Leinster House: Seat of Power documentary

A new documentary exploring the history of Leinster House as the site of the Irish parliament aired tonight on Oireachtas TV. Presented by John Bowman, it looks at how the building was adapted and used to house the government of independent Ireland. I contributed to the documentary and offered commentary on the Cumann na nGaedheal governmentsContinue reading “Leinster House: Seat of Power documentary”

What Are You Eating?

I made a brief appearance this evening in the first episode of a new six-part series on RTÉ 1 called What Are You Eating? Presented by Philip Boucher-Hayes, the programme takes a look at processed foods and asks if people really know what goes into the food they’re eating. 

June 1927 Election: a parallel for Election 2016?

WITH THE ELECTION 2016 results not showing any clear winner or alternative coalition, there has been plenty of discussion about the possibility of another general election. The 1980s brought three votes in 18 months, but arguably the two general elections of 1927 offer a better parallel for the current situation. In June 1927, voters abandoned the government party (Cumann na nGaedheal,Continue reading “June 1927 Election: a parallel for Election 2016?”

Past Election Campaigns, Campaign Daily appearance

I joined Keelin Shanley on Campaign Daily today to discuss electioneering in past election campaigns. For those unfamiliar, Campaign Daily is a programme on RTÉ television that takes a daily look at the events of Election 2016. We discussed the cult of the leader, the first use of an advertising agency, the first television election andContinue reading “Past Election Campaigns, Campaign Daily appearance”

Are you a good housewife?, The Irish Times

Woman’s Way was Irelands biggest selling magazine in 1960s Ireland. In this culture video for The Irish Times’  digital section, I looks at what made it so popular and what it tells us about Ireland at the time. Watch the video here.

Media Contribution: Contraception in Ireland

On Sunday, I joined Diarmaid Ferriter (UCD) in a discussion about the history of contraception with Myles Dungan on RTÉ’s The History Show. This month marks the 25th anniversary of The Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Act, 1985. The legislation was introduced by the then Minister for Health, Barry Desmond, who explained in one interview, I regardContinue reading “Media Contribution: Contraception in Ireland”

Would you bare all on an Irish beach?, Irish Independent

Gabrielle Monaghan of the Irish Independent recently contacted me to learn more about Irish attitudes towards the body as part of the research for her article on nudity. I’m quoted towards the end of the piece, which you can read in full here.

Column: Policy changes conceived in Costello’s ’Just Society’ (Irish Examiner)

  The Irish Examiner published a column today from me on Declan Costello’s Just Society, marking fifty years since Fine Gael adopted his proposal as official party policy. Now considered a milestone in its history, the document divided the party at that time.   Read the piece in full here.    

The New Irish in Britain (Radio Contribution)

  This week Michael D Higgins became the first Irish president to make an official state visit to Britain. With extensive coverage and commentary offered by the Irish media, RTÉ’s Drivetime opted to approach the occasion from a slightly different angle with a slot on the new Irish in Britain. I was invited on to comment brieflyContinue reading “The New Irish in Britain (Radio Contribution)”

A Just Society for Ireland? mentioned in Vincent Browne’s Irish Times column

Prompted by my book, Vincent Browne writes about his recollections of Declan Costello’s Just Society and offers his views on the documents legacy to Fine Gael in today’s Irish Times: Fifty years ago a politician published a manifesto which, if implemented, would have changed the nature of Irish society, would have defied the ethos of contemporaryContinue reading “A Just Society for Ireland? mentioned in Vincent Browne’s Irish Times column”

A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Talking History, Newstalk

  I joined Patrick Geoghegan of Newstalk’s Talking History on Sunday, 26 January to talk about my new book.  We discussed the reasons why Declan Costello formulated his proposals when he did; the effect his policies had on Fine Gael and wider society; and the extent to which Garret FitzGerald was a progressive figure. We alsoContinue reading “A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Talking History, Newstalk”

A Just Society for Ireland? featured on The History Show, RTÉ Radio 1

I joined Myles Dungan of RTÉ’s The History Show on Sunday, 5 January to talk about my new book.  We discussed the reasons why Declan Costello formulated his proposals when he did; the extent to which he influenced Garret FitzGerald; and the nature of Fine Gael’s mixed fortunes. Listen back to the interview below.  

