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Lunchtime Live Highlights

News & Politics Podcasts

Andrea Gilligan invites callers to have their say on the topics of the day - get in touch by emailing Listen and subscribe to Lunchtime Live Highlights on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Download, listen and subscribe on the Newstalk App. You can also listen to Newstalk live on or on Alexa, by and asking: 'Alexa, play Newstalk'




Andrea Gilligan invites callers to have their say on the topics of the day - get in touch by emailing Listen and subscribe to Lunchtime Live Highlights on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Download, listen and subscribe on the Newstalk App. You can also listen to Newstalk live on or on Alexa, by and asking: 'Alexa, play Newstalk'




Census 2022: Priest ‘not surprised’ by number in non-religious category

The Census 2022 findings have been released today. It is the first time in 171 years that Ireland's population exceeded the five million threshold. There were 5,149,139 people in the State as of last April 2022, an 8% increase since 2016. There were more interesting findings from religion, working from home, commuting and home ownership! Andrea was joined by Newstalk’s Sean O’Regan, Father Paddy Byrne, Parish priest in Abbeyleix and Raheen in County Laois, Feljin José, Chairperson of Dublin Commuter Coalition and many more to discuss.


Love Island Returns: 'We're not watching to learn about the world'

Love Island is set to return to our screens on Monday. Andrea was joined by Orlaith Condon the host of the 'My Pod on Paper' podcast and listener Ben to discuss if reality TV shows like this have a role in our society. Are shows like this damaging for young viewers or do they open up conversations that we otherwise wouldn’t have?


Is there a pressure to pay the voluntary contribution fee in schools?

St. Vincent de Paul has published new report today which found that 87% of parents cut back or delay spending in order to pay school voluntary contributions. The study polled 1,447 parents, who had made voluntary contributions to schools ranging between €30 to €550. Is there a pressure to pay voluntary contribution in schools? Andrea was joined by listeners to discuss their experience with paying the voluntary contribution.


Checking in on young people

Andrea was joined by Frances to discuss mental health and the importance of checking in on young people. If you’ve been affected by any of the issues discussed, there is help available at or


Is it time we rethink our county borders?

Is it time we looked at redrawing our county borders? Associate Professor of Politics at DCU, Dr Eoin O'Malley thinks so. Andrea was joined by callers to get their views...


The latest on the Philip Schofield saga

It’s the story that just keeps rumbling on – Philip Schofield. This Morning went ahead as usual this morning, with Presenters Allison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary acknowledging that "we know we happen to be in the news at the moment". Brendan O’Loughlin, Presenter of 98FM'S Big Breakfast joined Andrea with the latest...


Is it time to regulate the Airbnb industry?

There are more short-term holiday lets available on Airbnb than long-term rentals listed on in all 26 counties. That is according to new data compiled by Newstalk Chief Reporter Barry Whyte. There are almost 100-times more properties available on Airbnb for short-term let in Co Kerry than rental properties on Daft. In west Donegal, for example, there are 572 properties available on Airbnb - with just one rental property on Daft for €2,800 a month. Is this problem getting out of hand? Just last week we saw homelessness figures reach an all time high 12,259 registered homeless in Ireland in April. Andrea was joined by callers to discuss...


‘On cloud nine‘: Cork woman's baby joy after 23 miscarriages

Cork woman, Georgina O’Shea and her husband Ken, have welcomed a new miracle baby girl after 23 miscarriages. Georgina joined Andrea on Lunchtime Live to discuss her story...


Gym-Timidation: 'They have nothing to be intimidated by'

Have you ever felt intimidated when going to the gym? A new trend on TikTok has seen people addressing and calling out what is known as ‘Gym-Timidation’. Andrea was joined by Gillian Hynes, owner and personal trainer from Body Project and other listeners to discuss...


'A labour of love' - Should grandparents be paid for minding their grandchildren?

