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UCD Centre for the History of the Media


These seminars will take place in semester 2 on Wednesdays, K114, School of History and Archives, Newman Building, University College Dublin. All are very welcome to attend.


  1. Pat Leahy (Political Editor, Sunday Business Post), Chasing Bertie Ahern.

Pat Leahy is one of the leading political journalists in Ireland and is the author of the best-selling book, Showtime: the Inside Story of Fianna Fáil in Power. He will talk about working as a journalist, primarily in Dáil Éireann, and the various aspects of his job, including his relationship with politicians, the development of sources, the libel laws and the challenge of new media.

  1. Fiona Mitchell (News Editor, RTÉ News), How do stories make the Six-One News?

Fiona Mitchell has worked as a journalist and editor in Dublin for more than ten years, initially with TV3 and then with RTÉ. She is a former history graduate and will examine how her training as a historian has helped her in her work as a news editor. In particular, she will examine the editorial process in RTÉ and will evaluate the reasons why some stories make the news (and in what order), while others don’t.

  1. Rónán O’Brien (Chief Advisor to Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform), History and Policy-making

Rónán O’Brien is a history graduate who previously worked as Chief Advisor to Ruairi Quinn when he was leader of the Labour Party and as the Communications Manager of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland. He will talk about the manner in which public policy is made in Ireland, with reference to recent policy initiatives.

  1. Paul Daly (Communications Consultant), The art of spin

Paul Daly is a Communications Consultant who has worked for almost two decades with a variety of politicians, political parties, professional organisations and private clients. He is the author of Creating Ireland: the words and events that shaped us, which documented the political, social and cultural history of Ireland through the prism of Dáil Éireann. He will examine the use of spin in Irish and British politics.

  1. Paschal Donohoe (Fine Gael TD for Dublin North Central), Use and Abuse: Politicians and the Media

Pascal Donohoe topped the poll in the Dublin North Central constituency in the 2011 General Election. He has written articles, book reviews and pamphlets, including ‘Should the 31st Dáil be the default Dáil?’ He will talk about the way in which politicians seek to use the media, how new media and social media have changed the way politicians communicate and what it is like to be at the centre of a media storm.