The Echo Chamber Podcast

The Echo Chamber Podcast, hosted by Tony Groves and Martin McMahon, brings you the voices you need to hear from the Venn Diagram of News, Politics and Culture. Always serious, yet always entertaining, we explore the issues of the day, the problems facing us in society and talk real solutions in a way you won’t hear anywhere else. Often irreverent, each episode aims to bring a unique perspective, break through the PR fog and set the record straight. This is Ireland as it is and Ireland as it can be. So join the fastest growing independent News and Politics podcast. You won’t be sorry you did. Enjoy!

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The Echo Chamber Podcast is available now to download from iTunes and Soundcloud

Bogus Self Employment – Oireachtas Committee

A couple of weeks ago Martin was in front of the Oireachtas Committee on Bogus Self Employment. We’ve had a few requests to make the audio of his presentation available. So here you go.

You can hear him breakdown how this web of vested interests constructed a model that waters down employee rights and drains the exchequer of tax contributions. This is another step in what has been a marathon journey for Martin. Perseverance could learn a lot from Martin McMahon about stickability.

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Dunnes Stores
Anti-Apartheid Strikes

On the 19th of July 1984 in Dunnes Stores on Henry Street, sales assistant Mary Manning, following an instruction from her Union, refused to handle goods from apartheid South Africa. She couldn’t have known then how this act of solidarity would change her life, and the lives of those 11 brave women (and 1 man!) forever. They went on to be called the most dangerous shop workers in the world, and that’s what they are.

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The Wiley Fox

The Tortoise Shack went back to the Wiley Fox for a live podcast in front of a terrific audience that contained lots of familiar faces. The show featured an engaging conversation with Head of Services with Ana Liffey, Dawn Russell and GP for Sensible Drug Policies, Dr Garrett McGovern.

We talk about the failed war on drugs, what harm reduction means and why the government really aren’t serious in their current proposals.

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Paul Murphy

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is RISE and Socialist TD for Dublin South West, Paul Murphy.

We talk his new political grouping RISE, his plans for working with other parties of the Left (as Paul sees them), potential coalitions, the split cliche and the troubling rise (no pun intended) of Far Right elements in Irish politics and our wider society.

This robust podcast goes from Marxism to Extinction Rebellion and on to Alt Right agitators.

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Cathal Curry

What if you could help end street homelessness by just a few clicks?

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is Cathal Curry, one of the people behind, a brilliant new tool that you can download to your phones or Google Chrome extension and every time you shop in over 1,200 retail units between 1 and 10% of your purchase price goes to Inner City Helping Homelessness.

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Zak Moradi

Born in Iraq to Iranian parents, who had fled war only to have to flee again, but this time to Carrick-on-Shannon, our guest in the tortoise shack is a hurler with Tallaght’s Thomas Davis & Leitrim and very proud Kurdish-Irish man, Zak Moradi.

Zak talks to us about his incredible journey, the current situation between Turkey, Syria and the Kurdish people and the loves of his life, the GAA.

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Collie Ennis

When South Dublin County Council said the silt they dumped on what was then a thriving wetlands they pretty much said they did it because that’s what they’d always done. But our guest in The Tortoise Shack, Science officer for the Herpetological Society of Ireland, zoology research associate with TCD and host of The Critter Shed Pod, Collie Ennis says that type of thinking must end.

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Lenny Abrahamson

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is writer, director, filmmaker and proud dog owner, Lenny Abrahamson.

No spoilers except to say that this is a little bit special.


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The Irish Council
of Civil Liberties

The Government’s decision to “fight” the Data Protection Commissioners ruling that the Public Services Card is illegal could have severe consequence for our privacy, pockets and international reputation.

Joining us in The Tortoise Shack from the Irish Council of Civil Liberties is Executive Director, Liam Herrick and Lawyer and digital rights expert, Elizabeth Farries.