Writing in the Irish Independent today, Anne Atkins says the implication that a grandparent has nothing better to do with their time than provide free childcare – all day, every day – is downright demeaning. Do you think grandparents should be paid for minding their own grandchildren? Andrea was joined by listeners to discuss…


Tina Turner Remembered: 'A fabulous iconic star'

Tina Turner - one of rock's great vocalists and most charismatic performers - has died aged 83, her spokesperson has confirmed. In a statement, they said: "Tina Turner, the 'Queen of Rock'n Roll' has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. Andrea was joined by listeners to hear their memories of the legendary singer…


DAA 'should consider' renting National Show Centre car park - Fine Gael Councillor

Dublin Airport has warned passengers that there are no more spaces in its car parks for the coming days. 6,200 spaces that were previously available have been taken out of the system following the sale of the Quick Park facility. Andrea was joined by listeners to discuss...


11th anniversary since the murder of Nicola Furlong

It’s 11 years today since Wexford Student Nicola Furlong was murdered in Tokyo, a crime that shook the Country. Nicola’s dad Andrew joined Andrea Gilligan on the show...


Should we ban internal flights?

France has banned domestic short-haul flights where train alternatives exist, in a bid to cut carbon emissions – is that something we should consider too? Andrea Gilligan was joined by callers to discuss...


Cullinane on Oireachtas hearing into HSE bullying

Following conversations had here on Lunchtime Live in recent months around bullying and harassment in our health service – there was a commitment made by the Oireachtas Health Committee to look at these issues around the health, safety and well-being of our front-line health workers. The HSE were before an Oireachtas Health Committee again today. Andrea Gilligan was joined by David Cullinane, Sinn Féín TD and party Health Spokesperson...


Should we allow competition among children?

The GAA are to clamp down and bring sanctions against those involved in providing any form of competition for players under the age of 12. The association has reminded counties that there “is no facility, under association rule, for any competitive aspect within these games”. As it stands all games played at U12 level and below are under the banner of Go Games, which are intended to be non-competitive. This clampdown will mean that any blitzes or events involving players under 12 can no longer include any form of score-keeping or competitive, knockout element, with no finals, winners or losers. Andrea Gilligan was joined by Cahair O’Kane, Sports Journalist with the Irish News and others to discuss...


Ozempic: 'I'm now down six and a half stone'

The ‘miracle’ weight loss drug Ozempic is continuing to see shortages in Ireland The drug has only been approved to treat Type 2 Diabetes but demands from patients with obesity who are prescribed the drug ‘off-label' is contributing to the ongoing lack of supply. Clare McKenna was joined by Ashley and Susie, who are on Ozempic and also Sheena Mitchell, who runs Milltown Totalhealth pharmacy in Dublin – Sheena you have been doing some research into this ongoing struggle for patients...


‘Minimum sentence of 10 months imprisonment’ needed for dog theft - Tóibín

Steven O'Riordan joined Clare McKenna on Lunchtime Live to discuss an attempt by two men to steal his dog, Molly. Aontú leader and TD for Meath, Peadar Tóibín also joined the conversation to discuss pet thieves and how they are dealt with...


Drug surrender bins 'effectively useless' at summer festivals

A drug testing regime, introduced at Electric Picnic last year is to be rolled out to other big festivals this year. It is part of the HSE's drug harm-reduction campaign with people encouraged to anonymously surrender drugs for testing. A pilot drug checking scheme at Electric Picnic last September detected high potency MDMA pills, powders and crystals and a new substance 3-CMC. Clare McKenna was joined by Sophie Ridley, the Safety Officer at Life Festival and others to discuss...


'I'm really healthy' - Trudy Hayes parents donated their kidneys to save her life

From busy hairdresser in her early twenties to undergoing dialysis in hospital three days a week for four to five hours at a time – Trudy Haye’s life changed drastically, all in the blink of an eye. Trudy joined Clare McKenna on Lunchtime Live to discuss her father and mother both donating their kidneys to her...