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 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 …

100 Years of Cinema in Ireland‘The world was going to hell in a hand-cart from the point of view of the clerical hierarchy.’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Cinema arrived in Ireland a little over 100 years ago as a form of mass entertainment. Initially viewed with some suspicion by authorities, very quickly there was a cinema in most villages across the nation. But what were those early years of cinema like and what was the “vigilance” movement? Denis Condon, Lecturer in Film at the Department of English and Media Studies at NUI Maynooth and Tommy Graham, Editor of History Ireland joined …

‘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 …

Sinn Fein Leadership ‘You’ll be the first to know, Sean’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Nothing like a dingdong battle of wills between two top practitioners in their respective fields to light up the airwaves on a sunny, Thursday morning. Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Fein’s vice president and, according to many in the know, would-be party leader, kicked off her interview on Today with Sean O’Rourke in combative mode, and it was a theme that …