Should the age of consent be lowered in Ireland?

November 15, 2017

 

Should the age of consent be lowered in Ireland?

For the first time ever, France is looking to introduce an age of consent. A minimum age of sexual consent does not currently exist in French law.

French law defines rape as any act of sexual penetration committed on others "by violence, coercion, threat or surprise".

The definition does not distinguish between adults and minors for either the victims or perpetrators, although the potential criminal penalty is higher when victims are under 15.

The law only says that an adult who performs a sexual act with a person under the age of 15 "without violence, coercion, threat or surprise" can be prosecuted for "sexual abuse," not rape.

A bill being prepared by the French government could set a minimum legal age for sexual consent for the first time, and the country's justice minister said Monday that she thought 13 years old could be reasonable.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet told France's RTL radio network that 13 was a "limit that is worth considering" for the forthcoming legislation, but noted that judges should also have the ability to assess whether someone was old enough to give consent in individual situations.

She said "The question of the age below which the minor's consent is presumed not to exist is crucial, because there are obviously extremely shocking and unacceptable situations,"

One of her colleagues in the French government has said that a minimum age for sexual consent has not been set for the bill.

Marlene Schiappa, a junior minister for gender equality, said that the cut-off could be between the ages of 13 and 15.

Today I want to know if you think 13 is way too young for a minimum age of consent.

Personally I do – however, I asked a few people around the office and one of the people in the office said that there are a lot of people aged between 14 and 16 who are already having sex. Nowadays, whether you like it or not, teenagers are experimenting and having sex younger.

In Ireland, the age of consent is 17. Some people think that it is a little but too high considering most people will lose their virginity between 15 and 16.

Do you think it should be lowered to let’s say 15 or 16?

I don’t agree with France’s suggestion of 13, I think that is way too young. But 15/16 – is someone that age capable of consenting to sex with their girlfriend or boyfriend at that age?

Or do you think it complicated the issue too much?

The age of consent varies across the world…….

In Austria and Germany it’s 14.

It’s 16 in Belgium

15 in Denmark

It’s 16 in the UK.

So should the age of consent be lowered?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Do you think the homeless crisis is a myth?

November 15, 2017

 

Do you think the homeless crisis is a myth?

I know I have asked that question before but there is a valid reason for the question today.

According to the chair of a major State housing body, “homelessness is a dreadful thing when it happens to someone, but it is a normal thing, it happens,” 

In a recent interview, Conor Skehan said we need to move from a situation where we use words like “homeless’” and “crisis” continuously.

Skehan is the chair of the Housing Agency, the government body set up in 2010 to advise on policy for housing.

He said that “The word ‘normal’ is the enemy of the word crisis, but once you normalise it you can start to give people challenges to ask are we dealing with this as effectively as we could do.

He went on to say:

When we start to realise we are the same as all the other countries in Europe we start to start to take the emotion out of this argument, because emotion is the enemy of this. Homelessness is something that reaches right into our entrails and upsets us and worries us and we are so easily manipulated when we are in that state and what the Taoiseach is doing is dead right…

The discussion about homelessness in Ireland has been pushed back on the agenda, after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the homeless figures in Ireland are low in comparison to the rest of Europe.

The Taoiseach said:

“Obviously homelessness and the number of people in emergency accommodation has increased over the last number of years, but by international standards homelessness in Ireland is low but that is not good enough. We want to turn the tide on it.”

Homeless charities and those in the opposition have since come out to criticise the Taoiseach for his comments, and called on him to retract them and apologise.

Niamh Randall of the Simon Community disputes the Taoiseach’s claim.

She said the real challenge is “not comparing like with like”, highlighting that countries have inconsistent definitions for homelessness and therefore are measuring very different things.

It excludes people who are rough sleeping, hidden homeless figures like people not living in state funded accommodation, those in direct provision, and those living in domestic violence shelters.

Randall highlighted this stating the reports on homelessness, such as from the OECD (which the Taoiseach based his remarks on) come with health warnings that the measure used in Ireland is more limited than in other countries, and international comparison is messy.

She said homelessness is about people – their lives, their homes and people planning for the future.

Skehan was also asked what is an acceptable level of homelessness?

He said “The man from Nazareth said, ‘the poor will always be with us’. There will never be a night when a set of loving parents [doesn't] show their heroin addicted son the door. There will never be a night when a woman hasn’t been hit for the last time by her abusive partner and finds herself out on the street with no plans. That day will never come,”

Tonight I want to know if you agree with Skehan and the Government on this. Do you think we need to stop calling this a homeless and housing crisis?

Or do you think they are completely misguided and the situation has become a crisis.

We rang around homeless shelters and hostels tonight to find out how many beds were available.

(insert figures here)

Do you think the homeless crisis is a myth? Or do you think it exists?

I want to get your views on this.

So – is the homeless crisis a myth?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Would you get your family a dog for Christmas?

November 15, 2017

 

Would you get your family a dog for Christmas?

It's coming to that time of the year where children ask their parents if they can get a dog for Christmas. It may seem like a great idea at the time but after of few weeks many people abandon the pet. 

Is it fair on the animal? 

Listen to what the National Dogs Trust had to say. 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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EXCLUSIVE : Interview with Vera Donovan whose son Stephen was murdered

November 15, 2017

 

Gardai investigating the murder of dad of three from Tallaght think he may have been killed because he said ‘the wrong thing.’

A group of young men who are involved in a low-level feud in Crumlin in Dublin are the chief suspects in the murder of Stephen Lynch, 32, who was deliberately run over by a car.

Independent.ie report they think the four men will be arrested soon after he was killed in Brookview Close, Tallaght, in April of this year.

Gardai believe Stephen may have been targeted for simply saying the wrong thing to these people in the course of an argument.

The innocent man was knocked down in front of horrified children as he walked to visit his mum’s home.

One theory being explored by investigators is that he was targeted after telling the four thugs who were driving a Ford Focus to slow down because kids were playing nearby.

In studio with Niall today was Stephen’s mother Vera Donovan.

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Would you leave a partner if they didn’t want children?

November 13, 2017

 

Would you leave a partner if they didn’t want children?

I want you to have a listen to this listener’s situation.

Hi Niall,

I have one for you that you could talk about on your show. A mate of mine was telling me about a dilemma he is in at the moment. Let me tell you the story. He recently got engaged to a lovely girl. They were dating almost two years and are head over heels for each other. He popped the question about a month ago and everything seemed rosy in the garden. Until now!

He told me that they were at a family dinner and one of his elderly aunts was talking about the wedding. She was joking with them and said once the wedding was over she wanted to see a little nipper brought into the family. Obviously talking about them having a baby! His fiancé then said that it wouldn’t be happening and that she never wants children. My mate said that it just went quiet at the dinner and they moved on from the subject.

When they got home he confronted her about it and she said that children are just not something she wants and she doesn’t see herself being a mother. He was shell shocked. He always thought, as we all do, that children and a family would be a natural progression. He didn’t think they needed to have a conversation about it until now.

He is completely torn and was upset telling me the story. He said that he thought he would become a father in his 30s and he thought everything was starting to fall into place with his beautiful fiancé.

He doesn’t know what to do. I’ll be honest, I told him to run for the hills. I told him that his happiness needed to come first but he said he didn’t want to lose his fiancé because he is in love with her. He started saying stuff like should he respect her views and that he shouldn’t have just assumed she wanted children. He said he has taken the plunge now and it would be wrong of him to call off the engagement. I completely disagree with him but I thought maybe this might be something for you to talk about on your show.

Am I being unreasonable to think he should run for the hills and call off the engagement?

I don’t know what you think of this situation.

Do you think the friend is right? Should this man call off his engagement because his fiancé doesn’t want children?

Or should he respect her views and not expect her to change for him?

I know you are all thinking that the simple option is for them to go their separate ways but what if you are head over heels for someone and don’t want to lose them?

Would you stick by them hoping that one day they might change their minds?

I want to know what you think of this –

Do you think this guy should call off the engagement because the fiancé doesn’t want children?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should we respect the older generations views?

November 8, 2017

 

Should respect the generation gap?

What I mean by that is should we respect those people who have very different views of the world than society today.

For example, an episode of living with Lucy is on TV tonight in which the presenter moves in with music legend Dickie Rock.

While Lucy got along with Dickie, she did say that some of his views, which he expresses on the show, are very old-fashioned and there was a generation divide between them.

