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The Last Word with Matt Cooper

News & Politics Podcasts

On Ireland's most cutting edge current affairs show, Matt and his guests provide a running stream of intelligent opinions and heated debates on the issues that matter most to Irish listeners. You might not always agree, but you'll never want to miss a Word.

On Ireland's most cutting edge current affairs show, Matt and his guests provide a running stream of intelligent opinions and heated debates on the issues that matter most to Irish listeners. You might not always agree, but you'll never want to miss a Word.


Dublin, Ireland


On Ireland's most cutting edge current affairs show, Matt and his guests provide a running stream of intelligent opinions and heated debates on the issues that matter most to Irish listeners. You might not always agree, but you'll never want to miss a Word.






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Culture Club - Marion McKeone

Last Word listeners will know her best for her weekly contributions to our US slot, but Marion McKeone is this week's Culture Club inductee. She joined Matt to talk about her favourite music, books and authors, TV shows and movies. First Single Ever Bought: Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel - Judy Teen Favourite Albums: Stone Roses - The Stone Roses, Pulp - Different Class, Merle Haggard - Silver Wings, Johnny Cash - Live at Folsom Prison and San Quentin, Sam Cooke - Live at the Apollo, Prince...


The Best Hotel Deals For Your Summer Staycation

Are you planning on booking a staycation this summer if they are permitted? You may be in luck, as according to the Irish Hotels Federation, hotels are only 20% sold for the summer months. Sarah Slattery from joined us for the second part of our series on staycations to recommend some of the best hotel deals for couples and families in July and August. [audio mp3=""][/audio]


The Case Against Lockdown: Are Prolonged Restrictions Doing More Harm Than Good?

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that any easing of COVID-19 restrictions will be "slow and gradual", with measures spaced out. Any decision made at the start of April will be based on four different criteria: disease prevalence, hospital and critical care occupancy levels, ongoing and steady progress on the vaccination programme and emerging information on variants. Ireland's restrictions have been in place for longer than anywhere else in the EU, but has the impact of prolonged lockdown...


Airlines To Trial Vaccination Passport App On Flights

Catch The Last Word on Business weeknights from 6pm on Today FM, with Capital Flow. [audio mp3=""][/audio]


Ted Cruz Criticised For 'Photo Opportunities' In Texas After Controversial Cancun Trip

US Senator Ted Cruz has been criticised for posting photos of himself helping with relief efforts in Texas after his controversial trip to Mexico. Cruz travelled to Cancun as millions of Texans suffered in freezing temperatures and were left without electricity following a snowstorm. Meanwhile Donald Trump Jr defended Cruz in a video released at the weekend, saying he could not "get on this bandwagon trying to cancel the guy". Cal Thomas and Marion McKeone discussed this and more in our...


The Best Camping Holidays To Book In Ireland This Summer

It looks as though domestic holidays may be an option this summer, but they are booking up very quickly. We asked Sarah Slattery from to join us over the next few days to look at what's available. Today she looked at camping and self-catering options for couples and families, from tents and caravans to Airbnbs. [audio mp3=""][/audio]


How Do We Speed Up Vaccine Rates For Ireland?

All EU member states have had equal access to COVID-19 vaccines based on their population size. Despite this, the health authority in Denmark has said that everyone in the country will be offered a vaccine by the end of June, which is a far quicker timeline than in Ireland and other EU countries. So what explains the difference, and how can we catch up? We spoke to Kingston Mills, professor of experimental immunology at Trinity College Dublin. [audio...


Pandemic Set To Leave Financial Scars For Up To Two Years

More than half of consumers feel that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their financial circumstances, according to a new report. The results from the KBC Bank Consumer Confidence Index for February show that many households are spending more on costs like heating and electricity, as well as grocery bills and utilities, at a time when their incomes are down. In comparison, just 12% of consumers surveyed saw an improvement in their finances in recent months. Charlie Weston, personal...


What's The Plan For Getting Children Back To School And Creche?

A recommendation for a phased reopening of schools in the coming weeks is expected to be made as part of the government's revised Living with Covid plan. What impact have these prolonged closures had on children's mental health and development, and how can we get them back to school and creche safely? We spoke to Lucinda Creighton, CEO of Vulcan Consulting and columnist with the Business Post, Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon and Karen Clince, CEO of Tigers Childcare. [audio...


Why Are COVID-19 Numbers Dropping So Slowly?

