21 — 24


The RFK Tapes

William Klaber is a part-time journalist and author who lives in upstate New York. Bill is the co-author of Shadow Play originally published in 1997, ‘Shadow Play: The Unsolved Murder of Robert F. Kennedy’ (Revised and Updated Edition) along with Philip Melanson and the author of ‘The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell: A Novel’. In his presentation at the FOP, he will speak about what was found in the police files pertaining to the RFK assassination and what that tells us about the murder amid revelations of criminal conduct on behalf of the police. William is currently working on a podcast series which takes a new look at the murder of Martin Luther King.


Political Football (Moderator)

Barbara McCarthy is a freelance photographer, journalist and commentator based in Dublin. She regularly contributes to The Irish Independent, The Irish Times and The Sunday Times. Internationally she has reported for The Sydney Morning Herald and Al Jazeera on the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington in 2017, The California primaries in June 2016, the German elections and the European migrant crisis. She was the only journalist to interview the Peru Two in prison in Lima, Peru. As a commentator, Barbara has appeared on shows including RTE’s Highly Recommended, Cutting Edge, Claire Byrne Live, The Savage Eye, and The Tonight Show and The Sunday Show on Virgin Media.

EL COMANDANTE (anonymous)

Political Football

‘El Comandante’ is an anonymous founder of Pinceladas de Fútbol. Founded in 2012, Pinceladas de Fútbol is a Colombian and South American independent football online publication that aims to keep alive Eduardo Galeano’s understanding of football as an art coupled with a reading of the sport as a Social Phenomenon, a conception that inspires their journalistic endeavours. Their mission is to elevate football writing in South America and the world.


Unexplained – The Truth Is Even Further Out There

Part Scottish, part English and proud citizen of nowhere, writer and podcaster Richard MacLean Smith is the creator of Unexplained, described by The Guardian as possibly the ‘spookiest podcast ever.’  An iTunes best of 2016, Unexplained reached #2 in the US, UK and Canadian iTunes chart and has been streamed over 26 million times to date. His book, ‘Unexplained’, based on his podcast was published in October 2018 by Sceptre/Hodder & Stoughton. He is a Fox Mulder for the times we live in.


It’s NOT the Cuban Missile Crisis!

Sunday Service

Musician Paddy Cullivan is singer and leader of the Camembert Quartet. He is also an art school graduate, satirist, historical entertainer, social commentator and voiceover artist (having written for RTE’s ‘Callan’s Kicks’) and was one of the founders of Leviathan political cabaret. His one-man shows ‘Solutionism’,’ The Joy of Brex’, ‘The Ten Dark Secrets of 1916’ and ‘The Ten Dark Secrets of 1798’ have toured extensively around Ireland and beyond.


It’s NOT the Cuban Missile Crisis!

Larissa Nolan started working as a reporter in national newspapers at 19, going on to work in the Sunday World and the Sunday Independent, and later as crime correspondent for the Irish Mail on Sunday. She now works mostly with the Sunday Times, where she is a regular columnist on cultural politics. She is a regular contributor on radio and television talk shows and public debating panels and is a weekly music expert on Matt Cooper’s Last Word show on Today FM. From Blessington, Co Wicklow, she lives in Dublin city centre with her son. She is a campaigner for the homeless and a local advocate for those caught up in the housing crisis.


It’s NOT the Cuban Missile Crisis!

Karl Deeter is a director of Irish Mortgage Brokers and yes.ie He is also a regular commentator on radio, tv and in papers as well as being a journalist with weekly columns in the Irish Sun and the Sunday Business Post. His focus tends to be on matters concerning housing, property, and taxation.


What’s The Beef With Veganism?

Juliet Gellatley is founder & director of Viva!, a vibrant, campaigning, animal health and environmental group that is the biggest vegan charity in Europe. Viva! launched in 1994, joined by Viva! Poland in 2002. She was previously director of the Vegetarian Society of the UK. Juliet has created and launched numerous campaigns, investigated many farms – often the big names – and exposed the devastating animal cruelty that seems to know no bounds in agribusiness. She is the author of several reports, guides and books, including ‘The Silent Ark’. She instigated the first Vegan Festival 15 years ago which has mushroomed into events across Britain. Juliet has many firsts to her name – the first to campaign on vegetarianism in the UK; the first to produce a vegan cinema ad; the first to produce a vegan YT ad; the first to film the factory farming of ducks; the first to get ‘exotic’ meats out of all UK supermarkets. She has a degree in zoology and psychology and is a qualified nutritional therapist.