Dickie Rock is 79 years of age and has a different view on certain aspects of life than society today.

According to Lucy, Dickie has some old fashioned views towards marriage, women being at home and that women are trying to do men’s jobs in relation to gender equality.

Now – for some people those types of views are not a representative of modern Ireland and I know that there are some people out there who would take exception to his views.

They would say that he should be taught about how his views are not in line with modern thinking and in some way forced to conform to the way of thinking of the more liberal of society.

I am not just talking about Dickie Rock, there are many men and women out there who would have similar views.

They may have voted no to gay marriage, they may not agree with abortion, they may believe a women’s place is in the home.

They come from a different time in Ireland whereby they grew up with these believes, that would have been popular beliefs in Ireland.

But Ireland has definitely changed, with the introduction of same sex marriage, same sex adoption, a looming referendum on abortion – should we be trying to change the older generation’s views? Or leave them be?

Should we respect their views or try and change them?

I want to know what you think –

So here’s the question – Should we respect the older generations views?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Would you object to social housing being built near you?

November 8, 2017

 

Would you have an issue with social housing being build near a private estate?

It seems like a mouth-full of a question but have a listen to the context first.

We got a message in from a listener –

Have a listen to it,

Hi Niall,

Can you talk about something for me because my blood is boiling right now? My 11 year old son came home from school the other day beaten to a pulp by a little scut that lives down the road. He lives in the new social housing estate that was built. He walks home from school because we don’t live far from it but he passes this social housing estate and the kids in it are ferrel. I have seen some of them in action and they would honestly intimidate you.

Their parents are nowhere to be seen and they run amuck. My son told me that this particular scut has been giving him grief. He only told me after the hiding he got so I was none the wiser.

It is a case of scum breeding scum Niall and I am sick to my teeth of it at this stage. We pay a big mortgage for our house and these gorier just get a cheap house and have no respect for anything or anyone.

The Government are talking about building more and more social housing – but where will they go?

They have to put them close to honest, taxpaying families like mine and we end up paying the price with anti-social behaviour and our children becoming victims of attacks.

I have taken steps to protect my son – he won’t be walking home anymore but there is nothing else I can really do. The parents won’t care if I go to them about it.

This needs to be talked about because honest families are the ones suffering in the end.

Thanks, An angry mother.

 

Well what do you think of this mother’s email?

She clearly blames social housing for the fact that her son was beaten up. Personally I don’t know if that is fair but I can see where she is coming from.

She believes that people in social housing are basically bringing down the area and that it is unfair to build social housing close to private estates.

Is she being a snob? Or do you agree with her?

Here’s the question tonight –

Would you object to social housing being built near you?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should people who fail their driving test twice be refused a license?

November 8, 2017

 

Should people who fail their driving test twice be refused a license?

We got a very interesting Facebook message into the show that I want you to have a listen to.

Hi Niall,

I have heard you speak about drivers and laws around them on your show before. Well I think I have something for you to discuss.

My niece is a god awful driver. I do not feel bad about saying this. I have told her myself. She is 28 and has failed her driving test three times. The gas thing is – she is still driving. She drove out of the test centre three times after failing it – in what other country would that happen?

I know the Gardai are trying to clamp down on learner drivers but they can’t catch all of them, what do you think of actually telling some people that they are terrible drivers and that they shouldn’t drive?

What I mean is – if a person fails the driving test more than twice, they shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Not everyone is cut out for it. I have seen that personally with my niece. I am a bus driver myself so I am on the road all the time and I see the silly mistakes and terrible drivers which are, a lot of the time, learners.

I wonder does anyone else agree with me. Can you bring this up on your show please?

Fran

 

So what do you think of Fran’s message?

Should it be two strikes and you are out when it comes to driving test?

Realistically, if you can’t pass the test on the second go - are you really fit for the road?

Or maybe you think this is too harsh and people need to have a second, third or even fourth go at the test? 

How many times did it take you to pass the driving test?

I want to know what you think of Fran’s message – do you agree with him?

So – should it be two strikes and you are out when it comes to driving test?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Niall Speaks to Ella Whelan - ‘What Women Want - Fun, Freedom and an End to Feminism’.

November 8, 2017

 

Did you hear today's interview with author and assistant editor of 'Spiked' - Ella Whelan?

She spoke to Niall about how free speech and debate is being attacked by political correctness, the #metoo campaign and how certain women are making themselves victims. All of these issues are in her book - 'What Women Want, Fun, Freedom and an End to Feminism'.

Ella spoke last night about these themes from her new book at the Battle of Ideas satellite event 'Safe or Sanitised: Free speech and the Right to be Offensive' at the College of Computing Technology in Dublin. 

This show got a huge reaction today. Take listen to what Ella had to say. 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should prisoners get any time off their sentence for good behaviour?

November 8, 2017

 

Do you agree with prisoners getting out early for good behaviour?

Niall spoke to a brave woman  -Shaneda Daly. Niall has spoken to Shaneda on his show before and her story is one that shocks the nation.

Back in 2011 her father Harry Daily was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the repeated abuse and rape of Shaneda over 10 years in what she described as their “house of doom”.

She waived her right to anonymity so her father could be named.

Harry Daly came forward to the Central Criminal Court on signed pleas of guilty from the District Court. He signed 227 pleas, 103 of indecent assault and 24 of sexual assault. The remainder were charges of different forms of rape, including oral rape.

He pleaded guilty b to sample charges of rape, indecent assault and sex assault of the girl between February 1st, 1982, and November 30th, 1992, when she was between six and 17 years old.

Daly’s wife stayed with him after their daughter disclosed the abuse. The judge said he understood from the evidence there was a five-year period when the girl was abused daily.

He said the breach of trust, gravity of the offence, effect on the victim, multiplicity and duration of the crimes and “the grooming and escalating nature of the offences”, warranted a 15-year sentence.

He suspended the last five years of the sentence, having taken into account the fact Daly “availed of a procedure to bring the case before the court in the shortest possible time” by signing pleas of guilty.

He also took into account his lack of previous convictions, expression of remorse and the fact he had worked all his life.

Mr Justice Carney granted the suspension on condition Daly kept away from his daughter unless she wished to see him. He registered him as a sex offender and said he must undergo seven years of post-release supervision.

This particular man will be out next year after serving just 7 and a half years of a 15 year sentence.

As I said, 5 of the 15 were suspended because of his guilty plea – even so – he should be serving 10 year at least but if he gets out next year he won’t have even served that.

Why? Because he behaved himself in prison – do you think that is right?

Under Rule 59 of the Prison Rules 2007 as amended, the vast majority of prisoners serving sentences are entitled to remission at a rate of one quarter. In practice, this means that a person sentenced to 4 years' imprisonment will be expected to serve 3 years in custody.

The reason for remission is to ensure that there would be no breaches of prison discipline and incentivise prisoners to behave better behind bars. However, it seems over the years that the idea of remission has become some sort of entitlement rather than as discretion.

I want to know if you think any prisoner should actually be rewarded for their good behaviour behind bars.

I know they say prison is a place for rehabilitation these people who have committed crimes and remission and rewards for being good is a way of rehabilitating.

But what about the victims?

Here we have a woman who fought tooth and nail to have her disgusting abuser put behind bars – only for him to be released 7and a half years later.

Is that fair? In some countries they have minimum sentencing. This means that no matter how well someone behaves, they have to serve the minimum sentence they were given. In Ireland, we don’t have that.

Should prisoners get any time off their sentence for good behaviour?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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INTERVIEW : Niall spends time with Irish Singer Songwriter Zack Boone

November 8, 2017

 

One of Niall's favourite Irish singer/songwriters was back in the studio. Zack Boone has been on the show before and again he came with his guitar in hand plus a song for the show. 

Niall tried to hit the high notes that Zack reached BUT failed dismally. Could you? Take a listen

If you want to find out more about Zack Boone then check out his official Facebook Page and YouTube Channel. 

Just click the links about to find oout more from the man himself. 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm 

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Would you give your water charges refund to the homeless?

November 6, 2017

 

Would you give your water charges refund to the homeless?

I want to ask you that today because homeless charities are urging people to do it. Anytime we talk about homelessness on this show I have people come on the show and pontificate about how the Government needs to do more.

Well now is the chance for you to do more and donate your money to help the homeless – will you do it?

