many people's faith in media's ability to present the truth. After that Hugh talks with U.S. journalist and author John B. Judis, who in his timely book The Populist Explosion explains how not all strains of the ill-defined phenomenon are equal.

Election Special: President Donald Trump

Nov 9, 2016 00:24:09


Donald Trump has pulled off one of the greatest upsets in political history by beating Hillary Clinton to the White House. How did he do it, and how did the pundits get it so wrong? And what can we expect from the unpredictable president-elect? Hugh Linehan talks to Simon Carswell and Ruadhan Mac Cormaic, who are in New York at the Trump and Clinton HQs.

Garda strike / Politicians speak out about media, trolling and populism

Nov 2, 2016 00:27:13


On this week's politics podcast, Political Editor Stephen Collins talks to Fiach Kelly about the looming garda strike action and Taoiseach Enda Kenny's all-Ireland Brexit forum. And down at Leinster House, Harry McGee talks to TDs and senators about their experiences of how the press covers them and their activities, how they deal with the growing number of social media trolls and the problem of populism in the Dáil chamber.

Facing a winter of discontent

Oct 26, 2016 00:41:39


We face the prospect of the most disruptive period of industrial unrest the country has seen in over a decade. Planned strike actions by teachers and gardaí are expected to sorely test the resilience of recession-era pay agreements. To understand how we got to this point, Industry Correspondent Martin Wall and Education Editor Carl O'Brien join podcast regulars Fiach Kelly and Hugh Linehan.

What does "middle Ireland" mean?

Oct 19, 2016 00:42:30


Who are the under-represented "squeezed middle" in Ireland and how do they vote? Minister for Finance Michael Noonan defined them as "those earning between €30,000 and €70,000", when in fact the truth is far more complex. To crunch the numbers and get a clearer idea of what the term means, Hugh Linehan is joined by Dr Kevin Cunningham of, economics columnist Chris Johns and political correspondent Sarah Bardon.

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic on how the 8th was passed

Oct 14, 2016 00:33:07


"One of the most poisonous debates witnessed in twentieth century Ireland" is how historian Diarmaid Ferriter described the run-up to the passing of the 8th Amendment in 1983. Against a backdrop of intense political division, moral outrage and conflicting understandings of how a brand new right, that of life to the unborn, would play out in public courts and private lives, the referendum passed with a two to one majority. With the Citizens' Assembly poised to once again examine the abortion question, Ruadhán Mac Cormaic takes us back to the early eighties to understand how and why the controversial amendment came about and its legacy in politics and society.

Budget 2017: Eoghan Murphy, Dara Calleary & David Cullinane

Oct 12, 2016 00:40:14


Eoghan Murphy of Fine Gael, Dara Calleary of Fianna Fáil and David Cullinane of Sinn Féin are in studio with Pat Leahy and Hugh Linehan to debate the worth of the measures outlined in yesterday's budget.

Swan song or dog's dinner? Michael Noonan's "final budget"

Oct 8, 2016 00:25:09


On Tuesday we will find out what is in Paschal Donohoe’s first budget, and possibly Michael Noonan’s last. But, given the fiscal and political realities, hopes are not high for a day of landmark announcements. Pat Leahy and Fiach Kelly join Hugh to discuss what can we expect on Tuesday, where Minister Noonan found an extra €200 million to spend, and what effect this "dog's dinner" of a budget will have on your bottom line and the minority Government's chances of surviving the winter.

Robert Harris: "It's a miserable life for politicians"

Oct 5, 2016 00:28:35


The backdrop to Fatherland author Robert Harris' new thriller is the papal enclave, which he calls "the world's most secretive election". He sits down with Hugh to talk about power and populism in modern politics, the passing of Brexit and the rise of Trump - but first he explains the byzantine process of voting in a new Pope. Conclave is available now from Penguin.

Budget 2016 / Populist Politics / Labour Pains

Sep 28, 2016 00:36:04


On this installment of Inside Politics, Hugh Linehan is joined by Labour TD for Limerick City Jan O'Sullivan, Political Correspondent Harry McGee and Deputy Political Editor Pat Leahy. With some figures already leaked, is the upcoming budget already being treated as something of a damp squib? The panel discuss it's somewhat populist slant. And how can the Labour Party rebuild it's reputation following a disastrous performance in the general election, Jan O'Sullivan speaks on the party's aims for the future.

Spotlight's Adams claim / Which party is the real Opposition?

Sep 21, 2016 00:52:28


After Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe deliver their budget in a few weeks' time, which party - Fianna Fáil or Sinn Féin - will stand up to provide the real opposition? Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin and Jim O'Callaghan of Fianna Fáil are in studio to discuss this with Irish Times Deputy Political Editor Pat Leahy and host Hugh Linehan. But first they talk about the claim, made last night on a BBC Spotlight programme, that Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams approved the murder of Denis Donaldson in Donegal in 2005, and whether the truth of the Troubles' legacy of death can ever be brought to light.

Fintan O'Toole meets President Higgins

Sep 17, 2016 00:16:43


Fintan O'Toole visited Áras an Uachtaráin to interview President Michael D. Higgins this week. They talked about President Higgins' tumultuous upbringing, how poverty influenced his education and outlook, and his views on society, the free market and Europe. In this special episode of Inside Politics, Fintan presents excerpts from their discussion.

Yeah baby! Enda's Mojo gets him into trouble

Sep 14, 2016 00:48:22


Enda Kenny has rediscovered his Mojo, and along with it his desire to stay on as Taoiseach for the foreseeable future. But not everyone in Fine Gael is happy about that, including TD for Carlow-Kilkenny John Paul Phelan, who joins Fiach Kelly, Sarah Bardon and Hugh Linehan to discuss Fine Gael's leadership on today's Inside Politics Podcast. The panel also discuss the NAMA controversy, rebel Minister of State John Halligan's future in Government and the prospect of a boring Budget. The Inside Politics podcast is published every Wednesday on To subscribe on iTunes click here. To subscribe on Stitcher (for Android) click here.

Inside The Supreme Court / Halligan Hangs Tough

Sep 7, 2016 00:45:29


Inside Politics takes a welcome break from discussing the goings-on inside Leinster House and instead takes a peek inside The Four Courts, courtesy of Ruadhan Mac Cormaic, whose new book "The Supreme Court" is out now. Pat Leahy and barrister Tony McGillycuddy are also in studio to talk about the fascinating history of our highest court. But first Pat gives us an update on the latest political news: Junior Minister John Halligan's apparent threat to resign from Government over services in Waterford Hospital. Whether Halligan leaves or is placated and stays, the consequences for Government may be grave.

Apple Tax: A Watershed Moment For Ireland

Aug 31, 2016 00:48:46


As the dust settles on the EU's historic tax decision, it's becoming clear that the move threatens our economic model, our international reputation and the stability of our current Government. It's not just a thorny technical and political issue to be thrashed out, says Fintan O'Toole - it's an important moment in modern Irish history. Political Correspondent Harry McGee says the Dáil should be recalled to debate the issue before Cabinet makes a decision on whether to appeal - but doesn't think it likely. Defending any decision to appeal, Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless calls the ruling an "EU power grab" that must be resisted, especially now that the U.K., traditionally our friend in such matters, has left the building.

Rent Crisis, Rio Scandal

Aug 24, 2016 00:45:53


As rents continue to soar, we ask is our political system up to the task of fixing our dysfunctional rental market? And as the Rio ticketing scandal rumbles on, with fresh revelations emerging almost daily, we ask is this a real political issue? Opinions are divided between Generation Renters Sarah Bardon and FG TD Noel Rock, and the more august Pat Leahy and host Hugh Linehan.

Donald Trump And The Conservative Identity Crisis

Aug 17, 2016 01:01:25


Today we broaden our podcast's horizons with a discussion of the challenges facing traditional 'conservative' politics around the world. Jay Cost, a Washington-based pundit with Republican-leaning (but Trump-fearing)magazine The Weekly Standard, explains the fissures within the party that have allowed Trump's rise. We also have Dr Jane Suiter of DCU's school of politics and Eamon Delaney of The Hibernia Forum in studio to talk about the ebbs and flows of conservative thought and practice in Ireland and Europe and whether the centre can hold for the right as high levels of immigration and widespread economic stagnation persist.

Oliver Callan's Cabinet

Aug 10, 2016 00:44:49


Satirist, impressionist and columnist Oliver Callan joins Harry McGee and Hugh Linehan for a look at the Government's first 100 days in office and an appraisal of the abilities (and imitability) of various members of Cabinet. Or at least that was the plan.

100 Days: Stephen Collins & Harry McGee assess the Government's record so far

Aug 6, 2016 00:27:16


It's coming up on 100 days since the minority coalition Government of Fine Gael and Independents, with Fianna Fáil's backing, was formed, with several major challenges to tackle. How has it functioned? What has it achieved? Which ministers are getting things done - and which are not? To answer those questions and more, Hugh is joined by Political Editor Stephen Collins and Political Correspondent Harry McGee.