Catherine Cleary Festival Of Politics Dublin 2019


What’s The Beef With Veganism?

Catherine Cleary is a journalist, author and broadcaster. She began her career as a reporter with The Irish Times and later became security correspondent of The Sunday Tribune. Her first book ‘Life Sentence, Murder Victims and their Families’ was published by O’Brien Press in 2004. Her second, ‘A Month of Somedays, How One Woman made the most of Now’, came out in 2012. She co-wrote ‘Counter Culture, The Sheridans Guide to Cheese in 2015’. She co-authored the memoir of homeless activist Alice Leahy ‘The Stars are Our Only Warmth’. She co-wrote and presented two series of the RTE radio show ‘History on a Plate’ with historian Juliana Adelman. She writes the weekly restaurant review in The Irish Times. She lives in Dublin with her husband and their three sons.

MARK SHAW – Author

The Reporter Who Knew Too Much

Mark Shaw is a former criminal defense attorney specializing in high profile murder cases, and has acted as legal analyst for CNN, ABC, and ESPN for the Mike Tyson, O. J. Simpson and Kobe Bryant cases. His books include ‘Melvin Belli: King of the Courtroom’ and ‘The Poison Patriarch,’ each about the Kennedy assassinations, as well as ‘Down for the Count,’ ‘Miscarriage of Justice,’ ‘Beneath the Mask of Holiness,’ ‘Stations Along the Way’ and the novel, ‘Courage in the Face of Evil.’ His bestselling title – ‘The Reporter Who Knew Too Much’ is currently being adapted as a major motion picture. He lives in the San Francisco area.


Humans of Politics

Abie Philbin Bowman is a “hack of all trades” – broadcaster, writer and stand-up comedian. He hosts the RTE podcast ‘Humans of Politics’ about the personal ups and downs of political life. His comedy debut “Jesus: The Guantanamo Years” sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe, toured three continents and was boycotted by the DUP. He’s the only Western comedian stupid enough to have performed religious comedy in Pakistan, during a State of Emergency. The night Barack Obama was elected, Abie scooped CNN, the BBC and Reuters by interviewing the Ku Klux Klan, about the most humiliating defeat in their long and colourless history.

Eamon Carr Festival of Politics 2019


Crossing Borders Pt 2

Eamon Carr is a journalist, art historian, poet and playwright. Described as “a profoundly moving narrative on the universal nature of grace and redemption”, his book ‘The Origami Crow: Journey into Japan, World Cup Summer 2002’  was published by Seven Towers in 2008. A verse play, ‘Deirdre Unforgiven, A Journal of Sorrow’, was published by Doire Press in 2013 and described by the Times Higher Education review as “An audacious mix of Irish myth, Japanese Noh theatre, reportage and modern history. Utterly bleak and utterly beautiful.” His verse play ‘Dusk’ was hailed as a success when staged in Dublin at the GPO and the New Theatre by Red Iron Productions in 2016. He has written and recorded numerous album with the pioneering folk-rock group Horslips. ‘Songs from the Fever Ship’, an album of songs based on Carr’s poetry, is the current release from Sweden-based musician Eamonn Dowd.

Michael Hartnett Festival of Politics


Crossing Borders Pt 1

Michael has scripted and produced TV commercials, corporate videos and documentaries. His work has appeared on RTE and the United States. He has written five plays for RTE. Stage plays include, ‘Shammimg The Read’, about the death of docklands in Dublin, ‘The Boys’, an adaption of his novel of the same name, ‘The Lad from Laghy’, which toured the North West and, ‘The Noble Call’, which has just finished a run. Two new plays ‘Madeira’ and ‘The Cloudspotter’, are scheduled for production in 2020.  A screen version of ‘The Noble Call’ is in post production. He was a prizewinner at the Wexford Literary Festival last year and was also awarded the Writer’s Guild/ National Film School award for screenwriting.

Rob Smith DJ Musician The Festival of Politics 2019 Dublin


The Politics of Dancing

Rob Smith is a musician, producer and DJ from Dublin. Since 2014, he has been a resident DJ in the highly acclaimed Dublin venue/nightclub The Workmans Club.
He had spun in clubs in such cities as Milan, London, Liverpool, Stockholm, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, New York to name but a few. Most recently, he has been releasing records under the name The Swedish Railway Orchestra to critical acclaim.


