Irish Contract Killers ‘There are four types of assassin: novices, dilettantes, journeymen, and master hitmen.’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Here’s a statistic for you: around 5 percent of all homicides in Ireland since 2004 have been committed by professional killers. In light of the Kinahan-Hutch gangland killings last year, it might not be all that surprising. But in a new documentary for TV3, criminologist David Wilson has collaborated journalist Donal MacIntyre to find out why people choose to kill …

Terry George on 'The Promise'‘We’ve had some interference already.’

As heard on arena

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Belfast man Terry George is probably best known to Irish cinema-goers as the co-writer of In The Name of the Father and the writer-director of Some Mother’s Son and Hotel Rwanda. So he’s no stranger to controversy. His latest film is The Promise, set in 1914, during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. It stars Oscar Isaac, Charlotte le …

Philip Boucher Hayes‘Will the real Emmanuel Macron please stand up?’

As heard on Drivetime

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If you believe the polls – and after last year’s seismic democratic shocks, you’d be forgiven for doing the opposite – Emmanuel Macron is on track to become France’s next president. The 39-year old is an anomaly in the country’s politics, a former banker who resigned from Socialist President François Hollande’s government in 2016 to launch his En Marche! (On …

19-year-old girl with Autism‘The Debs is coming up but she has no-one to go with. She has no girl friends whatsoever.’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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For generations of teenagers in Ireland, the ritual of the Debs ball has been a rite of passage, a mark of transition from secondary school, often accompanied by increased independence, entering work or college, perhaps even leaving the family home. It is, in other words, a huge deal. But for some, the Debs can be a traumatic experience, associated with …

Citizens assembly vote‘Hardly a jaw in the room didn’t drop to the floor. It was gobsmacking.’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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It’s fair to say that yesterday’s vote by the Citizens’ Assembly to expand significantly the availability of abortion in Ireland took many seasoned commentators aback. Although many observers felt that a recommendation to move away from the status quo was likely, even inevitable, the degree to which the 99 members of the assembly have collectively voted to recommend liberalisation of …

Life After a Brain Injury‘It changes your drive and your memory from being hugely enthusiastic about everything to not being terribly enthusiastic about anything’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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In 2002, Michael Downey was a rising star in the comedy circuit. He came in joint third place with comedian Alan Carr in 2001 in the annual So You Think You’re Funny stand-up competition and along with Karl Spain, Neil Delamare and Des Bishop, Michael was among a promising new generation of Irish comedians. But in April 2002, three months …

Content Moderator ‘One person described it as like working in a sewer’

As heard on The Marian Finucane Show

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Have you ever wondered how sites like Facebook and Twitter ensure that offensive material doesn’t reach our eyeballs? The issues became a hot topic earlier this month when Steve Stephens uploaded a video to Facebook which showed him murdering an innocent man. The video remained on the site for two hours, prompting criticism that Facebook still has a long way …

Christian influence on the music of U2?“It was that brilliant merging of my faith and rock music…”

As heard on Leap Of Faith

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Reverend Steve Stockman of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast was the guest on The Leap of Faith to talk about the connection between U2 and the Christian faith. He has written a book called ‘Walk On, The Spiritual Journey of U2’, he explained to Michael Comyn how he came to appreciate the band after hearing the track ‘Gloria’. “As somebody …