The Simon Community, Focus Ireland and Peter McVerry Trust are planning a major national fundraising campaign to coincide with the upcoming Irish Water national repayment scheme, which will see €173m handed back to households over the coming months.

The refund project will be overseen by former head of the Workplace Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, and will ask people who can afford to donate to consider the plight of those without a home.

The group says that even a fraction of the total repayments could help deliver homes.

Mr Mulvey said "Homelessness is the greatest social problem facing post-recession Ireland.”Focus Ireland, Peter McVerry Trust and the Simon Community are at the forefront in trying to deliver much-needed investment in housing infrastructure."

Further details will be announced over the coming weeks as to how people can donate, and the types of projects that will benefit. The most recent figures show a record total of 8,374 people homeless in Ireland. This includes 5,250 adults and 3,124 children.

Today I want to know if you would give your water refund to the homeless.

Would you donate it?

Or do you think that it is your money and you are not responsible for the homeless crisis in the country?

I want to know what you think – Will you donate your water charge refund to the homeless?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

 

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Would you report a parent if they bought their child a scrambler?

November 6, 2017

 

South Dublin County Council has said that they may consider setting up a county-wide task force to tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour on scramblers and quad bikes.

The issue was raised by Cllr Francis Timmons at the recent meeting of the Clondalkin Area Committee of SDCC.

In his motion, Cllr Timmons said: “The behaviour is causing ongoing distress to many residents, it is both anti-social and a dangerous behaviour.”

In response to Cllr Timmons’ motion, the council issued a report saying that it was acutely aware of long standing problems related to scramblers and quad bikes.

The report added that measures had been taken in an attempt to combat that problem.

These measures included the erection of 1.2 metre high fencing along the side of green space areas, installation of bollards and an awareness campaign launched ahead of Christmas 2016 asking parents to make sure that they were aware of the legal requirements related to the use and operation of such vehicles.

The council’s parks and open spaces byelaws state that any mechanically propelled vehicle – including scramblers and quad bikes – are not allowed on parks and open spaces.
Under the byelaws these vehicles can be removed by An Garda Siochana.

The council report acknowledged that there may be difficulty in prosecuting offenders and suggested that a task force may be set up to tackle the problem.

I don’t want to talk about the prospect of a taskforce because I think we can all agree that something needs to be done.

However, if the community are not behind it and parents continue to buy scramblers for their children – then what is the point of it?

There will be parents who will buy a scrambler for their little youngster knowing full well that they are going to head off to the local park or up the main road racing their mates.

Today I want to know if a specific taskforce was set up, would report someone for buying their child a scrambler?

There are people who will say, the kids are just having fun and we have to stop banning everything.

On the other hand you have residents in certain areas that are being terrorised by little guttersnipes racing up and down their road on scramblers or quad bikes.

Is it irresponsible parenting to buy kids a scrambler?

Would you report a parent for doing so?

Or do you think people need to start minding their own business.

So – would you report a parent if they bought their child a scrambler?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Would you but your 15 year old child condoms?

November 2, 2017

 

Would you but your 15 year old child condoms?

Niall was asked this question from a mother whose 15 year old son whom she suspected might be on the verge of losing his virginity with his girlfriend. 

Should she speak to her son and tell him to wait to have sex or give him condoms and tell him to have safe sex? 

Listen to what you had to say. 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Is it time to boycott the TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here’?

November 2, 2017

 

Ireland – Animal rights campaigners are today urging Irish television viewers to switch channels as the date for the 2017 ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ is announced for November 19. Each year the show promises to get even more gory and more graphic as the cruel use of animals and insects continues to rise with even more cruel ‘bushtucker trials.’

Last year, challenges have included eating live scorpions and beetles as well as chasing ostriches around a tiny enclosure. Other challenges ask celebrity participants to perform acts such as sticking their hands or heads into tanks filled with insects, arachnids, rodents, or fish; holding live animals in their mouths; crawling into small spaces on top of masses of rats or insects; and even eating live animals. 

“Unlike the celebrity contestants who volunteer to be on the show, animals are not there by choice, and they deserve more than to be used in irresponsible and inhumane stunts in an attempt to boost ratings. All animals – not just the ones who are considered to be cute and cuddly – want to live free from harm, and none should be exploited for so-called entertainment. Switch on to entertainment that doesn’t involve abuse at the expense of other beings,” says animal rights campaigner and founder of the Irish animal rights group ARAN that ran for 20+ years, John Carmody.”

The animal rights campaigner also fears that insect and bug pizzas are winding their way to shops and restaurants in Ireland as the sale of such grotesque products are now on sale in Belfast.

Animal rights campaigners have called for a boycott of the controversial show. Should you? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Is it too soon to talk Christmas?

November 2, 2017

 

Halloween is gone and now people are already using the "C" word. Yes Christmas. 

Is it too soon to even start talking about the holiday season? 

Niall asked the question and let's just say that it got FESTIVE! 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should bullying be a criminal offense?

November 2, 2017

 

Should bullying be a criminal offense?

I want you to have a listen to this email we received.

Hi Niall,

Can you discuss something serious for me please? A friend of mine is being really badly bullied in work by a colleague. He hates going into work and is really stressed about the entire thing. He has approached HR about the issue and they said they would investigate it and have a word but nothing is really being done. He has a good job and salary and can’t financially leave but has been taken days off sick because he just can’t face going in.

The particular colleague calls him names if he gets something wrong and makes his life hell in work. We were talking about it last night and I really think we need to do something serious in this country to tackle bullying. It should be a criminal offence and people should be held accountable for their actions.

It is a huge problem in this country. Children and adults have taken their own lives because of bullying and yet we are not seeing any real change.

I know it would be a drastic measure but maybe criminalising bullying is something that should be done.

Please talk about this because I don’t believe my friend is the only person dealing with this. I think there are many people in this country struggling because of a bully.

Anita

What do you think of Anita’s email?

You all know my story of how I was bullied growing up and it is truly something that I detest.

The government has made some steps in tackling bullying with some legislation around cyber bullying and revenge porn but bullying itself is still prevalent with no understanding as to how to properly deal with it.

Bullying takes place everywhere, in school, at work, at home and in social situations. Society at large feels the effect of it, from absenteeism at school or work to all manner of stress related illnesses. The stresses on a victim sometimes lead to suicide.

As part of its response, most societies have reacted by legislating against bullying and introducing anti-bullying practices into schools and workplaces. Some legislatures, particularly in the United States, have designated some forms of bullying as a criminal offence. In Ireland we do not have a specific crime of bullying, and neither do we have any employment laws which expressly forbid bullying.

However that does not mean that the victim has no rights. Under various employment laws the victim may have rights of redress, for instance under anti-discrimination rules, employment equality laws, health and safety laws and unfair dismissal legislation. One of the difficulties of specifically legislating against such behaviour is the problem of defining what exactly is meant by “bullying”.

But is it time we made the actual bully responsible for their actions? - - Fine them, prosecute them?

Or would that be a step too far?

Maybe you have been bullied in school or a workplace – I want to hear from you today – how did you deal with it?

Would you like to see it criminalised?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Has your home been broken into?

November 2, 2017

 

House breakins seem to be on the rise again and some people have a hard time settling back into their own homes months after the event. 

Niall got some expert advice on how you can help protect you, your family and your home. 

Has your house been broken into before? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Do you have any sympathy for train drivers who are on strike?

November 2, 2017

 

Do you have any sympathy for train drivers who are on strike?

Communters are facing an unending cycle of transport chaos with further strikes on the horizon. Some 155,000 people will be hit by the first of five 24 hour stoppages at Irish Rail today.

More claims for pay rises which are likely to cause further disruption will be in the pipeline soon after rail passengers suffer the consequences of the latest wage demand in the run-up to Christmas.

Unions are set to lodge a fresh pay claim at Dublin Bus as the full increase of a three year deal is paid in January.

Passengers have endured crippling strikes at all the CIE companines since the Luas drivers won a 3.75% a year increase last year and other transport companies demand the same.

Today’s strike will affect 70,000 DART users, 45,000 users of commuter services and 40,000 intercity customers.

Today I want to know if you support the strike.

Have you been affected by it?

Speaking to the Herald, Alan Fox, a train drivers from Coolock in Dublin admitted that he is pretty well paid but pointed out that he has to deal with suicides on the tracks and gets up when many of us are going to bed.

