Alan Hughes as Sammy Sausages, Mary Byrne as Fairy Mary and Rob Murphy as Buffy in the Cheerios Panto Snow White and the Adventures of Sammy Sausages & Buffy

Alan Hughes’s long-running pantomime uses raucous humour to winning effect

Pat Kenny’s interview with the   CEO of emigrant support charity Safe Home Ireland  turns into an unexpectedly spirited encounter

Newstalk host is at his most logical during spirited encounter, while Vicky Phelan tells her story to the world in BBC documentary

Tuned in: Eoghan McDermott, Miriam O’Callaghan, Matt Cooper, Ciara Kelly, Tracy Clifford and Ivan Yates

Year in Culture Review: The news station proved a raucous alternative to staid formulaic radio

Rugby players  Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding: their trial and acquittal was the subject of “Documentary on One: Notes from a Belfast Rape Trial”. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Radio Review: Presenter finds her old fire over sex assault cases as terms gender gap emerges

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of the charges

Review: Airing of explicit detail in this documentary risks voyeurism, but is justified

Ray D’Arcy: fed up with the Angelus. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/RTÉ

Radio Review: Presenter’s irritation at religious slot brings him to life, while Sean O’Rourke needs time to reflect on his show’s(...)

George Hook: helped establish Newstalk first as a local presence, then a national one.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Mick Heaney: The attention-loving shock-jock has announced his retirement. It’s overdue

Joe Duffy talks to Bernie McNally, who was injured in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings of 1974, about her criticisms of a new Junior Certificate history textbook which fails to mention the atrocity, which left 34 people dead

Radio Review: RTÉ presenters look at historical events from different angles but both bring welcome perspectives

Henry McKean: Unfailingly courteous yet anxiously scatty

Radio review: Newstalk’s Henry McKean reports from inside ‘a sardine can on wheels’

“If the dodo goes, maybe we’ll get a better-looking ostrich”: Ivan  Yates’s attitude comes across as indifferent rather than inquiring. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The Newstalk presenter is in jocular mood about wild animals being wiped out

Ciara Kelly: Shows a  good bedside manner but keeps a firm hand on proceedings

Newstalk presenter uses her medical background to telling effect, while Sean O’Rourke sticks to the grim facts

Joe Duffy: Holding a mirror to Irish life

Review: Duffy is getting his practice in for his role in the upcoming Snow White panto

RTÉ  environment editor  George Lee warned on Morning Ireland the end of the world is nigh

Radio: The environment editor’s voice dips more than usual as he relays the imminent Armageddon

Bobby Kerr: The Newstalk radio host’s cheery unflappability belies his business nous and worldly experience.

The Dragon not running for president brings a genial appeal to his Newstalk show

Mining Stories: Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere’s show about a dam collapse in Brazil in 2015 is thought-provoking and emotionally resonant

Dublin Theatre Festival: Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere bring a light touch to their weighty material

In inviting the pair of economists on to his show, Sean O’Rourke is acting as Don King-style fight promoter as much as honest umpire. Photograph: RTÉ

Presenter proves hell hath no fury like an economist scorned, as Volt fails to impress Moncrieff

Emmanuel Dzotsi and Sarah Koenig

Review: The long-form US crime podcast has gone back to basics. A little too basic, actually

Peaches Christ Superstar: the performer’s charismatic personality shines through. Photograph: Angel Ceballos

Dublin Fringe Festival: Transgressive electro artist brings bravura spirit to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical

The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene depends on a nicely balanced chemistry

The home of Nicky Byrne, Jenny Greene and Eoghan McDermott has some unlikely fans

My Dad’s Blind:  Anna Sheils-McNamee and David O’Meara. Photograph: Ste Murray

Dublin Fringe Festival: Two-hander is marked by visual flair and dark comedy

Robert Ballagh. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

The artist and political activist has written his ‘reluctant memoir’ at 75. It’s dominated by one major absence: his wife and arti(...)

