In today's election debate, we discussed crime and how it should be tackled. Have we experienced a surge in crime in recent years? And is the government applying sufficient resources into policing and criminal justice actions? Nicola Tallant, Investigations Editor with The Sunday World, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, Jim O'Callaghan, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on justice and equality and TD for Dublin Bay South, and Gary Gannon, Social Democrats candidate for Dublin North-Central, joined u...more
Continuing our series of party leader interviews ahead of the general election, we were joined by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. She spoke about issues such as housing, the health service and a United Ireland, and how her party is aiming to connect with voters. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Women are being urged to have their breasts checked regularly as new cases of breast cancer have reached record levels. The latest figures from the national screening service BreastCheck show that 1,067 women were diagnosed with the illness in 2017. Professor Ann O'Doherty, National Clinical Director of BreastCheck, joined us for our weekly medical consultation to discuss the importance of having regular checks. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
As the general election approaches, we looked at the possibility of digital voting. Are we likely to see the day when we can use our mobile phones to vote, just as we use them for banking and other services? And if so, how would it work? Andy O'Donoghue joined us for Tech Tuesday to discuss this. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
The chief executive of Eir has said the business is happy to continue using Huawei equipment in Ireland. Meanwhile the UK government announced that Huawei technology will be banned from the "core" of the 5G network, and that its share of the market will be capped at 35 per cent. Ian Guider joined us for the business news to discuss this and the following other stories: VHI is to hike health insurance prices December retail sales surged Mortgage arrears fell slightly according to the Central Ban...more
Continuing our series of party leader interviews ahead of the general election, we spoke to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. He discussed issues such as housing and the health service, lessons he has learned from Fianna Fáil's last time in government, and how he would feel about the possibility of entering government with Sinn Féin. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Republic of Ireland footballer James McClean was today involved in the launch of the Aviva Stadium's new sensory hub. It is designed to support visitors to the stadium who have sensory issues related to conditions like ADHD, dyspraxia and autism. James has a personal interest in the issue, as his two-year-old daughter Willow is autistic. He joined us on The Last Word to talk about the difference this new initiative will make, and how he and his family deal with the sectarian abuse he has receive...more
From their training base in Portugal tomorrow, new Ireland head coach Andy Farrell will name his team to face Scotland in this weekend's Six Nations opener. Fiona Steed, Neil Francis and Jamie Heaslip joined us for The Last Word on Sport ahead of tomorrow's announcement to discuss Farrell's options and who he should pick. Is he likely to make any drastic changes to the selection? Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
AIB and Bank of Ireland are to sell around 1,000 ATMs between them, mainly those based in retail outlets. Bank of Ireland will sell off 700 machines, while AIB are looking to sell almost 400. The move has sparked concerns that there may be an increase in fees for withdrawing cash from the machines. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, joined us for the business news to discuss this and the following other stories: Consumer confidence picks up as Brexit fears ease Coronavirus fears h...more
In today's election debate, we discussed the cost of insurance and how the various parties propose to reduce it. Charlie Weston, personal finance editor of The Irish Independent, Michael D'Arcy, Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Robert Troy, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty joined us to discuss the issue. Listen to the interview in full by pressing t...more
One in four primary school children can't run properly and lack basic movement skills, according to a new study conducted by DCU. The research also finds that one in two children can't kick a ball properly, while fewer than one in five can throw a ball properly. We were joined by Dr Stephen Behan from the DCU School of Health and Human Performance and Jen Hogan, Irish Times parenting columnist and mother of seven, to discuss why this might be the case. Listen to the interview in full by pressing...more
Listen back to some of the highlights of The Last Word from this week, including: Our resident tech expert Andy O'Donoghue talks about plans for a new ethical and sustainable smartphone. Bestselling author Rob Doyle shares his favourite music, movies, TV and more in this week's Culture Club. Michael Sheridan brings us the latest motoring news. Dee Molumby and Brian Lloyd look back at the career of the late Monty Python star Terry Jones.