"Battle lines are being drawn" - Debating the 8th with Cora Sherlock and Kate O'Connell

Aug 3, 2016 00:55:41


With a constitutional convention on the 8th Amendment coming down the tracks, we invited Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign and Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell to The Irish Times to discuss, debate and argue some of the issues, with Sarah Bardon and Hugh Linehan on the sidelines. The debate became heated as it turned to defining foetal abnormality, abortion regret and the experience of women during crisis pregnancies. A taste of things to come in the months and years ahead?

Referendums: A Disaster For Democracy? / End Of Term

Jul 27, 2016 00:43:25


After the omnishambles that was the Brexit campaign, and with a spotty record of our own when it comes to choosing, planning, running and rerunning referendums, is it time to admit that going to the people to decide a complex issue is simply a bad idea? Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, political scientist of the year Theresa Reidy, and Frank Flannery, former Fine Gael strategist, joined Hugh in Glenties last week to debate the question. But first, our own permanently unimpressed Parliamentary Correspondent Michael O'Regan is in studio for a quick appraisal of the Government's performance so far, as we head into the silly season.

Europol's Rob Wainwright on terror threats, Colum Eastwood & Mairead McGuinness on Brexit

Jul 21, 2016 00:33:01


Our final podcast from the MacGill Summer School in Glenties features Europol director Ron Wainwright who talked with Hugh Linehan about continuing threat of terrorism, the adequacy of French authorities' response to the massacre in Nice, and the difficulty of identifying rapidly radicalised lone attackers. Then SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and FG MEP Mairead McGuinness discuss about the political situation in Northern Ireland and the border counties following the Brexit vote. And Hugh also caught up with the man who has made MacGill happen annually for three decades, Joe Mulholland.

Simon Coveney explains his plan / Hugh Linehan reports from Glenties

Jul 20, 2016 00:41:10


Part one: Regular host Hugh Linehan joins us live on the line from the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co. Donegal. A gathering of spokespeople from a variety of fields engage in frank and informed debate on issues such as Brexit, international terrorism, climate change and the political landscape in this country. Have these spirited discussions thrown up any new ideas or solutions? Hugh is not so sure, but there are free sweets for all. Part two: "Social housing as part of private developments", this is what Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney wants. He joins host Pat Leahy and political correspondent Fiach Kelly in studio to discuss the main thrust of the new Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. How will first time buyers be placated? Will the overwhelming demand for new homes be met, and is this a giveaway for builders and property developers?

Housing - the same mistakes all over again?

Jul 19, 2016 00:38:35


By happy coincidence for Inside Politics, Minister Simon Coveney's housing plan landed on the same day that housing and Ireland's social demographics are on the agenda here at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Country Donegal, where we're podcasting from this week. So we had two of Ireland's foremost experts - Dr Lorcan Sirr of DIT and Professor Tony Fahy of UCD - on hand to give their first impressions of the plan and discuss with Hugh Linehan the root causes of our housing crisis. But first we hear from economist Colm McCarthy on the same subject. Are we making the same mistakes all over again?

MacGill Summer School

Jul 18, 2016 00:31:09


Hugh visits MacGill Summer School. This episode features Theresa Reidy's surprising stats, Enda's defiance, Eoin O Broin cocking a snook to the establishment, Pat Leahy on the most difficult task in politics and finally a chat with Theresa, Eamon Ryan and Frank Flannery about what's gone down.

Enda Kenny's Timeframe, Next FG Leader's FF Relationship, Gov's Brexit Balancing Act

Jul 13, 2016 00:39:05


Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan says now is the wrong time to talk about Enda Kenny's leadership but suggests when the right time to talk about it will be. Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers says a change in FG leadership may have bad implications for the FF-FG deal, particularly if a certain individual gets the top job. The two TDs, Irish Times political Editor Stephen Collins and host Pat Leahy also discuss Ireland's tricky Brexit balancing act, forging a budget in the cooperative smithy of New Politics, and whether the minority government can handle union pay demands without disintegrating.

Dara Ó Briain's take on Brexit / Cabinet Omnishambles

Jul 6, 2016 00:38:41


Mock the Week host Dara Ó Briain chats with Pat Leahy about the mood in the UK after Brexit and the bitter nature of public discourse there. Later in the show Fiach Kelly and Sarah Bardon of The Irish Times discuss a week of controversy in Dáil Eireann over abortion, water and cabinet cooperation.

Rethinking the status of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and the UK

Jul 1, 2016 00:36:05


The status of each of these islands' component parts is in question like never before as a result of the Brexit vote. Professor Brendan O'Leary proposes a novel solution - continuing membership of both the EU and the UK for Northern Ireland and Scotland, with Wales and England out of the former. But how could it work and what problems would need to be surmounted?And what would it mean for us? To answer those questions, Professor O'Leary joins Irish Times News Editor Mark Hennessy.

EU reaping what it sows? Debate with Eoghan Murphy & Mick Barry

Jun 29, 2016 00:41:19


Voices of support for Brexit on these shores are few, but some on the left, including Mick Barry of AAA-PBP, welcome last week's decision by UK voters. He's in studio to debate the direction of the EU with Minister of State Eoghan Murphy of Fine Gael, Parliamentary Correspondent Michael O'Regan and today's host Pat Leahy. They also discuss Jeremy Corbyn's tenuous grip on power.

"A chasm has opened up" - MP Conor McGinn on Brexit, Corbyn & Northern Ireland's future

Jun 25, 2016 00:31:21


Remain campaigner and Labour MP for the Merseyside constituency of St Helens North Conor McGinn talks about why his working-class constituents chose Leave, the crisis in the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and how voters' concerns over immigration must somehow be heeded. The Armagh-born MP also talks about the tough choices to be faced in Northern Ireland. Mark Hennessy hosts today's podcast. Hugh Linehan is on leave.

A new reality: Brexit fallout with Pat Cox, Pat Leahy & Cliff Taylor

Jun 24, 2016 00:34:08


It's already clear that Brexit will present one of our greatest ever challenges as a nation, politically and economically. Former EU Parliament president Pat Cox joins Pat Leahy and Cliff Taylor of The Irish Times and host Hugh Linehan to try make sense of the UK's decision to leave the EU, and how long it will take for the consequences of Brexit for Ireland to crystallise.

Arts funding, bin charges fiasco, 8th Amendment

Jun 22, 2016 00:49:42


"Everything you do that you don't have to do" is how Brian Eno sums up art in all its guises. The arts appears to be low on the government's list of things they have to do at the moment, something that Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth wants to address with a motion up for debate in the Dáil today. She, along with Deputy Political Editor Pat Leahy, Parliamentary Correspondent Michael O'Regan and regular host Hugh Linehan discuss the government's reluctance to invest in the arts along with the bin charges debacle and the divisive nature of the Eight Amendment.

Trump: the shameless populist / Senator Frank Feighan's political hardships

Jun 15, 2016 00:53:38


Part one: Hugh Linehan is joined in studio by Brid Smith of The AAA PBP alliance, Irish Times journalist Peter Murtagh and Political Correspondent Fiach Kelly for a spirited discussion on the polarizing nature of Donald Trump and his mooted visit to these shores, plus the inevitable questions in anticipation of next week's Brexit referendum. In part two Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan and Parliamentary Correspondent Michael O'Regan discuss how Roscommon hospital became a symbol for Frank's painful experience as a TD in the last government.

"There are plenty of jobs for the boys" - Kate O'Connell and Fiona O'Loughlin

Jun 8, 2016 00:45:54


TDs Kate O'Connell of Fine Gael and Fiona O'Loughlin of Fianna Fáil join Harry McGee and Hugh Linehan to talk about secret deals between Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin on Seanad seats and Junior Ministries, the 8th Amendment, how minority Government can handle a shrinking fiscal space, and how Enda should handle Donald Trump.

EU water fines, TD holidays & Enda's air guitar

Jun 1, 2016 00:44:26


Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin joins Hugh Linehan, Pat Leahy and Sarah Bardon of The Irish Times. They discuss Sinn Féin's position post GE16,the social housing issue, and influencing decision making in the 32nd Dáil. In part two (30:00) Sarah and Eoin take different views on reports that the EU will fine the Irish Government if it ends water charges, and the major political fallout from Enda Kenny's behaviour at Bruce Springsteen.

Dublin Murders / Whipped Independents / Presidential Overreach

May 25, 2016 00:41:48


In part one Fiach Kelly reports on Enda Kenny's apparent admission of the state's powerlessness to stop the Kinahan gang, and on the difficulties some Independent members of the new government are having in setting down in their new roles. In part two: in light of comments by President Higgins seen by many as critical of Government policy, Hugh and Fiach are joined by The Irish Times resident expert on the presidency Ruadhán Mac Cormaic and Dr Eoin Daly of NUIG to discuss the limits of the President's constitutional role and whether Michael D Higgins gets a free pass from the Dáil.

Garda scandal, "New Politics" sets in, relegated Arts

May 18, 2016 00:39:11


Fine Gael Chief Whip Regina Doherty joins Pat Leahy and host Hugh Linehan to talk about scandal surrounding the Garda Commissioner, the arrival of new politics in the form of a Fianna Fáil Private Members Bill and how she would like to see the whip system eased. She also defends Fine Gael's record on funding the arts.

