Disturbing the Peace is a podcast focused on the less-talked-about topics in Ireland. Hosted by content creator and writer Rachel O’Neill, the podcast aims to tackle those subjects that you don’t always hear or read about. It might make you laugh, it might make you cry, it might even make you squirm. The point of it is to make you think about things and see things in a new light and maybe learn something while you’re at it. Follow us on @dtp_pod to keep up with all the latest news and if you’re looking for someone annoying on Twitter to follow, @ronronzo is your gal. Happy listening!
1 in 10 Irish women are affected by endometriosis in Ireland yet it can take anywhere up to 10 years to get a diagnosis. This leaves the woman suffering in pain for years on end and oftentimes, doctors and GPs may not even believe that the pain is as bad as it is. Social Democrats Councillor Carly Bailey is just one of these women. She joins Rachel on the podcast to discuss why there’s a need for a specialised centre for endometriosis in Ireland, the amount of pain and procedure she had to go through to get a diagnosis and why there is a big problem in Ireland with reproductive and gynaecological care.
Ireland has a wonderful history of banning books. In fact we banned over 12,000 of them throughout our history. Some were banned for very good reason, while others were banned for mentioning divorce. Historian Dr Aoife Bhreatnach decided that this would be a great topic for a podcast and so the Censored Pod was born. She joins Rachel to discuss what led her to start the podcast, where her love for reading banned books came from and why Ireland loved banning books so very much.
Direct Provision is a broken system and stain on Irish society. Established in 2000 as a temporary measure, the system has existed for 20 years now creating massive barrier for those stuck in it to get out and establish themselves in the Irish state. A commitment has been made to overhaul Direct Provision in the lifetime of the next government but it remains to be seen how long this will take. So how do we dismantle it and what system should take its place?
June is usually Pride Month but this year with the pandemic, the Pride parade and many of the Pride events around it had to be cancelled. This has allowed a bit of time for LGBTQ+people to pause and reflect around what Pride means to them and what it should look like when it returns. LGBTQ+ activist and writer Sam Riggs is one of those people. He joins Rachel to discuss Pride in its current form, the increase in the presences of corporations at Pride, the damage done to the trans community by the recent rights rollback in the UK and why a float blaring Mr Brightside, isn’t exactly the worst idea for a Pride float.
Cauvery Madhavan arrived in Sligo, Ireland from India on Valentine’s Day 33 years ago. Since then she’s lived in Dunboyne, Limerick before settling in Kildare, in a house right beside Rachel. Her latest book ‘The Tainted’ is set in India in the 1920s and takes a fictionalised view of an actual mutiny that took place by the Connaught Rangers. She joins Rachel and Tony for a crossover episode with The Echo Chamber to discuss her latest book as well as Indian politics and how her community in Straffan, Co Kildare became her family.
Hazel Chu first came to the attention of many when she was elected to Dublin City Council in Pembroke back in 2019. She received 3,000 first preference votes as well as a lot of media attention. Unfortunately, this media attention has led to an increase in the amount of racist abuse that Hazel receives both online and offline. She joins Rachel via Zoom to discuss what it was like to grow up in Ireland on the receiving end of racist abuse, her approach to dealing with it online and why she feels that Ireland has a long way to go in terms of tackling racism.
The reaction to the murder of George Floyd by white police officers has caused protests around the world. Yet some people have asked why Irish people are getting angry and upset about it. While we may not have a tradition of police brutality, Ireland has its own problems with racism. Nic Ndlovu came to Ireland from South Africa when he was 4 years old. He joins Rachel on the pod to discuss the microaggressions he has encountered throughout his life, what it’s like to be followed around a supermarket by a security guard when shopping and dealing with racism both online and offline.
At some point in our lives, we will probably end up caring for a family member. It may be a short term solution but more than likely, it could end up being a full time or nearly full-time role. It’s a job that is emotionally, physically and psychologically taxing on both you and the person you’re caring for and oftentimes, the government supports are either too hard to access or just simply not enough. Chair of the Queer Greens and freelance journalist Robert O’Sullivan is one of these carers. He joins Rachel to discuss what his day to day life looks like.
The week Disturbing the Peace was delighted to take part in a crossover pod with our sister podcast Glow West with Caroline West. Myself and Caroline had the pleasure of interviewing dildo slinger and female entrepreneur Shawna Scott of Sex Siopa. We had a chat about her business during the pandemic, the quietest vibrators that you can get and how boiling your dildo is a great way to check if it’s safe to use or not.
When you hear the word ‘addict’ what do you think of? Is it someone injection heroin on the streets? Someone drinking cans in the middle of the day? Someone who struggles to hold down a full time job? Often our understanding of the word ‘addict’ is misinformed or downright incorrect and Brian Pennie is the perfect example of this. He joins Rachel via Skype to discuss his heroin addiction, rehab, how he turned his life around to become a neuroscience lecturer and researcher in Trinity College Dublin and writing his new book ‘Bonus Time’.
