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Free State with Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning

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Free State with Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning

Free State is a podcast for the curious that stimulates, provokes, challenges and entertains, while never taking itself too seriously. Free State covers topics from sport to politics, love to loss, the human condition and how to fix the world, with guests from across the planet including Nigerian princes, former Prime Ministers, ex convicts, footballers, boxers and extraordinary people from every walk of life. Free State is presented by Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning. Brolly is a barrister, an original thinker with a fascinating backstory, who donated a kidney to a stranger and then led a crusade to transform organ d...

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Recent Episodes of Free State with Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning


Never say never again part 2. What we talk about when we don’t talk about Joe Biden

Never say never again part 2. What we talk about when we don’t talk about Joe Biden

When Keir Starmer visited Northern Ireland, it was a moment when it was possible to believe that things will start moving again. Casement Park will be built, maybe in time for the Euros in 2028 and the childish stunts of the recent past might not be tolerated with Hilary Benn as Secretary of State. Joe talks about why it’s important to distinguish between a politician like Gregory Campbell and honourable unionists. Joe explains why the SDLP would run a candidate against Sinn Fein even if it meant the leader of the Ku Klux Klan won the seat. And Dion mak...

Episode 115 11 July 2024 35m and 48s


Never say never again, part 1. The fall of the House of Paisley (and Harte)

Never say never again, part 1. The fall of the House of Paisley (and Harte)

In France, the far right have been rejected. In Britain, the Conservatives are gone. Keir Starmer visited the north this week and there is a new hope in Ireland that change is coming. But what about Derry? In Free State today, Joe and Dion look at the fall of the House of Paisley (and Mickey Harte). What do the election results tell us about Northern Ireland? And Joe explains why the election of one MP signals the end of the old destructive ways of doing politics.


This episode of Free State is sponsored by Manscaped. Visit...

Episode 114 9 July 2024 41m and 32s


And then there were four, part 2. The football factory - how science is replacing humans with robots.

And then there were four, part 2. The football factory - how science is replacing humans with robots.

Sport is too important to fall into the hands of cultural vandals. The death of Mícheal Ó Muircheartaigh was a reminder of the role sport plays in Irish life.

Nothing elevates a community like sporting joy and community is central to all that is good in Irish life. On Free State, Joe and Dion look at how sport has been turned into a commodity. From Buenos Aires to Bellaghy, sport has had the joy removed. Who, apart from Mickey Harte, is to blame?


This episode of Free State is sponsored by Manscaped. Visit https://ww...

Episode 113 4 July 2024 30m and 59s


And then there were four, Part 1: The last days of the Dublin empire.

And then there were four, Part 1: The last days of the Dublin empire.

What is wrong with Gaelic football? Joe insisted that Dion watch the All Ireland quarter finals last weekend and will he ever forgive him? On Free State, Joe reflects on the decline and fall of Dublin and explains what they need to do next. Joe and Dion also remember Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Joe recalls his days training with him in Dublin. They also ask a critical question in these troubled times: when were white shoes first worn in Mayo?


This episode of Free State is sponsored by Manscaped. Visit https://www.manscaped.com/ and get 20% off...

Episode 112 2 July 2024 45m and 41s


Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Derry, from Death Row to Croke Park. Part 2

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Derry, from Death Row to Croke Park. Part 2

What is your greatest fear? How much do we all dread humiliation? Derry were humiliated three times in the championship but are still alive. They’ve been to the bottom. Now, the only way is up and they have nothing left to fear. On Free State today Joe and Dion look ahead to Derry’s game against Kerry and what may be another upset. Are Derry now All-Ireland contenders? Could Kerry be upset by another northern team. And Dion explains why, as a member of the Kerry diaspora, he doesn’t need to get sucked into Joe’s mind games .<...

Episode 111 27 June 2024 31m and 44s


From death row to Croke Park. Derry, Mayo and milking the cows in Killala Part 1.

From death row to Croke Park. Derry, Mayo and milking the cows in Killala Part 1.

How much credit does Mickey Harte deserve for Derry’s win over Mayo? On Free State, Joe tells Dion how Derry pulled off what many felt was the shock of the season. Was it really a shock? Joe didn’t think so and neither did the local rat catcher in Mayo. Dion wonders if Mayo are like the Scottish football team but Joe explains why they’re more like England. And who are the snipers Mickey Harte is talking about?


This episode of Free State is sponsored by Manscaped. Visit https://www.manscaped.com/ and get 20% off and...

Episode 110 25 June 2024 36m and 40s


The Irish Elections: How the elites persuade sheep to vote for wolves.

The Irish Elections: How the elites persuade sheep to vote for wolves.

At the American Ambassador’s residence in Dublin last week, there was an extraordinary event. Many of the main architects of the peace process gathered to talk about how it was done and what the world can learn from it as the horrors of Gaza continue. Joe was among the invited audience and it reminded him of a time when politicians were serious. On Free State today, Dion and Joe look at the recent election results. What do they mean for Sinn Féin and the country? As Nigel Farage hijacks the U.K. election, has the far right in I...

Episode 109 20 June 2024 1h, 6m and 50s


Jungle Book. The essential survival guide for Gaelic footballers. Featuring Brian Mullins and an All Star cast

Jungle Book. The essential survival guide for Gaelic footballers. Featuring Brian Mullins and an All Star cast

Will Joe be wearing a half and half scarf when Mayo play Derry? On Free State, Joe explains to Dion why he will be desperate for a Derry win when the two counties play. He remembers his many memorable encounters with the great Brian Mullins, one of which ended with Joe promising to seek professional help. He didn’t follow up on this promise.


This episode of Free State is sponsored by Manscaped. Visit https://www.manscaped.com/ and get 20% off and free shipping by using code freestate20


Free State with Joe Brolly an...

Episode 108 18 June 2024 38m and 51s


Mickey Harte, football manager. Oh Lord it’s so Harte to be humble, Part 2

Mickey Harte, football manager. Oh Lord it’s so Harte to be humble, Part 2

As Derry fall apart under Mickey Harte, what are those closest to the squad saying? Who else - if anyone- is responsible for the fall in recent months? On Free State, it’s Mickey Harte week with a forensic analysis of where it went wrong at Derry and if anything can be done to save their summer.


Dion also triggers Joe by mentioning a name that may upset him even more than Mickey Harte. A beautiful partnership hangs by a thread…


This episode of Free State is sponsored by Manscaped. Visit https://www.mans...

Episode 107 13 June 2024 29m and 36s


‘Oh Lord, it’s so Harte to be humble.’ Part 1

‘Oh Lord, it’s so Harte to be humble.’ Part 1

Who will Mickey Harte blame next? Was it inevitable that it would fall apart at Derry? On Free State today, Joe and Dion talk about the fall and fall of Mickey Harte. Joe explains why Harte is an intruder in the county and how it went to pieces. They look at why the Derry County Board have betrayed the values of the GAA by bringing Harte in. But a county like Offaly with their rock ‘n’ roll U-20 hurlers have captured its essence.


Free State with Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning is a Gold Hat Production in a...

Episode 106 11 June 2024 31m and 50s

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