Our nearest neighbour seems to be in an ongoing state of division and uncertainty for the last number of years, a situation which has been further exacerbated by the COVID–19 pandemic. With the arrival of Brexit, where to next for an increasingly disunited kingdom?

John Lanchester, novelist and journalist, known for explaining the 2007 financial crisis to us all and Fintan O’Toole, one of Ireland’s best–known journalists, known for explaining Brexit and its roots to us all, are joined in conversation by Martina Fitzgerald, author of Madame Politician, a study of Irish female politicians.

This First Thought Talk was recorded in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's Autumn Edition. First Thought Talks are presented in association with Festival Education Partner NUI Galway. 

What happened in Ireland during the Spanish Flu pandemic just over 100 years ago? Who died, how, and what did the authorities do to manage the disease? Did we learn from that experience? Will we learn from this one?

Dr. Ida Milne, historian and author of Stacking the Coffins: Influenza, War and Revolution in Ireland, and Fergal Bowers, RTÉ Health Correspondent, are joined in conversation with Dr. Caitriona Clear of NUI Galway, a pioneering social historian of ordinary Irish people.

This First Thought Talk was recorded in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's Autumn Edition. First Thought Talks are presented in association with Festival Education Partner NUI Galway. 

Ireland’s participation in the soccer World Cup in Italy in 1990, 30 years ago, was a defining time for the country, leading to community bonding, national pride and general elation.

Jack Charlton, alas no longer with us, became an object of national veneration for getting us so far in the competition before Italy put a stop to our gallop. The Irish fans distinguished themselves as fans and revellers; even when we lost, we won.

Colm Tóibín and Eamon Dunphy were there as journalists, and they had an interesting time!

In this episode, Colm and Eamon are interviewed via video by Mark Duncan, Director of Century Ireland and co–curator of the forthcoming exhibition on Italia 90 at the Little Museum of Dublin. 

This First Thought Talk was presented in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's once-off Autumn Edition. 

The grotesque murder of George Floyd, filmed by a brave 17–year–old girl, shocked the world into a fresh realisation of racism and its consequences in the United States. We also need to look nearer to home and to articulate and hear what people of colour have experienced here in Ireland.

In this episode, Tobi LawalFelicia Olusanya and Amanda Adewole discuss how they have experienced racism in Ireland. The panel is joined in conversation by Róisín Ingle, Irish Times journalist and founder and producer of the brilliant Women’s Podcast.

Find out more about Doras and MASI by visiting doras.org and masi.ie. 

This conversation was recorded in front of a live audience in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's Autumn Edition. Find out more: https://www.giaf.ie/festival/event/black-lives-matter-experiences-of-racism-in-ireland

The majority in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU but has failed to insist on a course which is, arguably, very much in its best interests. What are the divisions within Northern society that have led to the current situation, and how will Brexit play out for the different communities there?

In this episode, we'll hear from Glenn Paterson, novelist and author of Backstop Land and Claire Hanna, SDLP MP for Belfast South. Dave O’Connell, Editor of the Connacht Tribune, moderates the discussion. Claire Hanna participated in the event via video. 

This First Thought Talk took place in front of a live audience in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's Autumn Edition. See more: https://www.giaf.ie/festival/event/brexit-and-the-north

How has Ireland managed the novel coronavirus COVID–19? Were we ready for it? Did the government make the right choices? What isthe science now on the virus?

In this episode, hear from Luke O’Neill, Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin, Dr. Catherine Motherway, intensive care specialist at University Hospital, Limerick, Paul Moynagh, Professor of Biology at Maynooth University, and Dr. Mary Favier, President of the Irish College of General Practitioners, in conversation with David McCullagh, historian and RTÉ presenter.

This talk was recorded in front of a live audience in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's Autumn Edition. More: https://www.giaf.ie/festival/event/pandemic-reflections-2-covid-19

100 years ago this 21 November, over 30 people were killed in three separate events: the assassination of British intelligence agents by Michael Collins’ Squad in the morning, the shooting in reprisal of civilians at a match in Croke Park in the afternoon, and the torture and killing of Dick McKee, Peadar Clancy and Conor Clune at Dublin Castle that night.

History is turning its gaze on violence and its effects during this turbulent period. In this episode, two eminent historians enlighten us about new perspectives on what happened that day. Paul Rouse, Professor at the School of History at University College Dublin and Anne Dolan, Associate Professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin are joined in conversation with Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin.

This talk was recorded in front of a live audience in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's Autumn Edition. More: https://www.giaf.ie/festival/event/bloody-sunday-1920

How do we think about the domestic situation in the United States, and America’s role in the world, as the November 2020 presidential election approaches?

Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize–winning author, Harvard professor, and US Ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama from 2013-2017, will discuss the current state of America and her recent fascinating memoir, The Education of an Idealist, with Áine Lawlor, broadcaster and journalist.

Samantha Power and Áine Lawlor participated in this event via video.

This talk was recorded in front of a live audience in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's Autumn Edition. More: https://www.giaf.ie/festival/event/the-state-of-the-us

The US election in November of this year will be one of the most consequential in many years. Can Trump be beaten by Joe Biden? If he is, will he accept the result? If not, what then?

In this episode, hear from Marion McKeone of the Business Post, one of the leading reporters on the US political situation, in conversation with Larry Donnelly, lecturer in law at NUI Galway and frequent media commentator on US affairs.

This talk was recorded in front of a live audience in September 2020 as part of Galway International Arts Festival's Autumn Edition. Presented in association with Festival Education Partner NUI Galway. See more:  https://www.giaf.ie/festival/event/will-trump-win-again

One of the last remaining Holocaust survivors living in Ireland, Tomi Reichental did not speak about his experiences for many years after immigrating. Decades later, he went on to take part in a documentary about his attempts to meet one of his jailers. In this episode, recorded at Galway International Arts Festival in July 2018, Reichental speaks with human rights lawyer Saul Woolfson about his experiences in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and what he thinks about 21st century politics.

 

Please note that this subject matter may be upsetting to some listeners. Listener discretion is advised. 

To watch the Q&A with Tomi Reichental, and for more First Thought Talks, visit the Galway International Arts Festival website on giaf.ie https://www.giaf.ie/talks/first-thought-talk-with-tomi-reichental

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