Political Football

David Goldblatt was born in 1965 and inherited Tottenham Hotspurs from his father and grandfather. In 2006 he published ‘The Ball is Round:  A Global History of Football’, and in 2014 ‘The Game of our Lives: The Making and Meaning of English Football’ which won the 2015 William Hill Sportsbook of the Year Prize. In 2019 he published ‘The Age of Football: The Global Game in the Twenty First Century’. He teaches as visiting Professor at Pitzer College Los Angeles.

Richie Oakley Festival of Politics 2019 Dublin


Sunday Service

Richie Oakley is one of the outstanding media professionals working in Ireland today. He created and led a superb team at The Times Ireland and this year became editor at The Sunday Business Post playing a key role in placing it at the heart of economic and political life in the country.


The RFK Tapes

John Lee is the political editor and columnist at the Mail on Sunday (Ireland edition). He has covered Irish, British, US, European and Australian politics for over 20 years for a number of titles, including the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph (Australia).

Ian ODoherty Festival of Politics Dublin 2019


Unexplained Live Podcast

Ian O’Doherty is a columnist with the Irish Independent and the Irish Daily Star. He is a regular guest on RTE and Newstalk. No, he still hasn’t written that book that people keep asking him about.

Mick Peelo Festival of Politics 2019 Dublin


Jesus Christ Political Superstar?

Mick Peelo is a reporter and presenter with RTE’s Would You Believe? the longest running documentary series on RTÉ Television. Mick specialises in all things religious; the things people do, the stuff they believe that gives them meaning and purpose. Mick won an IFTA Irish Television &Film Award in 2002 for best current affairs documentary with “Cardinal Secrets” for Prime Time.. best documentary with “Last Judgement”, a film about clerical Celibacy at the European Television of Religious Programmes in 2007.


Lassane Ouedraogo Festival Of Politics 2019


Crossing Borders Pt 2

Originally from Burkina Faso, Lassane Ouedraogo has been living in Ireland for the past 12 years and is a prominent activist and human rights defender. He is the current Chairperson of the Africa Solidarity Centre Ireland and an Academic Executive Officer with COONECT Research Centre, in the Department of Computer Science in Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Lassane is also a Founding & Former National Coordinator of the End Direct Provision Campaign with the Irish Refugee Council (IRC) and founding member of Dublin City of Sanctuary who served as former Board Member of the Places Sanctuary Ireland, an organisation that promotes a culture of welcome and inclusiveness right across every sphere and sector of society.


Crossing Borders Pt 2

Eoghan Scally is a curator based in Dublin. He graduated from Trinity College with a BA in History. Eoghan is Creative Director of Taifead, his own creative venture aiming to record, curate, represent & exhibit artists; spark debate, discussion & engagement. Taifead represents the artist and their work while also making art accessible to the public, encouraging engagement. Eoghan has worked with a number of galleries, artists and curators as well as on successful exhibitions.


Crossing Borders Pt 2

Ken has been making music with various bands (The Experiment/Light a big fire) since the mid-1980s. In the noughties he released three critically acclaimed albums with Dublin band Saville, with the last two being released on the legendary Reekus Records. Over the last couple of years Ken has been playing solo gigs, honing the songs which appeared on his first solo album ‘The Last Night at the Gentlemen’s Club’ released in August 2019. The songs on the album were written and performed by Ken with assistance from Ingmar Kiang ( Bob Marley, U2, Damien Dempsey) who recorded and mixed the album at his Hey Nineteen studio in Greystones. It recently made album of the week on RTE Radio 1, in addition to receiving favorable reviews from various publications.

