Podcast

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

On Ireland's most cutting edge current affairs show, Matt and his guests provide a running stream of intelligent opinions and heated debates on the issues that matter most to Irish listeners. You might not always agree, but you'll never want to miss a Word.

Episodes

  • Minnesota Police Arrest CNN Reporter On Air

    May 29 2020

    The Minnesota State Patrol have arrested a CNN reporter reporting live on television while covering the Minneapolis protests, without giving any reason, leading him and three crew members away in handcuffs.

  • Trump Engages In Public Feud With Twitter

    May 29 2020

    US President Donald Trump signs an executive order that threatens punishment against Twitter, Facebook and Google over allegations of political bias. It comes as Twitter flagged one of Mr Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots in California with a fact-check warning.

  • Missing the Cinema? This free virtual film festival will keep you entertained

    May 28 2020

    We Are One: A Global Film Festival starts May 29 at YouTube.com/WeAreOne, and continues for 10 days with a slew of films and pre-recorded conversations from 21 festivals. Brian Lloyd & Dee Molumby chat with Matt about this and more in this week’s movie slot. Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.

  • College Life in a Socially Distant Era

    May 28 2020

    For the third level students returning to college next September there are an awful lot of unknowns. However, one thing is for sure: the third level experience in an era of social distancing will be completely different to previous years.

  • Who’s Calling The Shots? The Role of Ireland's Public Health Care Team

    May 28 2020

    In recent weeks, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar faced questions on composition of the National Health Public Emergency Team, and the lack of transparency around the decision-making during the Covid-19 crisis.

  • Understanding COVID-19 and Obesity

    May 27 2020

    Boris Johnson will launch an anti-obesity strategy after telling friends he thinks his weight was part of the reason he ended up in intensive care with Covid19. The British Prime Minister reportedly weighed 17½st when he was taken to hospital with coronavirus. At 5ft 9in tall, this would mean his Body Mass Index (BMI) was 36, which is in the obese range.  Dr Doireann O'Leary joined us to talk about the link between Covid19 and obesity.

  • Would You Stay Working From Home If The Government Gave You Tax Breaks?

    May 27 2020

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has suggested that the next government could encourage people to work from home in the long term by offering them income tax incentives. Personal Finance Editor, Charlie Weston speaks to Matt about the benefits.

  • Best Female Music Collaborations - Does Yours Make The List?

    May 26 2020

    As Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s new duet ‘Rain on Me’ Leads the U.K. Chart Race, John Cadell and Clara Kavanagh talk about some of the best female music duets of all time.

  • US Politics: Twitter Asked to Remove Offensive Trump Tweets

    May 26 2020

    A widower is asking Twitter to remove posts by President Donald Trump seeking to link his wife's death in 2001 to talk show host Joe Scarborough, a prominent Trump critic.

  • Sinn Féin Say Failure To Provide Credible Childcare Scheme 'Inexcusable'

    May 26 2020

    Matt speaks with Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald about the failure of the government to provide a credible childcare scheme for parents returning to work.

  • The Ultimate Garden Gadgets For Summer 2020

    May 26 2020

    Looking to spruce up your garden this summer? From cordless lawnmowers to outdoor heating, these top tech picks will keep your garden looking great all summer. Andy O’Donoghue is here to tell us about the best gardening gadgets for summer 2020.

  • Is There A Different Kind Of Dublin On The Horizon?

    May 25 2020

    Have urban city centres been redefined? Frank McDonald weighs in on what will Dublin look like after the pandemic?

  • Are Hairdressers Set To Open One Month Earlier Than Planned?

    May 25 2020

    News broke today that The Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) wish to reopen on June 29, instead of July 20, and will meet with the government this week to present recommendations supporting their plea. Restaurants are also set to reopen later this summer, but do the current social distancing regulations make business viable?

  • Is It Time To Speed Up The Relaxation of Restrictions?

    May 25 2020

    Should the government change the ‘road map’ to reopening the country? Could current restrictions impose more costs, without the benefit? Could there be a second surge if the government got the reopening of the country wrong?

  • What To Know For Your Pets As Temperatures Set To Hit 25 Degrees

    May 25 2020

    Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust is warning the public of the serious dangers hotter weather can have for dogs. Did you know that freezing some of your dog’s favourite toys in water or making a dog friendly ice-pop with frozen treats inside will encourage them to lick the ice and help keep your pooch hydrated!

  • Is Ireland Too Cautious Getting Out Of Lockdown?

    May 22 2020

    How does Ireland reopen, resuscitate and reignite its economy?