He has been working for Irish rail for over 12 years and said sometimes he gets up at 4.30am and drives to Sligo, Maynooth and Dundalk.

He admitted that he can understand people’s frustrations with the strike but said it was the last resort for them.

He said none of them can afford to lose out on five days pay coming up to Christmas but that they feel it is the only thing they can do to make Irish Rail and the Government listen to them.

Alan said that drivers are not on huge money given the responsibilies that they have. He said as a train driver they are responsible for hundreds of passengers on theri train alone and they are the only ones responsible for moving the train, braking and any medical emergency that could happen.

He said there hasn’t been a pay rise in 17 years and that their pat has been taken over by Luas drivers when you compare hourly rates.  He said the cost of living has gone up but they haven’t seen a pay rise since 2000 and don’t get overtime or weekend rates.

The average salary for the workforce of 3,800 staff now stands at €54,647, according to figures supplied by the commercial semi-state company. They could end up with an average wage of almost €61,000 if they get the pay rise they are demanding

With all that said – I want to know if you support the drivers.

Or if you think people working in transport are getting a bit greedy.

The strikes will cost the country €900,000 a day and the company say they are dangerously close to insolvency with finances being weakened by the strikes.

Do you support the drivers? Or are you sick of all the striking over the last year?

Maybe you have sympathy for the drivers and you feel they deserve a pay rise?

Or maybe – you think that there are many people out there who have not had a pay rise since the recession and that they should stop their moaning.

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Is it cruel to raise a child vegan?

October 26, 2017

 

Would you judge a parent if they decided to raise their child on a vegan diet?

We have spoken about this on the show in the past but to no surprise it is back in the news today.

Parents who are considering raising their baby as a vegan, are being urged to seek professional advice before cutting all animal products from their child’s diet.

The British Nutrition Foundation has issued the advice after presenter Holly Willoughby was criticised for claiming that babies as young as six months old can be weaned onto a vegan diet.

Willoughby, who has three children with her husband Dan Baldwin wrote in her second book called ‘Truly Scrumptious Baby’ that “it is possible” for a baby to adopt this lifestyle straight away, but added that it is a bit tricky.

She wrote “Weaning a baby on a vegan diet does require a little more planning,”

She went on to write that “Energy density of food can be a concern as vegan food is often high in fibre but not very energy dense.”

Willoughby has been criticised for sharing nutrition advice when she herself is not a dietician, however she did seek advice from a dietician when writing the guide to weaning.

Many people on twitter expressed their anger at her advice in her book. Have a listen to this particular tweet that one angry person wrote.

Holly Willoughby & her vegan baby cookbook with no dietary qualifications. Potentially causing serious malnutrition harm to someone's baby

Many others tweeted with the same concerns.

Many healthcare professionals will tell parents that if they are adamant on raising their young children vegan that they must be on supplements to ensure they get all the nutrients needs for a young child.

However, as many news stories have shown, there are many parents out there who ignore that advice and simply could all animals’ products from a baby’s diet.

Sadly, this has led to some children losing their life as a result.

A 7-month-old baby in Belgium tragically died as a result of the strict diet his parents fed him, which exclusively consisted of gluten-free and lactose-free foods, as well as quinoa milk.

A judge sentenced two parents to a suspended six-month jail term over the death of the child. He died weighing nine pounds, which is at least seven pounds underweight according to CDC numbers, and had organs that shrunk to half their normal size.

Granted this is an extreme case but many people believe that these extreme cases come from the fact that people are giving unprofessional advice on vegan diets in books and online.

Tonight I want to know if you think it is cruel to force a vegan diet on a child or if you think parents should be allowed to make that decision without fear of being judged.

Maybe you are a vegan parent – I would like to hear from you. Maybe you can shed some light on why you want to raise your child vegan.

Here’s the question tonight –

Is it cruel to raise a child vegan?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Is it acceptable parenting to secretly go through your teenager’s phone?

October 26, 2017

 

Is it acceptable parenting to secretly go through your teenager’s phone?

We got a message from a concerned parent wondering just that.

Have a listen to it.

Hi Niall,

I’m battling with my conscience on something that maybe you and your listeners can shed some light on for me. I have spoken to some family members about it but we are torn down the middle on what is the right thing to do.

My 15 year old son has become very reclusive. He sits on his phone all day and night and barely speaks to myself and my partner. He used to be a very outgoing child but now we struggle to get a conversation out of him.

I have spoken to him about why he is so moody and questioned if there was anything wrong as in school or with his friends. He told me no and that was all the conversation I could squeeze out of him.

I asked my mother was she thought and she said that she thinks he is a typical hormonal teenager and that maybe I am overreacting.

I don’t know what the best thing to do is and I am considering taking his phone secretly to have a search through it and make sure everything is ok. I told my partner about my idea and he thinks it is a terrible idea and that I would be invading his privacy. He said that if he found out he would never trust me with anything and now I am torn.

Apart from his hormonal moodiness, I don’t really think anything else is going on but still, as a parent I am concerned.

Teenagers these days are not like we were growing up. They have access to the internet by a touch of a screen and I worry.

Could you ask your listeners if they think it would be a good idea to check my son’s phone without his permission?

I don’t know what you think about this email. Would this mother be right to check her son’s phone?

Have you ever taken your child’s phone and checked it without their permission? I want to hear from you.

We have talked about this before on the show and I have come across parents who believed that parents should trust their child 100% if they are going to allow them to have this type of freedom. 

On the other hand as parents we are supposed to look after our children and making sure that they are not doing anything they shouldn’t be falls into that bracket.

So the question I want to ask you …

Should parents violate their child’s privacy in order to keep them out of harm’s way?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should Irish people be more understanding of other people’s religions and cultures?

October 26, 2017

 

Should Irish people be more understanding of other people’s religions and cultures?

We got an interesting email into the show that I want you to hear.

Have a listen to it.

Hi Niall,

Can you talk about something that happened to me recently! I was at a doctor’s appointment and the doctor so happened to be Muslim. Absolutely no big deal – it didn’t bother me and still doesn’t. I was sick, I needed treatment and he helped me.

However, one thing did annoy me slightly and it is something that I can’t seem to get out of my head.

When I was leaving the doctor’s office after he gave me my prescription, I went to shake his hand as a gesture to say thanks for looking after me. It is something I would always do. He refused! He said that it was against his religion to shake my hand and apologised.

Shocked, I just walked out and said thank you!

As I was walking home, I started to get angrier. I don’t understand why shaking my hand would be against his religion. I should mention that I am a woman! It is common courtesy in Ireland and I don’t understand why he cannot abide by them. He lives in Ireland now. I don’t want to sound like I am some anti-religious freedom person because I am not. I simply felt insulted by it and I believe people who come to live in Ireland should live by our way of life. When in Rome do as the Romans do and all that!

Anyway maybe you might discuss this on your show some night.

Thank you – Mairead.

I don’t know what you think of Mairead’s message?

Do you think she is right? Or should she be more understanding of the fact that Ireland is much more multi-cultural country now.

Do you think Mairead is over-reacting?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Is it child abuse to raise a child as gender neutral?

October 26, 2017

 

Is it child abuse to raise a child gender neutral?

 

Paloma Faith has stated she'll be raising her child as gender neutral. 

 

The musician gave birth in December but has declined to reveal the name or sex of the baby, with the reasoning now becoming clear. She said "I just want them to be who they want to be,"

Speaking to the Mirror at the Q Awards, she explained her approach to gender neutral parenting involves, for example, not dressing her child in stereotypical "boy/girl" colours such as pink and blue, to avoid implicit pressure on the child's own gender identification. 

 

She added that she hopes to have more children with her partner and said "I'm loving being a mum. I want two or three kids in all and they'll be gender neutral."

Have a listen to this message that came in today about this –

I agree Niall that this type of thing is complete child abuse. What is the world coming to when we can’t say if a child is a boy or girl? What does the midwife say on delivery – “Here you go person – you have just had a baby” – how ridiculous is that? How confusing will it be when the poor child goes to school and doesn’t know if it should be a boy or a girl. This is getting out of hand. If the person is not in the right gender and is old enough to make that decision – go right ahead.

But this is socially conditioning a child to be confused about his or her gender. If you have a baby boy – then that’s what you had – if you have a baby girl – that’s her gender. I’m sorry but this needs to stop. Society is changing and I don’t like the world we are becoming.

