Tag Archives: Brendan O’Connor

From top: Gardai in Dublin city centre yesterday: John O’Keefe, editor of The Garda Review and former spokesman of the Garda Representatives Association (GRA), speaking to RTÉ’s Paul Reynolds about fake Garda breath test figures in 2017

This morning.

On RTÉ Radio One, criminologist and editor of the Garda Review John O’Keeffe joined host Brendan O’Connor and other panelists to discuss the latest movement restrictions announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last Friday evening.

The other panelists were associate professor of economics at University of Limerick  Stephen Kinsella; former Fine Gael TD and pharmacist Kate O’Connell; emergency and disaster medicine specialist Dr Mick Molloy; Europe Correspondent at Euronews Shona Murray; and sociologist Niamh Hourigan.

During the discussion, Mr O’Keeffe called for humans rights to be “parked”, an idea to which Stephen Kinsella, who also writes for The Currency, objected.

Mr O’Keeffe went on to repeat his call for human rights to be parked and added that they should become “an adjunct issue until such time as we save our population”.

From the discussion:

Brendan O’Connor: “So obviously law and order is on our minds. Last week, 319 recruits effectively graduated early out of Templemore. Lot of those guards now on the streets and a lot of other guards on the street. And also I think in a sense that cohesion holding so far, people kind of worried a little bit about what all this means for crime. So John, I suppose, some people think this is going to lead to some kind of breakdown in law and order and that there’ll be a crime wave. Other people kind of thinking there’s no going to be no crime now because we’re all at home. What’s your thinking?”

John O’Keeffe: “Yeah, they’re probably both right. I mean, typically, crime, it drops during things such as pandemics. For example, 95 per cent of all public order offences are driven by alcohol and/or drugs. And assuming Brendan that nobody has got a mental health illness, there’s nobody going to be charging up O’Connell Street tonight after drinking six cans of Lilt, trying to have a fight with a member of An Garda Síochána.

“So it’s just not going to happen. If no clubs, pubs or restaurants are open, those pressure points fade. Many other offences, of course, are also driven by alcohol and drugs such as violence, violence sexual and indeed theft offences.

“And of course, as regards self defence as well, nothing is open any more. It’s difficult to rob from a shop when it isn’t open. Of course it is possible but all those ordinary, decent offences, if we can call them that, will certainly, I think, probably lessen.

“I mean there is a Dunkirk spirit I think, when it comes to flattening crime levels. In criminology, Niamh will know all about this, is a theory called strain theory which suggests that certain of us commit crime simply because of the strain that society puts on us. You know, we can’t earn the big money, we can’t have the cars, we can’t have the holidays and then we’re pushed out into crime. But strain theory arguably doesn’t work as well during times like we have at the moment where the subcultures…”

O’Connor: “We are all equal?”

O’Keeffe: “Well, exactly my point, that the subcultures of the normative class we’ll call them, with big inverted commas, and the subculture of the criminal classes. The lines are now more blurred and, in fact, we’re all, in one sense, moving together. I mean I do mean this in the most generic sense and we’ve all got the same goal. And the same goal is one word which is survival.

“I mean it’s very simple and although people think that criminals have this notion that, ‘well it doesn’t matter what I do’, they’re fatalistic and there is good research to suggest that, actually, when you think about it, all everybody wants to do is to be alive. Like you can cut it any way you want but that’s what we all want. So that’s common amongst us all now.”

O’Connor: “Ok, now there is drinking going on in the home and we do know that drinking in the home can lead to domestic situations. Are we seeing any kind of rise in complaints about that?”

O’Keeffe: “Yes. France and Australia, they both reported a spike in domestic violence during the Covid-19 outbreak. And there’s been an increase, I have this from a senior source in An Garda Síochána, there’s been an increase already. Now this has been since the 14th of March, right? So we’re talking about the last two weeks, to yesterday, for the exact same period last year where, obviously, there was no lockdown.