Getting things done, Yes young Minister, Enda's Seanad picks, AK v BH

May 11, 2016 00:49:12


Dr Theresa Reidy of UCC's Department of Government joins Stephen Collins and Sarah Bardon of The Irish Times and host Hugh Linehan to discuss this week's Irish political scene, including: - what's on the Government agenda - Simon Harris bucking the trend as a young Minister - who will be on the Taoiseach's Seanad nominee list - the Labour party leadership contest

Special Edition: the new Government's shaky start

May 6, 2016 00:30:27


Pat Leahy, Fiach Kelly and Sarah Bardon convene at the end of a dramatic day in Dáil Eireann to discuss the new minority Government's ill-omened birth, Enda Kenny the survivor, and the rationale behind the promotions, demotions and new appointments to Cabinet that promise an interesting spell ahead in politics.

Fresh faces in the Seanad / The new Government

May 4, 2016 00:43:07


The election of a diverse group of Senators and the absence of any majority group bodes well for a colourful term in the Upper House - but how long will it last for? How should we reform the widely-criticised panel voting system? And should long-term planning be a priority for both houses regardless of their life span? To discuss, Hugh is joined by Irish Times columnist Noel Whelan and two newly elected Senators, Independent Alice Mary Higgins and Fianna Fáil's Catherine Ardagh.

Irish Water on life support, Government deal moves closer

Apr 27, 2016 00:43:21


As of this morning Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil appear to have struck a deal to suspend water charges, while retaining Irish Water in some form to oversee the water supply. After years of battling on this issue, how did it come to this for Fine Gael? What does this mean for those who have paid their water bills, and those who haven't? Will planned improvements to water infrastructure be jeopardised, and can we finally get on with forming a government? To discuss, Hugh is joined by Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly and Political Correspondent Fiach Kelly.

Katherine Zappone and John McGuinness

Apr 20, 2016 00:45:38


Fianna Fáil TDJohn McGuinness and Independent TD Katherine Zappone join Deputy Political Editor Pat Leahy and host Hugh Linehan to discuss the ongoing negotiations to form a government, the 8th Amendment as a sticking point and why the culture of the civil service and Oireachtas will need reforming if we are to have a successful minority government.

Countdown to government - so how will this work?

Apr 13, 2016 00:35:55


As talks continue between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, Independents are in the dark about what kind of agreement is being hammered out - but they are expected to pick a party to support all the same. Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice joins Hugh Linehan and Sarah Bardon to talk about the tangle of red line issues and what will happen in the next week as we edge towards some kind of government.

Pressure builds, Micheál v Enda, Fine Gael leadership, undead Labour

Apr 6, 2016 00:41:43


With Easter behind us just a few formalities remain before Fine Gael and Fianna Fail can finally begin negotiations. But many questions remain. Can Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin put aside their own personal animosity to form some kind of government? How long will Enda Kenny remain as Fine Gael leader, and who will replace him? And what's the right move for Labour and its lingering cadre of ministers? Fiach Kelly, Pat Leahy and Michael O'Regan look ahead to the difficulties facing all parties as the pressure increases to find the balance between personal, party and national priorities. Inside Politics is hosted by Hugh Linehan and produced by Declan Conlon.

Michael McDowell talks Seanad Reform, Formation of the New Government and his own Political Career

Mar 30, 2016 00:46:07


On this edition of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan is joined in studio by Deputy Political Editor Pat Leahy and former leader of the Progressive Democrats and Seanad candidate Michael McDowell. Michael discusses his motivations ahead of the upcoming Seanad election, the issues facing Fine Gael & Fianna Fáil in the formation of this new government and the lessons he learned during his own political career.

Formation of new Government ongoing / How does the Seanad work?

Mar 23, 2016 00:31:08


On this edition of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan is joined in studio by political correspondents Fiach Kelly and Sarah Bardon to discuss the seeming impasse that has been reached in the formation of a new government and with the Seanad elections looming we look at how it actually works.

Fianna Fáil WILL Enter Coalition / Northern Ireland Election Preview

Mar 16, 2016 00:41:32


In part one Hugh is joined in studio by Mary Minihan and Michael O'Regan to discuss the continued wait for the formation of a government and Michael's theory that Fine Gael & Fianna Fáil won't be able to resist the lure of a coalition despite their protestations. In part two we are joined on the line by Newton Emerson to look ahead to May's Northern Assembly election and the prospect of formal opposition to the Sinn Féin/DUP stranglehold.

Political Judo

Mar 9, 2016 00:34:23


Hugh Linehan is joined in studio by Sarah Bardon and Pat Leahy to discuss Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael's attempts to outmanoeuvre each other ahead of the first meeting of the 32nd Dáil.

Result Analysis with Diarmaid Ferriter, Mary Minihan and Fintan O'Toole

Mar 2, 2016 01:00:02


As the dust settles on #GE16 Diarmaid Ferriter, Mary Minihan and Fintan O'Toole join Hugh to discuss the result. Was social democracy the winner? How did liberals and Catholic conservatives fare? Where did Fianna Fáil's unexpected support come from? Does the proposed Dáil reform go far enough?

A Shock to the System

Feb 28, 2016 00:33:14


A dreadful election for Labour and Fine Gael has left us with the most fractured Irish parliament in recent decades. Sarah Bardon reports from the RDS on Labour's disastrous weekend and Fiach Kelly is in studio to analyse the prospect of a minority government emerging. Also on the panel is political scientist Peter Emerson, who says minority government need not be a bad thing.

Count Day Special / FG-FF Coalition?

Feb 27, 2016 00:26:38


Stephen Collins, Michael O'Regan and Hugh Linehan discuss the novel political landscape that is emerging at count centres across the country this afternoon, and how likely it is that old enemies will become coalition partners in the 32nd Dáil.

The Final Countdown / Long Shot Candidates

Feb 25, 2016 00:52:43


Surpluses, quotas and transfers, voter calculus - for true politics nerds, count weekend provides a rich bounty. Three such nerds - Irish Times Social Media Editor David Cochrane, Jane Suiter of DCU and Adrian Kavanagh of NUI Maynooth - are in studio to pore over the permutations and indulge in a little speculation for good measure. In part two Hugh chats with two first-time Independent candidates with some unusual policy ideas, Kerry Guinan and Dr Marcus De Brun. They explain why they are running despite the odds being against them of taking seats.

Undecideds, Labour Hopes and Leapfroggers

Feb 24, 2016 00:38:46


For a struggling Labour party, hope lies in the undecided voters. That's according to TD Kevin Humphreys who joins Harry McGee, Stephen Collins and Hugh Linehan on today's podcast. They also discuss why Labour are always punished after a spell in government, the quality of media coverage of the election and why it may be more important than ever to make your seventh, eight and ninth choice picks on the ballot paper.

Poll: Coalition stuck in the mud

Feb 21, 2016 00:24:03


Labour and Fine Gael have stagnated, according to the latest Ipsos MRBI poll for The Irish Times. With time running out, what can they do to shore up more support? The poll will also be disappointing for Sinn Féin but brings good news for Independent candidates and Fianna Fáil. Stephen Collins and Sarah Bardon join Hugh Linehan to analyse the results.

Messrs Healy-Rae

Feb 19, 2016 00:31:21


Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae is considered a safe bet to be returned for Kerry, but what about his brother Danny's chances? What led to his surprising decision to run, and what tactics are they employing to maximise the Healy-Rae vote? The siblings are both on the line to discuss all that with host Hugh Linehan and The Irish Times' resident Kerry expert Michael O'Regan.

Mistakes & Momentum / Advocates for Change

Feb 17, 2016 00:53:01


As polls stubbornly refuse to show the predicted swing back to coalition parties, Mary Minihan and Michael O'Regan join Hugh to discuss the campaign so far, including Fine Gael's monotone message, Micheál Martin's traditional canvass and difficult battlegrounds for Soc Dem's 14 candidates. Representatives of advocacy groups for the elderly and mental health issues tell Hugh how they are getting their message on to candidates' agendas and into party manifestos during the campaign. On the panel are Peter Kavanagh of Active Retirement Ireland and Dr. Shari McDaid of Mental Health Reform.

The Lives of Others - Catherine Murphy, Eamon Ryan, Billy Timmins

Feb 15, 2016 00:49:45


As the campaign enters its second full week it looks increasingly likely that smaller groups will be called upon by the bigger parties in the formation of the next Government. Catherine Murphy of Social Democrats, Eamon Ryan of the Green Party and Billy Timmins of Renua join Hugh to discuss why the current Government's message is not winning over more voters despite positive economic trends. Eamon Ryan also explains why he thinks the Green Party should be included in tonight's 7-way leaders debate.

Gerry Adams

Feb 13, 2016 00:44:00


Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams talks with Hugh Linehan and Sarah Bardon about the controversy over Sinn Féin's position on the Special Criminal Court and Offences Against the State Act, Sinn Féin's economic policies and auction politics in GE16.

Micheál Martin

Feb 10, 2016 00:45:01


Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin discusses the campaign so far, gang violence, policing, Sinn Féin's policy on the Special Criminal Court and getting Phil Hogan's loaned votes back this time around.

