Fieldwork: Edwina Guckian, Cúán Greene + Ella McSweeney
With environmental and economic pressures squeezing those who grow, process and cook our food, how can we think creatively about building a fairer and more sustainable future for food and farming in Ireland, and how do the traditional arts and folk customs play a role in this?
Cúán Greene is a chef who has worked in some of the world’s finest fine dining restaurants and now edits the Omós digest, a newsletter exploring food, culture and community. Ella McSweeney presents RTE’s Ear To The Ground, and her reporting for the Guardian and other newspapers has exposed major scandals on meat processing and fishing here in Ireland. Edwina Guckian is an award winning sean-nós dancer and rural activist from co Leitrim where she has been active in reviving and promoting cultural traditions. In conversation with Ireland's Edge host Christopher Kissane in front of a live audience in Dingle they discuss the impact of the covid on the farming community. Featuring a special performance from Edwina and acclaimed concertina player, Cormac Begley.
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5. OK Computer: The Age of AI38:52Artificial Intelligence has already begun to change the world around us, at a speed that few of us anticipated. Will the advancement of AI bring positive progress and societal evolution, or have we created something we cannot control? On this fifth episode of Ireland’s Edge - The Podcast, Chris speaks to two fascinating guests about what opportunities and challenges this brave new world may have in store. Featuring️️: Mark Little, Founder of Storyful and now Kinzen, which uses AI to screen dangerous misinformation online, and Mark O’Connell, Writer, Author and Wellcome Prize winner for his book How to be a Machine. Out now, wherever you get your podcasts. A South Wind Blows production.
4. Disrupting Opera, AI and the Art of Co-Collaboration: Dumbworld33:38Artists all around the world are trying to make sense of what the advance of artificial intelligence will mean for their creative work. Will the very human traits of passion and creativity survive in a world where we let ever more intelligent machines do the work for us? In Belfast, the innovative people behind production company Dumbworld have been thinking about this question in radical ways, integrating AI into their mission to bring opera to the masses. Ivor Novello winning composer Brian Irvine and librettist John McIlduff brought a number of their street operas to Other Voices in Dingle, and at Ireland’s Edge they spoke with musician and cultural consultant Dermot McLaughlin about shaking up opera and why they were moved to do so, harnessing technology to open up the art form to whole new audiences, and the implications and applications of AI for opera, music and the wider creative industries.For more on Dumbworld and their work: https://dumbworld.co.uk/
3. Everybody Hurts: Reforming Irish Healthcare42:28Once again this winter, the Irish healthcare system has been overwhelmed, with thousands of appointments cancelled, hundreds lying on hospital trollies waiting for beds, and staff once more having to complain about unsafe and unfair working conditions.On this episode, Chris speaks to three women who see the healthcare system from very different angles: Professor Sara Burke is Director of the Centre for Health Policy and Management at Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine. Dr Monica Oikeh is a GP based in Cork, who has amassed huge views on TikTok with her helpful and accessible videos on healthcare, busting taboos around mental, sexual and female health. And Phil Ní Sheaghda is the General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation. At Ireland’s Edge in Dingle in front of a live audience, Chris asks them how we can bring people together to improve our healthcare, as well as about implementing reform, the promise of Universal Healthcare in Sláintecare, equal access for all and more.*Correction and clarification from panellist Dr Sara Burke:When discussing the increase in the number of staff on HSE payroll between 2019 and 2023, Dr Burke cites figures from the Health Sector Employment Report SEP 2023, citing the 'total people/head count figure from 2023' instead of the 'WTE (Whole Time Equivalent)' from 2023, inadvertently overstating the increase. However, the overall point remains that there are much greater staff increases in the hospital system rather than in primary, community care and social care. We thank Dr Burke for this clarification.
2. A View From the Hill: In conversation with Fiona Hill01:11:51"I’ve worked on a lot of conflicts that looked like they were intractable. A solution takes a lot of international effort; you’ve got to look for multiple honest brokers."From the horrendous destruction of Gaza, to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, to the return of Donald Trump, geopolitics feels terrifyingly unstable right now. On this week’s episode we hear from one of the world’s leading foreign policy analysts, Dr Fiona Hill, about the state of global politics, and the murky world of international affairs. Originally from the north of England, and now Chancellor of Durham University, Fiona Hill found herself at the centre of the impeachment trial of then President Trump, after her time as Senior Director of European and Russian Affairs on the US National Security Council. She had previously worked at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, at the Brookings Institution, and as an analyst for Presidents George W Bush, and Barack Obama. In front of a live audience at Ireland’s Edge last December she spoke about a huge range of political and personal issues with seasoned reporter and RTE Europe Editor, Tony Connelly. This is View From the Hill.
