“Quinn” is the name of a book released in December 2022 about former billionaire businessman Sean Quinn – The man who was too big to fail. The book was written by Emmy-nominated film producer, director and journalist, Trevor Birney who joins Ger to talk about Quinn.
There is definitely a knack to playing the harmonica. Remembering how Santa Claus brought many a young person a harmonica at Christmas down through the years and how not knowing what to do with the instrument resulted in many being forgotten about at the back of cupboards. In the off chance that Santa delivered some harmonicas this year Ger Sweeney went to meet one of Ireland’s best harmonica players, Mick Kinsella, to find out just how make the most of the gifted harmonica.
He first came on to the “music radar” as a member of The Johnstons in the late 1960s and since then we’ve seen Paul play and sing with Planxty, as a musical partner to Andy Irvine and as a solo artist. One of Ireland’s foremost singer/songwriters Paul Brady has penned a cross-section of hits for himself and others and has toured with greats such as Eric Clapton and Dire Straits and he is still going. His recently published memoir titled “Crazy Dreams” is a very honest account of his life to date. He spoke recently to Ger Sweeney about this.
Mick Hanly has been making music and singing songs for over 50 years. The Limerick man has just released his latest album called “Marathon”. It is a mixture of new Hanly compositions, a fresh sound to some familiar ones and a few covers. He talks to Ger Sweeney about it, and a few other things.
For over 40 years Tommie Gorman was a familiar face on our television screens and voice on our radios through his work with the Irish state broadcaster RTE. His book “Never Better – My Life in Our Times” is a fascinating read which details his career, the various elements attached to his roles, firstly as a cub reporter at the Western Journal in the West of Ireland and later as the North Western Correspondent, Europe Correspondent and Northern Correspondent for RTE. The book is a history lesson that takes us behind the scenes to some of the stories Tommie brought to us. Tommie spoke to Ger Sweeney on Talk Radio Europe about the book and his life.
“To Be Irish” is calling for all Irish businesses, craftspeople, makers and creators to register their information on the To Be Irish Christmas Gifting and Event Guide. A one-stop shop where you can find the perfect homegrown present for your loved one, or join festive happenings around the globe. To Be Irish is a digital hub for the global Irish family, creates meaningful connections with the Irish diaspora & those who have a grá for Ireland at home and abroad during key moments of the year. Now in its third year, To Be Irish returns to mark the special Christmas season from the 14 – 25 December 2022 presenting a festive programme for everyone at home and abroad to enjoy. Derived from the Government’s new Diaspora Strategy, initiated by Minister of State for the Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., To Be Irish is an opportunity to showcase events globally that celebrate Irish culture around Christmas; featuring seasonal traditions, community initiatives, crafts, and more. Gifting and Event registration is free and open to makers and creators from around the world with a clear connection to Ireland.
Fans of F1 thrive on the statistics that we hear during commentaries on races, practice runs and qualifying. A man called Sean Kelly is the man behind most of the stats we are given on various broadcasts across America and Europe. The son of Irish parents he grew up in Britain and is now living in the United States but he goes wherever the F1 circus brings him.
On 10th September 2022 the 420th anniversary of the death of Red Hugh O’Donnell occurs. Red Hugh died in Simancas and was buried a few miles away in Valladolid. For generations the final resting place of Red Hugh was sought and through persistence from people in both Donegal (where Red Hugh is from) and Vallodolid the mystery was solved. There is a special weekend of commemorations planned for the 420th anniversary in both Simancas and Vallodolid. In this piece Eddie Crawford and Brendan Rohan speak to Ger Sweeney from Donegal and Carlos Burgos joins the conversation from Valladolid to explain what is planned.
Martin Hayes has travelled the world with his fiddle. His performances and recordings expose his audiences to his personal interpretation of the traditional Irish music that has been handed down from generation to generation. Nights by the fire at home in East Clare as a boy listening to traditional music and playing with the Tulla Céilí Band as a teenager lit the flame of passion. We experience that passion every time we listen to Martin play, in whatever setting.
Recently, Martin and Ger Sweeney chatted for Ger’s Irish radio programme on Spain-based Talk Radio Europe. Here is that conversation.
A few days before St. Patrick’s Day Ger Sweeney visited the Irish Embassy in Madrid. Ambassador Frank Smyth took up his position in Madrid in September and Ger wanted to find out how it was all going. The conversation covered a lot of ground and it offers an insight into the work of the Embassy, the role of the Ambassador, his hopes for his tenure and we find out about the man behind the job.