A pre-pandemic podcast series in which Jim and his guest discussed the state of Ireland: past, present, and future.

Ireland has gone through an extraordinary transformation in the last five or six decades.  Anyone who has kept an eye on the country since the 1950s or 1960s can't have failed to notice big changes like the arrival of television, the conflict in Northern Ireland, various economic ups and downs, and the fading influence of the once-dominant Catholic Church. (See Chronology for more examples.)

And what lies ahead? Ever-closer alignment with the European Union? More extreme weather as a result of climate change?  Widespread multiculturalism and racial diversity? 

These are just a few examples of the events and developments that have marked, and continue to mark, the transformation of Irish society. There may be disagreement as to whether particular changes are positive or negative for the country.  And that is as it should be. Diversity of opinion is the lifeblood of democracy.

In this podcast series Jim asks someone in the public eye to reflect on Ireland's recent history and to speculate about its future. Each guest is asked to consider four key questions:

  1. What development or event has been particularly positive for the country?
  2. What is the most negative development you have seen?
  3. What is Ireland’s single biggest opportunity?
  4. What is the greatest threat facing the country?

Those taking part come from different walks of life, in politics, religion, business, the arts, sport, academia, and so on. Across the series listeners can expect to hear a range of opinions reflecting the backgrounds and experiences of the various guests.

Click here to access Talk About Ireland

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'Sunset in Glendalough', courtesy of Giuseppe Milo at Milo Photography.

'Shield of Arms of Ireland', Sodacan. This W3C-unspecified vector image was created with Inkscape. [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]