What do you think of this person’s message?

Is the person right? Or do you think society needs to start being more accepting and that this is a step in the right direction.

I want to know what you think –

Is it child abuse to raise a child as gender neutral?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should Wolf Whistling Be Banned in Ireland?

October 26, 2017

 

“Wolf-whistling and other street harassment should be turned into a criminal offence” was the message that  France’s Prime-Minister Emmanuelle Macron had last month. You will remember that we discussed this on the show. However this legislation could be coming to a street near you SOON!

 

Let me quickly recap what is happening in France. The country’s new gender equality minister Marlene Schiappa called for strong legislation to ‘frame the situation’ of street harassment so it’s taken seriously.

 

Schiappa, a 34-year-old feminist and mum-of-two, has set up a parliamentary working party aimed at changing the law.

 

‘We’re in a grey zone,’ said Ms Schiappa. ‘Nowadays, when a woman is whistled at in the street, insulted or followed, that’s not classed as an assault or harassment because there are no elements of proof. There is no point filing a complaint against X because the details are not sufficient. It’s absolutely necessary to frame the situation and to get rid of the definition of harassment that we have today.’

Schiappa added: ‘We will create a new offence, to define its contours, the evidence and the sanction – a spoken warning and then a fine.’

 

Now how does this affect Ireland? Well Ireland has signed up to the Council of Europe convention. As our membership of the EU we have to vow to take “necessary legislative measures” against anyone breaking the clauses within, by committing “verbal, non-verbal or physical" sexual harassment.

This is thought to include sexist comments and street harassment, including shouting or whistling at women in public. In particular, the convention sets out a definition of sexual harassment, as “violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”

This, it says, is “subject to criminal or other legal sanction”. By signing up to the convention Ireland would ensure that Irish offenders who commit their crimes abroad would still face justice in our courts – from serious crimes like rape through to possibly wolf whistling.  

 

Are we really going to entertain this PC brigade and their calls to criminalise men – and women – for having a little fun. All they are doing is a whistle. It’s not 50 Shades of Grey! For decades a wolf whistle was something that people did and others took as a compliment. How can you say that it is violating your personal space?

Don’t get me wrong – harassment is one thing but can you really call a wolf-whistle harassment? Where will this end?

 

Or am I missing the point of this legislation? Are there women out there that really feel distressed when men whistle at them or the other way around? Look if there are people out there that think that whistling is harassment then please call the show now. I will give you priority on the show.

 

So today I want to ask you – Should wolf-whistling be banned?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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My son was falsely imprisoned and the Government did nothing

October 26, 2017

 

With the return of Ibrahim Halawa from an Egyptian prison, Niall received a call from a Mother about her son who was detained in a French prison.

Paul Barrett from Fethard was detained in a prison in Lille. French customs authorities impounded the truck he was driving after discovering an estimated six million cigarettes inside. Paul's mother spoke to Niall about how the Irish government did not intervene. 

Listen to Joan tell of her family's heartache. 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Do you support the train strikes?

October 23, 2017

 

News broke on Friday afternoon that The Iarnród Éireann Trade Union Group have announced five days of industrial action as a dispute with management over pay escalates.

The dates announced are:

  • Wednesday November 1
  • Tuesday November 7
  • Tuesday November 14
  • Thursday November 23
  • Friday December 8

All days will feature a 24-hour work stoppage, full withdrawal of labour and the placing of pickets.

November 14 is the date of Ireland's huge World Cup play-off clash with Denmark in Dublin.

In a statement accompanying the announcement they said: “Following a meeting this afternoon, the trade union group representing all workers at Irish Rail, in pursuance of a long overdue flat pay award, have decided to serve notice on the company for the following series of industrial actions."

Iarnród Éireann also issued a statement where they said that management "regrets the decision by a group of unions including SIPTU, NBRU, TSSA and Unite, to schedule five 24-hour strikes during November and December.

"The company has reiterated that the talks at the WRC arose from a Labour Court recommendation, which stated that if at the end of the WRC process there were outstanding issues of difference, they should be referred back to the Labour Court for a final recommendation."

Talks between management and unions at the Workplace Relations Commission broke down late on Thursday night.

Irish Rail said it offered 1.75pc increase for one year, to be facilitated by measures including performance management, absenteeism management, revisions to redeployment policy and payroll and committed to further discussion.

However, SIPTU members in Irish Rail voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

SIPTU members voted by 84oc in favour of industrial action in a ballot that was counted today in Liberty Hall.

NBRU members voted by a margin of 93pc t in favour.

Today I want to know if you support the strike and if you think the train drivers deserve more money.

Or if you are sick of all the strikes!

Thousands of people will be put out by the strike – many commuters will have to find other ways to get to work.

Many people planning to get to the Ireland match will have to find other means of transport.

Will you be affected by the strikes?

Here’s the question today – do you support the train strikes?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should couples wanting to divorce be forced legally into mediation?

October 23, 2017

 

Should couples wanting to divorce be forced legally into mediation?

With the introduction of the new Mediation Bill into Ireland Niall asked if people who know they want to divorce be forced into mediation by new Irish legislation? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should Conor McGregor apologise for using the word faggot?

October 23, 2017

 

Conor McGregor was caught on camera repeatedly using the word "faggot" in conversation with UFC fighter Artem Lobov on Saturday night, follow Lobov's defeat to featherweight Andre Fili at UFC Fight Night Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland.

McGregor, with his arm around Lobov's shoulders in the immediate aftermath of the fight, was heard to use the slur three times, presumably in reference to Fili.

Neither the Crumlin fighter nor the UFC have made any official comment on McGregor's language after the fight.

McGregor is currently deciding his next move after losing his maiden boxing bout to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August.

During the press tour for their clash, Mayweather apologised for using the same homophobic remark against McGregor during the London stage of the promotional activities.

“Like I said before, it’s certain boundaries we just don’t cross," said Mayweather at the time.

"It’s OK if he wants to say certain things. Even in the press tour when I said something, I didn’t want to be negative towards lesbians or gays when I said something to him. So, I apologise.”

Many people are offended by McGregor’s use of the word and have called for him to apologise.

The word has been used as a derogatory term against gay and lesbian people in the past.

I want you to have a listen to a message we received over the weekend.

 

I've always given Conor McGregor props for working hard and being successful but last night he made a fool out of himself. I'm no Snowflake but if McGregor can only muster up the word "FAGGOT" to insult a person then he isn’t a man himself! And to read people defending his use of the word as being "ah it's a Dub thing" - well come walk in my shoes where I've had to listen to words like that being used against me and my friends because of our sexuality. Children look up to this guy and what will they hear? Only their hero using such an offensive and disgusting term to slag someone else off!

What do you think of this person’s message?

Can you understand why he is so offended by the word? Or do you think people are over reacting.

Those defending him online have said that it wasn’t used as a homophobic slur and that it was more about saying that the opponent was weak. Others however, like the guy who messaged us, think that the use of the word is disgusting.

Should McGregor apologise for using the word faggot?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Are you happy that the Oireachtas Committee moved recommend not to retain the 8th Amendment in Full?

October 20, 2017

 

An historic vote at the Oireachtas Committee on Abortion moved to recommend “not to retain the Eight Amendment in Full”.

The motion was proposed by Sinn Fein and seconded by Fianna Fail. The late-night sitting at Leinster House saw members vote by 15 votes in favour, two against, with two members, James Browne and Anne Rabbitte of Fianna Fáil abstaining.

Senator Ronan Mullen and Deputy Mattie McGrath voted against.

Senator Ronan Mullen called the vote and the committee “a disgrace” with no regard for the human rights of the unborn.

Meanwhile the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) welcomed the outcome as a "move in the right direction".

The committee is responsible for recommending what question will go before the people in a referendum on the Eighth Amendment in May or June next year.

Its members are now considering 6 legal options as alternatives to the Eighth Amendment, ranging from deleting the article entirely, to deleting it and replacing it in the constitution with legislation although most members of the committee saying inserting complex law like this in to the constitution is “cumbersome” and inflexible.

Earlier the committee heard that the Eighth Amendment has caused “grave harm to women including death” according to former master of Holles Street hospital, Professor Peter Boylan.

He said Ireland’s abortion legislation has an effect on the decision-making abilities of clinicians, resulting in the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar who died of sepsis at Galway University Hospital. 