  • New Plan For Buses, Cyclists and Pedestrians Included In Dublin’s COVID-19 Mobility Plan

    May 22 2020

    Large-scale bus diversions, restrictions on cars and a widespread reallocation of road space to pedestrians and cyclists are planned under a new Covid-19 strategy for Dublin city centre.

  • Leaving Cert 2020: Teachers And Schools Will Be Legally Protected From Any Cases Brought By Pupils Or Parents

    May 21 2020

    The government is still having to address issues in relation to the marking of this year's Leaving Certificate, given the cancellation of the exams. It's been reported today that the cabinet is going to approve an indemnity for teachers marking papers and teachers and schools will also be indemnified from any legal cases taken by pupils or their parents. Seamus Lahart, President of the Teachers Union of Ireland, Arthur Godsil, former headmaster of St Andrews College and Director of Godsil Educat...more

  • Paschal Donohoe Addresses Calls To Speed Up The Lifting Of Restrictions To Boost The Economy

    May 21 2020

    Taoiseach Loe Varadkar today announced that the transmission of Covid-19 in the community has been effectively suppressed. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe joined Matt Cooper on The Last Word to address calls for the government to speed up the easing of restrictions to get people back to work, to get businesses back up and running and to save the state some of the money it is spending on supports. As the Irish economy reopens gradually over the coming months it remains to be seen what will lie i...more

  • What Does Childcare Look Like For Parents In The Future?

    May 21 2020

    Yesterday the Children's Minister Katherine Zappone outlined preliminary guidance for childcare providers as creches prepare to reopen for "essential workers" under the government roadmap as early as June 29. What measures must be considered for the reopening of creches next month? Should Social Distancing be ruled out for children and why? Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.

  • As Pubs Turn Into Restaurants In Order To Reopen, What Will Summer 2020 Look Like?

    May 20 2020

    More than four in every ten Dublin pubs intend to reopen as restaurants at the end of June. Under the government's roadmap, bars can't begin operating again until August 10th. However, a number of pubs are hoping to use a loophole to reopen sooner than planned.

  • Should We Look To Denmark When Planning To Reopen Schools In Ireland?

    May 20 2020

    Just one month ago, Denmark were the first country in Europe to reopen schools for pupils up to the age of 11 - something not envisaged in Ireland for months yet. So how did re-opening work? Were the teacher's union on board? How are children finding it?

  • Culture Club - Richard Ford

    May 20 2020

    This week on The Last Word Culture Club Matt Cooper was joined by international superstar of literature - Richard Ford, who has been staying safe in the US throughout the Coronavirus crisis. So what will a man who has been described as the great living American novelist pick as his favourite music, movies, books, plays and podcasts? Catch the full chat by pressing the Listen button on this page.

  • How Some Businesses Are Ripping People Off During The Pandemic

    May 20 2020

    The pandemic has provoked extraordinary acts of kindness and charity, but among these good deeds it has become clear some firms and institutions are failing to act fairly.

  • Future Of Q Magazine In Doubt As Coronavirus Crisis Hits Media

    May 19 2020

    The music monthly Q is one of 10 magazines that could disappear from newsagents’ shelves as one of the UK’s biggest publishers considers the future of print titles as the coronavirus crisis hastens the shift of readers and advertisers online.

  • Tech Tuesday: Commute After Lockdown

    May 19 2020

    The traditional commute may never be the same again once people return to work after lockdown. Social distancing needs to be maintained. So how will this impact your commute? Will we see a rise in commuters using electric bicycles or will taxi drones become a familiar scene around the city?

  • Trump Reveals He’s Been Taking Hydroxychloroquine For The Last Few Weeks

    May 19 2020

    President Donald Trump said Monday that he has been taking anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for over a week to prevent coronavirus infection even though it is not yet a proven treatment. The president said he consulted with the White House doctor about taking the drug, but it was not explicitly recommended for him since he has not tested positive for the virus. Medical experts and media figures were quick to raise concerns about Trump's embrace of the drug, expressing alarm that it may...more

  • Parents And Kids Will Miss Out On Summer Camps This Year - What Effect Will This Have?

    May 19 2020

    A huge cloud of uncertainty hangs over the summer camps of 2020, and where they might slot into the reopening of Ireland’s roadmap.

  • Will Dublin City Centre Proposed Traffic Ban Kill Business?

    May 18 2020

    Dublin City Council plans to close College Green to traffic, and pedestrianise a significant number of streets under plans to reopen the city centre as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

  • Coping With Children At Home During The Pandemic

    May 18 2020

    Need some advice on "how to keep calm at home" while parenting through this COVID-19 crisis? Psychotherapist Helen Vaughan joins us and shares some tips on what you need to know about protecting you and your child's mental health during a pandemic.

