Daniel O'Connell - Forgotten King of Ireland“I think it’s time to look again at a man who believed in purely peaceful means of progress.”

As heard on Today with Miriam

Share this Post

Daniel O’Connell,  “The Liberator”, the man whose voice rang out at monster meetings up and down the island of Ireland, a tireless crusader for religious freedom and the abolition of slavery has been “forgotten in plain sight”. That’s according to broadcaster Olivia O’Leary, whose new two-part series is the first new documentary on O’Connell to be broadcast on RTÉ television in …

Olivia O'Leary on the Song of Amergin‘It’s a poem that sounds a deep echo with any of us born on this island.’

As heard on Drivetime

Share this Post

Sometimes a song is enough. A song and a place. I was 14, in a proper Gaeltacht for the first time. Baile na Sceilige. Ballinskelligs in County Kerry. Inlander as I am, used to the gentle river valleys of home, I was stunned by the epic beauty of this place. But I was still resisting the actual Irish classes until the teacher taught us a local song. It …

Olivia O'Leary on Cyclists‘It’s time we called in the law and fought for our footpaths.’

As heard on Drivetime

Share this Post

Every Easter Monday in recent years, O’Connell Street in Dublin has been closed off to traffic. And it’s been splendid. For once, we can enjoy the great girth of that fine street and all the music and open-air historical events available from the river up to Parnell Square without the tyranny of traffic. The street becomes a plaza. A great meeting place. Rather than being divided …

Olivia O'Leary on Trump‘Trump could win again…we may be fooling ourselves if we think he won’t.’

As heard on Drivetime

Share this Post

He could win again, you know. I woke up this morning realising that Trump could win again. And that we may be fooling ourselves if we think he won’t. And I wasn’t thinking particularly about the summit with North Korea but just about the odds. And they were the same odds that indicated that he would win in the first place in 2016. I had a great …

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

Share this Post

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

Share this Post

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

As heard on Drivetime

Share this Post

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

Share this Post

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 …