“She died as a consequence of the Eighth Amendment”, Professor Boylan told the committee following questions from Deputy Mattie McGrath.

Mr McGrath went on to argue that there are “lots of differing opinions” about the cause of death of Savita Halappanavar, to which Professor Boylan said he had “the advantage of reviewing her notes forensically”.

All witnesses at the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment today called on Ireland to repeal the Eighth Amendment and replace with legislation along the lines of what was called for by the Citizens Assembly earlier in the year.

The Citizens’ Assembly members voted on their recommendations for access to abortion for certain medical and other conditions and voted overwhelmingly to remove the 8th amendment from the constitution.

64pc of the Members’ recommended that the termination of pregnancy without restriction should be lawful.

Professor Boylan  said Ireland could look at other EU countries to as possible legal models when shaping any new abortion legislation, not just the UK, where most Irish women have an abortion.

He said 99pc of women in the EU have access to termination in the first trimester.

He also pointed out the difficulties that will emerge when a burden of proof will lie with a woman to prove she has been raped in order to obtain an abortion.

Today I want to know if you think agree with what the committed have said.

Or if you think that it is disgraceful that they have recommended not retaining the eight in full.

I want to know what you think on this –

Are you happy that the committee have recommended that the eight not be retained in full?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Tracker Mortgages - Have you been affected by the banks actions?

October 20, 2017

 

Niall spoke to David Hall - Director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation spoke to Niall about the Tracker Mortgage scandal gripping Ireland at the moment. 

Have you been affected by the banks actions over Tracker Mortgages? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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EXCLUSIVE : Interview with the man who discovered the dead homeless man in Dublin

October 20, 2017

 

Another homeless person loses their life on the streets of Dublin. 

Niall spoke to the man who discovered the dead man in the heart of the city. 

Gardaí said the man was discovered in Adair Lane in Temple Bar last night. It’s believed that he travelled up from the Midlands where he lived within the past week.

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Niall Boylan Speaks To People Across Ireland As They Battle Storm Ophelia

October 16, 2017

 

Ex-Hurricane Ophelia finally made land in Ireland today and Ireland braced itself for the strongest storm to hit the country. 

 

A country wide Red Alert was issued by Met Eireann and the Government as all citizens were asked to remain indoors where possible. 

 

Niall spoke to many of the Emergency Services for updates on the destruction of the storm. Members of the public called in from across the country to share their stories of dealing with Strom Ophelia. 

 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should a woman take the man’s name when getting married?

October 11, 2017

 

Should a woman take the man’s name when getting married?

I want to ask you that today because of an email that came into the show.

 A man called John wrote the following  

“Hi Niall, love the show. Can you and your listener’s help with something that is brewing between me and my fiancée.

I’m marrying my school sweetheart. We’ve been together almost 10 years. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened in my life and I know we’ll be happy together.

She’s become successful in her marketing job and I know when the time comes she will be a fantastic mother.  There’s just one problem that is causing a problem between my family and my fiancée – She’s refusing to take my surname when we get married.

She says that it’s 2017 and women are not taking their partner’s names anymore. She has said before jokingly that being forced to take your partner’s name is almost like saying that she is my property.

My parents on the other hand are furious! My Dad said that we need to insure our family name is never lost. I’m their only son so my father says it’s my responsibility to ensure that family tree continues. He is adamant of this and says that if my fiancée really loved me then this would not be an issue for her.

My mates are slagging me off saying that my fiancée wears the pants in our relationship, and while I laugh along with them it’s beginning to make me feel that I should stand up and say something to her.

Am I being unreasonable in asking my future wife to take my name when we get married? I’d love to hear what your listeners have to say?”

What do you think of this email? Is this man wrong to want his fiancé to take his name? Or is that a little draconian?

Some in the office said “Why bother getting married if you don’t want to take your partner’s name? Just to do a civil partnership.  

The tradition of taking your husband’s name is centuries old - so is it time that we questioned this practice? OR has the feminist movement gone so far that they want to remove all traces of the man in a marriage?

So today I want to ask you – Is it insulting for a woman to refuse to take her husband’s name in marriage?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

 

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Do you think Donald Trump is a good president and leader?

October 11, 2017

 

Do you think Donald Trump is a good president and leader?

President Trump has been in office for 261 days and I think it is safe to say most of those days have been filled with controversy.

Almost every day there is something in the news about him.

From Trump wanting to build walls, wanting to keep Muslims out by bringing in a travel ban, sexual assault claims, Russian ties, North Korea, his tweets, banning transgender people from the military, firing the head of the FBI, cancelling obamacare, the list really goes on and the man has not been in office a year yet.

Today I want to get your opinion on the President of the United States and ask you, as Irish people, if you are concerned that this man is a danger or if you think he is doing a good job.

Britain is reportedly preparing for the possibility of war breaking out with North Korea as concerns rise that another provocative missile test could trigger a military response by the US.

North Korea is being closely watched amid fears it could launch another long-range missile test on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the founding of its ruling party.

Bellicose rhetoric from Donald Trump has heightened tensions in the region in recent months, prompting British officials to draw up military plans for a response to a break out of hostilities, it was reported. 

Whether you like it or not, the president of the United States is one of the most powerful leaders in the world and decisions he makes affect the world.

There were protests in Ireland when he was elected and more protests when it was revealed that his invitation would not be revoked.

Today I want to get your opinions on the president and ask you if you are concerned by his behaviour or if you think he is a good president to date.

There are many people who think he is a hero and wish we had somebody like him running our country.

We have sent our man Robbie Kane out on the streets today to ask people what they think of Trump.

Do they think he is dangerous or do they support him?

I want to know what you think –

Do you support Donald Trump and his behaviour?

Or do you think he is a dangerous world leader?

Does the behaviour of Donald Trump concern you?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Would you judge a person if they held a full on funeral for their pet?

October 11, 2017

 

Would you judge a person if they held a full on funeral for their pet?

The reason I want to ask you that is because of an email we got into the show. Have a listen to it.

Hi Niall,

Have you ever been invited to the funeral of a pet dog? Well I have and I would love for you to talk about this nonsensical thing on your show please.

My friend invited me to her dog’s funeral on Saturday just gone. I could not make this stuff up. Her dog passed away and she was obviously devastated. I sympathised with her of course when it happened but when she asked me to go to the funeral I really thought it was taking the biscuit. She also took a full week off work to mourn the death of Roxie.

She invited her family members and her friends and had a full on service for the dog.  It was actually held in a crematorium. Of course I didn’t go because personally I think the whole thing is completely outrageous. In my day, when the dog died we just buried it in the back garden, moved on and got a new dog. These days’ people are treating dogs like human beings and I think it is getting ridiculous.

My friend was pretty annoyed when I told her that I wasn’t going to the funeral but realistically, who would go to a dog funeral.

Can you talk about this on your show please - do people agree with me that pet funerals are ridiculous?

Mark

What do you think of Mark’s email? Do you think he is being unfair? Or do you agree with him and think that a funeral for a dog is absolutely ridiculous?

Would you go to a pet funeral?

It’s a strange one and one I don’t think we have ever spoken about on the show before.

Is a funeral for a pet over the top?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

 

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Do you agree with the Christmas Bonus for Unemployed People being reinstated?

October 11, 2017

 

Are you happy that the Christmas bonus is to be reinstated?

Those on social welfare appear to be the winners in Budget 2018.

Minister Paschal Donohoe today announced a €5 per week increase in all weekly social welfare payments, beginning end March 2018.

Among those set to benefit from this are the unemployed, disabled, pensioners and lone parents.

It was also announced that the Christmas bonus payment of 85% will again be paid to all social welfare recipients in 2017.

Tonight I want to know if you are happy to see it reinstated.

It is not going to be fully reinstated but 85% is practically there.

The bonus used to be a once off end-of-year payment for elderly people, carers and long-term social welfare recipients. It was equal to 100 per cent of the person's social welfare payment.

It was scrapped when the recession hit but each budget since the recovery started has seen the bonus reinstated by more each year. It was 25% first, then 50%, 75% and now 85%. I think it would be a fair estimation that it won’t be long until the bonus is reinstated fully.

The government are feeling quite generous but it seems more so to those on welfare.  Last year the bonus cost the state around €225 million in payouts.