Paul Williams and Shane Coleman

It can be easy to forget that Shane Coleman and Paul Williams have formidable news pedigrees

Running + Walking In The Phoenix Park: doesn’t so much go nowhere fast as saunter around in circles at a gentle trot

Dublin Fringe: Multimedia drama on traversing Dublin’s municipal space has absorbing elements but eventually wears thin

Ireland’s Call: Written and performed by John Connors, the story is a familiar one

Dublin Fringe Festival: John Connors lends a charismatic presence to his polemical portrait of urban deprivation

Brendan Galileo for Europe: Fionn Foley tells performs multiple roles with comic gusto. Photograph: Cáit Fahey

Dublin Fringe Festival: Fionn Foley is irresistible as an anti-establishment politician

Ray D’Arcy:  ‘Like a good counsellor, D’Arcy makes the guest – and the listener – feel better’

D’Arcy doles out the advice while admirably brisk Mary Wilson is baffled by midlife crises

Eoghan Murphy: sounded properly annoyed with O’Callaghan’s line of questioning. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

O’Callaghan shows a different kind of class in her inteview with Jastine Valdez’s parents

The clipped style of Morning Ireland presenter Gavin Jennings doesn’t naturally set guests at ease. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Radio review: Presenter Gavin Jennings asserts his authority on ‘Morning Ireland’

Niall Boylan:  suggests opening a small prison on an offshore location such as Spike Island and harsh treatment there for those who have committed the most vile crimes.

Radio: 4FM’s Niall Boylan invites Hopkins on to discuss race relations. It’s shock-jock overkill

In this November 2017 photo, Aretha Franklin attends the Elton John Aids Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Gala in New York. Photograph:  Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Mick Heaney: Her impact went far beyond music – she changed the world around her

Overall, Miriam O’Callaghan reshapes the Today programme into a wider-ranging magazine show.

Presenter brings overlooked strengths to ‘Today’ show, while Liveline has unlikely glow

Newstalk and TV3 current affairs presenter Pat Kenny. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Radio review:Pat Kenny proves stimulating company while Jordan Peterson interview breathes life into Marian Finucane’s show

Review: Phillip McMahon's story of a returning emigrant offers few innovations but vivid performances and resonant dialogue

 Mario Rosenstock

Radio Review: Rosenstock’s wit, invention and observation are absent from his radio show

Tinnitus: “akin to hosting a never-ending concert of avant-garde minimalist drones in your head”

Radio Review: A compelling documentary about the hearing condition; Lyric uses sound to re-create visions

Ivan Yates is frustrated at this outbreak of reasoned analysis, chiding his guest for forgetting his journalistic imperative as the silly season beckons

Radio review: “Do people ever stop bitching?” asks Yates. Has he met Mr Pot and Mr Kettle?

Liveline: Joe Duffy leads off by warning listeners who are eating to cover their ears, and rightly so

Radio review: Joe Duffy listeners share stomach-churning stories of abusive passengers

Pat Kenny in his Newstalk studio. Photograph: Frank Miller

Kenny describes attending a festival in the 1970s with “a dopehead” who had taken acid

Ryan Tubridy was upbeat, giddy and flippant, ramping up the feelgood factor without a hint of sarcasm or scepticism.

Meanwhile, Muireann O’Connell is unembarrassed on Today FM

Philip Boucher-Hayes: He’s not Joe Duffy, but he’s a good Phil-in

Stand-in host brings distinctive spin to adoption and referendum issues, but Gay Byrne remains the old master

 Pat Kenny: the emphasis is on “what ifs” as much as what actually happened. Photograph: Frank Miller

Radio Review: Pat Kenny – being Pat Kenny – goes off on a bizarre tangent on Jastine Valdez’ migration status

Writer Maureen Dowd: unpredictable enough to be both insightful and entertaining as a radio guest. Photograph: Getty Images

Radio review: Sean O’Rourke discusses Trump’s America with Maureen Dowd and Ronan Farrow

 John McGuirk in the No campaign HQ, ‘Life House’, Gardiner Place, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Radio review: Presenter Matt Cooper has fractious exchanges with anti-abortion campaigner

Vicky Phelan is going to concentrate on her own treatment now, she tells D’Arcy: “I won’t have achieved anything with what I’ve done if I’m not alive.”

