Analysis > Claire Byrne

Don’t bank on the Banking Inquiry

“The objective should be to determine, without fear or favour, and with dispassion and integrity, all of the facts that led to the collapse of the banking sector”. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this should be the purpose of the Banking Inquiry. This week, the final Inquiry report is dogged by controversy and the committee members are not happy with the outcome. So much so, that over half of the original draft will be consigned to the bin and the compromise …

Traveller Ethnicity – Special Treatment or Human Rights?

The government voted down a Sinn Féin proposal last week to have the Traveller community recognised as a distinct ethnic group. They say that traveller ethnicity will be a reality within six months and we can suppose that if the government is going to do it, it didn’t want it to happen at the instigation of Sinn Féin. You could however, understand if those who have campaigned about this are sceptical about the whole thing. Traveller groups have been pushing …

School Enrolment – A Uniform Solution?

“If your child has been baptised, please enclose the baptism certificate with your application” If you have registered your child for primary school, it’s likely that you will have seen that statement on the application form. In Ireland in 2015, most people will be able to oblige and supply the certificate to prove their child has been baptised. Over 90% of schools here are run by the Catholic Church and can give preferential treatment to Catholics when it comes to accepting …

The Coalition Question

We had such a busy show last Monday night that we didn’t get time to tell you about our poll result, but before I do, I want to thank everyone who took part in the programme this week, particularly those in our audience who have experienced homelessness or who are currently homeless. We heard stories from people who are in the most difficult circumstances imaginable, many of whom are trying to raise children in hotel or B&B rooms with no cooking …

Is abortion an election issue?

Despite the fact that we don’t yet know when the election will be, speculation is already mounting as to what big ticket items will most likely concern voters. Even the most amateur of analysts could tell you that the economy, employment, homelessness, water charges, property tax and income tax will be top of the list of concerns for many, but there are areas of social policy that might influence the shape of the next government. Last week, 28% of voters said that …

Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide?

“You have to have the money, know who has the money to lend and know how to talk to them.” I’ve had a sneak preview of the David McWilliams documentary on the wealth divide in Ireland, which goes out just before us tonight at 9.35pm. The quote comes from an interview between David and one of the people who has managed to make money in the recession. The general thrust of the show is that the rich are getting richer and …

Irish Water’s fate hangs in the balance

Have you paid your water charges? Have you applied for your water conservation grant? Or have you decided not to pay, but have still applied for your €100 grant? As Irish Water confirms today that 51% have paid up now, tonight we ask our audience who has paid and why. We’ll also find out whether those who have not paid plan to claim the conservation grant, as they are entitled to do. The election is looming, with much speculation over …

Last night’s Claire Byrne Live

The plight of people entering Europe from war-torn Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries has set the nation talking and stirred a lot of emotions all over the country. The horrors many refugees have to endure were, of course, most vividly illustrated in the almost unbearably-poignant images of little Aylan Kurdi which seem to have genuinely brought about a change in attitudes among many of Europe’s citizens and among the policy makers. The subject made for a powerful discussion on …

A big thank you

It’s been an extraordinary few months. On a cold Monday night in January this year, we welcomed our first guests and our audience into the studio for the first edition of Claire Byrne Live. Since then, it’s been a remarkable season, with a referendum that gave us engaged, emotive debates; political discussion and personal stories on all sorts topics from people who travelled from all parts of the country. On the eve of St Patrick’s Day, we even heard a Muslim Imam …

Learning the lessons from Portlaoise

There was a moment at a hearing of the Oireachtas Committee on Health this week that defined the horror of the dreadful tragedies that have happened at Portlaoise Hospital. Amy Delahunt came to the hearing with her husband to tell of her experience at the hospital in 2013. Her voice broke as she explained that she was the mother of Mary Kate, who died two years ago. Eventually, she somehow picked up the courage and found the strength to carry on, telling the …