Brid Smith PBP / Voter Anger / Pegida

Feb 8, 2016 00:31:35


Many voters are angry, but with whom? PBP candidate Brid Smith joins columnist Noel Whelan, Political Correspondent Harry McGee and host Hugh Linehan to talk about the main campaign issues so far, mistrust of politicians and the electorate's capacity for forgiveness. They also look the anti-Pegida rally that took place in Dublin last Saturday, February 6th.

Alan Shatter / The Battle of Dublin

Feb 5, 2016 00:54:08


Former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is in studio to talk about policing, Sinn Féin's attitude to the Special Criminal Court, Enda Kenny's involvement in his resignation and his problem with 'fiscal space'. In part two Sarah Bardon and Michael O'Regan look at the Dublin constituencies, where too few seats will be fought over by some big hitters.

Poll Special: A Bad Start For FG/Lab

Feb 4, 2016 00:19:48


Bad news for some, good news for others... Stephen Collins and Harry McGee analyse the results of The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

The Campaign Begins

Feb 3, 2016 00:27:16


The day all Dáil-watchers have been waiting for is finally here. But did Taoiseach Enda Kenny duff the dissolution of the Dail with his unceremonious farewell and awkward appearance with Tanaiste Joan Burton? Fiach Kelly and Mary Minihan join Hugh Linehan to discuss the morning's events on the first of our special #GE16 podcasts.

Two Bulls in One Field

Jan 27, 2016 00:45:44


Independent candidates have been receiving their fair share of attention in the past week. Fiach Kelly explains why Enda Kenny won't rule in or out a deal with anyone, including Michael Lowry. Mary Minihan predicts we'll all soon be bored to tears with the 'single transferable speech' on economic stability. And Independent TD Mattie McGrath gives the view from the new 5-seater Tipperary constituency while sharing a few anecdotes about Minister Alan Kelly. In part two Storyful Managing Editor and former political journalist Aine Kerr talks about the role digital media and online news will play in the election.

Alex White / Garda Spying / The Tallyman's Guide

Jan 20, 2016 00:55:50


Minister for Communications Alex White responds to news that GSOC accessed journalists' phones to investigate leaks from gardaí, and of broad use by An Garda Síochána of powers to access private data. He also discusses Labour's precarious position in the polls and his own in Dublin Rathdown. In part two Noel Whelan and Kathryn Marsh talk about the fourth edition of The Tallyman's Guide - an indispensable election companion for all you politics nerds. The book is out today from The Liffey Press.

Grading the Government / Sinn Fein Strategy with Matt Carthy

Jan 13, 2016 00:49:58


So how did the Government do? Harry McGee and Michael O'Regan of The Irish Times politics team compare the coalition's own assessment of its performance with theirs, and discuss the 11th hour reforms brought in by Enda Kenny. In part 2 (19.40) Sinn Fein's Matt Carthy does not buy the line that Fine Gael are the only ones capable of forming the next government, he tells Hugh Linehan and Sarah Bardon. He also discusses the generation gap in his own party and the Slab Murphy controversy.

FG Strategy with Brian Hayes

Jan 6, 2016 00:32:45


Fine Gael MEP and director of elections Brian Hayes joins host Hugh Linehan and Political Correspondent Fiach Kelly to answer some questions about his party's plans for the election, now weeks away. Areas covered include Sinn Fein's internal processes ("North Korean"), abolishing USC, Fianna Fail's political rehabilitation ("they need at least 10 years in opposition") and how the 8th Amendment should be handled by Fine Gael should they return to office.

2016 Preview with Stephen, Sarah and Fiach

Dec 30, 2015 00:42:50


In this week’s edition of the Inside Politics podcast, Stephen Collins, Fiach Kelly and Sarah Bardon, members all of the Irish Times politics team, discuss the likely outcome of the impending general election, which they believe is most likely to be held on February 26th. Spoiler alert: all three agree that Enda Kenny will make history by becoming the first Fine Gael taoiseach in the history of the State to win re-election. But how will FG make up the numbers?

2015 Review with Fintan, Una and Harry

Dec 23, 2015 00:58:33


Guests Fintan O'Toole, Una Mullally, Harry McGee and host Hugh Linehan take a deep breath, dive into the recent past and review 2015 in politics, featuring: - water protests - a marriage referendum - economic recovery - competence (or less incompetence?) of the Government - Fianna Fail's raison d'etre, - the Sinn Fein conundrum - and more besides. Finally, Fintan expresses optimism for Irish society and a prediction for the general election. Happy Christmas to all our listeners from the Inside Politics team.

Election Priorities Take Over

Dec 16, 2015 00:46:48


TDs and senators are approaching the Christmas break in the knowledge that they’ll only be returning for a couple of weeks in January before the election is finally called. Which is why one ‘debate’ this week took place before an entirely empty Daíl – constituency work is where it’s at. So what’s going on as the parties prepare for battle, what does this week’s Government spat over medical cards tell us, and how is the ‘it’s Enda or it’s chaos’ narrative playing out for both Government and Opposition parties? Parliamentary correspondent Michael O’Regan and Mary Minihan of our political staff join Hugh Linehan this week to discuss the state of play.

Crooked Councillors, Toothless Regulators?

Dec 9, 2015 00:43:55


As the fallout from an RTÉ Investigates program on corruption and standards in public office continues, Inside Politics looks at the strengths and weaknesses of our ethics legislation, the power of undercover investigatons, and the effects of the revelations on the electorate and the political system. Former secretary of Standards in Public Office David Waddell, journalist and consultant Dr Elaine Byrne and Political Correspondent Fiach Kelly join host Hugh Linehan.

Eighth Amendment Options

Dec 2, 2015 00:44:27


In this edition of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan is joined by Legal Affairs Correspondent Colm Keena and Mary O'Toole SC. The three discuss ways of approaching current abortion law in Ireland and alternatives to the Eighth Amendment following on from yesterday's judgement in Belfast which found that Northern Ireland abortion laws breach the European Convention on Human Rights. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

Banking Inquiry Debacle?

Nov 25, 2015 00:48:41


In this edition of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan discusses the concluding controversies surrounding the Banking Inquiry. He is joined by Sarah Bardon, Ciaran Hancock and Pearse Doherty the Sinn Fein spokesperson for finance who is a committee member of the Banking Inquiry. The team analyses the strengths and weaknesses of this heavily critiqued process and anticipate what is left to do. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

FF Strategy with Billy Kelleher

Nov 18, 2015 00:45:09


In this week's Inside Politics podcast Mary Minihan meets Fianna Fail's new director of elections Billy Kelleher. They're joined by political correspondents Fiach Kelly and Michael O'Regan. Together they discuss Fianna Fail's electoral strategy and chances of forming a new government. They also consider the Fianna Fail position on abortion. Inside Politics is weekly politics podcast. It is presented by Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O'Shea.

IBRC Inquiry, Housing Package and How to Win a Referendum

Nov 11, 2015 01:16:26


In this week's Inside Politics podcast Hugh Linehan talks to the political team, Sarah Bardon, Harry McGee and Stephen Collins about the latest news from the Dail; the inquiry into IBRC, and the proposed housing package. Later in the podcast Hugh interviews Brian Sheehan one of the creators of the Yes Equality campaign about the strategy behind this year's marriage referendum. Inside Politics is weekly politics podcast. It is presented by Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Eamon Gilmore

Nov 3, 2015 00:58:01


Former Tánaiste and Labour party leader Eamon Gilmore's new book provides an insider perspective on an extraordinary period in Irish politics. In a frank interview with Hugh Linehan and Mary Minihan he defends his and Labour's roles in Government during the crisis, while owning up to a few mistakes - including that infamous Every Little Hurts ad. Inside the Room: the Untold Story of Ireland's Crisis Government is available now.

Sinn Fein Pact + Cass Sunstein

Oct 28, 2015 00:38:47


In this week's Inside Politics podcast Hugh Linehan and Michael O'Regan discuss the potential of Sinn Fein's voting pact with left wing parties and Independents. They also appraise the performance of Minister Alan Kelly who has been garnering significent attention of late. Later in the podcast Hugh plays back his interview with Cass Sunstein, co-author of Nudge and advisor to the Obama administration who explains his ideas for a more efficient and prosperous population. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

Sinn Fein: Provos to Power

Oct 21, 2015 00:46:41


In this week's Inside Politics Hugh Linehan interviews Deaglan de Breadun about his new book Power Play which traces the rise of Sinn Fein. They discuss the news regarding current IRA structures within Northern Ireland, the potential for Sinn Fein to enter government after the next election and the political future of Gerry Adams. They are joined by Irish Times political correspondent Mary Minihan. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and produced by Hugh Linehan.

Budget 2016 Special

Oct 13, 2015 00:31:45


In this special edition of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan discusses Budget 2016 with Arthur Beesley and Harry McGee. There were few surprises left in today's Budget but plenty of talking points. Is there enough in it to sustain Fine Gael's political advantage over the coming months? Can any Budget achieve such a feat? Does it really mark the end of boom and bust? Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

Election Fixation + John McGuinness

Oct 7, 2015 00:59:10


In this week's Inside Politics Hugh Linehan sits down with Fianna Fail TD and Public Accounts Committee chairman John McGuinness to discuss the work of his committee, the likelihood of a November election and Fianna Fail's prospects before and after. They're joined by Sarah Bardon and Michael O'Regan from The Irish Times. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

Real Political Reform?