Joe Duffy, Ray D’Arcy and Mary Wilson highlight different aspects of the controversy

Shane Coleman: he talked to psychotherapist Joanne Fortune about a survey that shows one-fifth of Irish teens get their sex education from the internet

Radio review: Paul Williams and Shane Coleman blend news and jocular slagging

Keeping it country: Big Tom on stage at Cork Opera House (1981).

Radio review: Suprisingly, the RTÉ presenter is the ideal person to pay tribute to Big Tom McBride

David Quinn: constructive criticism? Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Radio: The columnist find it strange he is ‘not allowed to say something good about men’

Pope Francis: the reaction is so muted that the closest thing to a wholehearted welcome comes from RTÉ’s resident religious sceptic, Ray D’Arcy. Photograph: Claudio Peri/Pool/AP Photo

Radio: No papal bull as radio presenters give muted welcome to pontiff’s visit

Ivan Yates: not so much a rebel as a disrupter who enthusiastically challenges pieties and sacred cows, particularly of the liberal stripe. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Radio review: Newstalk host’s insurgent style masks a complex persona

The biggest winner seems to be the sponsor, whose name gets as many mentions as Cheltenham itself

It’s an uneasy experience to hear a big online betting company given so much promotion

Leo Varadkar tells listeners: ‘I’ve been told there’s no threat to food security’; less reassuringly, he also remarks that ‘the Army is on standby’

Radio review: Varadkar favours snow talk over 2040 publicity campaign while Cormac Ó hEadhra enjoys a Brexit scrap

Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore

Giving the irreverent duo this high-profile slot underlines a shift in direction at Today FM

Late Debate: Katie Hannon, Fionnuala Sweeney and Sarah McInerney are the new hosts of the RTÉ Radio 1 show Katie Hannon, Fionnuala Sweeney and Sarah McInerney are the new hosts of the Late Debate on RTÉ Radio 1. Photograph: RTÉ

‘Late Debate’ takes a new direction; Joe Duffy hears painful stories of callous bureaucracy

Sabastian Barry. “The public role of a writer is always going to seem infinitely more relaxed than the public role of almost anything else.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The new Laureate for Irish Fiction on his predecessor, Anne Enright; his neuroses as a young writer; and the book that drove him t(...)

Nigel Farage’s appearance is something of let-down, at least for anyone expecting him to live down to his caricature as a blinkered, prejudiced little Englander. Photograph: Bryan Meade

Kenny decries the “hypocrisy” of Nigel Farage taking a European Parliament salary

'Where Ray D’Arcy once would mix folksy manner with prickly editorialising when holding court on his Today FM morning show, he has long sounded more constrained on  RTÉ Radio 1.' Photograph: Patrick Bolger/RTÉ

Radio Review: The former Today FM host sounds jaded on RTÉ Radio 1

Ryan Tubridy:  on the dangers of social media to young people, he would have been better taking a more grown-up approach.  Photograph: RTÉ

Radio: The presenter’s discussion on internet safety stokes deep parental fears

Dolores O’Riordan: described on Morning Ireland as “the lead singer of The Cranberries and mother of three children” as if motherhood conferred a value on her that might be lacking if she was merely a world-famous singer. Photograph: Jose Sena Goulao/EPA

Radio Review: Today FM deftly covers both events, but reminds us that old attitudes linger

