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 …

Paddy Duffy“Tell me a crazed experiment involving dinosaurs isn’t the first thing to mind when you think of Brexit.”

As heard on Drivetime

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The witty and wise London-based author and broadcaster Paddy Duffy sent us his thoughts on Brexit and St Patrick on Monday’s Drivetime. Paddy recalled being impressed when his college History lecturer admitted that there weren’t that many details known about Ireland’s patron saint. Most questions, he told us, seemed to have answers like, “we don’t know”, we’re not sure”, or …

Martin McGuinness’s Headstone“It re-traumatised me because I’ve had to live with the murder of my father ever since.”

As heard on liveline

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Readers of this page may recall former President Mary McAleese’s tribute to Martin McGuinness when he passed away just over one month ago. ‘Thank you,’ she said, speaking on RTÉ Radio. ‘Thank you for helping to construct a future that our grandchildren can look forward to.’ In the intervening period, the legacy of the former Northern Ireland Assembly Deputy First …

Martin McGuinness Funeral‘Maybe out of the shadow he has left, power sharing can be put back together’

As heard on The Late Debate

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When Arlene Foster entered Derry’s St Columba’s Church yesterday for the funeral of Martin McGuinness, mourners greeted her presence with a round of applause. As the leader of the North’s main unionist party, with a painful personal experience of the IRA, her presence would have been unthinkable a generation ago. Even now, with the current political climate in Northern Ireland, …

‘It was put to the Ard Comhairle and it was unanimously decided I should be leader.’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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It was an interesting little exchange on Today with Sean O’Rourke, as the presenter tried to get to the bottom of how Michelle O’Neill came to replace Martin McGuinness as leader of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland. “Were you elected or were you anointed, as leader?” asked the presenter. “I was chosen by the Ard Comhairle … It’s the decision-making …

THE TROUBLES“The fact of having a Catholic mother appalled me”

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Behind the headlines of the period known as the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the stark figures of more than 3500 deaths, the political turmoil, the religious and social antagonism, a myriad of everyday human stories were being played out, some ordinary, some extraordinary, some fascinating, tragic or triumphant. This morning on The Ryan Tubridy show, listeners heard a story was …