Our relationship with sex and sexuality is constantly evolving which means our relationship with intimacy must be too. Since we’ve all been in lockdown, it hasn’t been as easy to see our partners, romantic interests or hook ups. So, we’ve had to get creative and start doing a lot more sexting. But how important has sexting become to relationships as a whole? And what is the difference between good sexting and bad? Joining Rachel on the pod to discuss the ins and outs (steady) of sexting is Twitter Love Island creator and all-round good-egg Ellen Reid.
Having to constantly be your own advocate is exhausting but for many transpeople in Ireland, it is the only way they get heard. Trans healthcare in Ireland is dire. So much so that transpeople are having to crowd fund for their medical needs or doing it DIY, which can have dangerous consequences. Joining Rachel via Zoom (with apologies for the occasional poor call quality) is Rían Browne who set up his own fundraiser so he can travel to the UK for top surgery.
When you’re young, there seems so much to protest and be active in that it can be hard to focus on one thing. Youth mental health is in crisis in this country with services oversubscribed and nowhere to turn to. Men, in particular, are struggling with suicide rates nearly 4 times higher than women. So how do you be active in so many areas and look after your own mental health too? Joining Rachel in studio is journalist, writer and activist Conor Kelly.
If you ask Graham Merrigan how long he’s been in a wheelchair, he might respond ‘since 8 am this morning’. It’s one of the hundreds of things he has to put up with as a wheelchair user in Ireland which accessibility is rarely the top of any politicians agenda. He joins Rachel from his house to chat the disability rights, the League of Ireland and how he founded his own wheelchair basketball team.
The Leaving Cert is a stressful year but students sitting Leaving Cert 2020 have a whole new set of problems facing them. Nobody is sure what’s happening if the exams are going ahead or how the CAO system will work if the exam is postponed or cancelled. This is, of course, stressing out thousands of students who are doing their best to finish their courses on their own and study in stressful environments. So what do they want to happen? Joining Rachel via Zoom to share their concerns are Mohammed, Abbie and Emily.
‘You’re just PMSing’ is a common phrase thrown at those on their period when they appear tetchy or emotional. Unfortunately for a small cohort of people, the monthly symptoms that come along with their period can include severe depression, anxiety, severe fatigue and paranoia, otherwise known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. Joining Rachel via Skype to discuss their experience of living with PMDD is researcher and advocate, Shubhangi Karmakar.
Friend of the pod Michael Fry is back to chat to Rachel about the UK response to the coronavirus, the reaction to his ‘Loose Women’ video and what it’s like to have your flatmates walk in on you when you’re trying to film a video of yourself singing songs from Alive-Oh.
As week 2 of the general shutdown comes to a close, we decided that we’d dive into the topics that really matter at a time like this. So how are people feeling about Tinder? We were delighted to welcome back our favourite Tinder correspondent Ciara Dunne as well as stand up comedian Linda Hayden to get their view on what’s going on, how people are adapting to video call dates and the strangest interactions they’ve had so far.
Rachel, Martin, Rory, Tony and our newest member, Caroline West, got together via Zoom this evening to talk Covid-19, Air BnB, Housing, Tinder and Caroline’s new podcast, Glow West.
We discuss the need to look after our most vulnerable and how there’s always room for some social distancing laughs.
Mind yourself and yours!
We often say that young people should get involved in politics. Tate Donnelly decided to take it a step further and become the Green Party candidate in Cavan/Monaghan in #GE2020. He joins Rachel in studio to discuss why he decided to run for election, what he learned on the campaign trail, 4am abusive calls and living on adrenaline for the entire campaign.
Having completed a Masters in Sexuality Studies and currently completing his PhD that studies how masculinity was measured and conceived in Irish literature, it’s safe to say that Loïc Wright knows a lot about masculinity. He joins Rachel in studio to discuss why the term ‘toxic masculinity’ doesn’t really explain the many different masculinities that exist as well as how he addressed his own feelings around masculinity, destructive behaviour and opening up.
When Robbie Lawlor was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 21, he wasn’t sure where to go or what to do in terms of support. He wasn’t sure how people would react and what his life would look like now. 8 years on Robbie has become an advocate for HIV healthcare in Ireland as well as revealing his status on the Late Late Show. He joins Rachel in studio to discuss the current HIV crisis in Ireland, the different kinds of stigma people with HIV suffer and how he’s become the person he needed when he was 21.
It’s hard to be positive about the climate and the future of the planet at the moment. Everything you read about climate change can be very overwhelming and leave you wondering what the point of anything is. Luckily Joanna O’Malley isn’t one of these people. She’s set up a group called Preserve Ireland who want to show everyone the changes they can make to help. She joins Rachel in studio to discuss why she set up the group, what she wants to achieve with it and why you don’t need to be an expert on climate change to get involved.