Cover image of Una and Andrea's United Ireland

Una and Andrea's United Ireland

32 Episodes. 32 Counties. 32 Questions. Every week United Ireland looks at how issues in small places have a much bigger context, and discusses the issues important to you. Let's go!

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EPISODE 4: CLARE: Q: Should we forgive Doonbeg Trumpism?

The streets of Doonbeg in Clare were lined with locals this week to welcome in the Trump family to their hotel and golf course that employs many of the townspeople. Apart from the fact that Trump fired the staff and re-hired many of them on minimum wage, it’s hard to argue against the fact that without this employment the town would be all but forgotten and in pretty dire straits. However, the Trump’s were greeted as all out saviours and some people found the fawning pretty galling. Is that unfair? Can we just put our morals away when there’s money to be made? Well, we’re joined by journalist Sarah Kendzior whose writing became almost prophetic during the most recent US presidential campaign, calling out what was actually happening as America began sliding down the rabbit hole towards autocracy, and warning the public about the dangers of normalising Donald Trump and his administration and band of hangers-on. Her insights and knowledge about the journey from then to now makes for pretty terrifying listening.To lighten the mood, we’ll also be touching on Rihanna’s iconic leopard lewks, Drag Balls & Cock Destroyers, who deserves to Get in The Sea, Clare county rep Milliner Margaret O’Connor and an absolute Tuna Chicken Roll of the Gods to make sure you approach the weekend with joy.


12 Jun 2019

Rank #1

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BONUS EP: Sinn Fein - so hot right now

More and more young women we speak to appear to be voting for Sinn Féin. Is this a sentiment the broader political and media establishment has overlooked? What explains the Sinn Féin surge? In this bonus episode, we chat about what we think is behind Sinn Féin's rising popularity in the polls, and whether or not it'll make a difference as #GE2020 progresses. Plus, we take a straw poll at Andrea's nail bar in Dublin to hear what young women there think about Sinn Féin.


24 Jan 2020

Rank #2

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EP 34: GE2020 Spesh 2: Crime and Punishment

As the general election campaign took off, the horrific murder of a teenager brought organised crime into sharp focus as an election issue. In this episode, we discuss crime and punishment, and how political parties approach the issue. We talk to Marcus Keane from the Ana Liffey Drug Project about drug policy, and Social Democrats candidate for Dublin Central, Gary Gannon, joins us in studio to discuss tackling the causes of crime, rather than just the end result. Also in this episode, we bring you our first Voter's Voice - a young, professional, Dublin renter - and we digest the campaign news and bring Get In The Sea to GE2020.

1hr 16mins

22 Jan 2020

Rank #3

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Some savvy salve for collective coping

copingnounThe top, typically curved or sloping, course of a brick or stone wall.How novel that the first definition of coping we came across is talking about a curve. Our collective priority right now is to flatten the curve and can we just say, what a great job our caretaker government, frontline medical staff, retail staff who are keeping shelves stocked and indeed the people of Ireland are doing right now to try and control this virus. But whilst we’re all trying to do the right thing to have the best impact, there is so much collective anxiety, panic and fear. So many tears. The need to take to bed to deal with the trauma we’re feeling. And that’s ok – what’s happening right now is extraordinary. It’s not business as usual. copingverbCoping means to invest one's own conscious effort, to solve personal and interpersonal problems, in order to try to master, minimize or tolerate stress and conflict. So how do we cope? While we try to cope with the logistics of recording a podcast together but apart, zen Priestess Una is on hand to explore how we might cope right now in what we hope is some salve in a very heightened environment.


19 Mar 2020

Rank #4

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EPISODE 23: What do we really know about Brexit, dark money, and the DUP?

Every hour brings new twists and turns to Brexit, but it’s important to remember that a very murky referendum got us to this point. In this, ‘Brexit, dark money and the DUP’ episode, we press pause on a frantic news cycle and go back to 2016 and 2017 to ask questions about the dark money that funded the Leave campaign. The Americanisation of British politics now impacts the mysterious bankrolling of political campaigns, partisan think tanks, how the Tory Party is funded, and why the British media is sounding increasingly American. Our special guest to delve into all of this is bossman investigative reporter, Peter Geoghegan from Open Democracy.Also in this episode, Una is excited about a Dublin City Council initiative (shocker!), Andrea is very worried about Ireland’s potato crop, but still found time to outline the clearest breakdown of the Brexit timeline you’ve ever heard.