1. 'Cowards and Women': Reporting the Rise of Sinn Féin32:25Series 4 / Episode 1Chris speaks to BBC Ireland correspondent Aoife Moore about the controversial rise of Ireland’s largest political party, Sinn Fein. Hardline militants in the republican movement used to regard their political wing as a place for ‘women and cowards’, but with Sinn Fein already the largest party in Northern Ireland, and leading the polls for the next Dail election, how do we assess the party’s journey from irrelevance to the brink of power?Before moving to the BBC, Aoife was named Irish journalist of the year in 2021 for her reporting with the Irish Examiner. Her new book, The Long Game, traces the history of Sinn Fein from the 1970s to the present day, and was nominated for Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards. In front of a live audience at Ireland’s Edge in Dingle last December, Chris spoke to Aoife about her book, her life as a journalist, and the future of Irish politics.Presented by Christopher Kissane. A South Wind Blows production.
10. The People Have The Power: Fidaa Marouf, Kevin Baker + Dinny Galvin26:22On this episode, The People Have The Power. While debates about social change often focus on Government policy, all across Ireland there are citizens and volunteers taking it upon themselves to create the change they want to see in their communities.At Ireland’s Edge, Muireann Kelliher spoke to three such inspiring individuals to hear their stories and ask them how we can better harness the creativity and commitment of citizens in addressing our social problems . Fidaa Marouf came to Ireland from Syria five years ago and is now studying dentistry as a Quercus Active Citizen Scholar,at University College Cork; Kevin Baker was the Chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and Dinny Galvin who joined us earlier in this series is a local farmer from here in Kerry.
9. After the Gold Rush: Leo Clancy, CEO Enterprise Ireland37:28Ireland is enjoying an unprecedented boom in corporate tax receipts, with tens of millions from multinationals and the tech and pharmaceutical sectors helping to create a huge government budget surplus. While the government predicts that its annual surplus will rise to an incredible 20 billion euros in the next few years, some of that boom will certainly be temporary as corporate giants shift their profits around the globe. So, what happens after the gold rush? Leo Clancy is the CEO of Enterprise Ireland, the government agency tasked with helping indigenous Irish businesses grow and export, with the goal of creating a more sustainable domestic economy. He previously worked on the management team at Ireland’s Industrial Development authority, which has spent decades attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In front of a live audience at Ireland’s Edge Leo spoke to Muireann Kelliher about his own career and the prospects for Irish business in the economy.
8. 'Seen But Not Heard': Shon Faye15:20Trans people continue to face discrimination and demonisation with their real lives and experiences too often ignored by a public debate fuelled by toxic myths and hatred. The writer and journalist Shon Faye’s bestselling book The Transgender Issue argues that we have been having the wrong conversation by making trans people seen but not heard, and that trans justice is justice for all. At Ireland’s Edge in Dingle, Shon spoke to Ireland’s Edge host Christopher Kissane about her book and her work, telling him about her childhood holidays in Ireland, her dating advice column for Vogue, and her queer history podcast, Call Me Mother. Today’s episode features a short excerpt from that discussion where Shon and Chris talk about the need for social solidarity against hate and intolerance. Chris asks Shon to tell us about her work revealing the shocking scale of social problems like unemployment, homelessness and self-harm that far too many trans people still have to deal with.
7. What Future is in the Fields?: Ella McSweeney, Lisa Fingleton, Dinny Galvin + Tommy Reidy31:06Our rural and coastal communities are facing great environmental and economic challenges. The dominance of industrial agriculture and the threat of climate change have forced many to reflect on how we can both preserve and create sustainable ways of life. On today’s episode we meet some of the inspiring people working on fascinating local projects on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry asking, "what future is in our fields?’ In front of a live audience at Ireland’s Edge in Dingle, Ella McSweeney, presenter of RTE’s Ear To The Ground, was joined by artist and activist Lisa Fingleton and local farmers Tommy Reidy and Dinny Galvin.