Sep 30, 2015 00:50:10


In this edition of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan discusses the issue of political reform with Harry McGee, political scientist Jane Suiter and Donal O'Brolchain from Second Republic, a grassroots movement which has been advocating for political reform. They analyse how reform has failed to launch in most aspects of Irish polical life, and how this might be best addressed as the life of the current Dail comes to an end. The show begins with a discussion on when this election is likely to be called... Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

A new left alliance?

Sep 23, 2015 00:38:43


In this episode of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan is joined by Richard Boyd Barrett, Michael O'Regan and Mary Minihan. They discuss the formation of a new left alliance, its prospects for power in Ireland and compare it to other movements across Europe. They also ponder the differences between left wing and more centrist politicians in Ireland. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and produced by Hugh Linehan.

Next Election? Who really wants to be in Government?

Sep 16, 2015 00:42:12


Post think in. Pre Budget. As the Dail regroups Hugh Linehan discusses the next election and asks who really wants to be in government. He is joined by Economic Correspondent Arthur Beesley and Sarah Bardon and Fiach Kelly from the politics team. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is presented by Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Brendan Howlin

Sep 9, 2015 00:46:48


In this episode of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan meets Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin. He is also joined by Fiach Kelly. They discuss the migrant crisis, current budget concerns and the prospects for the Labour party in the next Government. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

The Fennelly Report

Sep 2, 2015 01:07:43


In this edition Hugh Linehan takes an in-depth look at the interim report from the Fennelly Commission. In part one Security and Crime Editor Conor Lally explains the events within An Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice that precipitated the creation of the Fennelly Commission. In part two (29.30) Political Correspondents Fiach Kelly and Harry McGee discuss how the report's findings reflect on the individuals involved, and the failures that allowed former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan's resignation to become such a major problem for the Government. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is presented by Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O'Shea. Why not subscribe to the show or download individual episodes via Soundcloud, iTunes and Stitcher?

Are the Provos still here?

Aug 26, 2015 00:38:48


In this week's Inside Politics podcast Hugh Linehan discusses the status of the IRA. He is joined by Mary Minihan, Gerry Moriarty and Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

There will be Blood

Aug 19, 2015 00:56:55


In this week's podcast Hugh Linehan discusses the bloody battles to come in various constituencies in the next election. He is joined by Adrian Kavanagh and Fiach Kelly. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

How to lose an election - lessons from '77, '87, '97

Aug 12, 2015 00:55:47


In 1977, 1987 and 1997, FG/Labour governments were despatched to the opposition benches following a general election. What lessons, if any, can be taken from those defeats today? What were the contexts – economic, social and political – against which those election campaigns were played out? Did opinion polls shape the narrative, and what was the role of the media? Historian Diarmaid Ferriter , Irish Times Political Editor Stephen Collins and political scientist Theresa Reidy join Hugh to discuss the events of those elections, from the infamous 'Tullymander' in 1977, to ‘Health Cuts Hurt the Old, the Sick and the Handicapped' in 1987 and 'It’s Payback Time' in 1997.

Change? Lucinda Creighton and Gerard Craughwell

Aug 5, 2015 01:07:58


In this week's podcast Hugh Linehan discusses the options for reform and change with Senator Ger Craughwell, Lucinda Creighton TD and Irish Times political reporter Sarah Bardon. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and produced by Hugh Linehan.

Dail goes on holidays

Jul 29, 2015 00:50:09


As the political season concludes for the summer Hugh Linehan is joined by Stephen Collins and Fintan O'Toole to discuss what has passed and is still to come. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

Catherine Murphy and the Social Democrats

Jul 22, 2015 01:00:15


In this edition of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan meets Catherine Murphy TD and Anne Marie McNally to discuss the formation of their new political party the Social Democrats. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is presented by Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Irish Water, Syriza's Irish supporters, Julia Gillard

Jul 15, 2015 01:04:18


In this week's Inside Politics podcast Mary Minihan is joined by Harry McGee. They discuss the news that Irish Water has collected just 46% of the revenue due from water charges so far this year and, they analyse the impact of Syriza's compromise on its Irish support base which has included Sinn Fein, Paul Murphy and Shane Ross. In the second half of the podcast Mary Minihan interviews the former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and hears about the challenges she faced as a woman in Australian politics. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Syriza + Sinn Fein, Ireland + Greece

Jul 8, 2015 00:43:24


In this week's Inside Politics podcast Mary Minihan interviews Pearse Doherty TD and Sinn Fein spokesperson on Finance. Mr. Doherty has returned from Athens where he witnessed Greece's referendum result on Sunday. They discuss the prospects for Syriza, Sinn Fein, Greece and Ireland. In the second half of the podcast Mary Minihan discusses the latest situation regarding Greece and the EU plus the Irish government's position with Harry McGee and Denis Staunton. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Jan O'Sullivan, Greece

Jul 1, 2015 00:46:20


Mary Minihan sits down with Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan to discuss school admission policies, the English as a Foreign Language sector, and the "heavy lifting" Labour has done as the junior Government partner. Later Mary is joined by Stephen Collins, Political Editor and Fiach Kelly, Political Correspondent to talk about Ireland's role in the Greece debt negotiations, and the thinking behind Alexis Tsipras's snap referendum,

New Media, New Politics

Jun 24, 2015 00:50:05


This week Hugh Linehan discusses how changes in media technology are affecting how journalists and politicians interract. He is joined by Jane Suiter Director of Institute for Future Media and Journalism in DCU, Irish Times political reporter Fiach Kelly and Richard Moore, MD of MCOMM. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast researched by Declan Conlon and produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Independent Alliances

Jun 17, 2015 00:36:00


This week Hugh is joined by Independent TD Finian McGrath and Fiach Kelly and Michael O'Regan from The Irish Times political team to discuss the new parties and alliances that are multiplying in the Dáil, whether they can carve out niches for themselves on the political spectrum and what a government relying on one of them might look like.

IBRC, Use/abuse of Privilege, Dáil Behaviour, Ivana Bacik

Jun 10, 2015 00:47:18


As the IBRC controversy begins to cool, Hugh Linehan is joined by Michael O'Regan, Mary Minihan and Harry McGee to look at the latest comments on Denis O'Brien in the Dáil, the use and abuse of parliamentary privilege, and whether there is a decline in standards of "gentlemanly" behaviour in the lower house. The panel also discuss what political arithmetic may have inspired Ivana Bacik's decision not to run in Dún Laoghaire, Labour's positioning to take credit for government achievements, and remarks by Enda Kenny that may, or may not, signal an early General Election.

Denis O'Brien, Accountability and the State

Jun 3, 2015 00:43:23


This week Hugh Linehan, Fintan O'Toole, Cliff Taylor and Fiach Kelly discuss the issues surrounding Denis O'Brien and his relationships with IBRC, the media and the State. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

Equality v Ethos: LGBT Teachers

May 27, 2015 00:49:34


The removal of the 'chilling effect' of current legislation on LGBT teachers is seen by some as the next step on the march towards equality, and moves are afoot to make legislative changes. But how well can the competing rights to equality and religious freedom be balanced? Hugh is joined by Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Iona Institute Chairman and Mater Dei lecturer John Murray and Ruadhán Mac Cormaic of The Irish Times. Plus, Ruadhán explains what legislative moves will follow the passing of the marriage referendum.

Referendum Review, By-election Results

May 24, 2015 00:34:08


On this special edition of Inside Politics, Hugh is joined by Fiach Kelly, Michael O'Regan and Sarah Bardon to look at the resounding vote in favour of marriage equality, what credit is due the political establishment, and whether any party can harness the youthful energy of the yes campaign. Plus, Bobby Aylward's victory in the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election.

SSM Vote - The International Perspective

May 20, 2015 00:32:49


This week's podcast looks at the international attention being received by the marriage referendum, which is intensifying in the final days before voting. Pablo Guimón of Spanish newspaper El Pais, Washington Post London Bureau Chief Griff Witte and The Observer's Ireland Correspondent Henry McDonald join Hugh Linehan and political correspondent Fiach Kelly to talk about the view from outside Ireland, and the status of same sex marriage in their own countries. Fiach also fills us in on the final result predictions down at Leinster House.

Ursula Halligan

May 15, 2015 00:10:28


Ursula Halligan talks to Hugh Linehan about her decision to come out because of the same sex marriage referendum. Inside Politics is weekly politics podcast produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

SSM Referendum, Carlow-Kilkenny Byelection Analysis

May 13, 2015 00:35:31


This week Hugh Linehan discusses the political news with Fiach Kelly and Michael O'Regan including the latest on the same sex marriage referendum and from the Carlow Kilkenny byelection. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

Northern Ireland Elections

May 6, 2015 00:41:39


This week Hugh Linehan discusses the British general election in Northern Ireland with Mary Minihan, Gerry Moriarty and Mick Fealty. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast produced by Sinead O'Shea and presented by Hugh Linehan.