After 12 years off the air, it looks like Little Britain will be making a comeback. The sitcom's creators David Walliams and Matt Lucas recently reunited for a one-off Brexit special on BBC Radio 4, and the pair have confirmed that the show will return to TV screens at some point in the future. But will audiences still appreciate it, given how politically incorrect it was in its heyday? Jennifer Gannon and Joe O'Shea discussed this and more in our TV slot. Listen to the interview in full by pres...more
Cal Thomas is one of the most widely syndicated newspaper columnists in the United States, as well as a weekly contributor to The Last Word's US slot. His latest book, America's Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires, Superpowers . . . and the Future of the United States, is out now. Cal joined us to talk about the book and what he thinks the future holds for America. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin went head to head in Virgin Media One's leaders' debate this week. The question of whether they had ever used drugs became one of the big talking points, but was it fair to bring up? Brianna Parkins and Donal O'Donoghue discussed this and more in The Week Trending. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Monty Python star Terry Jones passed away this week at the age of 77. He had been living with a rare form of dementia for several years. As well as being a writer and performer with the comedy group, Jones also directed their movies Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. Brian Lloyd and Dee Molumby joined us for The Last Word on Movies to pay tribute to Jones and his work with Monty Python. They also reviewed new release The Grudge. Listen to the interview in ful...more
Ireland has one of the most equal tax systems in Europe, according to a new study by an economist at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). The study finds that Ireland's tax system does more to reduce household income inequality than any other in Europe, despite the distribution of income before taxes and benefits being much higher than the EU average. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, discussed this and more in our daily business news, including: Aldi to pay employe...more
In our latest election debate, we discussed agriculture. What are the big issues facing farmers in the future? To discuss this we were joined by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Green Party spokesperson on agriculture Pippa Hackett and Thia Hennessy, Dean of the Business School at UCC and Professor of Agri-Food Economics. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
In the run-up to the general election, the leaders of the main political parties will be joining us on The Last Word. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan was the latest to join us for an interview. He talked about his aims for getting back into government, environmental issues, public transport and housing. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
This week our Culture Club inductee is author Rob Doyle, whose latest novel Threshold is published this month. He joined us to talk about his favourite books and authors, TV shows, music and movies. Favourite Book/Author: Roberto Bolaño, The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich Favourite TV shows: The X Files, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Succession Best Gig: Leonard Cohen at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham in June 2008 First Single: Peaches - The Presidents of the USA Favourite B...more
Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos may have had his mobile phone hacked in 2018 by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. Sources have told The Guardian that the hack took place after Bezos received a WhatsApp message from the crown prince's personal account. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, told us more in our daily business round-up, and discussed the following other stories: Netflix is beginning to get hit from rival streaming companies as growth slows, unveils vie...more
Many people argue that Irish women should have access to free contraception. Healthwave, the Irish digital pharmacy service, has announced that it will offer the oral contraceptive pill free of charge to its members. The generic versions of six of the most commonly prescribed contraceptive pill medications in Ireland will be offered at no cost to those with valid prescriptions. Catherine McNicholas, Director of Pharmacy Services at Healthwave, joined us for our weekly medical consultation to exp...more
In today's election debate, we discussed the urban-rural divide. Is it real or imagined, and if it's real, what can be done to alleviate it? We were joined by Martin Heydon, Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Marian Harkin, former TD and MEP and Independent Sligo/Leitrim candidate, Dara Calleary, Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader, TD for Mayo and spokesperson on Rural, Community and Gaeltacht Affairs, and Michael Healy-Rae, Independent TD for Kerry. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play butt...more
The number of houses built last year has hit the highest level in a decade, according to figures from Goodbody Stockbrokers. The figures, compiled using BER ratings, show that 21,500 homes were completed last year. In the last quarter of 2019, 6,600 were completed. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, joined us to discuss this story and more in the business news. Disney+ to launch in Ireland in March One of the biggest customers for Boeing's 737 Max tells conference in Ireland that ...more
R.E.M. may have split up in 2011, but they have come back together to consider pursuing legal action against Donald Trump to stop him using their music on the campaign trail. Trump used two of the band's songs, 'Everybody Hurts' and 'Losing My Religion', at a recent rally in Milwaukee, prompting bassist Mike Mills to tweet that R.E.M. were "exploring all legal avenues". We are aware that the President* @realDonaldTrump continues to use our music at his rallies. We are exploring all legal avenues...more