‘Liveline’ host Joe Duffy is upset, but surely part of the frustration is that he knows his outrage is futile in the face of statutory processes. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Liveline host alarmed by crime experiences, while Kingsmill exercises Sean O’Rourke

George Hook’s show was less sit-in than nod-off. Photograph: The Irish Times

Controversial broadcaster’s underwhelming Newstalk comeback takes aim at familiar targets

Brenda Donohue encountered the perils of the post-Christmas slump as guest host of the Ray D’Arcy Show

Radio review: Seán Moncrieff’s choice of subjects is as esoteric as ever

Christmas came early for Ryan Tubridy  when the RTÉ presenter got to talk to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, the creator of the fictional presidential TV drama The West Wing. Photograph:  Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Gleeson reminds book lovers what they’ll be missing when she departs the airwaves

Miriam O’Callaghan: found the unique Shane MacGowan a difficult man to pin down when the former Pogues singer turned up on Sunday With Miriam.

His reticence is revealing in O’Callaghan’s most entertaining interview in a long time

Ivan Yates: once Northerners 'get out of their time warp they’re welcome to join a united Ireland'. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

They are ‘caught in a time warp between the Tricolour and Union Jack’, says the Newstalk host

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Photograph:  Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

The actor also alleged production was halted on ‘The Usual Suspects’ over Kevin Spacey’s behaviour

Social Democrat TD Róisín Shortall says the real issue is a “dysfunctional” Garda Síochána, a problem at “the heart of democracy”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Radio Review: Both O’Rourke and Cormac Ó hEadhra find politics difficult to stomach

Vincent Browne: his  interview on the Ray D’Arcy Show is a curious mix of fatalism, insight and curmudgeonly caricature, but never less than enjoyable

Vincent grumbles to Ray, while Muireann O’Connell is the new safe pair of hands in Al Porter's former Today FM slot

Pat Kenny: Reckons the young people of today have it too easy at home

Radio review: The Newstalk presenter reveals a novel view on property problems

Saved by the belligerent: Fionn Davenport’s  arid discussion of the Russian revolution on Inside Culture (RTÉ Radio 1, Monday) was enlivened by anti-communist firebrand Peter Hitchens.

Radio Review: After a slow start, the RTÉ presenter offers a vivid portrait of the Soviet Union

Actor Cillian Murphy: he ends up talking about himself quite a bit , from his youthful musical endeavours and early breaks to the demands of his profession and his best known roles

RADIO REVIEW: RTÉ host hears a folksy defence of the US president, while a once-controversial guest sounds conciliatory with Miria(...)

Ciara Kelly of Newstalk: in her first week Kelly has already left her searing stamp on her lunchtime slot

The GP turned broadcaster makes George Hook’s Newstalk slot her own

Sean O’Rourke sounds almost jaunty with a real story on his hands

Storm Ophelia brings out the best from radio’s presenters, as each show gives us their own take on Monday’s hurricane

Minister for Finance  Paschal Donohoe in an RTÉ studio. He faced tricky question from listeners of Today with Sean O’Rourke. Photograph:   Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Donohoe gives off the smug air that has marked many a ministerial radio appearance since Leo Varadkar became Taoiseach

Tressa (Seana Kerslake) with  Matt (Ryan Donaldson) and Scober MacAdam (Sean McGinley) in King of the Castle. Photograph: Robbie Jack

Druid’s production picks away at the tensions of rural life with a savage eye

Mary Wilson:  knows when to hold back and let her guest carry on

Radio review: The Las Vegas reports are radio that you wish you didn’t have to hear, but that’s hard to forget

Dr Ciara Kelly

Ciara Kelly is an assured on-air presence, a GP whose radio career is blossoming

The  mantras of the homeless desperately asking for money act as a  kind of Greek chorus. Photograph:  Aoife Herrity

A sprawling devised drama from Dublin Youth Theatre uses a large cast and vivid vignettes to illustrate timeless themes

Farmers from Bunclody on the third and final day of the National Ploughing Championships. Photograph: Alan Betson

