The Explainer

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Our deputy editor Christine Bohan and Ciarán O'Connor of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue join us on this week's episode to look at how the spread of misinformation has evolved in Ireland over the past year. Who is it targeting, who benefits, and how did QAnon crop up on this side of the Atlantic?
Ronan Lyons, associate professor of economics at Trinity College Dublin, joins us on this week's podcast to examine what impact the pandemic is having on housing prices. Are prices being pushed up, or were they drifting up anyway? And what's the best advice for someone considering buying a home right now?
Our reporters Rónán Duffy and Gráinne Ní Aodha examine the possibility of - and the appetite for - a united Ireland in the next decade. How would a border poll work, and what's this Shared Ireland Unit the government set up? This episode is part of The Good Information Project - we're also joined by Brian Whelan to explain more about this new initiative from The Journal.
Our reporters Gráinne Ní Aodha and Michelle Hennessy join us to examine why vaccines are causing tensions to almost boil over between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The former is now weighing up plans to halt exports of jabs to countries with higher rates of vaccinations than its own member states. We look at the origins of all this (it's not Brexit again, is it?), what it has to do with the 1970s oil crisis, and why a single pharmaceutical plant in the Netherlands is in the spotlight.
Co-director of Wolfwalkers, Tomm Moore, joins us on this week's episode to discuss the film's nomination for an Academy Award. What type of groundwork goes into it, what does it mean to even get close to winning an Oscar, and what is it like for Cartoon Saloon to grow from a small Kilkenny-based studio to a name respected worldwide in animation?
Our business reporter Ian Curran joins us to look at recent stories about banks and brokers, from Ulster Bank pulling out of Ireland and Bank of Ireland closing branches, to Davy being fined over a 2014 transaction. Should we be concerned that we're hearing so much about them?
Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, our reporter Cónal Thomas, as well as Ola Mustapha, who lives in Direct Provision, join us on this week's episode to explore the new plan to bring the current regime of Direct Provision to an end by 2024. What are conditions like current, and how feasible is the new plan?
Is there anything to be said for another Covid plan? Our Political Correspondent Christina Finn and Senior Reporter Michelle Hennessy join us to examine the latest changes to the Living With Covid framework. What are the government's aims for the next few weeks, and when might lockdown be lifted?
Our reporters Órla Ryan and Michelle Hennessy bring us to speed with the latest on Ireland's Covid vaccine rollout. What happens once the over 70s are vaccinated, what's the latest estimate on when the entire rollout might be complete, and how do we compare to other countries?'s Brexit reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha and BBC Radio Foyle's Dominic McGrath (formerly of this parish) join us on this week's episode to examine Article 16, and why it has lead to problems in Dublin, Belfast, London, and Brussels. What exactly is its function in the Northern Ireland Protocol, and why was the triggering of it so unexpected?
Our reporters Ian Curran and Michelle Hennessy lay the entire AstraZeneca vaccine saga out on the table and go through it piece by piece - from the initial questions over its clinical trials, its success in the UK, to the delivery woes and Brexit complications now impeding the vaccine's rollout in the EU. Read more of Ian and Michelle's reporting on the vaccine roll-out here
Larry Donnelly, NUIG lecturer and's columnist, joins us on this week's episode to look at Trump's second impeachment. What happens next, how likely is it that he will be convicted in the Senate, and what does it all mean for his future?
Dr Ciara Breathnach, associate professor at the University of Limerick, and our reporters Cónal Thomas and Órla Ryan, examine the findings of the mother and baby home report, and how it could provide more questions than answers.
Ireland's third wave of Covid-19 is putting the health service under unprecedented strain. We speak to those on the frontlines about what they're experiencing.
Our reporters Michelle Hennessy and Cónal Thomas bring up to date on the latest restrictions; the discussion over what led to the rocketing Covid-19 case numbers; how vaccination is going; and how the healthcare system is coping.
As this tumultuous year draws to a close, The Explainer team sits down to pick their favourite clips from the year.
Sinéad O'Carroll chats to RTÉ Washington Correspondent Brian O'Donovan about reporting on the ground in Trump's America and how his achievements compare to his 2016 promises. We also look ahead to 2021 and the uphill battle Joe Biden faces one he enters the White House.
Our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy shares all the detail you need on the plan to roll-out Covid-19 vaccines in Ireland, including who gets the first doses, who will be administering the vaccine, where you'll get it, and a rough idea of when it all might happen.
Ireland could start its rollout of a Covid vaccine as soon as next month, but how exactly do they work? We're joined on this week's episode by head of the National Virus Reference Laboratory and NPHET member Dr Cillian De Gascun. We examine the main differences between the leading vaccine candidates, why mRNA could be a significant gamechanger in medicine, and more.
RTÉ legal affairs correspondent Órla O'Donnell and Fianna Fáil's Jim O'Callaghan join us on this week's episode to discuss a surprise ruling which means that Irish media can no longer report the names of children who have been murdered. We examine Section 252, and the impact it has both on reporting cases like this and on survivors of abuse who want to tell their story.
We speak to doctoral researcher Hilary Hogan to examine the 27th Amendment. Unanimously passed in 2004, it meant that children born to non-Irish citizens would no longer be entitled to birthright citizenship. New legislation proposed by Labour seeks to provide a path to citizenship for these children.
NPHET's modelling expert Professor Philip Nolan joins us on this week's episode to discuss the recent trends in the Covid-19 cases at this halfway point in Ireland's second lockdown, as well as answering some of your questions.
Dr Kevin Cunningham, lecturer in politics and in the School of Media at TU Dublin, as well as an independent pollster, joins us on this week's website episode to examine whether the polls accurately predicted the results of the US election - or whether that's even possible within the electoral college system.
Sinéad O'Carroll is joined this by our reporter Órla Ryan, co-director of the Clann Project and NUI Galway lecturer in human rights Dr Maeve O’Rourke, as well as solicitor and director of Data Compliance Europe Simon McGarr. The government has received a copy of the findings from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, but it has already attracted significant controversy before it has even come near to being published, as fears were sparked among survivor and campaign groups that the records would be sealed for 30 years. We look at what exactly a mother and baby home was, what the Commission of Inquiry was investigating, how this spiraled into a controversy as well as what exactly the GDPR says about access to records like these.
We recorded this week's episode live on Zoom. Presenter Sinéad O’Carroll was joined by our columnist Larry Donnelly of NUIG, associate professor at Trinity College Dublin Dr Daniel Geary who has a special interest in political ideologies and the intellectual and cultural history of America, and Seana Davis of Euronews, who examines how misinformation and American politics have intertwined over the past four years. We focused on what Trump's legacy could be - either from his first term or his entire presidency, depending on how Tuesday falls.
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Podcast Details

Created by
The Explainer
Podcast Status
Mar 10th, 2019
Latest Episode
Apr 15th, 2021
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
32 minutes

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