Same Sex Marriage Referendum Debate

Apr 28, 2015 00:59:41


In this week's Inside Politics podcast Hugh Linehan discusses the same sex marriage referendum with Breda O'Brien and Noel Whelan. Inside Politics is a free weekly politics podcast presented by the digital development editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Fianna Fail, Candidate Selection, Gender Quotas, Referendum Latest

Apr 22, 2015 00:50:12


This week Hugh Linehan is joined by political analyst Odran Flynn, and Harry McGee, Mary Minihan and Michael O'Regan from the political team. They discuss the prospects for Fianna Fail and how political candidates are selected across all parties. They also consider the likely impact of the gender quotas, the referendum latest and next week's spring statement. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast. It is presented by Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Simon Coveney, Marriage Referendum

Apr 14, 2015 00:56:07


This week Hugh is joined by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, who leads the government's campaign for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum on same sex marriage. They discuss that campaign, including the question of children's rights to parents and the Catholic Church's stance on performing civil unions. They also discuss differences on public sector pay between Fine Gael and their coalition partners, the successes and challenges for Irish agriculture, and the merits of Cork City.

Charlie Flanagan

Apr 8, 2015 00:54:58


This week Mary Minihan meets Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan. They discuss the UK's relationship with the EU, Northern Ireland, the case of Ibrahim Halawa, the Iranian nuclear deal, the introduction of gender quotas, the latest on Portlaoise hospital and the prospects for Fine Gael.

Will public servants get their money back?

Apr 1, 2015 00:32:27


This week Hugh Linehan discusses the resumption of the public service pay talks with Martin Wall, Cliff Taylor and Mary Minihan. He also analyses the preparations for 1916 commemorations and the mood for change within Fianna Fail.

Childcare and the Government

Mar 25, 2015 00:34:01


This week Hugh Linehan discusses how childcare is to be treated by the government for its last year in office and it's significance as an electoral issues. He is joined by Chief Reporter Carl O'Brien and Fiach Kelly from the Politics Team.

Renua: after the launch

Mar 18, 2015 00:48:03


Hugh Linehan discusses the progress of Renua with party members Noel Toolan and Ross McCarthy who look after branding and policy. He is also joined by Irish Times correspondent Harry McGee.

Ronan Mullen/Round Up

Mar 11, 2015 00:59:47


This week Hugh discusses the same sex marriage referendum with Senator Ronan Mullen and hears the latest political news from Fiach Kelly.

Joan Burton

Mar 3, 2015 00:42:58


This week Hugh meets the Tanaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton.

The Round Up

Feb 25, 2015 00:40:56


This week the political team and Hugh discuss the government performance, the bullying of Paul Murphy, the differences between the Surrogacy and Children and Family Relationships Bill and, the furry qualities of Mattie McGrath.

Inequality in Ireland

Feb 18, 2015 00:31:59


This week Hugh discusses the findings of the Tasc report with Business Editor John McManus, Carl O'Brien and Cormac Staunton from TASC.

Greens, Eamon Ryan and the Future of Politics

Feb 11, 2015 00:51:46


This week Hugh discusses the future for the Green Party and Irish protest politics with Eamon Ryan, Mary Minihan and Michael O'Regan.

Irish Syriza?

Feb 4, 2015 00:39:40


In this week's show Hugh talks about the potential for an Irish Syriza with Richard Boyd Barrett, Paddy Smyth and Mary Minihan.

Micheál Martin

Jan 28, 2015 00:50:47


This week Hugh Linehan meets the Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin and discusses the party's past and future.

Referendum Anxiety and Charlie

Jan 21, 2015 00:39:44


This week Hugh discusses the optimal way of dramatising politics and the increasing anxiety over referendums with Donald Clarke, Jane Suiter, Fiach Kelly and Michael O'Regan.

Sinn Fein 2015

Jan 14, 2015 00:58:34


Hugh Linehan discusses the prospect for Sinn Fein this year with their spokesperson for Finance Pearse Doherty, Mary Minihan and Harry McGee.

D.I.Y Party

Jan 7, 2015 00:36:30


How do you best set up a political party in Ireland? Hugh Linehan discusses with Fintan O'Toole, David Cochrane and David Farrell.

Politics Predictions 2015

Dec 31, 2014 00:40:34


Hugh Linehan, Una Mullally, Patrick Freyne and Michael O'Regan anticipate what will make the news in 2015.

Politics Review 2014

Dec 24, 2014 00:26:09


A review of 2014 with Hugh Linehan, Kathy Sheridan, Cliff Taylor and Fiach Kelly.

A different politics?

Dec 17, 2014 00:34:27


What scope is there to change the way politics works in Ireland? Hugh Linehan is joined by Fiach Kelly, Patrick Freyne and Kathy Sheridan to talk about solutionism, direct democracy and "The People's Conversation", and whether it is realistic to expect change.

Lucinda Creighton

Dec 10, 2014 00:43:31


This week Hugh Linehan discusses political futures and reform with Mary Minihan and Lucinda Creighton.

Fintan O'Toole versus Pat Rabbitte

Dec 3, 2014 00:55:21


This week Labour TD Pat Rabbitte and The Irish Times' Fintan O'Toole join Hugh to continue their debate on the performance of the government, which has been carried out in the pages of The Irish Times this week. They discuss the decision to burn bondholders, election promises, and the Coalition's record on Dail reform.

Water Blame Game

Nov 26, 2014 00:39:56


This week Hugh discusses the aftermath of the Irish Water debacle with Fergus O'Dowd TD, Mary Minihan and Harry McGee. Inside Politics is a free weekly politics podcast presented by the digital development editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O'Shea.

Fractured Democracy?

Nov 19, 2014 00:39:35


This week Hugh asks what the water protests mean for the future of politics in Ireland. He is joined by Kathy Sheridan, Fiach Kelly and Rory Hearne from NUI Maynooth.

Independents and the Government

Nov 12, 2014 00:25:51


On this week's show Hugh is joined by newly elected independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim Michael Fitzmaurice and The Irish Times' Fiach Kelly to discuss theatrics in the Dáil, turf cutting, and whether independents can play a role in government.

Eoghan Murphy

Nov 5, 2014 00:41:35


Eoghan Murphy discusses political reform with Hugh Linehan and John Walshe provides a view from inside government with Michael O'Regan and Fiach Kelly.

Cronyism; The Guarantee, Mairia Cahill, McNulty

Oct 29, 2014 00:41:21


Fright night: Ireland’s political crisis on film. Plus cronyism, water rage, SF’s woes.

Aodhan O'Riordan, Water Charges, Sinn Fein

Oct 22, 2014 00:46:23


This week Hugh discusses direct provision with Minister for Equality Aodhan O'Riordan. Plus water charges and SF with Fiach Kelly and Michael O'Regan.

Budget 2015

Oct 14, 2014 00:20:53


In depth discussion of Budget 2015 with Hugh Linehan, Cliff Taylor, Harry McGee and Patrick Kinsella.

Beloved Noonan

Oct 8, 2014 00:33:53


Fiach Kelly, Mary Minihan and Michael O’Regan on byelections, the McNulty affair, and ‘Father of the Nation’ Michael Noonan’s Budget 2015

McNulty Mess, Averil Power

Oct 1, 2014 00:31:51


Fiach Kelly and Mary Minihan on the chaos caused by the Seanad nomination of John McNulty. Plus FF’s Averil Power on what the future holds for her party.

Clare Daly

Sep 24, 2014 00:35:39


Clare Daly by Inside Politics

HSE bogus budget

Sep 17, 2014 00:30:28


This week Inside Politics discusses the HSE budget wranglings in the aftermath of Michael Martin's charge that the government last year 'cooked the books.' Plus 'Think Ins.'

Brits Out

Sep 10, 2014 00:29:57


With the Scottish independence referendum poised on a knife edge, what are the implications of the potential break-up of the United Kingdom for the island of Ireland? Does the Government in Dublin have a position on the issue? What would constitutional change mean for the current political dispensation in Northern Ireland? What would the very concept of unionism mean in a reduced UK, and will all this political uncertainty accelerate the English move towards an EU exit? International Affairs Editor Patrick Smyth, Economics Editor Arthur Beesley, Spectator columnist Alex Massie and Slugger O’Toole editor Mick Fealty discuss the issues with Hugh Linehan. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

New Labour? New Plan?