The gruff interrogator seems to enjoy the Ploughing Championships but it doesn’t really suit him

Friday Night  Effect

Two plays that are tricky and smart in very different ways

The latest reviews including Birdy, Everything Now, Kicking All The Boxes, Raven Eyed and MDLSX

George Hook: his vow of on-air omertà has also apparently been taken by his colleagues. Photograph: Alan Betson

Radio review: A listener who missed the apology might not even know of the controversy

 Ivan Yates has had more comebacks than Sinatra.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘Straight-talking’ Yates helms Newstalk's early-evening The Hard Shoulder. It's a misnomer

 Newstalk’s Pat Kenny. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Radio Review: Ray D’Arcy gets emotional about HPV vaccine. Kenny defends accidental landlords

Don’t knock it: MMA fighter Conor McGregor. Photograph: John Locher/AP

Radio review: Tubridy's not bothered about projecting a mainstream image while on 2FM Conor McGregor’s friends and foes get in the(...)

“Do people still say ‘groovy’?”: Al Porter admits it’s an odd question from someone who’s only 24. Photograph: Twitter

Radio: Today FM’s star host fails to deliver, but Sean Moncrieff thrives

Bibi Baskin: The only problem with her appearance on RTÉ's Ray D’Arcy Show is that she’s not getting paid for it

Ray D’Arcy’s interview with former broadcaster shows what Irish radio is missing

Michael O’Leary of Ryanair: the Hamlet of mock indignation. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Radio review: Ryanair boss hogs the airwaves but meets his match in Sean O’Rourke

Alcohol limts: debate underlines our complicated relationship with drink

Drink driving coverage is illuminating and spirit-crushingly tedious

Pj Gallagher

Review: His wacky voices can be exhausting, but he can also be gut-bustingly funny

Pat Hickey at the men’s lightweight double sculls final at the Olympics in Rio. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Radio Review: It's was less Rumble in the Jungle and more Cakewalk on Newstalk

  Ryan Tubridy usually isn’t one to get flustered

Radio Review: The RTÉ host’s interview with Orla Brady turns cringeworthy

Richard Dawkins: a big fan of the son, if not the father. Photograph: Alan Betson

George Hook, decrying the erosion of civility, fails to practise what he preaches

Out to grass: Canadian lawn mower Theunis Wessels (above) proves a a tough interviewee for Ray D’Arcy.

Radio Review: Pointless conversations are not the wished-for antidote to horrific news

In his Nobel lecture, delivered by audio link, Bob Dylan says that songs are ‘unlike literature’. Photograph:  Lester Cohen/WireImage

In a gnarled voice, the ever-defiant songwriter explains his music and lyrics

Jennifer Zamparelli, Keith Walsh and Bernard O’Shea from Breakfast Republic on 2FM. Photograph: RTÉ

2FM's morning show is a joyless exercise, but the station has more appealing presenters waiting in the wings

Ellen Frey McCourt: “Right after Frank died, I found it difficult, because everyone wanted to celebrate him. So one could never really get away from it.”

Ellen Frey McCourt on the musical version of her late husband’s harrowing childhood memoir

'Seán Moncrieff reminded his audience that, as well as being a wry chronicler of contemporary foibles, he can handle hard news topics.' Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Radio review: RTÉ and Newstalk reports get across the full horror without histrionics

Philip Boucher Hayes shows his rational side when he stands in as host of ‘Liveline’.

Radio review: Liveline’s apparitions and Healy-Rae’s Last Word on road safety

On Wednesday, Pat Kenny discusses teenage sex in occasionally alarming detail. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Radio review: Newstalk host airs pet peeves, while Miriam hears of liaisons in Luggala

Jenny Greene and Nicky Byrne hosts of 2FM’s ‘The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene’

Radio review: 2FM duo stick to cheeky banter and Second Captains tog out for RTÉ’s first team

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