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Peter O’Dwyer

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is journalist with the Sunday Business Post, Peter O’Dwyer. Peter has covered this story from the beginning and talks us through the mess and explains the options still open to the government.

He also tells us about his recent trip to China, his to interview with the Chairman of Huawei and the 5G trade war.

Journalism matters!

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Linda Kavanagh

We talk a lot on the pods about harm reduction, and sex work is no different. Our guest in The Tortoise Shack, social media manager with the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, graphic designer, activist and campaigner, Linda Kavanagh, tells us why, for once, Ireland should not be trying to emulate a ‘Nordic model.’

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Dawn Foster

Depending on who you listen to, Boris Johnson’s proroguing of the UK Parliament is either a brilliant tactical move or an anti-democratic coup. So I was delighted to be joined in The Tortoise Shack, via Skype, by writer, broadcaster and friend of the pod, Dawn Foster who gives a much more intelligent insight and even makes a pretty bold prediction on the outcome.

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Dr Mark Murphy

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is GP and Lecturer in General Practice, RCSI, Dr Mark Murphy and he is also an optimist. Mark talks us through the plan, its recommendations, Slaintecare and the need for us all to not miss this opportunity to deliver better healthcare for everyone.

This is a terrific conversation with a dedicated Healthcare professional.

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David Gibney

We are joined in The Tortoise Shack by Communications Officer with Mandate Trade Union, Mr. David Gibney.

We discuss the legacy of the Partnership for Prosperity and Fairness and the decline of union membership which reflects almost exactly the decline in middle class wealth. There is much to digest in this pod, not least of which is the average 30% pay gap between unionised and un-unionised workers.

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Eoin Ó Brion

The only way to provide housing in Ireland seems to be the private market. But as our guest in The Tortoise Shack, Sinn Féin TD and Housing Spokesperson, Eoin Ó Brion, outlines in his new book that was not always the case.

We sat down with Eoin to discuss how we got here and, more crucially, how we might get out of this mess and break the property boom and bust cycle we seem doomed to repeat.

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Neasa Hourigan

The Phoenix Park is one of the oldest and largest public parks in Europe.

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack, carer and newly elected Green Party Councillor, Neasa Hourigan, tells us about plans to potentially “commercialise” the park and how instead of rewilding we might be heading down the slippery slope of some UK parks “pay to play” model.

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Sarah Sproule

Sex education is a fraught subject not just for parents in Ireland but for parents everywhere. We are delighted to be joined by sex educator Sarah Sproule of who chats with us about how to answer the sometimes awkward questions our children ask us.

This is a brilliant pod, informative, non-judgmental and a positive step forward for parents struggling to give the right answers at the appropriate time.

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Niall Carson

A picture can tell a thousand words and an iconic picture can last a lifetime.

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is multiple award winning Press Association photographer, Niall Carson and he walks us through 10 of the most iconic pictures in Irish political history. We get the inside story in what goes into getting that snap, the craic, the toil and the art of photography.

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Tortoise Shack

When the idea to do a podcast came up I imagined it would be a one season, ten episodes kind of thing. Over 70 episodes and 1 year later we are, for my money, Ireland’s number one solutions focused podcast.

So we decided to mark the occasion by answering some patron’s questions, sharing our personal highlights for the first year of this and our hopes for the next year to come. Thank you so much for the listening, sharing, reviewing and supporting.

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Simon McGarr

When the BAI was recently suggested as the online regulator for Ireland and therefore the de facto regulator for the entire EU, many where glad that we were doing something.

But our guest in The Tortoise Shack, Solicitor and Director of Data Compliance Europe immediately saw the flaws in this proposal. We take a deep-dive into all of this, RTE’s funding model and more.

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Jack Horgan-Jones

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack was recently described as the Swiss Army knife of journalists and given the variety and efficiency of his work, we reckon Irish Times journalist, Jack Horgan-Jones kind of likes it.

