Friday 24 May 2019

O'Gorman finds happy ending in Bantry

Radio

Paddy O'Gorman
Paddy O'Gorman
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Most people tend to cross the street when they see rough-looking types or homeless beggars. It may not be particularly kind, but that's the way things are.

But then you could argue that Paddy O'Gorman, roving reporter and excavator of hidden stories on Today With Sean O'Rourke (Radio 1, Mon-Fri 10am), isn't like most people.

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Much of what we now call social-justice journalism often comes with the patronising air of middle-class journalists treating their subjects as case studies or simply victims who have no agency of their own.

O'Gorman, as he reminded us on Monday's visit to Bantry courthouse to grill the reluctant attendees, talks to them like they're real human beings.

In many ways, he's Irish radio's equivalent of New York journalist Jimmy Breslin who made his name talking to the forgotten people and as listeners discovered this week, O'Gorman makes a difficult job sound easy.

Amidst the usual small-town crimes, there was the case of one woman due to be sentenced for launching an unprovoked attack on a stranger. It then emerged that she had started drinking when she was 10, had no family to speak of and was due to be jailed until a man in the court offered to provide her with a safe and clean place to stay.

It was a happy ending - and probably the only one O'Gorman enjoyed this week. Viewers of his TV shows will remember his trusty canine sidekick Snoop, who sadly died a few days ago.

Mortality of the two-legged kind has been in the air this week following the deaths of The Cure drummer Andy Anderson and Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis.

The Tom Dunne Show (Newstalk, Mon-Thur, 10pm-midnight) opened Wednesday's show with tracks by both bands and this prompted a deluge of texts from listeners with their own memories.

Dunne is a laid-back broadcaster, and it's good to hear him back on the airwaves following his recent serious heart problems. Although given the gravity of his illness, I'm sure the Something Happens singer would have preferred not to be discussing the death of two musicians...

On The Hard Shoulder (Newstalk, Mon-Fri, 4-7pm) Ivan Yates was joined by Terry Prone to discuss the Monica Lewinsky affair from 20 years ago.

At one point, Prone referred to the vicious treatment meted out to Lewinsky and said that she "effectively became synonymous with slapperdom".

Lewinsky was in Dublin that day, and one could only hope she was in a taxi listening to the item.

How do you explain "slapperdom" to an American?

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