In today's general election debate, we asked how our health service can be fixed. Is it an impossible task? And if not, how much would it cost? Susan Mitchell, health editor of The Business Post, Róisín Shortall, co-leader of the Social Democrats, Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly and Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly joined us to debate these issues and more. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Smartphone production and disposal is a big environmental issue, but one company could have a solution. Fairphone has teamed up with Vodafone to produce the Fairphone 3, which is described as an ethical and sustainable smartphone. Andy O'Donoghue joined us for Tech Tuesday to explain how it works. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
In the run-up to the general election, The Last Word will be interviewing the leaders of each of the main political parties. Outgoing Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar was the first to join us today. He spoke to Matt about issues such as housing, health, climate change, childcare and Brexit. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Leinster and Ulster now face tricky Champions Cup quarter-final ties, with Leinster to play Saracens and Ulster to take on Toulouse. Jamie Heaslip and Niamh Briggs joined us in The Last Word on Sport to discuss this. Meanwhile, Mark Lawrenson and Tony Cascarino reflected on Liverpool's victory over Manchester United and asked whether it's time for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to leave. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Ireland has the fifth highest number of billionaires in the world, according to Oxfam. This was revealed on the launch of Oxfam's annual report on inequality ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The majority of Ireland's 17 billionaires are men, and the figure places us fifth behind Hong Kong, Cyprus, Switzerland and Singapore. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, joined us for our daily business round-up with this story and more, including: Apple boss Tim Cook says global ta...more
Continuing with our series of election debates, we looked at the issue of tax. Are we likely to see a reduction in the amount of taxes we have to pay, and will there be any changes to the USC? Suzanne Kelly, a barrister specialising in taxation, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on finance Michael McGrath and Labour spokesperson on finance, public expenditure and reform Joan Burton joined us to discuss this and more. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the pl...more
Listen back to some of the highlights of The Last Word from this week, including: John Caddell and Dee Reddy join Matt to look back on the life and career of Rush drummer Neil Peart, who died last week. Dr Ray Walley talks about seasonal affective disorder and how to beat the winter blues. Singer and actress Maria Doyle Kennedy talks about her favourite music, movies, TV and more as she joins the Culture Club. With the general election campaign in full swing, we discuss whether it's time to loo...more
The new winter series of Love Island started last Sunday night, but viewing figures have been lower than expected. More than 2.5 million people tuned into the opening episode, 800,000 fewer than the numbers who watched the launch of the last summer series. Jennifer Gannon and Joe O'Shea discussed this and more in our TV slot, including Room to Improve and political programming in the run-up to the election. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Ahead of his impeachment trial next week, Donald Trump took the opportunity to rant about various household items that limit water usage. Speaking at a campaign rally in Milwaukee, the US President targeted dishwashers, sinks and showers and bemoaned the fact that people now had to wash their dishes "10 times" with the newer models. He also promised cleaner dishes under his presidency. Eoghan Tomás McDermott and Helen Vaughan discussed this and some of the other stories that caught their eye in ...more
In our daily election debate, we asked whether millennials will ever be able to own a home. Ireland currently has the third-highest number of people living with their parents of any EU country, but is home ownership a realistic possibility for this generation, and what does the government need to do? We spoke to Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, Jack Chambers, Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin West, Labour Party spokesperson on housing Jan O'Sullivan, and Michael Dowling, managing director of Michael ...more
This week saw the announcement of the Oscar nominations, and there are lots of new movie releases to enjoy. Bombshell stars Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie and tells the true story of the Fox News women who set out to expose CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. Just Mercy is the story of attorney Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan), who represents an African-American man on death row wrongfully convicted of the murder of a white woman in Alabama, while Bad Boys for L...more
The focus of major car manufacturers appears to have shifted to electric vehicles rather than self-driving ones. Would the public be confident in having autonomous vehicles on the roads, and will legislators allow for it? Michael Sheridan joined us for our motoring slot to discuss this. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Ulster Bank is introducing a new, ten-year fixed mortgage rate while reducing its "High Value" five-year fixed rate to the lowest single mortgage rate on the market. The bank said that both new and existing customers can avail of the new fixed rate of 2.95% for home movers, mortgage switchers and first time buyers who have a loan-to-value of up to 80%. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, brought us this story and more in our daily business round-up, including: Revenue find that inv...more
