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

Caoimhe Butterly #SafePassage

Recent events in Sudan have brought back into focus the role we in the ‘West’ play in facilitating Human Rights abuses in many parts of the world. 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. Caoimhe also talks about how to respond to the recent massacre in the Khartoum sit-in protest and also shares a bit about what drives her and the Hope she feels everyday. We all need more of that.

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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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Alice Mary Higgins
The #MEPshack

We are delighted to be joined by Independent Senator and MEP candidate Alice Mary Higgins. Alice Mary has over two decades of experience in policy, strategy and advocacy across the areas of equality, international development and social inclusion.

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Gary Boyle
Chiara Viale

A young man wakes in bed beside his girlfriend, and then his hand shakes. This is the inspiration for the new film, The New Music, by our guest in The Tortoise Shack, writer, producer and director, Chiara Viale. Joining Chiara is board member of the Parkinson’s Association and self-proclaimed Parkinson’s survivor and thriver, Gary Boyle.

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Máiréad Enright

We are absolutely delighted to be joined by Máiréad Enright. We discuss her phenomenal work with Lawyers for Choice on #Repealthe8th and how complicated legal argument was broken down and made accessible to everybody through social media and direct face to face contact at town hall meetings.

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Peter Kavanagh

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is Green Party Local Election Candidate, part of the Motherfoclóir podcast and Pop Up Gael Teams, Peter Kavanagh. We discuss the State’s complicity in the derogation of the Irish Language through the education system and lack of investment in the Gaeltacht.

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Cian Prenderville

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is Solidarity Councillor for Limerick City and creator of Bottom Dog – The Story of the Limerick Soviet and he tells us the story behind this little known, but important part, of Irish history. We discuss the reasons why the strike was called and what lessons we can learn.

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Mark Malone

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is one of Ireland’s best online commentators on the insidiousness of repackaged far right views in the modern arena. Mark walks us through how the framing of debates and the lexicon used empowers bad faith players and busts the myth that “both sides are at it.”

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Sharon Nolan

We can be a bit cynical about politics in The Tortoise Shack. But our guest today, Local Election candidate for the Social Democrats in Galway City Central, Activist and bundle of positive energy, Sharon Nolan is enough to shake anybody out of their stupor, even Martin.

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Dr Ciara Conlon #Access2Meds

We are joined in The Tortoise Shack by Dr. Ciara Conlan from Access to Medicines Ireland, to discuss what can be done to improve access, the work Ciara is doing in Access to Medicines Ireland and the global crisis in profiteering from medicines that are vital to millions of people for survival.

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Ber Grogan

Getting a seat in the Seanad is never easy. It is with great pleasure we welcome Ber Grogan to The Tortoise Shack. With a decade of social justice activism, grassroot organising and successful campaigning under her belt, Ber has a lot to bring to the bar.

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Ged Nash

We are delighted to have Senator Ged Nash in The Tortoise Shack to discuss his Bogus Self Employment Bill and the governments illogical refusal to address what many see as wide scale social welfare fraud by employers.

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Peaceful Futures Conference

We took The Tortoise Shack on the road to the Soft Border for the Peaceful Futures South Armagh, Brexit & You Conference, to get a sense of what Brexit is doing, will do and hopefully won’t undo over the coming months and years.

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Luke Neale

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is River Projects Officer with Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Luke Neale. Luke, through his work in natural flood defence, has shown that not only can we #SlowTheFlow of climate change, but we can reverse the tide.

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Frank McGrath

Persuasion is what I do, propaganda is what my opponent does. With this is mind we welcomed Activist, Audiologist and creator of, Frank McGrath.

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Noemi Santopaolo
Grainne Keely

For International Women’s Day 2019, we are joined in The Tortoise Shack by Noemi Santopaolo & Grainne Keely of Threshold, to discuss how government policies don’t just ignore, but punish single parents.

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Deirdre Ní Fhloinn

We are joined in The Tortoise Shack by Barrister and soon to be Green Party Local Election candidate Deirdre Ní Fhloinn, to discuss why the cost of fixing substandard homes and workplaces is nothing in comparison to the potential loss of life.

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Dawn Foster

Round and round the Brexit-wheel goes, where it stops, nobody knows. To make sense of the chaos, the vitriol and the never ending failure of governance, columnist with the Guardian, Dawn Foster, rejoins us in The Tortoise Shack.

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Trevor Birney
Barry McCaffrey

Repost from December 2018: We’ve taken The Tortoise Shack on the road to Belfast to speak with Producers, Directors and Documentary Makers, Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey, who are on pre-charge bail for, well, it’s best if we let them tell it themselves.

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Niall Sargent

Joining us in the Tortoise Shack is Niall Sargent. Niall is Editor of The Green News. We ask is Ireland doing enough, how do we manage the transition to greener lives and are we willingly blind to our own throw away consumption culture?

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John Devitt

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is CEO and Founder of the Irish chapter, Transparency Ireland, John Devitt. He talks us through the early years of the office, the constant battle for funding and the crucial work of protecting whistleblowers.

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Caroline West

We are joined in The Tortoise Shack by lecturer Caroline West to discuss the history of porn, its impact in the internet age, its feminist evolution and how we talk about it versus how we should be talking about it.

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Karl Deeter

Our guest in The Tortoise Shack is Financial Adviser, Musician, columnist, commentator, former Hibernia Forum member and self-declared redneck, Karl Deeter.

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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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