Jack sat down to talk about the media landscape, the job itself and to have some healthy disagreement with us on some of the challenges facing the industry.

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Caoimhe Butterly

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is educator, trainee psychotherapist, Refugee Rights campaigner and one of the most remarkable people we’ve met, Caoimhe Butterly.

She talks to us about forced migration, building sustainable activism and the need to cede space to the next generation of activists, who see clearly the intersectionality between war, climate breakdown and Human Rights.

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Lynn Boylan

Denis O’Brien selling his share in Independent News and Media has reignited the debate about media plurality in Ireland. Opinions vary over issues like editorial control, self-censorship and, as we know only too well ourselves, the difficulty in making it financially viable.

So we were delighted to be joined in The Tortoise Shack by Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan, who had worked at the previous European Parliament’s Employment Committee on diversity in media and media reform.

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Conall Ó Fátharta

Ireland has a troubled history of dealing with women and children and our guest in the tortoise shack, Senior Reporter with the Irish Examiner, Conall Ó Fátharta, has dedicated much of his career to writing about and documenting it all.

His work on Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries and Illegal Adoptions is some of the most important journalism undertaken about the horrendous things done by this State and its Institutions.

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Election Results
The Fallout

As the final votes are counted we sat down to discuss the results, the #GreenWave and the opportunity this has opened up for the broad Left.

Yes, Fine Gael got a kicking and Sinn Féin had a very bad day. But behind those headlines is a message that progressive politics is breaking through.

No swings were hurt in the making of this podcast.

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Luke Ming Flanagan
The #MEPshack

For the last of our #MEPshack interviews we sat down in his hotel room with Independent MEP, Luke Ming Flanagan, a few hours before the RTE Prime Time “debate.”

Luke talks us through his last 5 years in the EU Parliament, what he achieved, what he feels he didn’t and what he hopes to tackle in the next term, should he be re-elected.

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Diarmuid O’Flynn
The #MEPshack

Independent MEP Candidate, Diarmuid O’Flynn is an experienced campaigner.

His work with #BallyheaSaysNo is well known and rightly praised. But it’s his experiences as a Parliamentary Assistant to MEP Luke Ming Flanagan, that has inspired him to run himself for what he believes is a battle between the Haves and the Have Not’s.

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Saoirse McHugh
The #MEPshack

Joining us in our MEP candidate series is first time Green Party Candidate and proud Achill Islander, Saoirse McHugh.

If we can steal a phrase from another MEP candidate (thanks Gary): This isn’t about experienced politicians. It’s about people who have experienced their politics.

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Matt Carthy
The #MEPshack

Working in the European Parliament has been an eye-opener for our guest, Sinn Fein MEP, Matt Carthy.

He joins us to tell us about his work, the wins, the loses and why he feels it is critical that we have strong voices speaking up for the his constituents in the EU and explains to us some of the machinations around the EU’s stance on the seemingly never ending saga that is Brexit.

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Gillian Brien
The #MEPshack

People Before Profit #EP2019 Candidate, Gillian Brien has made speaking up and speaking out her career.

A successful Youth Work Manager, she joins us in The Tortoise Shack to explain why she wants to take the voice of her community to Europe, the need for more integration on some of the EU wide social crises and the need for EU reform.

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John Gibbons

Our guest in the Tortoise Shack is campaigning journalist and climate activist, John Gibbons. We have a conversation about the changes we’ve locked-in via the denial cycle, the worse vistas we face if we don’t act right now and the frustration of having to put up with framing debates just for inane fights over issues long since settled.

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Inner City Helping Homeless

We are joined in The Tortoise Shack by old friends Anthony Flynn and Brian McLoughlin of Inner City Helping Homeless.

Anthony has recently returned from a #HousingFirst fact finding mission in Helsinki, Finland.

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The Archive

Enjoying our podcasts and want to hear more? Just visit our Archive Page where you’ll find links to many more hours of top quality content.

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