Vinnie McCabe Festival of Politics Dublin 2019


Crossing Borders Pt 1

Vinnie has over 45 years experience since training in the Abbey Theatre under Frank Dermody. His career includes leading theatre and tv roles at the Abbey Theatre, Belfast Opera House, Belltable, Bush, Chicago Playhouse, Cork Opera House, Civic, Druid, Traverse, Focus, Gaiety, Hawk’s Well, ICA, London Arts Theatre, Olympia, Pavilion, Project Arts Centre, Royal Court Theatre, Tricycle London, Watford Palace, Rte, BBC, German TV and more. Vinnie represented Ireland in International Arts Theatre Festivals in Italy, Poland, England, Scotland and Germany. His TV roles include Pat Bannister in Strumpet City, Paddy Maher in Glenroe and Seamus McAleer in Fair City. Films include Michael Collins, Butcher Boy, Pigs, Our Boys, Into the West, Durango, Run of the Country, Flick, Not Afraid Not Afraid, Bad Karma, Game of Thrones and Alice in Chains. In June 2018 Vinnie founded the Ninette De Valois Festival of Dance in collaboration with Blessington and District Forum. In November 2018 Vinnie directed Jury PM ( Tony Guerin) for Festival of Politics.


Humans of Politics

Mike Nesbitt was born in Belfast in 1957, just in time to grow up through the Troubles. He had a varied career before entering politics: BBC Sports; Presenter Good Morning Ulster on Radio Ulster; Managing Director Anderson Kenny Public Relations; Presenter UTV News & Current Affairs; Commissioner for Victims and Survivors. In 2010, Mike joined the Ulster Unionist Party; in 2011 he was voted into the Northern Ireland Assembly for Strangford constituency and in March 2012 was elected Party Leader, a position he held until his resignation in April 2017. Mike is married to former broadcaster and university lecturer Lynda Bryans. They have two sons, PJ (22) and Chris (20).

David Norris Festival of Politics Dublin 2019


Humans of Politics

Senator David Norris, is a member of the Trinity College Dublin University Panel in Seanad Eireann since 1987. As the longest serving member of Seanad Eireann he became “Father of the House” in 2011. He was Senior Lecturer in the Department of English in Trinity College Dublin from 1968 to 1996. Senator Norris has twice been a member of the Board of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He is one of Ireland’s leading Joyce scholars, was Founding Chairman of the James Joyce Centre and the North Great Georges Street Preservation Society, and was the longest serving Chairman of Friends of the Library Trinity College Dublin. His main areas of concern are national and international human and civil rights, equality issues, including for gay and lesbian people and the conservation of Dublin’s architectural heritage. He studied the piano with the late Lily Huban at the Reade Pianoforte School in Harcourt Street. He was a candidate in the Irish Presidential election 2011 and in 2012 his autobiography ‘A Kick Against the Pricks’ was published which has been nominated for several prizes. In 2015 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Trinity College Dublin.

John Carr Festival of Politics Dublin 2019


Moderator; Crossing Borders Pt 1

Former principal of Belgrove Boys School in Clontarf, John Carr became an active member of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO), (an all island teacher trade union) and became its General Secretary in 2001. During this period he was elected President of Dublin Council of Trade Unions (DCTU), served on the executive committee of ICTU and the Governing Body of University College Dublin (UCD) and was Ireland’s teacher representative on the Pan European Section of Educational International and a council member of the European Trade Union Committee on Education (EUTCE). Former Chair of Preparing for Life, he currently serves on the Board of the Northside Centre for the Unemployed. He acted as independent chair of the National Drug Strategy; currently chairs the Quality Development Out Of School Services (QDOSS), and chaired a recent GAA Committee entitled Towards 150.

Chris Hudson Festival of Politics Dublin 2019


Crossing Borders Pt 1

Chris Hudson is Minister of All Souls’ Church, Belfast and is presently Moderator of the Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland including Unitarian Churches in Dublin and Cork. He was instrumental in discussions with the Loyalist Paramilitary Organisation, the UVF, in bringing them towards their ceasefire in 1994. He is still in dialogue with Loyalists assisting them towards transformation. Chris received an MBE from His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, he also received The Lord Mayor’s Award from Tomás Mac Giolla was an Irish Workers’ Party politician who served as Lord Mayor of Dublin from 1993 to 1994. Both of the awards were for his work on the Peace Train and peace in Northern Ireland. He has been very supportive of LGBT  Rights in Northern Ireland. Hudson was for many years a Trade Union Official with the Communications Workers Union in Dublin. In earlier years he has written for the stage in Dublin. He is a regular contributor to the BBC including “Thought For The Day”. He writes occasionally for the press.