Ballymagash & the Fall of the Fine Gael-Labour Government, 1977

A variation of this post first appeared on TheJournal.ie,  31 December 2013 With advanced publicity for Oliver Callan’s New Year’s Eve special promising sketches that would sail close to the wind in their depiction of President Michael D. Higgins and his aide Kevin McCarthy, RTÉ reportedly asked that the satirist tone down his portrayal of  the PresidentContinue reading “Ballymagash & the Fall of the Fine Gael-Labour Government, 1977”

Column: Past Concerns Over Ireland’s Abortion Laws Foreshadowed Today’s Reality

On Saturday 2 November, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Britain’s largest provider of abortion services) placed the above advertisement in Irish newspapers.  Yesterday (6 November 2013), I contributed a column to TheJournal.ie setting the issue of Irish abortion in its historical context:

Highland Radio interview on ‘The Young Wife’

Yesterday morning I was invited to discuss with Shaun Doherty on Highland Radio the Young Wife booklet I blogged about here, we also had a quick chat about the Mixed Marriages booklet I wrote about here. Both of these booklets, which belonged to my grandmother, gave instruction on how to live a good married life in accordance with CatholicContinue reading “Highland Radio interview on ‘The Young Wife’”

Convening the Council of State: a Look Back Over 73 Years (Media Contributions)

  Yesterday, Michael D Higgins convened the first meeting of the Council of State of his presidency.  The members — with the exception of Mary Robinson, John Bruton and Albert Reynolds who sent their apologies — were called together to discuss the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, 2013.  It was the twenty-seventh time inContinue reading “Convening the Council of State: a Look Back Over 73 Years (Media Contributions)”

The Unchanging Rhetoric of the Abortion Debate (Radio Contribution)

On Wednesday 10 July, the Dáil sat through the night and into the morning of 11 July to debate the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.  Having spent much time recently researching and writing about the 1980s, I was invited onto  RTÉ’s Morning Ireland to discuss the current abortion debate in the context of the ’80s and ’90s.  IContinue reading “The Unchanging Rhetoric of the Abortion Debate (Radio Contribution)”

‘Always say yes’: Women on Air / Keelin Shanley Event

‘We need more good women on air’ ~ Keelin Shanley, RTÉ Broadcaster On 19 June, Radisson Blu at Golden Lane played host to the latest Women on Air event.  It was an entertaining, informative and, overall, enjoyable evening.  And I know that I definitely left with some really useful, practical tips and plenty to thinkContinue reading “‘Always say yes’: Women on Air / Keelin Shanley Event”

The Rise and Fall of Fianna Fáil documentary

Ursula Halligan interviewed me for her three-part documentary, The Rise and Fall of Fianna Fáil, which was broadcast on TV3. I make a brief appearance in the first episode in which I talk about Fianna Fáil’s decision to end its policy of abstention from parliament in 1927. You can watch the episode in full here.

1920s Election Posters, Campaign Daily contribution

I recorded this slot for RTÉ’s Campaign Daily series during the 2011 General Election in Ireland.  It looks at the history of election posters in the 1920s, which contrast significantly with the candidate-centred posters used today.

1932 lesson: future matters most to voters, The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil first came to power 75 years ago today to replace a party ‘out of touch’ with the people, writes Ciara Meehan The first Fianna Fáil government was formed 75 years ago today. The party’s victory had brought to an end 10 years of Cumann na nGaedheal government. It is interesting that on the 75thContinue reading “1932 lesson: future matters most to voters, The Irish Times”