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A podcast on Irish culture, history and politics by Naomi O'Leary and Tim Mc Inerney. We bring you the backstory to today's news at a moment of geopolitical upheaval with plenty of lighthearted moments. It's your passport to Ireland.

A podcast on Irish culture, history and politics by Naomi O'Leary and Tim Mc Inerney. We bring you the backstory to today's news at a moment of geopolitical upheaval with plenty of lighthearted moments. It's your passport to Ireland.
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A podcast on Irish culture, history and politics by Naomi O'Leary and Tim Mc Inerney. We bring you the backstory to today's news at a moment of geopolitical upheaval with plenty of lighthearted moments. It's your passport to Ireland.






S2 Episode 12: The Mysterious Eviction

Strange things are happening in Co. Roscommon, where a controversial eviction has set the internet on fire. Who were the unidentified men who ejected an elderly family from their farm house last week? Why do ex-British soldiers appear to be involved? And where do the rumours stop and facts begin? Naomi and Tim uncover the … Continue reading "S2 Episode 12: The Mysterious Eviction"


Halfpints: Brexit chaos

Brexit chaos has turned British politics upside down for the last few weeks. What’s actually going on and should you care? Naomi and Tim lay out what are the UK’s realistic options, what the various factions actually want, and how it all relates to the biggest Brexit roadblock of all: the Irish border. As the … Continue reading "Halfpints: Brexit chaos"


S2 Episode 11 Irish Politics and the Civil War

Ireland’s main political parties are not split on a traditional left-right model, but instead represent different sides of a bloody civil war in the 1920s. But why is this war spoken about so little today? Could it be that its memory is too painful? Or is it because it still so strangely dominant in modern … Continue reading "S2 Episode 11 Irish Politics and the Civil War"


Halfpints: Why the poppy divides Ireland

A hundred years since the end of the First World War, the remembrance poppy remains a controversial symbol in Ireland. Why? Writer Kylie Noble explains what the poppy meant to her as a child growing up in Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, and how she reconciles it with her British and Irish identity today. Naomi traces … Continue reading "Halfpints: Why the poppy divides Ireland"


Halfpints: Ireland elects a president

Ireland votes for president on Friday October 26. Naomi and Tim break down the drama of the campaign. Featuring dragons, horses, and car-crash interviews (literally). We hit the campaign trail on the streets of Dublin, ask Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada why she’s running when she probably won’t win, and tell the backstory to … Continue reading "Halfpints: Ireland elects a president"


S2 Episode 10 The Housing Crisis

Ireland’s housing crisis is at boiling point, with homelessness at record levels and even well-paid people struggling to afford soaring rents and house prices. It’s the political issue everyone is talking about — but it’s one with a long and dramatic history. Tim traces the backstory to how an agrarian revolt turned Ireland into a kind … Continue reading "S2 Episode 10 The Housing Crisis"


S2 Episode 9: The Glorious Twelfth

Tim and Naomi travel to Belfast for the peak of Northern Ireland’s marching season: the 11th and 12th of July, when unionists and British-identifying communities light enormous bonfires and parade through the streets to commemorate Protestant military victories of the 17th century. We speak to experts who explain the meaning of the tradition, and visit … Continue reading "S2 Episode 9: The Glorious Twelfth"


Halfpints: Pope Francis in Ireland

Pope Francis visits Ireland in the wake of the abortion referendum, as Church infighting over the legacy of abuse in Catholic institutions threatens to derail the trip. We hear from people who protested the papal visit, and feature a special guest who decided he wanted to hear what the pope had to say for himself. … Continue reading "Halfpints: Pope Francis in Ireland"


S2 Episode 8: Derry: “Ireland’s Jerusalem”

Derry: ground zero for the outbreak of conflict in Northern Ireland. Is it once again being threatened with instability as Brexit causes deep uncertainty over the border? Naomi and Tim travel north just as unrest breaks out in the ancient city as Protestants and unionists prepare to mark the 12th of July: a yearly celebration … Continue reading "S2 Episode 8: Derry: “Ireland’s Jerusalem”"