Mary Coughlin Festival of Politics 2019


Crossing Borders Pt 1

Humans of Politics

Born in Donegal, Mary is the daughter of Cathal Coughlan, former TD and Niece of Clem Coughlan, also a former TD. She was educated in the Ursuline College Sligo, and U.C.D. where she studied Social Science. Following her Father’s unexpected death she was co –opted to Donegal County Council in October 1986 and remained in the council until 2001. Elected to Dail Eireann in 1987, she was a sitting TD until 2011, with a diverse array of portfolios. Minister for State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht 2001-2002. Minister for Social Welfare 2002-2004. Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries 2004-2008. Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment 2008-2010. Minister for Education and Skills 2010-2011. Tánaiste 2008-2011. She is currently Chairperson of the Local Link Network, board member of Seirbhis Iompair Teoranta, board member of the British – Irish Trade Alliance and Chairperson of the Expert advisory group for Gateway Organisation.

Senator Francis Black Festival of Politics 2019


Humans of Politics

Frances Black is an Independent Senator, singer and founder of the RISE Foundation, a charitable organisation working with people with a loved one in addiction. A strong advocate for social justice and equality, she was elected to the 25th Seanad in 2016, the first female Independent from the Seanad’s panel system in the history of the state. Senator Black is passionate about being a voice for the vulnerable, and continues to work with organisations in the voluntary and charitable sectors alongside her work in Seanad Éireann.


Crossing Borders Pt 1

Noni was born in Cork. She trained at The Gaiety School of Acting and is an Irish Theatre Institute, Six in the Attic alumnus. Theatre highlights include The Odd Couple (Everyman Cork),  The Noble Call (DRTTC) Lizzy Lavelle and the Vanishing of  Emlyclough (Performance Corporation); The Good Father (Tangent NY). Recent screen roles include two seasons, guest starring as Gladys Murray in Sky Atlantic’s Penny Dreadful, and Hawkeyes in Cathy Bradys feature WildfireAs a writer/performer; her one-woman show Charolaiswon the Stewart Parker Award, the Little Gem Award and Best Monologue Bouquet (Ed Fringe). A Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist, it was directed-developed by Bairbre Ní Chaoimh and published by Bloomsbury. She co-wrote One For Sorrow and Two For A Girl, (Jayne Snowe Award nominee, published by Stinging Fly). Both plays were directed/dramaturged by Maureen White.


Interviewer,The Reporter Who Knew Too Much

Sarah Carey is a broadcaster, columnist and regular contributor to Irish and international media. She is a columnist for The Irish Independent and has previously written for The Sunday Independent, The Irish Times and The Sunday Times, and occasionally The Daily Telegraph. For six years she presented the critically praised Talking Point on Newstalk. Sarah has a degree in history from Trinity College, Dublin. She began her career in telecommunications and technology, working in both Dublin and California

Beibhinn Byrne Festival of Politics Dublin 2019


Sunday Service

Beibhinn Byrne is a freelance journalist and editor for many years across print, radio and television. She is currently print editor at NewsFour. A self-described political junkie, dancer, talker, walker andfoodie, Beibhinn also founded and ran the SuperNatural Food Market, the local organic market on Pearse St.

Pat Coyle Festival of Politics Dublin 2019


Jesus Christ Political Superstar?

Pat Coyle is Director of Communications for the Irish Jesuits. Her academic background was mainly in philosophy, and a great part of her professional background was as a journalist, producer and presenter with RTE, BBC and UTV. She is a mother of two.

Patsy McGarry Festival of Politics Dublin 2019


Jesus Christ Political Superstar?

Patsy McGarry has been Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times since 1997 and has been with the newspaper since 1994. Prior to that he reported for Magill magazine, the Irish Press, the Irish Independent, and Sunday Independent. He was awarded a national journalism award for political comment and analysis in 1993 and the European religion writer of the year award in 1998. Author of three books, the most recent a biography of former President Mary McAleese, published in 2008, he edited a collection of essays on Christianity, published in 2001. He frequently appears on local radio as well as national radio and TV.


Jesus Christ Political Superstar?

The Rev Dr Katherine P Meyer is minister of Christ Church, Sandymount, a united Presbyterian and Methodist congregation in Dublin.  She previously served as the Presbyterian and Methodist member of the ecumenical Chaplaincy team at Trinity College, working alongside Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic colleagues. Her doctoral research explored the use of scripture in the churches, with particular reference to its internal dynamics of interpretation and dissent.