  • Gardai Want To Use Drones To Fight Crime

    May 18 2020

    An Garda Síochána has begun investigating the possibility of using drones for the first time.

  • What Will Weddings In Ireland Look Like In Summer 2020?

    May 18 2020

    According to the government roadmap out of lockdown, small weddings would be permitted by Phase Four, which is due to begin on 20 July.

  • BBC Four Could Be Axed This Year As Broadcaster Targets Younger Audiences

    May 15 2020

    Fans of BBC Four could be about to lose their favourite arts and culture programmes, as rumours are circulating that the channel is facing closure by the end of the year. It has an annual budget of £44 million and attracts a niche audience of mainly older viewers. The BBC, which is looking to cut costs, has previously emphasised that its aim is to invest in younger audiences. Several BBC Four presenters are unhappy about the idea, and have taken to social media to campaign for the channel to be ...more

  • Retail Excellence Ireland Predicts Around 100,000 Job Losses

    May 15 2020

    Retail Excellence Ireland is predicting that only 70% of retail staff could return to work, resulting in 100,000 job losses in the sector. The group expects that there will be an initial period of pent-up demand when shops reopen, followed by a subdued phase which will see consumer spending fall by up to 40% as has happened in other countries. Ian Guider, markets editor of the Business Post, brought us this story and more in our daily business update, including: Ryanair and Bank of Ireland anno...more

  • The Week Trending - Trump Compares Healthcare Workers To "Soldiers Running Into Bullets"

    May 15 2020

    Donald Trump has been criticised by healthcare workers in the United States for comparing them to soldiers. During a speech at a medical equipment distribution centre in Pennsylvania, the US President said that doctors and nurses were "running into death just like soldiers run into bullets" and added that it was "a beautiful thing to see." In the same speech, he also remarked that he thought testing for COVID-19 might be "overrated". Lise Hand and Lorcan Nyhan joined us for The Week Trending to ...more

  • Should Wearing Face Masks Be Made Mandatory?

    May 15 2020

    Many countries have made it compulsory for face masks to be worn in public places. Here in Ireland, the government is now recommending that people over the age of 13 wear masks in enclosed spaces such as shops and public transport, but it will not be mandatory. How effective are face masks in stopping the spread of COVID-19, particularly when compared with other measures such as hand washing and social distancing? What type of mask should you wear, and where can you get them? Should they be made...more

  • Movies That Don't Deserve Their Bad Reputation

    May 14 2020

    Some movies have a bad reputation, but are actually surprisingly good. For The Last Word on Movies, we asked Dee Molumby and Brian Lloyd from entertainment.ie to nominate their favourite films that didn't fare too well with the critics. Dee's Choices Glass Allied Jurassic Park III Brian's Choices Independence Day: Resurgence Batman Forever Gremlins 2: The New Batch Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.

  • British Government Urged To Seek Extension To Brexit Transition Period

    May 14 2020

    The British Irish Chamber of Commerce is calling on the UK government to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period as negotiations have been disrupted by COVID-19. Despite Boris Johnson's previous insistence that there would be no trade barriers, it appears Britain has now privately conceded that there will in fact be customs checks post-Brexit. In a letter to the executive office in Stormont, the government confirmed that there would be border control posts in three ports in Northern Ir...more

  • What Is Fake News And Why Do We Fall For It?

    May 14 2020

    People are now inundated with news from multiple sources every day, as we get instant alerts about events around the globe. But despite this unprecedented abundance of information, it has become increasingly difficult to know what's true and what's not. Why do we end up believing things that are wrong, and how can we all be smarter consumers of news? Rob Brotherton, a psychologist and academic living in New York, aims to answer these questions in his new book, Bad News: Why We Fall for Fake News...more

  • Concerns Expressed About Health And Safety As Construction Sites Prepare To Reopen

    May 14 2020

    Construction sites are set to reopen next week, but People Before Profit TDs have questioned the resources in place to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19. Brid Smith expressed concern about tens of thousands of construction workers returning to sites that are unsafe, and said that the Health and Safety Authority is not equipped to deal with any breaches in protocol that might occur. She was joined on The Last Word by Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation, ...more

  • Culture Club - John Sheahan

    May 13 2020

    This week's Culture Club inductee is John Sheahan from The Dubliners. He has just released his first solo album, Flirting Fiddles, at the age of 80. John joined us on The Last Word to talk about his favourite music, movies, books, plays and podcasts. First Single Ever Bought: Seán Maguire EPs and LPs Favourite Artists: Fritz Kriesler, Seán Maguire, Stephane Grappelli, Bert Kaempfert, Hank Williams, Glenn Miller Best Gig: Stephane Grappelli at the National Concert Hall in the 1980s Favourite Movi...more

