Podcasts might have been new once, but now even your Mammy listens to them. Ireland punches way above its weight in the podcast game, given how few of us there are, so we decided to do a rundown of the best that our nation has to offer to the iTunes stores, or wherever you get your podcasts (:tm:).
We thought about what we want from a podcasts, and immediately discounted all of the murder/true crime genre. Firstly, the amount of interest that people have in that sort of stuff is weird, especially when there's a subgenre of highly profitable podcasts that seem to think that the whole thing is a bit of a jape, and secondly because we live in a place with basically zero murders - Ireland only averages about 40 in a whole year. It's a non-starter.
What we do have loads of, however, is emigrants: no nation has so successfully exported its own people as we have. In fact, it's estimated that Ireland has the highest ratio of diaspora to inhabitants in the world: somewhere in the region of 40 million Americans said that they were Irish in their last census, and there's only about 5 million of us, so that's nine to one before you even count the 1 in 9 people in the UK with Irish heritage - how'd them Blue Passports look now over there, eh? Jarlath Regan's An Irishman Abroad podcast has been fighting the good fight with our diaspora since 2013, providing top notch interviews of Irish people and people of Irish descent across sports, music, Hollywood and more. He's spoken to basically everyone you can think of, and the archive is well worth digging back through.
One of his most celebrated guests was Tommy Tiernan, who also has his own pod. He co-hosts with Hector O hEochagain - imaginatively, it's called The Tommy & Hector Podcast - and Laurite Blewitt. Tommy and Hector went to school together and now are the other side of 40, so they decided to sit together in a shed in the West of Ireland and have a chat, share stories and general enjoy life. It's a slice of uniquely Irish joy, without ever pushing over into the sort of paddywhackery that that might imply.
Of course, any list of Irish podcasts would be pointless without mentioning our greatest radio export - Blindboy. His podcast was part of the first initial wave that moved the format from hipster artform to mainstream media, and it has only got better with time. The Rubberbandits comedian sits down every week to expand the constraints of the very podcast format: you'll get interviews, you'll get short fiction, you'll get social commentary, you'll get everything. Except true crime. Because that's a load of shite.
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