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The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times reporters and columnists, outside experts and political guests. Also on this channel: Inside Story, an occasional series examining major news stories and how we cover them.

The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times reporters and columnists, outside experts and political guests. Also on this channel: Inside Story, an occasional series examining major news stories and how we cover them.
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The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times reporters and columnists, outside experts and political guests. Also on this channel: Inside Story, an occasional series examining major news stories and how we cover them.




Peadar Tóibín on Building A New Party With 'No Taboo Subjects'

Public meetings to introduce pro-life TD Peadar Tóibín's new, as-yet unnamed political party have been drawing decent crowds around the country in recent weeks. Already 1,400 people have joined the party. Who are they, and what will the party stand for beyond opposition to abortion? Peadar sits down with Hugh and Pat to explain.


May's Crushing Commons Defeat

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan joins Hugh and Pat to consider last night's historic House of Commons defeat for Theresa May's Brexit plan. Has the likelihood of a 'no deal' crash out increased? And, how prepared is the Irish government for such a scenario? Also on the agenda: Fine Gael's "old-fashioned environmentalism", the carbon tax and the Green Party's ambitions for the local and European elections.


Nurses Pay: Why Fine Gael Won't Back Down

As nurses prepare for days of strike action, our politics team consider the problem it poses for Minister Paschal Donohoe and how he is likely to respond. In part two the panel look ahead to the new political season and discuss the significance of upcoming European elections in an utterly changed European political landscape and the meagre legislative agenda. But as ever, it's all overshadowed by the B-word.


Repost: Timothy Snyder, Author of "On Tyranny" (November 2017)

Today, for the benefit of those who recently discovered Inside Politics, we're reposting a podcast with one of our favourite interviewees: American author, historian and academic Timothy Snyder. In November 2017 Hugh interviewed Timothy Snyder about his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, in which he makes provocative and unsettling comparisons between today's politics and the rise of the Third Reich and suggests how we can avoid the terrible mistakes of the past....


Ask Us Anything #2

The second of two AMA episodes of Inside Politics. Answering your questions about politics and more are Pat Leahy, Fiach Kelly, Jennifer Bray and Harry McGee with host Hugh Linehan.


Ask Us Anything #1

We invited you to submit questions for our politics team and we received a lot of responses, so today is the first of two episodes dedicated to answering them. Thanks to everyone who sent in a question!


What We Got Wrong About 2018

What did The Irish Times politics team expect to see happening in 2018 that failed to materialise? Which politicians impressed us? What disappointed us? Fiach Kelly, Jennifer Bray and Harry McGee join Hugh to look back on the year in politics.


The Transformative Election of 1918

This day 100 years ago, citizens (including, for the first time, women) across the entire island of Ireland voted together for the final time for a national parliament. To look back at that vote and its historic consequences, Hugh is joined by Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times columnist and Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD, and Dr Mary McAuliffe, a lecturer in Gender Studies who specialises in Irish women's history, also in UCD. But first Hugh shares some family history of his own.


May Digs In Her Heels

Today's podcast focusses on Brexit and the Sinn Fein party's fortunes. London Editor Denis Staunton explains why UK Prime Minister Theresa May is unlikely to lose a confidence vote called by her own backbenchers and what the process means for Brexit, for The Tories and parliamentary politics in Britain. Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty is here to discuss his party's showing in the presidential election, the loss of TDs Peadar Tóibín and Carol Nolan over the abortion issue...


Historic Times in Westminster, Peadar's Party, Paschal's Reprimand

With Hugh to appraise all this week's political news (including high drama in Westminster, the personalised abortion legislation debate, Peadar Tóibín's new political movement and the Fiscal Advisory Council's reprimand of the Government's budgetary policies) are UCC political scientist Dr Theresa Reidy and Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray from our politics team.


Bill Browder on Putin's Kleptocracy & A "Cold War Against Crime"

"Putin and his regime are going to become more hostile, malicious and deadly to the rest fo the world, and we need to understand this". Since the murder in Russia of his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, Bill Browder has been on a mission to highlight and punish corruption and crime in that country and beyond. He is in Dublin this week to push for the introduction here of a law to mirror the US Magnitsky Act that penalises Russian officials by targeting their assets. He talks to Hugh about Vladimir...


