cover art for CHILDREN IN NEED: Maria O’Dwyer.

The Mick Clifford Podcast


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is making the eradication of child poverty a priority for this government. Exactly how urgent the issue is will become clear in the forthcoming budget. But what exactly is child poverty? What is the lived experience of children who are living in poverty? And what exactly needs to be done if it is to be addressed in a meaningful way. Maria O’Dwyer is a researcher and national co-ordinator of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network. She is this week’s guest on the podcast.

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    This week’s guest on the podcast is one of Ireland’s leading criminal law solicitors, Frank Buttimer. With over forty years in practice Frank Buttimer has represented clients in some of the most high profile trials over the decades. He also has some interesting insights in the type of crime that is coming before the courts these days, particularly in the area of sexually motivated crime.

    The fiftieth anniversary of the Dublin Monaghan bombings falls on 17 May. Thirty four people died in the four bombings in what was the worst tragedy in the state since the Civil War. Families were marked for life by the killings but beyond the human tragedy there was also a state scandal associated with the day. Over the years it has emerged that both the Irish and British governments of the day showed no interest in investigating the crime and bringing perpetrators to justice. Retired senior garda John O’Brien has written a book about the case, focusing on the political and policing elements in the aftermath and why there appeared to be a lack of willingness to find out who had bombed Dublin and Monaghan. John O’Brien is this week guest.

    A new study into how teenage boys are drawn down rabbit holes online to content that is misogynistic and possibly have a traumatic impact on their development was published recently by DCU. The research shows that social media companies are now drawing teenagers towards influencers who are spreading all manner of negative material simply to make money. What can be done about it by regulators, parents and society in general? And what will the impact be for tomorrow’s adult males. Professor Debbie Ging from DCU’s anti bullying centre is this week’s guest.
  • HERO’S BROKEN WINGS: Roger Casement

    One of the most tragic figures from the revolutionary period was Roger Casement, global humanitarian, Irish rebel, hung as a traitor. A new biography Broken Archangel – The Tempestuous Lives of Roger Casement provides a fascinating account of this complex figure and the times he lived in. It also answers definitively the questions around whether his diaries, used to blacken his name ahead of his execution, were forged. The book’s author, Ronald Phillips is this week’s guest on the podcast.

    After forty three years the families of the forty eight young people who died in the Stardust fire in Dublin in February 1981 have finally received a form of justice. The longest running inquest in the history of the state returned a verdict of unlawful killing in all forty eight deaths. How did it get here, what did the inquest here and where can it go from here. The Irish Examiner’s Sean Murray has been following this story most of his career and he is this week’s guest on the podcast.  
  • ON A CROOK’S TRAIL: Michael O’Farrell

    Michael Lynn is currently serving a prison sentence for crimes of fraud committed at the height of the Celtic Tiger years in this country. A solicitor by training, he conned banks out of tens of millions of euro, went on the run and ended up in Brazil where his wife gave birth to their first child. He thought that would save him from extradition but it didn’t. All the time his trail was being followed by investigative reporter Michael O’Farrell, who has now written a book, Fugitive, the Michael Lynn story. The book reads like a thriller and Michael is this week’s guest on the podcast.  

    We have long since developed in a nation of foodies in this country in terms of the range of foodies that people enjoy and how it is consumed. But what of our food system? How far now is the journey from farm to fork? Why do we no longer, for the greater part, know the precise distance and route taken by the food we buy? And why is this country that projects itself as a top class food producer, importing so much. Irish Examiner Food Writer Joe McNamee answers these questions and much more in a fascinating tour of our current food system.

    The bustling town of Killorglin in Co Kerry is one of the most unlikeliest places imaginable to have a connection with one of the biggest drug cartels on the planet but that is the case. One of the senior figures in the Sinaloa cartel is allegedly Morris O’Shea Salazar who spent a decade of his formative years growing up and into adulthood in Killorglin. Authorities in Chile are attempting to locate him to press serious charges on the basis that he was the cartel’s main man in Europe. His mother, who brought him to Killorglin, and his uncle are already serving prison sentences. Irish Examiner reporter Liz Dunphy went to the mid Kerry town to talk to locals and find out who exactly was and is Morris O’Shea Salazar.  
  • HEIRESS, BOMBER: Rose Dugdale

    The death was announced earlier this week of Rose Dugdale, the English aristocrat who became a member of the IRA, served time in prison and was subsequently involved in perfecting bomb technology for the Provos. She also featured in attempts to rid inner city Dublin of drug dealers in the 1980s. Sean O’Driscoll has written a biography of Ms Dugdale, entitled Heiress Rebel Vigliante Bomber. Sean is this week’s guest on the podcast.