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IT Co-ordinator, monkey enthusiast and also involved in radio and radio drama production. Producer of the @scibernia science podcast.

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Irish History Show Episode 24

Episode 24 of the Irish History Show on Near FM presented by Cathal Brennan and John Dorney. On this episode the presenters are joined by Brian Hanley to discuss the murder of Senator Billy Fox in 1974.

Dr. Brian Hanley is the author of the IRA – A Documentary History (1919 to 2005), the IRA (1926 to 1936) and, with Scott Millar, The Lost Revolution (The Official IRA and the Workers Party). He is currently working on a history of the Troubles and how it effected the Republic of Ireland.

Diamond In The Rough

Niamh Griffin travelled to Sierra Leone in September 2013 to explore how women and men are tackling sexual violence. High rates of these crimes in Sierra Leone are a sad legacy of a brutal decade-long civil war which ended in 2002, leaving thousands mentally and physically scarred.

She met with people determined to change this, visiting rape crisis centres known as Rainbo Centres. They are funded by Irish Aid, and run by American NGO International Recue Committee with local group The Rainbo Initiative. She also spoke with police officers in sexual assault units, male former offenders as well as judges and prison officers to understand how rape is being fought on all levels.

​Her trip for NearFM was funded by the Simon Cumbers Media Fund
cumbers logo

The Brief 27th March 2014

On the final episode of The Brief, presenters Andrew and Peter discuss this week’s legal news:
the sensational news that An Garda Siochana have been recording phone conversations between defendants and their lawyers;
some of the attention grabbing decisions from the courts;
the high fees earned by lawyers from the State; and,
two notable obituaries.

Sinn Fein Spokesman on Justice, Padraig Mac Lochlainn TD, outlined the argument for the resignation of the Minister for Justice.

Dr Yvonne Daly of DCU’s School of Law and Governmant outlined the legal issues raised by the Garda taping of phone calls between defendants and their lawyers.

Barrister Diane Duggan spoke about the work carried out by the Bar Council’s Voluntary Assistance Scheme.

And South African Advocate Karin Alheit gave her opinion on the case made by the prosecutor in the Oscar Pistorius case.

Presented by barristers Andrew Robinson and Peter Leonard.
Produced by Andrew Robinson and Killian Donoghue.
Recording and editing by Aoife Nic Canna

The Brief 20th March 2014

Presenters Andrew Robinson and Peter Leonard look at the legal headlines this week, including;

€80,000 award for the unfair treatment of a pregnant woman by her employer.
Large redundancy settlement by Irish Rail.
Was the Crimean secession referendum legal?
Lawyers on strike.
And more.

Peter talks to Michael McGrath Barrister at Law about compulsory purchase law, pylons and his new book authored with Eamonn Galligan SC Compulsory Purchase and Compensation in Ireland: Law and Practice (Bloomsbury).

Andrew looks at the family law Courts with the help of Roisin O’Shea Phd candidate and author of a far reaching report on Judicial Separation and Divorce in the Circuit Court and John Devlin of Barron Morris. Roisin’s research leads her to the conclusion that the family law Courts should be replaced with a different type of system. John tells Andrew about how the family law Courts operate and about the experience of the people who find themselves in the Courts.

Produced by Killian Donoghue
Engineered by Aoife Nic Canna

History Show Episode 23

Episode 23 of the Irish History Show on Near FM presented by Cathal Brennan and John Dorney. On this episode the presenters are joined by Pádraig Yeates and John Borgonovo to discuss the effects of the First World War on Dublin and Cork.

Dr. John Borgonovo is an American-born but Cork-based historian. He has written, Spies Informers and the Anti-Sinn Féin Society, The Intelligence war in Cork City, 1920-1921, on the War of Independence in Cork City. More recently he has written The Battle for Cork City 1922 and most recently The dynamics of war and revolution, Cork City, 1916-1918. He teaches at University College Cork

Pádraig Yeates is a distinguished social and labour historian and the author of Lockout, the standard work on the great 1913 labour dispute. He is also author of the acclaimed A City in Wartime and A City in Turmoil; the third book in the series, A City in Revolution, is due in 2014.

The Brief 13th March 2014

Presenters, Andrew and Peter discuss this week’s legal headlines:
Dublin Airport Authority’s High Court injunction to prevent Aer Lingus staff from going on strike;
High Court Judge Ms Justice Harding Clarke’s scathing criticism of the Refugee Appeal Tribunal;
The shooting dead of the Jordanian judge Mr Justice Raed Zeiter by the Israeli Defence Forces; and other stories.