  • Twitter Says Its Employees Can Work From Home "Forever"

    May 13 2020

    Twitter has said that employees will be allowed to work from home "forever" if they choose to. In a statement, the company added that those who want to return to the office will probably be unable to do so until September, and that any reopenings would be "careful" and "gradual". Ian Guider, markets editor of the Business Post, brought us this story and more in our daily business update, including: Revenue has again extended the payment date for property tax Lemon & Duke pub is taking legal...more

  • How COVID-19 Is Affecting Cancer Screening And Treatments

    May 13 2020

    Concerns have been raised over the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on cancer screening services. Figures have revealed that no mammograms were carried out in the month of April, while there was also a 96% decrease in the number of samples sent to CervicalCheck labs. Will this pause in services result in delayed diagnosis or worse outcomes for patients? Dr Doireann O'Leary, GP at MyCorkGP and health blogger, joined us for our weekly medical consultation to advise on some of the cancer red flags p...more

  • Revolut Says It Now Has 1 Million Irish Customers, But Why Is It So Popular?

    May 13 2020

    Financial technology company Revolut says it now has one million customers in Ireland, compared to half a million just six months ago. It is not known how many of these customers are active users, or how many are using free or premium accounts. This huge growth nonetheless poses a threat to the traditional banks, many of which have outdated IT systems that regularly experience outages, and are therefore struggling to compete with Revolut's easy-to-use app. Charlie Weston, personal finance editor...more

  • Electric Picnic Cancelled Due To COVID-19 Concerns

    May 12 2020

    Electric Picnic has become the latest music festival to be cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19. The organisers said the cancellation had been "unavoidable" and that they had a responsibility to the fans, artists, crews, suppliers and sponsors. Anyone who purchased tickets can either receive a refund or choose to retain them, as they will be valid for next year's festival. John Caddell and Dee Reddy discussed this in our weekly music slot as well as the deaths of rock and roll pioneer Little ...more

  • Ryanair Will Resume 40% Of Its Flights From 1 July

    May 12 2020

    Ryanair is to resume 40% of its flights from 1 July. Passengers will have to comply with a number of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including temperature checks at airport entrances, wearing face masks in the terminal and on board aircraft, and downloading boarding passes to their phones. Full details of the measures can be found in a video on Ryanair's website and social media channels. Ian Guider, markets editor of the Business Post, joined us for our daily business update with this...more

  • Why Is Donald Trump Talking About 'Obamagate' And What Does It Mean?

    May 12 2020

    Donald Trump has hit out at Barack Obama after the former President described his successor's handling of the coronavirus pandemic as "an absolute chaotic disaster". Obama also said that "the rule of law is at risk" after the United States justice department said it would drop its case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Taking to Twitter, Trump repeatedly used the term "Obamagate" and accused Obama of committing "the biggest political crime in American history". But when ask...more

  • The Best Home Exercise Equipment For Keeping Fit During Lockdown

    May 12 2020

    With gyms closed during lockdown, many people have been forced to change the way they exercise. For those who can't get out of the house for a run or a walk, there is a lot of tech that can help you keep fit. Andy Donohoe joined us for Tech Tuesday to talk about the best home exercise equipment out there. Smart Exercise Bikes Wattbike Atom - £1,599 Wahoo Kickr Bike - £3,000 Tacx Neo Bike Smart - £2,300 Stages Smart Bike - £2,700 PedalPro Indoor Bike Resistance Trainer - €110 Peloton digital subs...more

  • What Are Your Rights When It Comes To Refunds On Cancelled Holidays?

    May 11 2020

    Tourism Minister Shane Ross has announced a State guarantee to support travel agents hit by the COVID-19 crisis. It comes in the form of a refund credit note for package holidays booked through Irish-registered travel agents and tour operators. This will be offered to customers in circumstances where the travel agent is unable to provide a cash refund. This measure is designed to protect the travel industry, but will it be as favourable for consumers? Pat Dawson of the Irish Travel Agents Associ...more

  • Airport Traffic Could Fall By 70% Under Social Distancing Guidelines

    May 11 2020

    Airport traffic could fall by 70% under social distancing guidelines, according to DAA chief executive Dalton Philips. In a video message to staff, he said that traffic at Dublin and Cork airports would fall to nine million this year and between 20 and 24 million next year compared to 36 million last year, and that passengers could potentially face huge queues into car parks. Ian Guider, markets editor of the Business Post, joined us for our daily business update with this story and more, includ...more