What Really Caused Brexit? With Fintan O'Toole & Professor Helen Thompson

As we wait for UK parliament to vote on Theresa May's deal, Hugh talks to two people with thought-provoking and divergent ideas about what brought about Brexit in the first place: Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole and Professor Helen Thompson of Cambridge University. The conversation touches on everything from the Norman invasion to the nature of the EU single market, and even a fictional EU prohibition on prawn cocktail-flavour crisps.


Abortion Bill Hurdles, Leo's Tax Promise, Brexit Rubber Stamp

Concerns are growing that the Government’s proposed abortion legislation will not pass through the Oireachtas in time for its planned introduction date in January. Was Minister Simon Harris naive in setting the deadline? Irish Times politics team new recruit Jennifer Bray joins old timers Hugh, Pat and Harry to talk about this and other matters including Brexit, Leo's tax cuts promise, and the national broadband scheme.


Simon Coveney on Brexit, the DUP & No Deal Contingencies / Leo's Big Tax Cut

On the floor at the Fine Gael National Conference, the Inside Politics team interviews Tanaiste Simon Coveney about Brexit, what happens if the deal is not approved by UK parliamentarians and the role of the DUP. Plus: A major policy announcement has been made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in his speech: a pledge to raise the threshold for the higher rate of income tax from €35,000 to €50,000 over five budgets. Huge if true. But is it wise? Fiach Kelly and Pat Leahy analyse the news.


The Audacity of Theresa May

With a Brexit deal agreed between Britain and the EU, now all eyes turn to Westminster. Will Prime Minister Theresa May be able to bounce her cabinet, the Commons and the EU into a deal that nobody likes and many despise? And ultimately could the markets scare the Commons into accepting anything to avoid No Deal? Meanwhile in Dublin, all focus is on whether the wording of the border backstop will be sufficiently resistant to 'interpretation' down the line. Plus: Confidence and Supply...


Michael Lewis on Cronyism in The Trump Administration & The Unsung Virtues of Civil Servants

Author Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Big Short, The Undoing Project)talks to Hugh about his new book 'The Fifth Risk'. The book concerns the Trump Administration and what Lewis says are astounding levels of cronyism and corruption in the appointments it has made in key government organisations with responsibility for everything from nuclear weapons to weather forecasting.


Patrick Radden Keefe on Murder, Memory and Denial in Northern Ireland

New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe has written a book about the killing of mother-of-ten Jean McConville by the IRA in 1972. As well as uncovering new facts about the circumstances around McConville's killing, and making a new allegation about the identities of those who killed her, the book is a valuable outsider's view of the enduring legacy of The Troubles and the roles of republican leaders like Gerry Adams. On today's podcast Patrick Redden Keefe talks to Public Affairs Editor...


US Midterms / David McWilliams on The Successes of Centrism & The Property Problem

First: Washington Correspondent Suzanne Lynch on a night of mixed results for both parties and President Trump in the US Midterms. What message will Democratic Party take from this when selecting a presidential challenger to Donald Trump for 2020? Then: economist and Irish Times columnist David McWilliams joins Hugh and Fiach to talk about his new book Renaissance Nation, the success of political centrism in Ireland, what divides the generations and how the property problem ("the primacy of...


Martina Fitzgerald on 'Madam Politician', Labour's Next Moves

RTÉ political correspondent Martina Fitzgerald has written a book about the experiences of the small number of women - 10% of the total - who have sat at the cabinet table in Ireland. Madam Politician features interviews with all "the living members of this exclusive club". She's here to talk about what she found with Pat Leahy and Harry McGee. They are also joined by Labour councillor Rebecca Moynihan who shares her own experience at the local government level, and discusses what the Labour...


Result Day Special: Higgins's Victory, Casey's Appeal, Sinn Féin's Problem

The official numbers are not yet in but the result is clear. Kitty Holland, Pat Leahy and Fiach Kelly are here to talk about the reelection of Michael D Higgins to the presidency, the surge in support for Peter Casey, who today denied the growth in his support was due to his comments about Travellers, and the disappointing showing from Sinn Féin's Liadh Ní Riada. Has this election exposed a flaw in the party's broader strategy?