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
Listen back to some of the highlights of The Last Word from this week, including: Charlie Weston gives his advice on the best ways to save money for 2020. As bush fires continue to burn across Australia, Brianna Parkins describes the destruction her country is experiencing. Commander Chris Hadfield is this week's Culture Club inductee. He tells about his favourite music, movies and books. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Room To Improve took a different turn last week as Dermot Bannon's own home was the subject of the show. Dermot got a surprise when he was informed that the refurbishment budget would have to be doubled. Jennifer Gannon and Joe O'Shea gave their thoughts and also looked ahead to some upcoming TV shows, including Winter Love Island and Gwyneth Paltrow's Netflix series The Goop Lab. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step back from their roles as senior members of the Royal Family and pursue financial independence caused a lot of upset in the British press this week. Eamonn Holmes was one broadcaster who launched into an angry tirade against Meghan in particular on his radio show yesterday, branding the Duchess of Sussex "weak, manipulative and spoilt". Is she being unfairly attacked? Roe McDermott and Lorcan Nyhan discussed this story and more in The Week Trendin...more
With 2020 underway, Brian Lloyd of entertainment.ie joined us for The Last Word on Movies to review two of this week's new releases. World War I epic 1917, directed by Sam Mendes, was a winner at the Golden Globes this week, while Uncut Gems stars Adam Sandler and is being hailed as one of his best performances. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they will be stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family. Their decision is said to have caused some upset within Buckingham Palace, as it emerged that the Queen was not informed beforehand. Nick Ferrari, presenter of Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on LBC, joined us to discuss the impact this might have on the Royal Family. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is to be presented with an award by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin later this month. The award will recognise Apple's 40 years of investment in Ireland. The company is currently one of the biggest employers in the State. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, discussed this and more in our daily business round-up: International Airlines Group's long-serving chief executive Willie Walsh reveals plans to retire from the Aer Lingus owner Tesco and Marks & Spencer...more
The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union at the end of this month, but negotiations on the future relationship between the two will continue. Claire Fox, Brexit Party MEP, spoke at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin today. She joined us on The Last Word to discuss whether or not the UK will isolate itself from Europe in the aftermath of Brexit. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Our first Culture Club inductee of 2020 is Commander Chris Hadfield, former astronaut and author of the New York Times Bestseller An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. Hadfield was described by Forbes as "perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth". In 2013, he released a music video recorded on the ISS of a modified rendition of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity', which has over 44 million views on YouTube. He joined us to talk about his favourite music, movies, books and more...more
Irish food and drink exports reached a record €13 billion last year, according to Bord Bia. But despite the overall increase, some sectors saw a decline. Exports to the UK fell by 3% as did beef exports. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, joined us to discuss this and more in our business round-up, including: Numbers employed by IDA companies reaches record high Retail sales fall in November Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
The government announced yesterday that an event at Dublin Castle to commemorate members of the Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police prior to independence had been deferred. In the wake of this controversy, how should we go about remembering our turbulent history? Senator Mark Daly, one of the Fianna Fáil representatives of the All Party Consultation Group on the decade of commemorations, Dr Mary McAuliffe, historian and assistant professor of gender studies at UCD, and Mick F...more
Are you feeling the strain financially after the Christmas period? Charlie Weston, personal finance editor of The Irish Independent, joined us to discuss five ways to get back on track in 2020. He advises: Pay off credit card debt Switch or overpay your mortgage Check household bills and consider switching providers Top up your pension Save more money Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.
Meat Loaf is the latest star to criticise climate activist Greta Thunberg. The singer claimed in an interview that Thunberg had been "brainwashed" into believing in climate change, adding that he himself does not believe in it. Thunberg responded to the comments by saying that the issue is not about Meat Loaf or her, but about scientific facts. John Caddell and Dee Reddy discussed this and more in our weekly music slot, including albums to look forward to in 2020. Listen to the interview in full...more
Enterprise Ireland's 2020 Action Plan for Women in Business was published today as part of Future Jobs Ireland. The plan's aim is to increase levels of women-led businesses and women in strategic management positions to improve diversity, and includes the introduction of a new grant for Enterprise Ireland supported companies to facilitate the recruitment of part-time senior managers. Ian Guider, markets editor of The Business Post, joined us with this and the day's other business news, including...more
A planned event to commemorate those who served in the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police prior to Irish independence has been deferred. The controversial commemoration was due to take place at Dublin Castle, but its postponement was announced today by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. Prior to the announcement, we were joined on The Last Word by historian and journalist Ruth Dudley Edwards and musician and historical entertainer Paddy Cullivan to discuss whether or...more
Donald Trump has defended the assassination of Qassam Soulemani, saying it will keep Americans safe. The Iranian general was killed in a US airstrike last week. Meanwhile, Iran says it will retaliate in a "proportionate" manner "against legitimate targets". 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.