Episode 43: Sinn Féin with Toiréasa Ferris

You probably look at the title of this podcast and wonder what is going on? So I feel like a little disclaimer is in order. It is far from my intention to be canvassing for one political party or another. Instead, I want outdoors enthusiasts to be aware of how their support for various political options might impact the activities they love.

I hope this will be the first of many podcasts in which I get to talk with representatives of different political parties and ask questions about issues that are of vital interest to outdoorsmen and women. In this episode we talk about the protection of the natural environment, tackling biodiversity loss and climate change, greenways and cycling infrastructure, farming, land access, overfishing, the role of NGOs and much more.

Finally, if you or someone you know is a member of a political party who would be happy to sit down with me for an hour and talk, please do not hesitate to contact me through one of the many channels available. I would love to continue the series and inform fellow outdoors-people about the views of different political parties and their representatives towards the issues important to us.

Episode 42: Irish Angling Adventures with James Raymond

This is another episode of the podcast dedicated to sea angling. Our guest is James Raymond, the man behind the website Irish Angling Adventures. I had a great time talking with James about all things sea angling. As a seasoned angler myself, I could quickly tell that James is a hardcore sea angler like many of my friends. Yes, he is one of those folks who spend silly amounts of time on the shore chasing fish with a rod and line. And at Tommy’s Outdoors we love them for that! During our conversation, we discuss the secrecy of fishing marks, angling etiquette, overfishing, sea angling safety, and many other angling related issues. James also shares with us stories from his fishing trip to the Norwegian island of Vega. It is a great episode for hardcore anglers by hardcore anglers. And once you are done listening to the podcast, don’t forget to check out the Instagram page @irish_angling_adventures where you can find many inspiring angling photos.

Episode 41: Fish and Stay with Luke Aston

This episode of the podcast is especially close to my heart as our guest is my friend and seasoned charter skipper, Luke Aston. I have spent many hours at sea on a purpose-built, first-class sea angling boat, Clare Dragoon, skippered by Luke and operated by Carrigaholt Sea Angling Centre. If that sparks your interest then, just after listening to the podcast, you should visit Fish and Stay website, where you can book not only a sea fishing trip with Luke but also a whole holiday package that includes meals and accommodation. One thing is for sure when it comes to sea angling, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Episode 40: Pleistocene Megafauna with Richard Doran Sherlock

This episode of the podcast is going to take you back in time to the Pleistocene epoch of the Quaternary period, an epoch often referred to as the Ice Age. Our guest is Richard Doran Sherlock who has a particular interest in Quaternary science and megafaunal collapse. Over the years Richard has worked in many capacities including research for rewilding projects and not-for-profit groups.

Since I also have a keen interest in natural history I was really glad when Richard accepted my invitation to the podcast. So, it is my pleasure to present to you an episode where we talk about Pleistocene megafauna and have a healthy discussion about what might have caused its extinction. We also touch briefly on rewilding, a topic to which we may devote an episode of its own.

Cover photo by Ciaran McNamee

Episode 39: Cycling with Fiola Foley

In this episode, once again, we return to the subject of cycling. Our guest, Fiola Foley, has a great deal of experience when it comes to all aspects of cycling and the outdoors. In her outstanding career, Fiola has been a pro athlete, worked as a race organizer and spent time working for BMC Switzerland, a world-leading performance cycling brand. Currently, she is the Communications and PR manager for Komoot, an outdoors app.

During the podcast, we talk about bicycle manufacturing and what happens to the bicycle at the end of its life. We discuss land access issues and the availability of mountain bike trails in Ireland. We talk about racing up and down Ireland’s highest mountain peak, Carrauntoohil. We also mention the importance of Recreation Officers in county councils. (Listen to episode 22 where I talk to Brian Fennell, one of the few Recreation Officers in Ireland.) Obviously, we also discuss Komoot and how it can help us experience the outdoors.

Episode 38: Time to Panic with John Gibbons

In recent weeks the news and media have been filled with reports about protesters demanding action on climate change. So, in the interest of covering important and current events related to the outdoors, once again, I am bringing you a recording of a talk. This time the speaker is the campaigning journalist and climate change activist John Gibbons. You can find more about John and his work by visiting his blog thinkorswim.ie. The talk was recorded during the March Green Drinks event hosted by The Dublin Branch of The Irish Wildlife Trust.

Episode 37: Mountain Biking in South Africa with Shaun Emslie

It all started on Twitter. Shaun contacted me and casually suggested that I record an episode of the podcast from South Africa. We exchanged a few messages and Shaun sent me a few photos. It quickly became obvious that he can talk for hours about riding a mountain bike in the stunning landscapes of South African game reserves. In the episode Shaun describes not only the South African mountain biking scene but we also talk about encounters with African wildlife. Yes, it’s pretty scary at times! This episode undoubtedly can give you an idea for a bucket list mountain biking trip.