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The Explainer


The Explainer is a new weekly podcast from that takes a deeper look at one big news story you need to know about. What's the background? Why is this in the news? Get the facts behind the story from Ireland's biggest news website.

Popular episodes

Does global vaccine inequality put us at risk of new Covid variants?

Dec 2 • 34:01
Virologist Dr Kim Roberts and Dimitri Eynikel from Doctors Without Borders join us to examine the new Omicron variant and vaccine inequality. While richer countries are busy administering booster jabs, others are struggling to get even an adequate amount of jabs for their frontline healthcare workers. We look at the scale of the problem, what the solutions are, and discus...

Why do we need another dose of a Covid vaccine?

Nov 25 • 27:55

What is the standoff on the Belarus-Poland border about?

Nov 18 • 26:58
As the tensions grow on the border between Belarus and Poland, we’re joined by DCU politics professor Donnacha Ó Beacháin, an expert on post-Soviet states, to examine the origins of the current crisis. He gives us a primer on Belarus itself, before discussing the situation faced by migrants on the border right now, and what the end goal could be for Alexander Lukashenko, c...

Why is there so much talk about Ireland's cows?

Nov 11 • 36:26
There has been a lot of attention on Irish cows recently. In this episode, head of economics at Teagasc Trevor Donnellan and our reporter Orla Dwyer, live from the Cop26 climate summit, join us to explain why. How many cows are there in Ireland, why are they dominating headlines, how much do they contribute to Irish emissions, and what can be done to make cattle farming mo...

By Noteworthy: Why are the school days of Traveller children being reduced?

Nov 9 • 30:11
In another episode by Noteworthy, Susan Daly speaks to reporter Maria Delaney and Anne Marie Quilligan – a social care worker for the Tipperary Rural Traveller Project - about the findings of the team's latest investigation into supports for Traveller children.

This forms part of the recent TOUGH START investigation by Noteworthy and The Journal which revealed poor outcomes...

Will Sinn Féin lead the next government?

Nov 4 • 34:00

How do you get a book published in Ireland?

Oct 28 • 33:31
Authors Sophie White and Alice Taylor join us to explain how they entered the world of publishing, share tips for would-be book writers, and answer the all-important question - can you make a living from it?

Both Sophie and Alice are nominated for Best Irish Published Book of the Year, The Journal's sponsored category at the 2021 Irish Book Awards.

The Explainer is brought t...

Why are Covid cases rising despite Ireland's high vaccination rate?

Oct 21 • 28:54
Nicky Ryan, author of The Journal's coronavirus newsletter, and Dr Gerald Barry, assistant professor of virology at UCD, join us on this week's episode to examine the latest concerning rise in the number of Covid cases. How much pressure are hospitals under, what could the next few months look like, and why is having 94% of adults fully vaccinated not enough to stop the sp...

Who is Stephen Kenny and why does he divide opinion in Irish football?

Oct 14 • 35:21
The 42's Gavin Cooney joins us on this week's episode to examine Stephen Kenny's role as manager of the Republic of Ireland men's soccer team - why is he proving so controversial, just how poorly has the team performed recently, and how has he retained so much support from fans?

The Explainer is brought to you by The Journal. Providing open access to valuable journalism in ...

By Noteworthy: What is the issue with farm subsidies and nature?

Oct 12 • 34:08
In another episode by Noteworthy, Susan Daly speaks to journalist Ella McSweeney and reporter Niall Sargent about how the EU's agri-subsidies (Common Agricultural Policy, CAP) are encouraging farmers to cut back on nature. The Explainer is brought to you by Providing open access to valuable journalism in Ireland has been the aim of The Journal for a decade. ...

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