1hr 2mins

23 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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EPISODE 41: LIMERICK Fear and Contagion: HIV’s lessons

Two of the main themes to come out of the recent Coronavirus outbreak are fear and contagion, things that have been front and centre in the queer community for so long.So we reached out to Adam Shanley from HIV Ireland on the subject of U equals U - Undetectable equals Untransmittable. This is something that’s spoken about quite regularly in queer communities but maybe not as top of mind in more mainstream society. We wanted to approach this in relation to the stigma, fear and panic that surrounds HIV and how we can learn from the historical and ongoing focus on their reduction, especially as we see these behaviours unfold with Corona.All the usual news (both current affairs and JLo related), Get In The Sea, Fave Bits and Tuna Chicken Rolls also enclosed.


12 Mar 2020

Rank #6

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EPISODE 9: DERRY: Lyra McKee was murdered in Derry. What happened next?

On April 18th, 2019, journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead during rioting in the Creggan area of Derry. On this episode about what happened next, Lyra’s partner, Sara Canning, talks about the night Lyra was murdered and how her death impacted her, her community, and Derry itself. We also discuss the protests that emerged in response to Lyra’s murder with Lyra’s friend, Sinead Quinn. One of the most respected journalists in the country, Susan McKay, is in studio to discuss the social, political and economic context of her hometown Derry, and she also gives us added insight into the significance of Lyra’s journalism, and her own relationship with Lyra. Our County Rep this week is the brilliant Séamas O’Reilly, a writer with The Observer and the Irish Times, who delivers a beautiful ode to Derry.This episode examines the legacy of an incredibly talented young journalist murdered in her prime, and what it’s really like to grow up in a place where things like this happen, and how Derry is potentially on the precipice of even more difficulties with Brexit looming. But it’s also about a place of tremendous spirit, creativity, humour and resilience.We’d like to especially thank Sara for being so honest and generous with her time while she is still grieving her partner. Rest in Power,

1hr 4mins

17 Jul 2019

Rank #7

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EPISODE 28: ROSCOMMON: Who are our sex work laws really protecting?

There's been a recent spate of targeted violent attacks on sex workers across Ireland with the primary aim of theft. Charges have been brought against 3 men in Roscommon as part of Operation Quest. But surely our laws protect all workers from attack?Well, in 2017, legislation was introduced in Ireland to criminalise the purchase of sex. This was seen as a victory in some quarters for women's rights, and as a positive move to try and tackle the issues around women being trafficked.But many sex workers say that criminalising the purchase of sex drives sex work further underground and that the environment they work within becomes more dangerous.Conner Habib is a sex work's rights advocate, the host of the fantastic Against Everyone with Conner Habib, and author, lecturer, a Dubliner for the past year, and the only person (that we know of) who has won awards for writing, teaching, AND porn.With the recent decriminalisation of sex work in the Northern Territory in Australia by NT Attorney-General Natasha Fyles who said the new act was about keeping workers safe, we want to talk broadly today about sex work laws internationally, what philosophies underpin them, and what is best practice in terms of protecting the multiple rights that stem from sex work across the board.

1hr 11mins

5 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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EP 37: Election Decompression. Take a breath, everyone.

After a wild weekend, a historical election, and a period of heightened discourse, it's time to take a breath and figure out what all of this means. In this episode, we step away from the intense conversations and decompress. This election has thrown up so many issues around identity, history, class, and discontent, and now it's time to start talking about all of those things. Let's have discussions that are led with empathy, confront our past in a responsible and smart way, and use the skills we have amassed as a nation over the past decade to put ourselves in other people's shoes and move forward. The times, they are a changin', so let's start to understand and feel what that change means and navigate our hope and our discomfort. Onwards!

1hr 2mins

12 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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EPISODE 21: MEATH: Is everything we know about Newgrange wrong?

We're feeling very witchy this week with the onset of Samhain, and so we are journeying to the heart of Ireland's mythical history, the great county of MEATH. Last year, an incredible discovery was made at Newgrange by Anthony Murphy and Ken Williams who stumbled upon a massive henge at the Brú na Bóinne site. We talk to Anthony about DRONEHENGE, a discovery that shook the world of archeology and has made us rethink what was really going on at Newgrange back in the day (clue: a giant sesh.) Join us in rolling back the clock as we talk druids, pagan Olympics, human sacrifice, and and how an extra-hot Irish summer unearthed more Meath magic. Also, a cohousing cafe, Eoghan Murphy's Stoneybatter interventions, Andrea resurrects the Sex and the City movie, and Una reveals her past as an interpretive dance teacher.