“I’ve been advised that there has been a ten per cent increase in what are called domestic incidents that are notified to gardai where no offence was disclosed. So, in other words, call outs. They’ve gone up ten per cent. Remind ourselves of course that it wasn’t until Friday night that [Taoiseach] Leo Varadkar gave us, put us almost into virtual, full lockdown. So it wouldn’t be unusual to assume that, in the next two weeks, we may see that figure rising also.”

O’Connor: “In terms of the policing system, the criminal justice system. Obviously, there’s a lot of stuff already in train. The courts, I think, finished out cases that were happening and then, kind of, have now effectively shut as the cases finish. What’s the situation there?”

O’Keeffe: “Yeah, to an extent. The courts service, they’ve, as you say, a range of measures including relaxing bail requirements and increasing use of video link, you know, to improve social distancing rules. Cloverhill District Court have increased the volume of video links to Cloverhill Prison.

“Solicitors are also being notified which they weren’t necessarily before about trial dates, via email, and each case is going to be dealt with separately. So they are…”

O’Connor: “So trials will still continue?”

O’Keeffe: “They will still continue but slowly. And one of the things that will arguably will suffer is sentencing. I have it on fairly good authority that some 250 prisoners from Mountjoy Prison, from the male wing, have been released early.

“And police in north inner city Dublin are telling me this is already starting to cause some chaos. Now this is anecdotal but 250 is a…”

O’Connor: “Is there a health warning on that, yeah?”

O’Keeffe: “Absolutely but nonetheless, it’s, we know there are a lot of prisoners going to be released. And by the way they were put in…”

O’Connor: “The prison system is a worry here in terms of Covid-19…”

O’Keeffe: “It is a worry…from a criminal justice angle, these people were put in prison for a reason. So just letting them out, we can’t all just suddenly say ‘well, it’s OK, there’s a pandemic. In one sense, you can of course because you must prevent a spread in prison but, on the other hand, the same criminal justice outcomes will potentially arise. So I think that’s a real issue.

“The criminal justice system is going to slow up. I think one of the big issues here is, if I can just mention this point about this idea, we’re hearing a little bit now on social media about human rights. We need to just park human rights for the moment and we need to…”

Stephen Kinsella: “Hang on a second…”

O’Keeffe: “…talk about human lives…”

Kinsella: “Hang on a second…”

O’Keeffe: “…this is all about, nothing else…”

Kinsella: “Park human rights?”

O’Connor: “Hang on, hang on, Stephen Kinsella…”

Kinsella: “Hang on a second, park human rights? Did you really just say that?”

O’Connor: “Ehm…”

Kinsella: “Did that commentator really just say park human rights?”

O’Connor: “….we need to park human rights?”

Kinsella: “Defend that statement please, sir, now.”

O’Keeffe: “I’m quite. No. I’m quite happy to repeat it…”

Kinsella: “Defend it…”

O’Keeffe: “…well I will. When people’s lives are at risk, as they clearly are at the moment, human rights in the way we have been discussing them in Ireland over the last few years have to become an adjunct issue until such time as we save our population.”

O’Connor: “Stephen Kinsella?”

Kinsella: “An adjunct issue? Really? Like you really think that…”

O’Keeffe: “That human lives trump human rights? Yes I absolutely do.”

Kinsella: “That’s, no, no, I think you’re fundamentally, you’re, the first part of your discussion was, you know, ‘these people’, you know, who are allegedly being released. And then you’re saying that we need to park human rights. Do you not think that in this society, in a republic, that’s not an acceptable statement to make.”

O’Keeffe: “It is in the context of what’s going on at the moment. Nobody is saying we should forget human rights at any period, least of all now…”

Kinsella: “Well, you are… that’s what…”

O’Keeffe: “…it takes priority…Human lives take priority so if there are police checks all over Dublin, and by the way, I was stopped three times coming here today. Some other people would say my human rights were infringed, well you know what? I didn’t mind it at all because I know what the end result is meant to be, that’s what I’m talking about. What I don’t want are people getting carried away with what they believe to be human rights issues which, quite frankly, are subservient to human lives…that’s my point.”

O’Connor: “Issues such as what, John?”

