We are honored to welcome Professor Colin Harvey to our podcast this week. Among the topics discussed this week is parity of esteem, civic society, Irish language, unity debate, human rights, and returning to the EU.

Professor Colin Harvey is a leading expert in Human Rights Law and Constitutional Law, with a particular focus on bills of rights, refugee and asylum law, as well as the relationship between constitutionalism and rights and equality. His has also worked extensively on the implications of Brexit for the island of Ireland. He has written and taught widely on human rights law and policy and recently led an ESRC funded project on the consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland.

You can read his list of publications and bio here.


Colin Harvey is Professor of Human Rights Law in the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, a Fellow of the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, and an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Irish Studies. He has served as Head of the Law School, a member of Senate, a Director of the Human Rights Centre, and as a Director of Research. Before returning to Queen’s in 2005 he was Professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law at the University of Leeds. He has held visiting positions at the University of Michigan, Fordham University, and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has taught on the George Washington University – Oxford University Summer School in International Human Rights Law, and on the international human rights programme at the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Academic Panel at Doughty Street Chambers, a Senior Research Associate, Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London, a member of the Gender Identity Panel (Northern Ireland) and member of the Equality and Diversity Forum Research Network. Professor Harvey was a member of the REF2014 Law sub-panel and a member of the REF2014 Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel. He has served as a Commissioner on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, and as a member of the Northern Ireland Higher Education Council. He is the Editor of the Series Human Rights Law in Perspective (Hart-Bloomsbury) and is on the editorial boards of Human Rights Law ReviewNorthern Ireland Legal Quarterly and European Human Rights Law Review. He has written and taught extensively on human rights law and policy and recently led an ESRC funded project on the consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland (https://brexitlawni.org/)


Picture of John Connors in a flatcap.This week we sat down with Love/Hate actor John Connors to discuss Travelers rights, John’s show “Irelands Call“, the Irish Language Act, an hilarious story about his Grandmother on her deathbed, Tyson Fury, Conor McGregor, and what it will take for him to run for politics.

You can check out and follow John on Twitter here.

You can listen tot the bonus podcast here.

John Connors (born 1990) is an Irish actor, screenwriter, documentary filmmaker, playwright and human rights activist best known for his role as Patrick Ward in the Irish crime drama series Love/Hate and for Cardboard Gangsters in which he won best actor at the 2018 Irish film and television awards

Connors was born in 1990 in Kings Cross, London, United Kingdom to an Irish traveller family, but moved to Ireland with his family when he was 11 months old. His father suffered from depression and schizophrenia, and took his own life when Connors was eight years old. Connors took up acting when he was 20 years old after being persuaded by his younger brother Joseph in a bid to help him with his own battle with depression. Connors began boxing at a young age because he was experiencing bullying. He is a former three-time Irish boxing champion and a four nations boxing gold medalist.

Connors has spoken out about Travellers rights and against racism, abortion and depression, appearing a number of times on The Late Late Show(RTÉ). He appeared on an episode of the series Living with Lucy(Virgin Media) with Lucy Kennedy, in 2019.

Quotes from the podcast:

A generational impact of trauma that is in the island of Ireland. There’s this thing of trauma that we deal with through substances and alcohol, its why we glorify alcohol.

Our alcohol addiction goes back to colonialism, it’s how we were painted, we started to believe the propaganda.

11% of travellers die by suicide. It’s something that needs to be addressed.

We hold the keys to Gaelic Ireland. A lot of our traditions of family, our community spirit, the way we live and die for each other, this is the ancient tuath that the Brits tried to break up.

Two-thirds of Gaelic Ireland was nomadic. The Brits tried to settle the population for tax purposes. Make them individual based as opposed to community based which was Gaelic.

Stop cutting mental health budgets, which they are doing every year.

We need a cultural revolution around mental health.

Funding needs to be put in place. We need more community centers. Community centers needs to be a hub of creativity.

There’s huge studies shows creativity is a huge component to battle mental health.

Most of these Unionists who block Irish language come from Scotland. They are Gaelic speakers. Let’s all embrace this language.

We’re Gaels, not Anglo Saxons. There’s more Anglo-Saxons in Dublin than up north.

Protestants down south are prosperous and are included more than anybody. We are as inclusive as ever.

The butchers apron is a flag that flew across the world. 150 million people were killed by the British Empire, more than any empire. They raped robbed pillaged slaved and murdered.

The biggest myth is women get oppressed by men and get beat up. Women are actually the leaders in the community. They look after children and financials. They are smarter. 90% of our activists are women.

My grandmother Chrissie Ward, formerly Donoghue, and her sister Nan Joyce were two of the greatest activist we ever had.

If it wasn’t for the women, we would have been obliterated already.

My brothers are with settled women, my two female cousins are with settled men. Is it frowned upon in some communities? Yes, but not all. There is so much diversity within travellers.

Travelers originate in Ireland, that’s our origin, culturally Irish. Tyson Furey mother is an Irish gypsy from Belfast, and his father is an Irish traveler from Galway so he’s a mix of both of them.

There is a lot of fear between both communities. We each have a lot of natural biases against each other. The problem is people look to confirm their own biases.






Doug Beattie on the podium speaking.Doug Beattie is the first Unionist politician to join us and we are delighted to talk with him. We discuss issues arising from partition and inequality, dealing with the past, Irish Language Act, prosecution of soldiers, and how we can create a truly Shared Ireland. You can follow Doug on Twitter here.

Doug is the Ulster Unionist MLA for Upper Bann and the party Justice spokesman. Doug is also on the Assembly committee for Standards and Privileges and presently sits as the Ulster Unionist representative on the Flags, Identity and Culture Commission.

Doug Beattie is a career soldier having spent thirty-four years in the military and is a keen advocate for ensuring the Armed Forces Covenant is applied in Northern Ireland to the same standard it is applied in the rest of the United Kingdom. Doug remains a member of the Army Reserves serving with 2 R IRISH and holding the rank of Captain. Following his return from Afghanistan, Beattie published the first of two books, An Ordinary Soldier, which became an immediate best seller in the United Kingdom and propelled him into the public eye.

You can find part 2 bonus part of this podcast here.

You can join the discussion regarding these podcasts here.