Sep 3, 2014 00:26:32


To mark the first Cabinet meeting after summer, Hugh Linehan is joined by Arthur Beesley, Mary Minihan and Fiach Kelly to discuss the looming issues for the government and the prospective fortunes of the various parties in the new political season. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Balance and fairness in broadcast media

Aug 27, 2014 00:38:01


This month, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) found that an episode of Derek Mooney’s RTE1 radio show had breached the BAI’s broadcasting requirements for fairness, objectivity and impartiality in its treatment of the subject of same-sex marriage. The BAI’s ruling provoked strong criticism from a number of quarters, including from the National Union of Journalists. The NUJ’s Irish secretary, Seamus Dooley, debates the issue and the broader questions it raises with DCU professor of communications Colum Kenny, a member of the Broadcasting Compliance Committee of the BAI, which made the Mooney Show decision and who, speaking in a personal capacity, argues that the NUJ’s criticism is misleading and misguided. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Abortion in Ireland

Aug 20, 2014 00:31:52


In this weeks show, Hugh discusses the political consequences of the latest abortion controversy with Kitty Holland, Fintan O'Toole and Mary Minihan. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Scandal-Lives in Limbo, Direct Provision

Aug 13, 2014 00:25:43


In this week's show Hugh discusses the direct provision system which has been portrayed in the Irish Times Lives in Limbo series. He's joined by Harry McGee and Sinead O'Shea. He also hears the latest politics news with Harry. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Bruton, 1916 and Contested History

Aug 6, 2014 00:26:13


Contested History In September 1914 the Irish Home Rule Bill became law. Former Taoiseach John Bruton argues that this was a significant event in the history of Irish nationalism which would have ultimately resulted in the non violent achievement of a sovereign state, and that the 1916 Rising and the conflicts which followed need never have happened. In this week's podcast Bruton discusses the issues and contemporary political implications with Hugh Linehan, Patrick Smyth and Harry McGee. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

WW1, Stephen Donnelly

Jul 30, 2014 00:57:22


This week, Stephen Donnelly talks about his experience as an Independent TD, whether he has managed to achieve what he wanted when he decided to get into political life, what the prospects are for any new Irish political parties and what his own position is on social and economic issues. Plus Patrick Smyth, Derek Scally and Ronan McGreevy discuss this week’s centenary commemorations of the start of the First World War and what they mean in Ireland and Germany 100 years later. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Varadkar Superstar, Rabbitte at Rest

Jul 23, 2014 00:42:59


In this week’s podcast, Fiach Kelly reports from the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, while Harry McGee describes how Leinster House is slowing to a halt as the summer holidays kick in, along with who’s leading in the race between Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar to be next Fine Gael leader. And recently demoted minister Pat Rabbitte talks about what it’s like to return to the backbenches after two years in the Cabinet. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Mary Lou McDonald

Jul 16, 2014 00:45:14


In this week's show Mary Minihan meets Mary Lou McDonald. They discuss the possibility of forming a left wing alliance with Labour, the performance of Gerry Adams and issues relating to Northern Ireland. Mary also hears from Fiach Kelly and Michael O'Regan about their thoughts on the junior minsterial appointments. nside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Delay in Dail

Jul 10, 2014 00:25:22


In this week's podcast Harry analyses the delay in announcing the new Cabinet with Fiach Kelly, Meath East TD Regina Doherty and Clare TD Michael McNamara. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Cabinet Reshuffle, FOI, Quinn

Jul 2, 2014 00:28:30


In this week's show Harry McGee is joined by his fellow correspondents Mary Minihan, Arthur Beesley and Fiach Kelly to discuss the latest from Leinster House. They analyse the surprise resignation of Ruairi Quinn, the changes to FOI legislation and Mary's work on Charlie McCreevy's 2003 Budget and made some predictions about how the Cabinet reshuffle will play out next week. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Crowley expulsion, Ming's revolution and Labour leader latest

Jun 25, 2014 00:24:59


In this week's podcast Hugh Linehan discusses the implications of Brian Crowley's expulsion from the Fianna Fail parliamentary party with Fiach Kelly, Denis Staunton and Suzanne Lynch. They ask what Crowley has done to achieve such success in Munster and how his decision to join the Eurosceptic ECR group will affect his situation. The show also analyses the latest from the Labour leadership contest and Luke Ming Flanagan's decision to keep his full MEP wage in advance of the revolution. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Banking Fiasco, Reshuffle Jitters

Jun 18, 2014 00:30:10


Another Fine Mess The nomination of Senator Marc MacSharry of Fianna Fail to the banking inquiry committee set in train a chain of events which has provoked furious accusations of bad faith, conflicts or interest, and Government skulduggery. The Senator gives his party’s side of the story and argues that the scope of any inquiry should include everything from political responsibility to regulatory failure and the role of EU institutions in the Irish banking collapse. Also, Harry McGee and Arthur Beesley on what’s gone wrong with this Government and what attempts are likely to be made by Fine Gael and Labour to fix matters. How wide-ranging will the reshuffle be and will there be a new Programme for Government? Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

After Tuam

Jun 11, 2014 00:39:07


After Tuam The major talking point of the last two weeks has arisen from research done by local historian Catherine Corless into infant deaths at the Mother and Baby home in Tuam, Co Galway between the 1920s and 1960s. What does it tell us about Irish civic society and the disjunction between rhetoric and reality? With a statutory inquiry announced by the Government this week, Fintan O’Toole, Mary Minihan and Sinead O’Shea discuss the most appropriate way to examine and uncover the realities of our recent past and what its implications are for the present. Hugh also discusses the contents of the Cooke report and the proposed reforms for the civil service with Fiach Kelly. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

One-Horse Race?

Jun 4, 2014 00:28:27


The closing date for applications has passed, and we officially have two candidates for leader of the Labour Party, with a four-way race for the deputy leadership. Patrick Smyth and Fiach Kelly discuss what’s currently looking like an easy win for Joan Burton over Alex White, with Alan Kelly tipped for the deputy job. What, if anything differentiates one candidate from the other and what will a new leader have to do to save Labour from electoral wipeout at the general election? Also, as the new Dublin City Council gets ready to vote on who will be the city’s next Lord Mayor, Harry McGee looks at the changed landscape across local politics. With Sinn Fein the largest party on many councils, what will its strategy be when it comes to alliances with other parties and with independents? Will there be surprising new alliances? And will councillors use their new powers to reduce property taxes? Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Labour Leadership Contest

May 28, 2014 00:26:56


Labour on life support This week Labour leader Eamon Gilmore announced his decision to step down following the party’s dismal performance in the Euro, local and by-elections. With the decimation of its local representation and its failure to win a single seat in the Euros, the party faces a grim future unless it can find some way of reconnecting with its disillusioned former voters. But how steep a cliff does it have to climb? And what should be on the new leader’s when they take over in July? Former Labour general secretary Ray Kavanagh argues that the party faces near-annihilation unless it reconnects with its values and its supporters, while Fiach Kelly and Mary Minihan discuss the dynamics of the leadership race and the challenges ahead for whoever wins. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Results Special

May 25, 2014 00:25:04


May 25th 2014 Results Special In this week's show Hugh is joined in studio by Political Editor Stephen Collins, Parliamentary Correspondent Michael O'Regan, Foreign Policy Editor Patrick Smyth and Political Correspondent Harry McGee. They discuss the key trends which have emerged from the local, European and by election counts to date; the rise of Sinn Fein and the Independents, the return of Fianna Fail, the future for Labour, the reshuffle possibilities for Fine Gael, the anger around the country and the consolidation of hard left voting patterns within Dublin. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

The Final Countdown

May 21, 2014 00:33:03


Time to vote The talking’s nearly over, and it’s almost time for the electorate to vote in this week’s European, local and by-elections. Mary Minihan reports from Sinn Fein’s final event of the campaign, while Stephen Collins was at Fine Gael’s closing bash. Michael O’Regan profiles the contest for the vacant Dail seat in Longford-Westmeath. Who will win in Dublin West? And is Labour facing disaster everywhere? Plus will the 1916 commemorations become a political football? Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

New Poll Analysis

May 19, 2014 00:17:28


The latest Irish Times poll is out and is showing that Labour under real threat. Hugh Linehan is joined by Stephen Collins and Fiach Kelly to analyse the results. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Lynn Boylan, Brian Hayes, Eamon Ryan

May 14, 2014 00:45:10


Election crunch time With 10 days to go to the election, Dublin candidates Lynn Boylan (Sinn Fein), Brian Hayes (Fine Gael) and Eamon Ryan (Green Party) debate the European issues and discuss why the domestic agenda always trumps the EU one. Does the solution to the European democratic deficit lie in a directly-elected EU president? Or should some powers be repatriated from Brussels back to Ireland? Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via Plus Fiach Kelly on the state of the parties as they approach the last lap of their campaigns and voters start seriously thinking about whom to support on May 23rd..

Mary Hanafin, Election Drama

May 7, 2014 00:39:52


May 7th 2014 On today’s show, Mary Hanafin tells us about the ‘hames’ Fianna Fail has made of her nomination to run in the local elections, and why she rejected her party leader’s pleas to withdraw from the contest. Meanwhile, Kathy Sheridan has been on the campaign trail, following Luke Ming Flanagan’s quest for a European Parliament seat, and Fiach Kelly tells us why the knives will be out for Micheal Martin if he doesn’t’ deliver a good result on May 23rd. Plus Rory Costello of the University of Limerick introduces EUVox 2014, the voting advice application now available on, which helps you find out which party best matches your political views. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Election Predictions from the Experts

Apr 30, 2014 00:29:31


April 30th 2014 Vote early, vote often… With the campaigns for elections to the European Parliament, local councils and two vacant Dail seats kicking off, Political Editor Stephen Collins, Political News Editor Arthur Beesley and Parliamentary Correspondent Michael O’Regan join Hugh Linehan to discuss the prospects for the different parties and candidates. Who will be the big winners and losers, and how much might their prospects change over the next three weeks before polls finally open on Friday, May 23rd? Can Labour expect anything but disaster? Will Sinn Fein make big gains? And what will it all tell us about Fianna Fail’s revival project? Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Independents Rise, FG in the hood