1.3 million people on welfare in this country will benefit from the bonus. Maybe you think Christmas is an expensive time and those on welfare need a help in hand – I want to hear from you.

Or maybe – like me – you work your backside off and don’t see a penny of a Christmas bonus and it annoys you that those on welfare are getting one for staying at home and not working.

Is the Government really giving them an incentive to get out and work? Or are they making the same mistakes again and making it easier for people to stay on welfare for a longer time.

I am obviously not talking about pensioners or carers because I think everyone agrees with a bonus for them – but a person on the welfare long term (which is 12 months or more) – should they really be given a bonus?

I want to know what you think, so –

Are you happy or angry that the 85% Christmas bonus will be reinstated?

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Are you better off following the release of the details of Budget 2018?

October 11, 2017

 

Yesterday was D day – and by that we mean Budget day – the day when men and women in suits in a little room decide what the countries money will be spent on.

Today Niall wanted to get your reaction to the budget. It certainly seems like people on social welfare were the big winners this year. I want to know what you think of the budget – are you happy with it or are you disgusted and feel hard done by.

Here is a summary of it -

  • A total of €1.83 billion has been allocated to housingin Budget 2018, with 3,800 social houses to be built by local authorities and approved housing bodies.
  • The Housing Assistance Payment Scheme will increase by €149m, enabling an additional 17,000 households to be supported and accommodated next year.
  • Funding for homeless services will increase by €18m to more than €116m.
  • The Government has said 4,000 social housing homes will be delivered next year through the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme.
  • An extra €500m for the direct building programme will see 3,000 additional new build social houses by 2021.
  • €750m is to be made available for commercial investment in housing finance.
  • The level of stamp duty on commercial property transactionswill rise from 2% to 6% from midnight.
  • The vacant site levywill increase from 3% in the first year to 7% in second and subsequent years.
  • new house-building entityto boost construction has been announced.
  • An additional 1,300 teaching posts have been announced for next year, of which 300 are being used to reduce the primary pupil teacher ratioto 26:1.
  • €1.7 billion will be invested in special education, with more than 1,000 new Special Needs Assistants being recruited before September 2018.
  • An additional 800 gardaí will be recruited during 2018. Another 500 civiliansto be hired also.
  • The health allocation includes an additional 1,800 staff in frontline services across acute, mental health, disability, primary and community care sectors.
  • A reduction in prescription charges for all medical card holders under 70from €2.50 to €2 per item.
  • The monthly cap drops from €25 to €20, with the threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme dropping from €144 to €134.
  • An increase of €685m in allocation to the Department of Health brings total funding to almost €15.3bn next year.

Social welfare

  • From the last week of March, there will be a €5 per week increase in all weekly social welfare payments, including disability allowance, carer's allowance, Jobseekers' Allowance and the State pension.
  • A Christmas bonus payment of 85% will be paid to all social welfare recipients in 2017.
  • There will be a €20 increase in the earnings threshold for the One Parent Family Payment and Jobseekers' Transitional scheme.
  • The threshold for the Family Income Supplement will rise by €10 per week for families with three children. €2 per week rise in the rate of the qualified child payment.
  • There will be a €2.50 increase in the Telephone Support Allowance for those receiving the Living Alone and Fuel allowances.
  • The home carer credit will rise by €1000 to €1,200.
  • The point at which an income earner attracts the higher rate of income taxwill rise next year by €750 per annum.
  • The entry point for single earners will increase from €33,800 to €34,550.
  • Targeted changes to Universal Social Chargewill reduce rates but do not narrow the USC tax base.
  • The entry point to USC will remain at €13,000.
  • The 2.5% USC rate will be reduced to 2% with the ceiling for the new rate increased from €18,772 to €19,372.
  • The 5% USC rate will be reduced to 4.75%.
  • A working group will be set up over the coming year to plan the amalgamation of the USC and PRSI over the medium term.
  • The Earned Income Credit for the self-employed will rise by €200 to €1,150 a year.
  • Reduction in seven-year period for owners to enjoy full relief from Capital Gains Tax to four years.
  • Mortgage interest reliefwill be cut next year in a move that will affect about 300,000 homeowners.
  • The relief for people with loans from 2004-2012 is being continued to 2020, but at just 75% of the rate in 2018, 50% in 2019 and 25% in 2020.

Sugar tax – we will be talking about this in more detail later on in the show.

  • From April 2018, there will be a 30 cent per litre of tax on drinks with over 8g of sugar per 100ml.
  • There will be a reduced rate of 20 cent per litre on drinks with between 5g and 8g of sugar per 100ml.
  • The excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes will rise by 50 cents. 
  • The VAT rate on sunbed services is to increase from 13.5% to 23%.
  • There will be €17 million for the Renewal Heat Incentive and to incentivise an increase in electric vehicles.

Rainy Day Fund will be established in the coming year, with at least €1.5 billion transferred to it from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. 

Are you better off following the release of the details of Budget 2018? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Interview with an Irish man caught in the Las Vegas Shootings?

October 4, 2017

 

America was stunned at the horrific shootings of concert goers in Las Vegas. Niall spoke to Irish man Patrick Mahony who was performing at The House of Blues in the city as the attach took place. 

He described the chaos as the shooter was firing on the public and the aftermath of the attack. 

Naill went on to ask if you would support the right to carry guns in Ireland? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Did Hugh Hefner exploit women?

October 4, 2017

 

Do you think Hugh Hefner exploited women?

As you all know, the playboy mogul passed away last week at the ripe age of 91. His death was met with positive media coverage, painting him as both a driving force in the sexual revolution and a gentle soul with a soft spot for oppressed groups of people.

But not everyone felt that way with many people coming out and saying that he was a misogynist who exploited women and damaged women’s right.

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation) president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis slammed the media's kind tributes, calling Hefner a misogynist whose exploitative empire caused "irreparable damage to women's rights."

She took to twitter and said “It's alarming how media is attempting to paint Hugh Hefner as a pioneer or social justice activist. Because nothing could be further from reality”

She went on to say "Hefner was not a visionary. He was a misogynist. He built an empire sexualizing women & mainstreaming stereotypes that caused irreparable damage to women's rights & our entire culture."

She is not alone in her views either. There are many people who think the same.

Not everyone who worked for the Playboy magnate claims they had such a good time in the iconic mansion.

A number of Playmates have spoken out about their lives in the world's most famous bachelor pad, suggesting that it wasn't all smiles behind the scenes.

Playboy Bunny Holly Madison offered a bleak description of her time living with Hugh.

In her book she wrote that everyone thinks that the infamous metal gate was meant to keep people out. But she grew to feel it was meant to lock her in.

Holly Madison uses her book to offer another bleak perspective saying she turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with her life as a playmate.

Fellow Playmate Izabella St. James also claimed in her book that the experience wasn't as pleasant as outsiders may be lead to believe and explained how they used to have to ask for their allowance every Friday.

She said "We all hated this process. Hef would always use the occasion to bring up anything he wasn't happy about in the relationship.

She added that most of the complaints were about the lack of harmony among the girlfriends or  lack of sexual participation in the 'parties' he held in his bedroom.

She alleged that he used their allowance as a weapon and wouldn’t give it to them if they were not available for the bedroom parties.

Playboy model Carla Howe  previously said that the girls have a strict 9pm curfew, saying that none of them are even allowed to invite friends to the mansion to see them.

Now all of that does not sound like a man who respects women but many Playmates will actually say they lived a great life in the mansion and that Hefner was extremely respectful and looked after them.

Some people will even say that these women chose this lifestyle so why have a go at Hugh Hefner for it after he passed away?

We spoke to Dr Gail Dines who gave us an insight into Hugh Herner that she believed that was created by his media Machine. You do not want to miss what she had to say. 

I want to know what you genuinely think of the Playboy mansion, the Playboy and the bunnies –

So – do you think Hugh Hefner exploited women?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Do you support the introduction of a Sugar Tax?

October 4, 2017

 

Do you support the introduction of a sugar tax?

It is back in the news today after sources said that it is almost certainly going to be included in the budget.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar recently revealed that he wanted to see a sugar tax on fizzy drinks and sweets.

Speaking about the issue at the recent Fine Gael think in he said he has been a long time supporter of the sugar tax and he wants to see it introduced but he is not in a position to go into details.

Studies have shown that one in four Irish children are overweight while the country has the worst obesity rates in Europe.

