The Irish Passport

Irish culture and current affairs with the historical backstory that explains it all. Presented by journalist Naomi O Leary and lecturer Tim Mc Inerney, this is your passport to Ireland.


S3 Episode 4: Poetry and Pain

A Newry woman visits her big brother in Paris. The two share a drink and talk all night. The next morning, he leaves instructions for taking the metro, and disappears. His family never see him again.

The story of Anne Morgan’s 32-year search for her missing brother Seamus is just one told in this episode, the second in a two-part series on the theme of dealing with the past. We speak to Damien McNally of Belfast’s Wave Trauma Centre about how trauma can be passed down from one generation to the next, and the implications of providing front-line care while political deadlock prevents wider societal change. Historian Roy Foster of Oxford University discusses Ireland’s culture of dealing with the past and how it differs from the mood in Britain as Brexit looms. From historical inquiries to ‘Derry Girls’, we explore different routes to closure: through justice, truth-seeking, or creativity. This episode concludes with an exclusive reading by poet Gail McConnell of her poem about the Long Kesh breakout and the death of her father, ‘Start Out’.

This is the first of a two-part series on the issue of dealing with the past, dedicated to the memory of murdered journalist Lyra McKee. You can read ‘Suicide of the Ceasefire Babies’, the essay which inspired these episodes, at this link

Featuring editing by Alan Meaney . Special thanks to Emma Rainey of Fem-Vibes podcast for reading an excerpt of Lyra McKee’s writing for us.

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Season 3 of The Irish Passport podcast is made with the kind support of Biddy Murphy, online sellers of genuine Irish goods. Check them out on

The music you heard in this episode is Night II, by Swelling, and Serial Killer, by John Bartmann.

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 2019-07-01  1h4m