CCC Nuacht’s Conor Gallagher updates us on the Anglo trial.
Advocate Karin Alheit updates us on the Pistorius Trial and offers her view on how the defence is performing.
And Chairman of the UK Bar Council, Nicholas Lavender QC in a wide ranging interview, discusses cuts to legal aid, regulation of the legal profession and more.

Presented by barristers Andrew Robinson and Peter Leonard.
Produced by Andrew Robinson and Killian Donoghue
Recording and editing by Aoife Nic Canna

The Brief 6th March 2014

Presenters Andrew and Peter discuss the week’s legal headlines, from the sentencing in the Athlone rape case to a $26 million award for unfair dismissal.

Peter speaks to South African Criminal Advocate Karin Alheit about the Pistorius trial and the criminal system of trial in South Africa.

And Andrew speaks to Barrister and NUIG law lecturer Tom O’Malley about sentencing guidelines and this week’s Supreme Court decision on the rights of accused in custody to access a lawyer prior to interrogation.

Presented by barristers Andrew Robinson and Peter Leonard
Produced by Andrew Robinson and Killian Donoghue
Recording and editing by Aoife Nic Canna


The Brief 13th February 2014

Presenters, Andrew and Peter start with a preview of the topics for discussion on the show and a short discussion of this week’s other legal news stories, from a campaign in the UK for regulation of McKenzie Friends to a French court that awarded Michael Jackson fans compensation for the distress caused by the singer’s death.

On the 33rd aniversary of the Stardust fire which killed 48 local teenagers, Kitty Holland of the Irish Times reports on research, conducted for families of the victims, which finds that up to eleven witnesses may have committed perjury during the Stardust Tribunal and that the Tribunal’s findings may be incorrect.

Then Conor Gallagher of CCC Nuacht updates us on the goings on at the Anglo trial.

Dr Eoin Daly of the Law School at NUI Galway briefs us on the argument that a referendum and amendment to the Constitution may not be necessary for the Oireachtas to legislate for same sex marriage.

Dr Vicky Daly of the Law School at the University of Kent explains the relationship between the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission and the Garda Commissioner in the light of recent allegations that the GSOC office was bugged.

And Patrick Conway, President of the Irish Institute of Legal Executives, outlines the work carried out by legal executives and how legal regulation of this service could reduce legal costs and increase access to justice.

Presented by barristers Andrew Robinson and Peter Leonard.
Produced by Andrew Robinson and Killian Donoghue.
Recording and editing by Aoife Nic Canna.

The Brief 6th February 2014

The Brief Thursday 6th February

Ireland’s only legal affairs show returns for a new season. Barristers Andrew Robinson and Peter Leonard offer comment on all the big legal stories of the day, including;

The mammoth Anglo Irish Bank trial
Surrogacy question in the Supreme Court
The landmark European decision of Louise O’Keeffe
The end of the poor box
Judicial Appointments and the Chief Justice’s reforms
The Judge and her Neknomination challenge
Homophobia, Defamation, and the RTE payment.

Journalist Conor Gallagher of CCC Nuacht gets us up to date on the Anglo trial and tells us what both the prosecution case and the defence is. Follow his live blog on the trial on

Prof Colin Scott Dean of law UCD Sutherland School of Law on the new €25 million law centre.

Hilary Lennox BL Human Rights Lawyer from the Chambers of Lord Gifford on the Louise O’Keeffe decision.

Presented by Andrew Robinson and Peter Leonard.
Produced by Killian Donoghue.
Engineered by Aoife Nic Canna.

Ireland’s Oceans Part 2

Ireland has over 1400 km of coastline and 220 million acres of seabed, some of it as deep as 5km. Our seas have weathered our coastlines and shaped our climate. In the distant past the freezing of these oceans created the icecaps that sculpted our land. And when the ice melted, rising seas turned our fragment of north Atlantic rock into an island. Our oceans brought the first settlers to Ireland but later carried millions away.

Despite living on this small island out on the Atlantic we don’t really think of ourselves as an oceanic country and most of us have little connection with the sea. But today Ireland is leading the way in the study of the sea, and our scientists are starting to understand how our oceans work in ever more complex and exciting ways.

Join Lenny Antonelli in this 2 part programme as he follows our marine scientists onto beaches and boats and into the lab to learn about the science of Ireland’s oceans.

Below you will find more information on the research and organisations features in the programmes.

Episode Two

Bull Island
North Bull Island Biodiversity Website:

The Deep Sea
Andy Wheeler, UCC:

Mid Atlantic Ridge expedition:…EED4,frameless.htm

Marine Biodiscovery:…e+Biodiscovery.htm

West Cork Whales
Whale Watch West Cork with Nic Slocum:

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