This week's Culture Club inductee is singer, songwriter and actress Maria Doyle Kennedy, who is performing as part of TradFest Temple Bar at the Pepper Canister Church this month. Tickets are available from tradfest.ie. She joined us to talk about her favourite music, movies, TV shows, books and podcasts. Best Gig: Radiohead at The Olympia in 1996 First Single Ever Bought: David Essex - Rock On Favourite Band: Low Favourite Album: Bon Iver - Bon Iver Favourite TV shows: Succession, Rising Damp F...more
GoMo is raising its monthly fee for new customers to €13 per month. The mobile operator, launched last October, says it has reached its customer target of 100,000 people based on the €10 offer, and that its new signup offer will last until the end of February. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, joined us with this and today's other business stories, including: Another blow for insurance customers as Liberty bows out of commercial insurance market House prices are continuing to slo...more
Are the winter blues a real thing? Many people in Ireland experience what is known as seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression which recurs during the winter months. It can be caused by a change in melatonin levels, partly from a lack of sunlight. Dr Ray Walley joined us for our weekly medical consultation to talk about this condition and how it can be treated. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
In our daily election debate, we discussed public transport. With approximately two thirds of the country having to travel to work by car, how should the government invest in improving public transport? We spoke to Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs for AA Ireland, Richard Bruton, Minister of Commuications, Climate Action & Environment and general election candidate for Dublin Bay North, Councillor Patrick Costello, Green Party spokesperson on transport and general election candida...more
Ryanair could receive its first deliveries of up to ten Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by April, according to the airline's chief marketing officer. The 737 MAX has not flown since last March following two crashes which claimed 346 lives. Ryanair has up to 210 of the planes on order. Peter O'Dwyer from The Business Post joined for the business news with this story and more, including: Google is buying an Irish retail search startup called Pointy Credit cards no longer allowed for online gambling PC us...more
Rush drummer Neil Peart has died aged 67. He had been battling brain cancer. Rolling Stone magazine put Peart at No. 4 in its list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time in 2016. He was also renowned as the band's lyricist. John Caddell and Dee Reddy joined Matt to pay tribute to Peart in our music slot. They also discussed the news that Billie Eilish will be providing the theme song for the next James Bond movie, the youngest person ever to do so, and why Ozzy Osbourne and Elton John are team...more
Tonight's Democratic debate in Iowa is the last before voting begins, but it remains a highly unpredictable contest. There is some disagreement between candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, with Warren claiming Sanders told her during a private meeting that he did not believe a woman could beat Donald Trump in 2020, something Sanders denies. Cal Thomas and Marion McKeone discussed this and more in our US slot. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Looking to get fit in the New Year? Andy O'Donoghue joined us for Tech Tuesday to talk about some of the best apps to help you on your health and wellbeing journey. These include: FightCamp Peloton Fiit Fitbit Kokoon Asana Rebel Couch to 5k Map My Run Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Pope Francis and Pope Benedict are at odds over a proposal to relax clerical celibacy rules. Benedict has spoken out against the proposal, currently being considered by Francis, which would allow married men in the Amazon to be ordained due to a shortage of priests in the region. Nick Squires, Rome correspondent with The Daily Telegraph, joined us to discuss this issue. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Saoirse Ronan has received her fourth Oscar nomination at the age of just 25, for her role in Little Women. She is up against Renee Zellweger for Judy, Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story, Charlize Theron for Bombshell and Cynthia Erivo for Harriet in the Best Actress category. Meanwhile, Joker is the movie with the most nominations, receiving eleven in total. Dee Molumby from entertainment.ie joined us to run through these and some of the other Oscar nominations. The ceremony will take place ...more
Sales of alcohol fell by €10.5 million over the Christmas period, according to new figures from retail analysts Kantar. Shoppers spent 5.3% less on beer and 2.2% less on wine, while overall grocery sales surpassed €1 billion for the first time on record. Peter O'Dwyer from The Business Post joined with this and the day's other business news, including: Flybe on the brink of collapse Davy ups economic growth forecast and predicts further house price increases Used car sales jump in 2019 as new m...more
With an election looming in February, are we on the verge of having a Sinn Féin Tánaiste and Ministers in government? Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said that he doesn't trust Sinn Féin in terms of government, while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar previously stated that he would "rather bring the wolves back to Ireland" than allow Sinn Féin into government. To debate this we were joined by Gary Murphy from the School of Law and Government at DCU, academic and author Dr Jennifer Kavanagh, Sinn Féin...more