Dunmore East Amish Community“We try to critique some of the consumerism and maybe the violence and some of those things that might be present in broader society.” 

As heard on Drivetime

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Brian O’Connell’s experience with the Amish community wasn’t so different from Harrison Ford’s in the film Witness. Admittedly, Brian wasn’t a world-weary detective on the run from his colleagues. There was no dancing to Sam Cooke tunes. No barn-raising. No gun of the hand. And Brian was in Co Waterford, not Pennsylvania. But he did meet some Christians who apply the Amish Mennonite traditions to their everyday lives. And, …

Cork University Hospital“If numbers continue to deteriorate as it appears that they are, it’s going to have knock-on consequences.”

As heard on Today with Claire Byrne

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There are many worrying takeaways from Brian O’Connell’s report from Cork University Hospital for Today with Claire Byrne on Thursday, the first of which is the fact that just four weeks ago, CUH had no Covid-19 patients in the hospital. When Brian visited them on Wednesday, they had 20, two of whom were in Intensive Care.   “Everyone I met in the CUH, nurse managers, …

Behind the Small Ads“He gave it to me as the eldest son to mind for the family – which I haven’t done a good job of.” 

As heard on Today with Claire Byrne

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By his own admission, Today with Claire Byrne reporter Brian O’Connell’s long-standing interest in classifieds – the small ads – is bordering on obsession. This is good news for us though, as Brian brought us more stories behind the small ads on Tuesday’s programme. One of his best sources through the years has been The Echo newspaper in Cork and it’s in the Lost and Found section of that paper where …

Love in a Covid Climate“There’s something about being infected with a pandemic disease that just takes the romance out of things.”

As heard on Today with Claire Byrne

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It’s a story as old as time itself: you go out on a first date, end up back in your date’s house and then a coronavirus lockdown is declared, trapping you there for three days. This is what the dating scene looks like in the time of Covid-19, according to Brian O’Connell’s report for Wednesday’s Today with Claire Byrne. Brian spoke to people about their experience …

Meat Plant Workers“We have to take care of ourselves, because they are not going to take care of us.” 

As heard on Today with Claire Byrne

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Today with Claire Byrne’s Brian O’Connell has been reporting on the continuing issue of meat processing plants and Covid-19 for a number of weeks now. On Monday, he told Claire that it’s getting increasingly difficult to talk to workers inside factories, as they seem to be terrified of getting fired for speaking about even the most basic health and safety concerns. TheJournal.ie has reported that …

Bessborough Burial Site“Evelyn was my flesh and blood and there’s no one – I’m not going to stand down for nobody.”

As heard on Today with Sarah McInerney

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Accompanying survivor Ann O’Gorman to the notorious  Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Co Cork, Today with Sarah McInerney reporter Brian O’Connell asked her how she felt walking on the grounds again. Ann’s response was a poignant one:  “Emotional. Heartbreaking. Not just for my baby, but for all the babies.”  Ann just wants to know where her daughter Evelyn is buried and that’s the reason she was in Bessborough last week, Brian told Sarah McInerney on …

Online Scam“She wanted her portion of a $51m lotto win to be distributed among those people. And my name was on there.”

As heard on Today with Sarah McInerney

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We all probably reckon that we’re too smart to fall for the online equivalent of the Nigerian Prince scam, but is that really the case? Said Nigerian Prince (and his henchmen) have long since migrated online, of course, and with so much of the workforce in these pandemic times working from home, internet security may not be as robust in …

Life in a New Home“The minute I seen the place I was just grinning from ear to ear.”

As heard on Today with Sarah McInerney

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Tuesday’s Today with Sarah McInerney gave us a much-needed good news story: Brian O’Connell reported on a newly-opened social housing development in Fermory, Co Cork, made possible by a partnership between the Peter McVerry Trust and Cork County Council. Brian spoke to two of the fifteen people who got the keys to their new homes in the development. Both of …