In The News
'Hope has died' - have victims of the Troubles been betrayed?
In 1982, Emmett McConomy’s brother, 11-year-old Stephen, was playing in the street near their home in Derry. A shot fired by a British soldier from an armoured car hit him in the back of the head; he died from his injuries days later. Emmett tells In the News about his family’s decades-long fight for the truth about what happened to the child and how the UK government’s Northern Ireland legacy Bill is a betrayal of justice.
The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill is set to be passed into law this week and it will put an end to inquests and court cases – and includes a form of limited immunity for some perpetrators of crimes committed during the conflict. The Bill has been universally opposed by both sides of the political divide in the North and by the Irish Government and internationally in the United States, the UN and Europe. In the UK, the Labour Party opposes it. It is supported by the Conservative Party and the British military. Freya McClements, Northern Editor of The Irish Time, explains what it means – and what might happen next.
Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Declan Conlon.
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Boris Johnson ducks and dives at the UK Covid inquiry29:13This week, Boris Johnson appeared in front of Britain’s Covid inquiry for the first time. In its six months, the inquiry has already heard damning evidence about the chaos in Downing Street and specifically Johnson’s failure to understand the enormity of the crisis. Irish Times London correspondent Mark Paul was in the room with the former prime minister, as he faced tough questions on Partygate, missing WhatsApp messages and his decision to 'let Covid rip'. Presented by Bernice Harrison, produced by Suzanne Brennan.
What the latest corporation tax bonanza means for the economy21:05The Government received an early Christmas gift this week with the latest exchequer data pointing to another surge in corporation tax as well as increases in income tax and VAT.The figures show total tax receipts for the 11 months to the end of November amounted to €82 billion, which was €4.5 billion (5.8 per cent) more than the same period last year. This puts the Government on course to at least meet or exceed a projected budget surplus of €8.8 billion for 2023 and comes against a backdrop of slowing global growth and tighter financial conditions as a result of the European Central Bank’s interest rate hikes, which had been expected to limit the Government’s tax revenue.Cliff Taylor explains why November is a key month for tax receipts and why these latest figures will calm jitters. Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Suzanne Brennan.
The feis-fixing scandal that rocked Irish dancing19:28In July 2022 a very public scandal erupted in the normally relatively closed world of Irish dancing. An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the oldest and largest governing body for competitive Irish dancing, was informed of allegations that at least 12 Irish dancing teachers in Ireland and overseas were involved in the “fixing” of competitions. And that was the tip of a very grubby iceberg as further allegations emerged – including stories of “unwanted behaviours”, tales of sexual impropriety among the adults and a lack of trust among dancers, parents and teachers. Now 44 individuals are facing disciplinary hearings as the global organisation tries to rebuild trust in the highly competitive world of Irish dancing. Irish Times reporter Shauna Bowers spoke to North Carolina-based Sandra Connick who has taken over as chair of CLRG. Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Suzanne Brennan and Declan Conlon.
Asylum seekers now face sleeping rough amid high tensions20:09Once again the State has run out of places to put asylum seekers. Those newly arriving face the prospect of sleeping rough as temperatures fall and with tensions high after recent riots. Nick Henderson of the Irish Refugee Council explains how we got here, how the system could never keep up with the pace of arrivals and why help from the Defence Forces may be needed to handle the crisis.
Are sinister conspiracies behind the Dublin riots? Yes, say 'alternative' media stars30:42US commentator Tucker Carlson interviewed MAGA figurehead Steve Bannon about Irish society and politics in the wake of the Dublin riots. The men agreed Ireland is a ‘powder keg’ ready to explode thanks to a sinister globalist conspiracy. Then comedian Russell Brand tackled the subject on his online show, touching on the same themes and coming down heavily on Ireland’s proposed new hate speech laws. The three alternative media stars also focussed on the role and influence of MMA fighter Conor McGregor in recent events. Could McGregor become a political leader - or perhaps a political influencer like them? On today’s In the News podcast Irish Times writer and Inside Politics host Hugh Linehan separates the kernels of truth from the misinformation and explains why it all matters. Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Declan Conlon.
Napoleon and The Crown are riddled with historical howlers. Does it matter?27:07Ridley Scott’s Napoleon is a “breathless rollick” says Irish Times chief film correspondent Donald Clarke; Joaquin Phoenix makes the character his own and Vanessa Kirby is a terrific Josephine. But since its release, historians have been carping from the aisles pointing out the inaccuracies in the sprawling blockbuster. Among other things they point out that Napoleon didn’t fire on the pyramids; he wasn’t at Marie Antoinette’s execution and he did not, when general, participate in cavalry charges. But so what? Does it matter? How faithful does an historical biopic be to the facts? Clarke, who has interviewed the veteran British film director many times, including most recently to discuss Napoleon, gives his take. Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by John Casey.
Why is an oil CEO leading the world's biggest climate talks?22:34COP28, the UN’s annual climate change summit kicks off today in Dubai. This year the COP President is Sultan Al Jaber, who is both the UAE’s special envoy on Climate Change and the CEO of the State’s oil and gas company Adnoc. Campaigners have likened his appointment to a tobacco CEO chairing a forum on cancer cures. So how damaging is this to the credibility of COP and how can this conflict of interest be reconciled? Sorcha Pollak speaks to Patrick Galey, journalist and senior fossil fuels investigator for Global Witness. Produced by Suzanne Brennan.
Dublin Riot aftermath: the victims, the investigation and the political fallout24:26Last week's stabbing attack on primary school children and subsequent riot have left Dublin city shaken. One child and her after-school carer are still in a serious condition, as is the man who is suspected of attacking them. Street violence has left immigrants and city-centre workers fearful. And the political fallout is serious - especially for Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. Conor Gallagher and Pat Leahy report.
'I go up the stairs on all fours to conserve energy' - Ireland's ignored health crisis24:18When musician and therapist Ailie Blunnie first caught Covid in 2021, she expected to recover quickly. Yet, more than two years later, the once active 38-year-old has never returned to full health and lives with symptoms of long covid, including chronic fatigue and exhaustion. In this episode, Blunnie talks to Sorcha Pollak about how she manages this debilitating illness. We also hear from long covid specialist Dr Jack Lambert, who says the State funding of long Covid services needs to be allocated differently.