Family Friction“When we come together as a collective… we kind of transcend ourselves in a little way.”

As heard on Drivetime

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In the third and concluding part of his Drivetime series, Dr Paul D’Alton talks to Mary Wilson about family friction over the holiday period, a time of year that, he says, is so important and so significant for many people. “People at end of life will hang on over the next few days to spend that Christmas, to be alive …

Úna-Minh Kavanagh“I have no time for negativity because I feel that it’s a waste of energy.”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Some people speak with a smile in their voice and Úna-Minh Kavanagh is surely one of them. The microphone picks it up; it’s unmistakable. The airwaves sang with positivity today as she told Ray D’Arcy: “I have no time for negativity because I feel that it’s a waste of energy.” Hardly surprising after a childhood in Kerry, that most Instagrammable …

Michael Harding“What we’re celebrating, to be clear, at Christmas, is the story of a young refugee who is pregnant…”

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Michael Harding says he doesn’t believe in God but he does have his own take on what Christmas is actually about. In a conversation full of literary quotes and poetic anecdotes, the columnist and author told Seán O’Rourke how he thinks the Bethlehem story resonates today: “What we’re celebrating, to be clear, at Christmas, is the story of a young refugee …

Volcanic eruption on Whakaari Island

New Zealand Volcano“I found someone to mind the baby, because no matter how many drills you do, no drill had ever thrown a 3-month baby being breast-fed into the mix.”

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Baby Ruadhán is too young to know what a volcano is. He wasn’t aware anything unusual had happened on December 9th when a volcano erupted on Whakaari Island (White Island) in New Zealand, killing several holiday makers and leaving others with life-changing injuries. But even at 3 months of age, baby Ruadhán played a small but significant role in the …

The Skin Nerd

The Skin Nerd“It’s equally as important to protect against the harsh elements as it is against the sun.”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Is it even Christmas if you haven’t been both skinned and baked alive in the space of an afternoon? A combination of fierce winter winds followed by blasts of central heating set to tropical, takes its toll on our skin. Add to that a sharp rise in our sugar and alcohol intake and it’s no wonder many of us are …

The Letter Never Sent

The Letter Never Sent“It has taken me 48 years to write this letter.”

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Over the last couple of weeks The Ryan Tubridy Show team, in association with An Post, have been asking listeners to put pen to paper and write ‘the letter never sent’. The response has been overwhelming. Each day this week Ryan has shared letters from a postbag overflowing with confessions, declarations, observations and touching tributes. At a time of year when thoughts …

Mary Wilson and Dr Paul D'Alton

Bereavement“It’s one day, and it does pass.”

As heard on Drivetime

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In the second part of a Drivetime series on mental health at Christmas, clinical psychologist Dr Paul D’Alton had some suggestions on coping skills for anyone affected by bereavement at this time of year. So much of it comes down to adjusting your expectations, according to Dr D’Alton. He says ideas that grief follows a predictable path are not helpful. …

Paddy Cole and Sean O'Rourke

Paddy Cole“I’ve had a wonderful life in the business.”

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Jazz musician Paddy Cole is honoured with a mural in his home town of Castleblayney. The mural happens to be situated exactly where the town’s old customs post used to be. Chatting to Seán O’Rourke  ahead of his 80th birthday, this piece of trivia led to a chat about the role of customs checks in Paddy’s young life in a …