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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

# the explainer

Last year
The Explainer: Why is Ireland so obsessed with Garth Brooks?
Listen in to hear Christina Finn and Alan Corr explain more.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: Why are Irish unweaned calves being exported?
Noteworthy’s Niall Sargent and vet Dr Alexander Rabitsch tell Susan Daly about animal welfare concerns in the growing trade to Europe.
The Explainer: How have abortion laws changed in the US since Roe V Wade was overturned?
Listen in to hear US-based journalist Marion McKeone explain.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: Are religious property proceeds going to redress?
Noteworthy’s Maria Delaney tells Susan Daly about how over €90 million worth of properties were sold.
The Explainer: Why has polio reappeared in some major cities' sewage systems?
Listen in to hear epidemiologist Dr Kathleen O’Reilly explain what it might mean.
The Explainer: What's being done to stop the spread of monkeypox?
Over 100 cases have now been reported in Ireland.
The Explainer: What makes Love Island so successful?
Listen in to hear from Love Island expert, podcaster Orlaith Condon.
The Explainer: Is Ireland heading towards another recession?
This week we discussed how different a possible recession could look compared to the post-2008 downturn.
The Explainer: What do the recent extreme temperatures tell us about future Irish summers?
How frequent will heatwaves become, and how quickly can we turn the tide?
The Explainer: Will Dublin’s metro actually be built this time around?
Listen in to hear public transport expert Brian Caulfield of Trinity College Dublin explain.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: Is Ireland a dumping ground for poultry manure?
Noteworthy’s Niall Sargent and journalist Ella McSweeney tell Susan Daly about concerns over the cross-border poultry manure trade.
The Explainer: Why are energy prices still going up?
Listen in to our interview with Daragh Cassidy of to find out more.
The Explainer: What Roe v Wade being overturned could mean for other US laws
The landmark decision means Americans no longer have a constitutional right to abortion.
The Explainer: Why was Roe v Wade overturned - and what could it mean for US laws?
Listen in to our interview with Dr David Kenny of Trinity College School of Law to find out more.
The Explainer: What's the future of EU defence - and how does Ireland play a role?
On this week’s episode, former army officer Tom Clonan talks to Michelle Hennessy about how the European Union’s defence strategy is evolving.
The Explainer: Why is it so hard to take action on mass shootings in the US?
Our columnist Larry Donnelly talks to Michelle Hennessy about gun laws in the USA this week on the podcast.
The Explainer: What is Sláintecare and how does it aim to reform Ireland’s health system?
Unsure what Sláintecare is? Listen in to hear Liam Doran explain to presenter Michelle Hennessy.
The Explainer: Why isn't Ireland winning the Eurovision Song Contest?
Listen to find out some of the surprising reasons why.
The Explainer: What does the election result mean for the future of Northern Ireland?
Listen in to be brought up to speed about the weekend’s seismic election result.
The Explainer: In the age of disinformation and misinformation, how does factchecking work?
The Good Information Project has been looking at the fight against misinfo and disinfo, and this week on the podcast we’re taking a look at how factchecking and how it works.
The Explainer: What is the situation like for people fleeing Ukraine now?
Listen to hear what reporter Céimin Burke saw while reporting from the Polish-Ukrainian border last week.
The Explainer: Why is cutting turf so bad for the environment?
Listen to hear what Dr Raymond Flynn of Queen’s University Belfast has to say about the topic.
The Explainer: How are war crimes investigated and prosecuted?
Listen to expert Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway explain.
The Explainer: Is there a significant revival of the Irish language underway?
Listen here for a discussion on how interest sa Ghaeilge is flourishing, and how the State can harness that.
Higher prices for meats and dairy products in Ireland 'beginning to happen already'
The disruption to the supply of wheat and other grains will affect other agri-products, Teagasc explained to The Journal.
The Explainer: How secure is Ireland’s food supply?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused disruptions to global wheat supplies, which in turn has caused prices to surge. Russia also produces a significant proportion of the key ingredients in fertilisers.
The Explainer: Is the internet bad for our brains?
Listen here to find out from cyberpsychology researcher and lecturer Dr Nicola Fox Hamilton.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: How is inadequate care impacting people with eating disorders?
Noteworthy’s Maria Delaney tells Susan Daly about the chaotic state of services through people’s experiences.
The Explainer: What is life like for people staying in Ukraine - and those who have left?
Listen here to find out how life is on the ground for people living in Ukraine, and those who have crossed the border.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: How are public maintenance works impacting river biodiversity?
Noteworthy’s Anthea Lacchia and An Taisce’s Elaine McGoff tell Susan Daly about how arterial drainage works are changing our waterways.
The Explainer: How did a truckers’ protest in Canada spread to other countries?
Listen here to find out how external forces helped spread these trucker protests across Canada – and around the world.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: What can be done to improve childcare in Ireland?
Noteworthy’s Peter McGuire and Professor Mathias Urban tell Susan Daly about the challenges facing Ireland’s childcare system.
The Explainer: What’s driving the rising prices in Ireland?
Listen in to hear what it has to do with inflation – and what inflation is – on this week’s podcast.
The Explainer: What can Ireland do to become a safer place for women?
We speak to Orla O’Connor, director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland to get a sense of what more can be done – from the courts to domestic abuse services – but how ultimately there are no quick fixes.
The Explainer: Why is Ireland reopening now - and how do people feel about it?
Listen in to hear behavioural scientist Pete Lunn and immunologist Christine Loscher give us the latest info and research on the reopening.
The Explainer: Healthcare staff on what it's like working during the Omicron wave
Click to listen to a GP, a paramedic, an emergency medicine consultant, and the head of an intensive care unit talk about how our hospitals are coping with the Omicron wave.
The Explainer: What led to violent unrest in Kazakhstan?
Click to listen to our interview with former Kazakhstan resident, and expert in post-Soviet countries, professor Donnacha Ó Beacháin.
The Explainer: What can we learn from South Africa’s Omicron wave?
Can we say for definite now that Omicron is milder than other variants?
The Explainer x Noteworthy: Why are people still paying thousands for fertility treatment?
Noteworthy’s Maria Delaney tells Susan Daly about how the private fertility sector is making millions as patients are left in debt.
All time
The Explainer: Our favourite explanations of the year
Here are some of the best bits of The Explainer from 2021.