1hr 1min

9 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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EPISODE 22: ARMAGH: Is there anybody out there? A United Ireland aliens special.

Trying to figure out the 'what can you do?' section of this week's podcast was interesting given that we were talking to trailblazing astrophysicist; scientist; one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world and one of Nature magazines ten most prominent scientists worldwide Guillem Anglada-Escudé, who discovered the Proxima-b exoplanet orbiting Proxima-Centauri, our closest neighbouring star. Suggesting ways to build your own lightsail spacecraft seemed a little excessive for you to have done before settling down to next week's episode.We delve into the the journey further into space and find comfort speculating on the aliens out there watching in on our little simulation here on earth. As new planets are discovered, are we any closer to finding living circumstances similar to our own that can facilitate life? Mulder and Scully, this is the episode for you.There's also an absolute banger of a Tuna Chicken Roll, get in a rage about 6k being spent a day on barriers to pedestrianise an area and find some joyous fave bits to bring Una back from the brink after finding out that the Government's approval rating has shot up.

1hr 14mins

16 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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EPISODE 17: SLIGO: Can improved access to art make a better society?

In a week that brought us the news that the Shaw was closing to make way for, you guessed it, a hotel, we start to look at what can be done to encourage more value to be placed on art and culture from the those who have the power and money to shape our society.Increasing and improving access to art is one step we think that can be taken to help people understand the weight, importance and benefits that come from having a thriving creative scene in Ireland. But another issue thrown up when you start exploring access to art, is people's perceptions of what constitutes culture. Comments from some councillors showed that what many considered the centre of their cultural universe with the Shaw, was considered nothing more than a nuisance and eyesore. How can we support people pushing the boundaries not just with their art, but those pushing the boundaries of what art is. And who gets to be the gate-keeper of where art and culture starts and ends?We talk to two people whose remit is to improve access to art in Ireland. Sinead Rice is Head of Education in the National Gallery and Emer McGarry is the interim Director at The Model in Sligo. We also have Patrick Curley who runs Illuminations in Sligo as our county rep.


12 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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EPISODE 26: WEXFORD: Is sustainable fashion an oxymoron?

Come through our fashionistas. This week, we’re looking at the trend of sustainable fashion and wondering if it’s actually possible for the industry of excess and newness to actually be sustainable, and if individual boycotts of unethical brands is enough to bring about change in the industry.We’re joined by Tara Stewart who is a DJ, fashion kween and now host of RTE podcast Dirty Laundry that looks at the subject of sustainability and her journey from fast fashion to a more sustainable approach.On the other side of the industry, we talk to Wexford born, London based designer Richard Malone who approaches his process in the fashion industry as a vocal sustainability advocate and has previously said “It amazes me how young designers aren’t committing to sustainability. You can’t be a modern or contemporary designer if you are not sustainable.”We also talk Lizzo, Le Mans ’66, Dimitri From Paris, Irish Water (again) and BelongTo’s 2019 School Climate Survey.

1hr 8mins

13 Nov 2019

Rank #13

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EPISODE 27: O’DEVANEY GARDENS: Why is the O’Devaney Gardens development such a mess?

This week, we’re heading to the micro-county of Dublin 7 to take a deep dive into the housing development saga at O’Devaney Gardens in Stoneybatter. For well over a decade, this development has had so many false starts, and within those pauses, the shenanigans keep coming. What is happening tells us a lot about planning, public land being transferred to a private developer, the de-prioritisation of social housing, the unaffordable nature of “affordable” housing, and the ineptitude of Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing, and indeed, the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy. This week, there were more alarm bells, as Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin published a letter Murphy sent to Dublin’s mayor indicating the project may have hit the skids again. Eoin joins us in studio to give his assessment of what is going wrong and why, as well as interrogating the housing policies Fine Gael is pursuing, and giving a pretty damning appraisal of Eoghan Murphy’s tenure. Also, we weren’t going to let this ep pass without talking about the Grafton Quarter sign, Una discusses the trend of artists banning phones at gigs, and Andrea receives a shock Dynasty-related delivery.

1hr 3mins

20 Nov 2019

Rank #14

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Episode 40: Westmeath Q: Why is Westmeath flooding, and what are we going to do about it?