Today I want to know if you would be happy to see a sugar tax in the budget.

The rate of tax has not yet been decided and could range from 1c to 20c per 330 ml can. The annual yield would be approximately €8.4 million for a 1 cent increase, and would be around €168.7 million for a 20 cent increase.

Today I want to know if you think a sugar tax is necessary.

If the companies are forced to pay more tax, the price will go up for consumers.

Do you agree with that if it means the rate of childhood obesity may go down?

They have raised the price of cigarettes over the years, it’s now €11 for 20 smokes, but it hasn’t stopped most people from smoking. The budget could see cigarettes increased to €11.50 in this year’s budget also.

Should the rest of us suffer because someone can’t control their weight or the weight of their children?

The obesity figures are pretty scary in this country. But should the parents be targeted instead of sugary drinks?

Or maybe you think that some parents simply don’t have nutritional education and that it’s not their fault.

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland called for a 20% tax on sugary drinks but as I said the rate of tax hasn’t been decided yet.

I like having a can of coke. I have coke in moderation. Why should I suffer financially because someone drinks it like water?

Maybe you think it’s a step needed to reduce the growing number of Irish children who are obese.

I want to know what you think –

Do you support the introduction of a sugar tax?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Would you hire an ex convict?

October 2, 2017

 

Would you ever hire a former prisoner?

The reason I want to ask you this today is because of a story I spotted online.

The UK’s leading employer of people with convictions says there can be huge benefits in hiring ex-prisoners.

The Timpson Group owns a wide range of different retail outlets. The companies under the group’s banner include cobblers, locksmiths, photo shops and dry cleaners.

In total, they have about 1,850 outlets spread out across the UK (as well as a small number in Ireland).

The group employs about 4,000 people across all of its outlets. What’s notable about the company is that 10% of these people are ex-convicts.

Just over 15 years ago, James Timpson was invited on a tour of a young offenders open prison in Warrington. He was impressed by his tour guide (a 19-year-old serving three years) and would later go on to hire him.

Following this, Timpson started visiting prisons across the north west of England aiming to recruit people to the business. 

Initially, he had some issues admitting that he was recruiting some of the wrong people and that he paid off one guys drug dealer three times.

As he progressed in his recruitment, Timpson began to learn the right and wrong things to do. Today, the company employs over 400 people with convictions.

Timpson was the keynote speaker at a seminar in Dublin this week organised by the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) around the topic of hiring people with a conviction.

The IPRT campaigns for the rights of prisoners and for progressive reform of Irish penal policy.

The purpose of the seminar was to highlight the recruitment potential of people with previous convictions and to try to combat the stigma against hiring people who have committed crimes in the past.

Today I want to talk about that stigma and ask you if you would hire an ex-prisoner.

Have a listen to some of the comments online about this.

One person said: People make huge mistakes and pay dearly for it. They have time to reflect in prison. Everyone deserves a second chance. They could turn out to be the best employees.

However not everyone was as positive with a few people commenting on how they believes many prisoners do not want an honest life.

Have a listen to this comment: More hug a thug political correctness crap. Most prisoners are unemployable and don’t want a job. Crime is their job. Imagine hiring an armed robber to look after your finances – it’s laughable! How could you trust the person?

So clearly there is still a stigma in Ireland around the issue and many people would not hire an ex-con – would you?

Do all prisoners deserve a second chance at life when they leave prison?

Or do they lose the right to a second chance when they commit crimes?

I want to know what you think –

So – do all prisoners deserve a second chance?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Is it wrong for a mother to remove her child from a class because the teacher is obese?

September 29, 2017

 

A story in the UK say a mother remove her 4 year old son from a class because she did not want her child being taught by an obese person. 

She thought it was setting a bad example for the child that it was acceptable to be overweight. 

Was the mother right or was she fat shaming the teacher? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Would you dump your partner if you found out they watched pornography daily?

September 29, 2017

 

Niall had a caller who said that his girlfriend of several years dumped him because she found out that he watched pornography ona daily basis. 

Was she a prude? Does everyone watch some porn? Should she have dumped him? 

Listen to some of your confessions here.

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Do speed cameras save lives or are they a money making scam?

September 29, 2017

 

Niall spotted 6 new speed cameras on the streets of Dublin on his way into work. Do drivers slow down when they see speed cameras? Or do people see them just as a money making scam? 

Well you had your say on the subject!

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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INTERVIEW : We speak to actor Joe McKinney aka The Dancing Guinness Man

September 29, 2017

 

With the new ban on alcohol advertising set to hit Ireland, Niall spoke to Irish actor Joe McKinney who became a global sensation back in the 1990's when he became the 'Dancing Guinness Man'. 

Joe tells Niall what it was like travelling around the world and being recognised everywhere he went. What you may not know is what Joe has been doing since THAT Guinness ad. 

Take a listen as Joe was frank with Niall as to the highs and lows. 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Should Communion classes be taken out of primary schools?

September 29, 2017

 

State-run primary schools are taking formal religious instruction for pupils off the timetable.

The decision is being made by the Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) and comes after years of discussion over the place of religion teaching in primary schools.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said he welcomed the direction in which the ETBI was moving but we asked if you were? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

 

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Is it time to take Rickshaws off the streets of Ireland?

September 29, 2017

 

Niall was contacted by a taxi driver who shared a video of a man claiming he was beaten up by a Rickshaw driver and the drivers accomplices. 

Niall spoke to Rickshaw owners/drivers and taxi drivers who had different on what should happen to Rickshaws on the streets of Ireland. 

Should Rickshaws be banned in Ireland? 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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INTERVIEW : I have 5 kids and have been on the Housing Waiting list 8 years

September 29, 2017

 

Niall spoke to Edel Dunne fromn Dublin who lives with her partner and theri 5 children in 2 rooms. They have been on the housing waiting list for 8 years. 

Some callers asked why were they still having children if they had no fixed accomodation. 

Find out waht Edel told Niall. 

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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Is a sexy comment from someone a compliment or harassment?

September 29, 2017

 

“You’re at total ride, Hey Sweet Cheeks, Well You’re Hot” – All comments that I’m sure people tonioght will be saying to me at the Listners Party here in D2 in Dublin.

However are these appropriate comments to make especially following recent events for other people in the media spotlight – you know who I’m talking about. But seriously iare these comments just a bit of banter or are they encroaching on people’s personal space.

The reason why I ask this is because Dublin City Council have started a new campaign that you may have seen across the city. It says “A Sexist Remark Is Not A Compliment”. Would you agree with that?

Well I am going to be speaking to Councillor Janice Boylan – no relation to me – but she will be talking is through the campaign and what they hope to achieve from it.

But I want to ask you if you would be offended if someone say in the office or in a club came up to you and threw you out one of these one liners “Ya Ride, Those legs go on for ever or Buns of Steel”.

 Would you be offended if someone said that to you? Or is this just PC thinking gone way too far. Are the days when you could have some harmless banter seem to be long gone. Would shows like ‘The Benny Hill Show’ have a place of TV’s today?

Do guys and girls still pass cheeky topics today or are they scared to even utter something that might be seen as offensive? You will remember we had Aisling from the station on the air earlier this week when we were talking about wolf whistling and she said that the comments she got were above and beyond a bit of banter. Some people – especially women – can feel intimidated if a group of men harass a woman.

Look is this PC culture gone too far or is the new Dublin City Campaign right “A sexist Comment is Not A Compliment”

Is a sexy comment from someone just a compliment or is it harassment?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

 

 

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“Why do you want me DEAD?” - Pro-Life Activists Rebecca Kiessling & Jennifer Christie asked!

September 27, 2017

 

Abortion will be a topic that Irish people will be debating over the coming year. Today Niall had in studio American Pro-Life activists Rebecca Kiessling and Jennifer Christie whose talk for 'Unbroken Ireland' was cancelled in Dublin's Gibson Hotel. 

Today saw activists claiming to be from People Before Profit, remove posters advertising 'Unbroken Ireland's' conference around parts of Dublin. Adrienne Wallace from People Beofre Profit was also on the show along with other Pro-Choice activists debating the Repeal the 8th movement.

This got very heated and saw the station flooded with callers wanting to discuss Rebecca and Jennifer's comments which included "It's unfortunate that people would go to England and allow British people to kill your children"

This is a must listen to podcast! Do you think we should allow abortion in Ireland?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

 

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