Apr 23, 2014 00:27:39


23/03/14 The elections are starting, the independents are on the rise and Fine Gael has released a guide to canvassers. Fiach Kelly, UCC's Liam Weeks and Independent TD Finian McGrath join Hugh Linehan to discuss these dynamic new times. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Northern Ireland Elections

Apr 16, 2014 00:24:04


On May 22nd, voters in Northern Ireland go to the polls to vote in local and European elections. Unusually, there hasn’t been an election in the North for three years, so what are the likely outcomes? Dan Keenan, Gerry Moriarty and Newton Emerson discuss the current political climate, the aftermath of last year’s flag controversy in Belfast, and the possibility that new “super-councils” introduced as part of the most significant reform in local government for 40 years may lead to further political Balkanisation. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Number Crunching

Apr 9, 2014 00:29:02


09/04/14 The phony war is nearly over as the political parties, and the growing number of independents, get ready to launch their campaigns for the local and European elections. What does the weekend’s Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI poll tell us about the state of the two government parties, and are strains between the two likely to intensify as they come under increasing electoral pressure? Political geographer and psephologist Adrian Kavanagh of NUI Maynooth, political correspondent Harry McGee and parliamentary reporter Michael O’Regan discuss the likely outcome of the elections, the differences between local and European contests, gender balance in candidate selection and whether the electorate is preparing to give Fine Gael and labour a good old traditional mid-term kicking. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Tangled up in blue: Gardai, Tapes, Reform

Apr 2, 2014 00:54:27


02/04/14 Tangled up in Blue: Guards, Tapes, Reform Fiach Kelly unspools the complex, intertwined controversies around the Gardai, whistleblowers, alleged malfeasance and confirmed illicit recordings which have already led to the resignation of Commissioner Martin Callinan. Who knew what and when? What happens now? And what does it mean for the political futures of Enda Kenny, Alan Shatter and the Fine Gael/Labour coalition? Plus, Conor Brady looks forward to how a new independent Garda authority could finally address the shortcomings of governance in the force, but warns that vested interests in the civil service and political establishment will seek to retain direct control. And Jane Suiter, Una Mullally and Michael McNamara TD discuss the often-talked about but less frequently seen subject of political reform. Hoe significant has the Constitutional Convention really been? Does it take a crisis like the Garda controversy to cause any meaningful action to be taken? And does this week’s failure at the first hurdle of the proposal for a directly-elected Dublin mayor show that the current Government is at best half-hearted, at worst actively hostile to a real devolution of power? Politics Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Gardai, Shatter, Surveillance, FOI

Mar 26, 2014 00:37:30


26/03/14 On the day of the biggest political crisis to hit this government Hugh discusses Shatter, Gardai and types of surveillance with journalists Harry McGee and Gavin Sheridan and Assistant Law Professor, David Kenny. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Dublin Democracy Denied?

Mar 19, 2014 00:41:03


Dublin Democracy Denied? 19-03-14 This week’s Inside Politics podcast focuses on Dublin. Mary Fitzpatrick, Fianna Fail’s European Parliament candidate for the capital, discusses the prospects for the party, which currently has no Dublin TD or MEP, and Harry McGee looks forward to the Fianna Fail ard fheis this weekend. The proposal for a popular vote on having a directly elected mayor of Dublin with additional powers looks set to be over before it’s even begun. The vote must first be approved by each of the four local authorities in the Greater Dublin Area, and there now seems to be a very good chance that it won’t pass that first hurdle. Fingal’s mayor Ciaran Dennison explains why he’ll be voting no, and why he believes his fellow councillors will be following suit on March 31st, while Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Oisin Quinn, argues that an elected mayor is what Dubliners want and need. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Lobbying, PAC, Penalty Points, Christine Buckley

Mar 12, 2014 00:33:35


In this week's show Harry McGee fills in for Hugh Linehan and talks to Patsy McGarry about the death of campaigner and abuse survivor Christine Buckley. He also talks to Fiach Kelly about the latest on the Frank Flannery affair and the news that the Garda power to remove penalty points is to taken out of the hands of local Garda officers. In the second half of the programme Harry discusses Fine Gael and lobbying with Stephen Collins, Fine Gael TD Jim Daly and the chairman of PAC and Fianna Fail TD, John McGuinness. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinead O’Shea It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Absurd Euro constituencies, EPP good times and OTRs

Mar 5, 2014 00:43:22


05/03/14 Who’ll get elected from those absurd constituencies? With one constituency running from the M50 to Malin Head, and another from Bray to Baltimore, we look at how the races might pan out in May’s Euro elections. Is there a gap in the market for a celebrity candidate? And on what basis do people actually choose who to vote for in a contest where most of us have only a sketchy notion of what the European Parliament really does and what its powers are? Political geographer Claire McGinn considers this with Harry McGee in studio while Suzanne Lynch gives the view from Brussels. Plus political blogger Mick Fealty discusses the controversy over letters of comfort given by the UK authorities to republican 'On the Runs' with Martin Mansergh, one of the key architects of the Northern Ireland peace process. Fionola Meredith talks about what it means on the ground. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan and produced by Sinéad O'Shea. It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Shatter, Whistleblowers, the Gardai

Feb 26, 2014 00:31:40


26/02/14 Can we trust the Gardai? In the latest edition of Inside Politics Hugh Linehan discusses this with Frank McBrearty, Dara Robinson and Conor Brady. He also explores Shatter's robust self defence with Arthur Beesley and Michael O'Regan. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Digital Politics, Healthcare Aggro, GSOC woes

Feb 19, 2014 00:42:37


19/02/14 How has Irish politics been affected by the advances in digital media? In this show Hugh discusses this with data journalism specialist Pamela Duncan, political correspondent Fiach Kelly and social media expert David Cochrane. He also deconstructs the latest on GSOC, Angela Kerins and James Reilly's health plans with HarryMcGee and Arthur Beesley. Inside Politics is a weekly politics podcast presented by the digital editor of the Irish Times, Hugh Linehan It can be listened to and downloaded via Soundcloud and iTunes. It can be delivered for free to you each week via this link. #iTunes Android users can access this podcast via

Breda O'Brien, GSOC, Euro seats

Feb 12, 2014 00:32:19


12/02/14 This week, Irish Times columnist and Iona Institute patron Breda O’Brien discusses her views on the fallout from the homophobia controversy, whether she was right to seek an apology and damages from RTE, and her belief that the formerly oppressed in Irish society are now the oppressors. Have every episode of this show delivered each week for free here. Also, Fiach Kelly and Michael O’Regan bring us up to speed on the big issues of the week, including the GSOC bugging affair, Fine Gael’s Euro dilemma and Enda Kenny’s potentially fraught trip to New York for St Patrick’s Day.

Anglo, Floods and Property Porn

Feb 5, 2014 00:31:35


05/02/14 In this episode Hugh catches up on the latest political news with Fiach Kelly and Harry McGee, focussing mostly on the start of the Anglo trial and the floods. Later in the show he chats with Labour TD, Derek Nolan, , Fintan McNamera from the Residential Landlords Association and Karl Deeter from Mortgage Brokers Ireland about the return of the love that dare not speak its name - property porn.

Homophobia, PAC, Ted Nealon

Jan 29, 2014 00:41:59


29/01/14 In this week's show Hugh talks about the discussion of homophobia and same sex marriage legislation with political scientist Prof David Farrell, columnist Una Mullaly and barrister Andrew Robinson. Stephen Collins remembers politician and journalist Ted Nealon who died. Harry McGee and Eoghan Murphy TD debate PAC V the Government.

Labour loving Pope, Goldie Hawn and Bertie's Milk Round

Jan 22, 2014 00:36:42


22/01/14 In this week's show Hugh hears about the latest news from the Dail on Rehab and the reopening of the Vatican Embassy with Fiach Kelly and chats to Derek Scally about Davos. He is also joined by Pat Leahy, Michael O'Regan and Clare FF TD, Timmy Dooley, to discuss whether the Fianna's Fail's past can ever really be erased, given the recent issues surrounding CRC and John O’ Donoghue.

'Sentiment', the fragmentation of the hard left and Phil Hogan

Jan 15, 2014 00:38:52


15/01/14 New figures today show consumer confidence hitting its highest level since 2007. On today's show we examine the concept of 'sentiment' with MD of Behaviour and Attitudes, Ian McShane, and our own expert, Conor Pope. We also discuss the fallout from Irish Water and at Phil Hogan's future with Fiach Kelly and Michael O'Regan. We anticipate the return of the Dail, the progress of the legal services reform bill and the tensions between Alan Shatter and Eamon Gilmore's 'barristerial' Labour party. And we examine the hyper-fragmentation of the Irish political left with two of its leading representatives, Ruth Coppinger and Richard Boyd Barrett, along with journalist Scott Millar.

Reform Alliance, Polls and Predictions

Jan 8, 2014 00:38:42


08/01/14 In the show this week Hugh Linehan rounds up the latest political news with Harry McGee and Fiach Kelly. He discusses the prospects for Lucinda Creighton and The Reform Alliance with Jane Suiter. Plus he talks polls and predictions with some of Ireland's best analysts, Noel Whelan, Damian Loscher and Dr Adrian Kavanagh.

Exit from the Bailout Special

Dec 12, 2013 00:46:56


13/12/13 As Ireland exits the bailout what future faces the country?