O’Keeffe: “Such as what happened to me today, for example. I was stopped, I was asked questions, I wasn’t asked for documents, I told them who I was, I told them where I was going and that was fine. But there are some people who would find that offensive. What I’m saying is I don’t find it offensive and I think none of us should in the next while, until we get over this pandemic.”

O’Connor: “Stephen.”

Kinsella: “If you’re in a situation where somebody chooses to deprive you of your liberty and they do that based on a suspicion, and that suspicion turns out not to be true, and you have no recourse, is that in your conception of things, ok? Because there’s a pandemic?”

O’Connor: “But Stephen, are we not slightly all giving up some of our rights at the…”

Kinsella: “I have no issue, I have no issue with being asked what my movements are, at this particular point in time. My reaction was in hearing a statement that you have to simply suspend human rights. I just think that that statement is far too far. And I don’t think the other speaker has defended that position in any way actually.”


Listen back in full here

Previously: ‘They Falsified Them Under Pressure From Gardaí’

This afternoon.

“After 15 years working in the Sunday Independent, I’m delighted to be joining the weekends on RTÉ Radio 1.

The weekend is a time to pause, take a breath and review the week, and it’s also a time when people like a different, more reflective kind of radio, maybe even a bit of fun.”

Marian’s legacy will inspire us to continue to explore, challenge and debate the issues that truly matter to Irish people.”

Brendan O’Connor.






Brendan O’Connor gets weekend mid-morning slot on RTÉ Radio 1 (RTÉ)

From top: Red C poll results in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post; Ireland Thinks poll results in yesterday’s Irish Mail on Sunday; newspaper panel on RTÉ’s Weekend on One;


On RTÉ Radio One’s Weekend on One.

Brendan O’Connor was after speaking to the show’s newspaper panel about yesterday’s most recent general election poll results when he referred to a “narrative” of the election that “this country is not doing well”.

During the newspaper panel section, Mr O’Connor spoke to the former leader of Fine Gael and former chairman of IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, Alan Dukes; political scientist at UCC Theresa Reidy; political reporter at The Irish Times Jennifer Bray; director of the ESRI Alan Barrett and Anna Marie McHugh, of the National Ploughing Association.

During their conversation, Mr O’Connor referred to an article by Richard Colwell, the CEO of Red C Research, in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post entitled ‘Youthquake a possibility as younger voters flock to Sinn Féin’.

He then had the following exchange with Mr Barrett.

Alan Barrett: “Very often, it’s digging down into the poll is as interesting as the poll itself and just to distil a number of themes. I suppose, as an economist, it won’t surprise you that I sort of, you know, focus on the economics bit on this and let me explain what I’m thinking the following way.

“Do you remember the phrase ‘it’s the economy, stupid’? And this was a mantra I think a lot of political people thought was a pretty sound way of running elections. This is really, really interesting.

“Because what we have in Ireland at the moment is, we have and economy that’s doing extremely well and we also have a poll which is telling us that the people actually trust the governing party, in this case, Fine Gael, most on the economy.

“And I think, and I’m looking at Theresa [Reidy] now, as the political scientist, in most countries in the world, if you have those sorts of numbers. There’d be a very high probability that the governing party was going to be re-elected. But in Ireland, we’re in this situation now that it looks like this will not be the case…”

Brendan O’Connor:A narrative has emerged here…”

Barrett: “It has…absolutely…”

O’Connor:That this country is not doing well. And a lot of people in the country are not doing well and that’s been the narrative of this election.”

Barrett:It has and obviously it’s getting traction, ok? But if you look at things like, you know, the standard things we look at, in terms of employment and wage growth – they, very, very often, those are really sort of the main drivers in this sort of situation.”


Barrett: “Let me come back to what I was saying, for fear there was a misunderstanding. All I was saying is, across the globe, ok, it tends to be the case, when the economies are going well, governing parties get elected.”

O’Connor: “But that’s what I’m asking. What’s the disconnect here?”

Barrett: “Well, clearly, clearly we do have major challenges in the area of health and housing, there’s absolutely no doubt about that, the childcare issue I think has been…you know, I think we all understand it and we all know that these issues are in play and they’re very, very challenging.

