The Olivia O'Leary column‘Is it possible that the abortion issue might be the one that breaks the tribal lines in the North?’

As heard on Drivetime

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Nobody knows more than the fella in the pub. The combined knowledge of a dozen university departments are as nothing when compared with the profound wisdom of the fella in the pub. The same fella knew more about having babies, about classical music, about politics than any of us who might claim some expertise in the area. Indeed, my husband, wandering in …

Olivia O'Leary on CervicalCheck‘If authorities thought that silence might protect trust in the system, they now know it did the exact opposite.’

As heard on Drivetime

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Secrets. This is a country full of secrets. And because we haven’t faced up to them, they’re always there, ready to trip us up, like a minefield that hasn’t been cleared. There’s a saying psychologists use: “Secrets are the rocks on which we perish”. The truth of that struck me this weekend reading Rosita Boland’s extraordinary interview in The Irish Times with a man who …

Olivia O’Leary“Rugby offers one of the few occasions for people on all parts of this island to declare publicly and passionately their common allegiance.”  

As heard on Drivetime

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Olivia O’Leary used to dislike Ireland’s Call. Not anymore. These days, she finds the sight and sound of the Irish rugby team and supporters all singing Phil Coulter’s song together moves her beyond words. She follows rugby, she says, for the national anthems. And, hearing the Welsh in full flight singing Land of My Fathers, you’d have to agree that …

Olivia O'Leary on Pope Francis‘You can’t say that you love women if you exclude them.’

As heard on Drivetime

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Dear Francis, Before your very welcome visit here in August, I thought you might like to know what it was like in 1979. Just before Pope John Paul II came, Irish Times editor Douglas Gageby called us all into his office. “Now listen up, ye gang of lefties, women’s libbers and cynics”, he said. “This visit is historic. And this newspaper will cover it …

Olivia O'Leary on John Redmond and Brexit‘The price paid for Partition is being brought home even more sharply today.’

As heard on Drivetime

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The SDLP leader, John Hume, didn’t much like being an MP in the House of Commons. He said he realised early on that his most useful political work would be done on other stages in the United States or even in the European Parliament. He said he used to see the bust of the Irish Parliamentary Party leader, John Redmond outside The Strangers’ Bar …

Lisdoonvarna's Direct Provision Centre‘They deserve better than being placed in an isolated location with no amenities.’

As heard on Drivetime

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Lisdoonvarna is about to become home to Ireland’s newest direct provision centre and not all local residents are happy with the plans. Reporter John Cooke visited the town and told Mary Wilson of Drivetime what he had learned about the situation. About a week ago, it was announced that the King Thomond hotel will be home to an estimated 115 asylum seekers. Some residents told John that they were …

Olivia O'Leary on Multi-denominational schools‘The Government was given clear evidence that parents wanted more choice of schools five years ago…why, are we still waiting?’

As heard on Drivetime

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Dear God, why does change take so long? Indeed, how much evidence does the Irish State need staring it in the face before it will act? Take one piece of evidence: 30% of young couples are choosing a non-church marriage according to the last Census. So, to reflect the non-religious choice these couples have made: Are 30% of our primary schools non …

Ask for Angela“Everyone is after being on that one dodgy date where they’re actually counting the seconds.”

As heard on Drivetime

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It’s a simple idea: you’re on a date or a night out and you feel uncomfortable. You go to the bar and ask for Angela. The staff take you to a discreet area or room and get you safely out of the premises and into a taxi, in touch with a friend or, if necessary, the Gardaí. Ask for Angela …