S2 Episode 7: Brexit Update 2018

The British government has locked itself in a country mansion to debate Brexit, like a demented Agatha Christie novel. In Brussels, Irish and European leaders grimly start planning for a cliff-edge, no-deal outcome. What’s going on and what does it all mean? Naomi and Tim untangle the latest developments and discuss the implications for Ireland … Continue reading "S2 Episode 7: Brexit Update 2018"


Halfpints: Scotland and Ireland

Why are there two Scottish football clubs, one whose supporters wave the Irish tricolour, the other the Union Jack? The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is just one aspect of a fascinating cultural interchange between Ireland and Scotland that goes back thousands of years. Naomi explores these ancient links and how they are still playing … Continue reading "Halfpints: Scotland and Ireland"


S2 Episode 6: The Gaelic Games

The most popular sports in Ireland are the Gaelic games: uniquely Irish sports with an ancient history and a dramatic political backstory that are finding increasing international success. Tim visits the Paris Gaels to hear why players who have never set foot in Ireland have taken to Gaelic football, while Naomi explores the importance of … Continue reading "S2 Episode 6: The Gaelic Games"


S2 Episode 5: After the Eighth. Ireland repeals abortion ban

Ireland has voted by a landslide to end its near-total abortion ban. We hear the voices of victorious campaigners in Dublin Castle in the moments when the result was announced. Naomi and Tim discuss the historic moment in a Dublin pub. We ask what this means for Ireland, what it means for the world, and … Continue reading "S2 Episode 5: After the Eighth. Ireland repeals abortion ban"


Halfpints: Northern Ireland’s stake in the abortion referendum

Northern Ireland is watching the abortion referendum in the Republic of Ireland carefully. It’s already forcing political parties in the north to debate their abortion policies, and the vote’s outcome will have immediate repercussions in Belfast. Naomi speaks to David McCann, deputy editor of political commentary site Slugger O’Toole about why social issues are in … Continue reading "Halfpints: Northern Ireland’s stake in the abortion referendum"


S2 Episode 4: Ireland’s Abortion Referendum: Information Warfare

Ireland is fighting it out on whether or not to remove its constitutional abortion ban in a referendum on May 25. We investigate how tactics seen in the Trump and Brexit campaigns have come to Ireland, turning it into a battleground for progressive and conservative forces in a global culture war. Our deep dive into … Continue reading "S2 Episode 4: Ireland’s Abortion Referendum: Information Warfare"


S2 Episode 3: 1916 and the Invention of Ireland

The rebellion of a raggedy band of teachers, nurses and poets sent shock waves around the world and changed Ireland forever. But why does the Easter Rising of 1916 still cause controversy? Naomi and Tim introduce the countess, the grocer’s daughter, the carpenter and the ex-cobbler who all picked up guns on the morning of … Continue reading "S2 Episode 3: 1916 and the Invention of Ireland"


Halfpints: The Táin

A tale of powerful matriarchs, fearsome warriors, and supernaturally potent bullocks from Ireland’s ancient past. What’s not to love? Naomi and Tim take on the Táin Bó Cúailnge, a tale of cattle-raiding derring-do from before Christianity made it to Ireland. The first episode of our Halfpints mini-series, available to our Patreon subscribers only.


S2 Episode 2: St. Patrick’s Day Special

A bonus special episode in honour of our national day! We discuss the annual pilgrimage of Irish politicians to the White House that inevitably results in scandal. Tim tells us the surprising origins of the St. Patrick’s Day festival and the murky history of the leprechaun mascot. Naomi investigates the global empire behind the viral … Continue reading "S2 Episode 2: St. Patrick’s Day Special"


S2 Episode 1: A United Ireland

A United Ireland: the idea has been a political force in Irish and British politics for centuries, and it has been given fresh momentum by Brexit. Tim explains how the concept long pre-dates the partition of the island and was once championed by Protestant elites. Naomi visits a public meeting about unification in central Dublin, … Continue reading "S2 Episode 1: A United Ireland"


Episode 13: The Invisible War

It’s the grand finale to the first season! Tim and Naomi examine how a standoff over the Irish border in the Brexit negotiations brought ignorance about Ireland among politicians and media to the surface. We review the biggest embarrassing moments on air from the past few weeks, quiz ordinary English people about what they know … Continue reading "Episode 13: The Invisible War"