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET's epidemiological advisory group, suggested over the weekend that it could be April before new COVID-19 case numbers fall below 100 per day. He also suggested that this summer would be an "outdoor summer", with people taking domestic holidays and socialising in the open air as much as possible. Meanwhile HSE chief Paul Reid has attributed growing cases of the virus among young people to household visits for sports matches or a cup of tea, rather than...


What Should Be In Tomorrow's Living With Covid Plan?

The government's revised Living with Covid plan is due to be announced tomorrow, but what can we expect? Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that it could be mid-summer before the hospitality sector is reopened, due to uncertainty about new variants of the virus and high numbers of infections. He added that public health authorities want him to stick with the current restrictions until April and then reflect on the months ahead. We were joined by representatives from the hairdressing, pub,...


Are More Sports Heading For A Paywall?

There have been reports that Six Nations rugby could go behind a paywall from next year, as the championship's current deal with Virgin Media in Ireland and the BBC and ITV in the UK is set to expire. Subscription-based broadcasters such as Sky Sports are rumoured to have bid for the rights from next year. Amazon Prime has already become involved in rugby broadcasting with last year's Autumn Nations Cup, while it has also been mentioned as a possible bidder for GAA games in the future. Will...


What Will Ulster Bank's Exit Mean For Banking In Ireland?

Ulster Bank has announced a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland over the coming years. The bank has 1.1 million customers here, along with 2,800 staff in 88 branches around the country. But what does this mean for banking in Ireland in the future? Charlie Weston, personal finance editor of the Irish Independent, and John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union, joined us to discuss this. [audio...


Nine-Week Level 5 Lockdown "Not Set In Stone"

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said "nothing is set in stone" when it comes to extending Level 5 restrictions. He previously told the Irish Daily Mirror that there would be at least nine more weeks of restrictions, while Eamon Ryan told Virgin Media Television last night that it wouldn't be right to talk about specific dates. These conflicting statements have led to some confusion about the government's communications strategy regarding the pandemic. To discuss this we were joined by Professor...


Ted Cruz Criticised For Flying To Mexico As Texans Endure Power Cuts And Freezing Temperatures

Republican senator Ted Cruz has been criticised for flying to Cancún while millions of his constituents in Texas were left to endure power outages and freezing temperatures. After photographs of him on a flight to the Mexican tourist resort went viral, Cruz described the trip as "obviously a mistake". He claimed that his daughters had asked to take a trip with friends, and he had accompanied them, "wanting to be a good dad". Cruz had urged Texans to stay home as a snowstorm swept through the...


How To Stay Mentally Well During And After The Pandemic

Around one in six of us normally experience mental health challenges in the course of a year, but this is estimated to have increased to one in three as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Jim Lucey is a consultant psychiatrist at St Patrick's University Hospital, Dublin and clinical professor of psychiatry at Trinity College. He has written a book called A Whole New Plan For Living: Achieving Balance and Wellness In A Changing World, which proposes and explores ten steps to help...


Ulster Bank Expected To Announce Wind-Down Of Irish Operations

Catch The Last Word on Business weeknights from 6pm on Today FM, with Capital Flow. [audio mp3=""][/audio]


Former Terenure College Teacher Sentenced To 8 Years For Sexually Abusing 23 Pupils

A former teacher at Terenure College has been sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually abusing 23 pupils. John McClean abused the boys between 1973 and 1990 through his roles as teacher, rugby coach and costume fitter for school plays. Today FM courts correspondent Frank Greaney joined us with more on this story. We were also joined by David Kelly, chief sports features writer with the Irish Independent, who himself was a pupil at Terenure College and witnessed the culture of silence...


How To Quit Smoking

Yesterday was National No Smoking Day, but how difficult can it be to give up the habit? Health concerns are the top motivator for smokers to quit. Six in 10 smokers who tried to quit in 2018 reported concerns about their health as their main reason for making a quit attempt. However, simply wanting to quit isn't enough on its own. It requires willpower, forward planning and support from family, friends, colleagues and your GP. Dr Doireann O'Leary, health blogger and Cork GP, joined us for...


How Will The New Hotel Quarantine System Work?

A mandatory hotel quarantining system will be introduced for all incoming passengers, including Irish citizens, from 20 high-risk countries. The new legislation signed off on by the Cabinet today sets out a financial penalty of €4,000, as well as a possible month in prison, for first-time offenders who do not adhere to the rules. Hugh O'Connell, Political Correspondent with the Irish Independent, joined us to discuss how the new system will work. [audio...