The middle of Ireland currently resembles Waterworld due to flooding which has been causing chaos for homeowners, businesses and farmers. In this episode we wanted to get to the bottom of why this is happening, whether the precautions and flood defences currently in place are adequate and what can be done moving forward. We’re joined by Breandán Anraoi MacGabhann, a lecturer in geography at University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College and a Green Party Executive Committee member to answer these q’s. We also have the King of Westmeath, Bressie, in studio as our county rep. Fave bits and Get In the Sea’s as usj.


5 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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EPISODE 45: CORONA Adapt-o-Gen

What does normal even mean any more? There’s no way we can go back, we don’t know where we’re going, yet somehow we all seem to be adapting to this weird stasis. We talk to Finian Murphy from Core about its research into the current sentiment being experienced by Irish society right now. Like Rihanna found love in a hopeless place, are we finding contentment in an isolated place, once all the factors trying to sell us back the idea of happiness have been stripped from our daily repertoire?For more information on the Core report Finian spoke about visit https://onecore.ie/blog/

1hr 12mins

9 Apr 2020

Rank #16

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EPISODE 15: CARLOW: Are we ready to get serious about the night​ ​time economy?

It's very easy to moan and groan about the influx of hotels and the homogenisation of the landscape in cities and towns around the country, but it's worth remembering that it’s not the job of hotel owners to ​shape the fabric of our society, it’s their job to build hotels and make money​. So, who's job is it?When it comes to being custodians of culture and city planning, we have the Minister for Culture & Heritage, her department, Dublin City Council and many art institutions and councils. When it comes to the night time economy or life after dark, however, it is that so often these pursuits aren't considered culture. But, the fact of the matter is -- clubbing IS culture.This week, we're talking to Global Night Mayor advocate Mirik Milan, who was the first Night Mayor of Amsterdam in 2012, along with Philly McMahon, who has challenged the definition and scope of culture with ThisIsPopBaby. This episode of the podcast is longer than a club night in Dublin and it's time for us all to get behind and champion culturally relevant nightlife in Ireland.We also have the "complete Aisling", Sarah Breen as our county rep for Carlow, news from the week, top Carlow facts, Get In the Sea and of course, our Tuna Chicken Roll.

1hr 26mins

28 Aug 2019

Rank #17

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EPISODE 11: WATERFORD: Are there too many festivals and somehow not enough tickets?

We’re popping down to the Sunny South East this week at the same time as all of the music revelers™ making their way to All Together Now, praying for blue skies and some of that famous sun. As another sold out festival hits the circuit in only its second year, it’s clear that there’s still room for a festival with a good vibe and a cracking lineup. But the concert calendar in Ireland looks pretty crowded this summer - or is it possible that our appetite for live music in a field is insatiable? And what about the tickets to those gigs? When people were losing their minds over tickets to Lizzo’s show in the Olympia vanishing in seconds, only to be resold by Ticketmaster at inflated prices, it rightly shone the light again on how tickets are being sold in this country. We’ll be talking to RTE Brainstorm’s Jim Carroll about what’s going on with these ‘platinum’ tickets and that packed festival calendar, along with journalist Amy O’Connor, who will be filling us in all about the Déise.

1hr 1min

1 Aug 2019

Rank #18

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BONUS #GE2020 EP: Can Rural Ireland go Green? with Saoirse McHugh

It was presumed this election would be overshadowed by the Green Wave. This hasn't been the case. And where it has, it has been supported by quite an urban demographic and green policies have really been seen as an issue by rural, farming dependent Ireland. We talk to pal of the pod Saoirse McHugh about the challenges rural Irish communities are faced with to try and engage with the Green Wave and provides some of the solutions for why going green can actually be of benefit to farmers and why the conversation around climate change in Ireland doesn't have to be reduced to the size of the national herd.


6 Feb 2020

Rank #19

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EPISODE 25: KILDARE: Boiling mad: What’s wrong with our water?

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink (unless it’s boiled). How do we, a small island with such a rainy disposition, have more issues than Vogue when it comes to water? As we face into another boil water notice, rain continues to bucket it down, and an emergency meeting of Kildare County Council is called about the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant with Irish Water in attendance; we talk to Michael Brennan, the author of recently published book ‘In Deep Water’. Where do the problems stem from, is climate change going to make it worse and why is shit still literally hitting the fan in Dublin Bay? A huge amount of money has been spent on Irish Water and its meters, so why are we not seeing any improvements?We’re also talking Cher, Xtina, Dolly Parton and Joan Collins. Who said you can’t mix politics and glamour?

1hr 6mins

7 Nov 2019

Rank #20