“And clearly then the way, the narrative of the election is sort of unfolding is that people are attracted to the parties whom they feel over more hope in these areas and that’s a perfectly reasonable and understandable thing.”


Alan Dukes: “First of all on the childcare issue, yes there are problems, yes there are problems of cost and availability. The fact remains…”

O’Connor: “It’s a problem of childcare, commuting and housing, it’s those three things coming together.”

Dukes: “Yes and when you look at the current state of provision and compare it with what was in 2011, for example, the improvement is huge. It’s certainly not at the point that suits everybody but the improvement is huge…”


O’Connor: “Why have Fine Gael lost control of the narrative then? Why are they not able to get the narrative you’re just talking about there?”

Dukes: “Because I think…”

O’Connor: “Longer life expectancy, lots of good health outcomes, unemployment way down. Where has that got lost in all of this?”

Dukes: “Because I think there’s a natural tendency in all of us to take the progress that’s been made for granted and to want more.”

Listen back in full here

Marian Finucane and Rachael English

This afternoon.

Following the death of broadcaster Marian Finucane.

Via RTÉ:

The Marian Finucane Show will be presented by Rachael English on Saturday morning [at 11am]. The two hour programme will feature tributes from Ireland and around the world from colleagues and friends and we’ll be reflecting upon some of her best moments in broadcasting. Brendan O’Connor will present on Sunday morning…..

Yesterday: Marian Finucane Dies At 69

The 49-year-old is said to be “stunned” after station bosses dropped his Cutting Edge show despite strong ratings and an IFTA award under his belt.

An RTE spokesman yesterday told the Irish Sun: “Cutting Edge is taking a rest for the moment.

“We are working on other ­projects with Brendan, which will hopefully see him back on screen in 2020.”

But a show insider told us Cutting Edge “won’t be back” on RTE screens.

They added: “If RTE don’t have the money to make Cutting Edge this year, it’s unlikely they’ll have the cash to make it in 2020 when they’ll have even less money.”

Too edgy?

Not edgy enough?

We may never know

Presenter Brendan O’Connor ‘stunned’ as RTE dramatically axe Cutting Edge show and insiders say it ‘won’t be back’ (The Irish Sun)

Yesterday: Anything On?


On RTÉ One at 9.35pm.

Brendan O’Connor’s Time Out.

Gareth Naughton, of RTE, writes:

Chic’s Nile Rodgers tells Brendan O’Connor’s Time Out on RTÉ One tonight about his heart break over his mother Beverly’s advancing Alzheimer’s Disease.

“It is really breaking my heart,” he tells Brendan O’Connor, “Last night, her doctor sent me her latest brain scan and you could see her brain actually dying. You could see areas that are well lit and quite alive and other areas that are basically just dead. Fibrosis has set in in such large areas. It is really painful but I must say that I have seen my Mom more in the last three years than I have since I was 14 years old.”

Previously: Staying In Tonight?


On RTÉ One at 9.35pm.

Brendan O’Connor’s new show Time Out.

Gareth Naughton, of RTE, writes:

“In the first in a three-part series…Majella O’Donnell speaks openly about everything from the impact of the breakdown of her first marriage and finding love again with husband Daniel to coping with depression and why she’s happy to not have a teenager around the house.

“In this clip, Majella explains why she wasn’t overwhelmed by her wedding day to Daniel when just 40 of the 500 guests were on her side.”

Yesterday: On The Box

RTÉ host and Sunday Independent deputy editor Brendan O’Connor

Further to Vincent Browne presenting his final Tonight with Vincent Browne show last night

In the Phoenix magazine

It’s reported:

“..TV3 heads Bill Malone and Aoife Stokes have been negotiating with Sunday Independent and RTÉ host on The Saturday Night Show, Brendan O’Connor, to take over the show for several weeks now.

“…TV3 wants to transform its nightly show from hard politics to a softer chat show and they believe O’Connor’s Saturday night show as well as his Cutting Edge programmes equip him for the job.”


Earlier: Last Night With Vincent Browne