The Leap of Faith Friday, Oct 11th

Lisa Sharon Harper

From Rome, we talk with the biographer of Pope Francis, Austen Ivereigh about the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon in Rome and the relationship between Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict.

On the Leap of Faith this week, Rabbi Julia Neuberger on Yom Kippur and the role of atonement in the Jewish Faith, in a week where two people lost their lives outside a synagogue in Germany.  Lisa Sharon Harper is in Ireland this weekend to address the Rubicon Conference. We talk about her evangelical faith and how, as a woman of colour, she perceives two kinds of faith, thick and thin and how her heritage has informed her faith. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Oct 4th

75 Years in Japan

On the Leap of Faith this week, we talk with author and historian Tom Holland about his latest book Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind. In the book, he explores the revolutionary effects of Christianity on the Western psyche. We meet film maker James Creedon and hear the story of Sister Paschal (Jennie) O’ Sullivan, who spent 75 years in Japan as a missionary nun. From Galway, we’ll hear of a novel idea for carbon displacement at the Galway Jazz Festival that benefits St.Nicholas’ Collegiate Church.

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The Leap of Faith Friday ​Sept 20th, 2019

On the Leap of Faith this week, as the programme returns for another season, we look at the role people of faith play in supporting the homeless.  

We hear from  Fr. Peter McVerry, founder of the McVerry Trust.  The Reverend Brian Anderson is co-chair of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting and President of the Irish Council of Churches and  Sister Jean Quinn is the founder of Sophia and an organisation which for over two decades has been supporting people to recover from the trauma of homelessness.  She is also, executive director of UNANIMA International a United Nations based coalition of Catholic religious congregations.


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The Leap of Faith Friday 26 April 2019

Hollywood Walk of Faith

On the Leap of Faith tonight; the Easter Sunday attacks targeted Christians who make up almost seven per cent of the population in Sri Lanka.  Dr Jude Lal Fernando is Assistant Professor in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin.  His home town is Negombo in Sri Lanka where an attack on a church during Easter services killed more than 100 people.  Jude joined us to give an overview of the complex relations between the many faiths on the island.  

We also hear about the chance to see the film ‘Into Great Silence’ during Trinity Week, as well as the opportunity to visit the heart of St. Laurence O’Toole in Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin and to take the Walk of Faith in Hollywood with guide April Clemmer. 

This is the final programme in the current series.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 19 April 2019

Good Friday Leap of Faith April 19th

‘Creative Passions’ – A Leap of Faith Special for Good Friday, where Michael Comyn and guests discuss how the Easter story has inspired artists – be they musicians, filmmakers, painters or writers – down through the centuries. 

Michael is joined by Blánaid Murphy, who’s been Choral Director of the RTE Children’s Choir, Cór na nÓg and is currently Musical Director of Dublin Bach Singers; Dr David Shepherd, Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Head of Religious Studies at the School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin; Dr Jarlath Killeen, Associate Professor at the School of English at Trinity College Dublin; Adrian Le Harivel, Curator of British Art at the National Gallery of Ireland. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday 12 April 2019

Vaisakhi Celebrations

This week, Sikhs around the world are preparing to celebrate the holiest day of the year, which takes place this Sunday.  Vaisakhi is a festival of great significance for Sikhs because the 10th guru, Guru Gobind Singh, laid down the foundation of Khalsa (the Order of the Pure Ones) on this day in 1699.  Last Sunday, the streets of Dublin were awash with the colour saffron, as around 2,000 Sikhs celebrated with a parade through Sandymount and Ballsbridge, close to the only Sikh temple in Ireland.  Our reporter, Louise Denvir, brings us a flavour of the celebration, featuring music, martial arts and devotion.   

The Jewish Passover begins next Friday, commemorating their liberation by God from persecution and slavery in Ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.  Amid a reported resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe, an exhibition is taking place in London, tackling myths about Jews and money.  ‘Jews, Money, Myth’ reveals how anti-Semitic tropes have a 2,000-year history and encourages visitors to challenge stereotypes that circulate today.

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The Leap of Faith Friday, April 5 2019

Fr.Pat Collins

Father Pat Collins, a Dublin priest and exorcist, finds himself inundated almost on a daily basis with phone calls and emails from people who believe they’re battling demonic possession. He believes that the Devil is ever present and it’s essential to find ways of outsmarting Satan at every opportunity.  In his new book ‘Freedom from Evil Spirits: Released from Fear, Addiction and the Devil’, Father Pat provides a guide on how to become free from debilitating influences and oppressive evil spirits.

From the cat-cow stretch to the cobbler’s pose, Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of exercise and relaxation right around the world.  Originating in India more than 5,000 years ago, Yoga – meaning ‘union’ in Sanskrit – is a Hindu system of philosophy which encompasses the body, mind and spirit using physical exercises, breathing and meditation.

Could this ancient practice, once the preserve of Hindu holy men, be the key to helping young people combat the stresses they face in a tech-driven world, boosting their self-esteem and mental health?  Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer strongly believes that Yoga should be introduced into schools and he discusses his proposal with Swami Purnananda, Hindu Spiritual Director and founder of the Éire Vedanta Society, based in Dublin.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 29th of March

Singer-songwriter Omar Simon pictured above.

On the programme tonight, with over a million visitors every year, The Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures and now the world within its lavishly decorated pages can be explored even further through a new free, online course, developed by Trinity College DublinFáinche Ryan, Director of the Loyola Institute, explains how this magnificent manuscript opens a window into medieval Ireland allowing that past to be examined through a contemporary lens. If you would like to find out more information about the course, you can find the details here.

Life has carried singer-songwriter, Omar Simon, great distances. From his childhood spent in the Caribbean to the home, he’s now made in Ireland.  It’s also taken him on a spiritual journey, culminating in his conversion to Islam over twenty years ago. Omar explores this trajectory with Michael Comyn and he dedicates his latest track, ‘Trust in Allah’, which is being launched today, to the people of New Zealand following the Christchurch terror attack two weeks ago.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 22nd of March 2019

One week since the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand, a demonstration of solidarity with Muslims is set to take place in Dublin. We hear from Ryma Halfaoui, one of the students organising the event, which will take place on Saturday 23rd March at 5 pm, with the Spire in Dublin being the meeting point. The Facebook page for that event is listed here.

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, founder of the Catholic University of Ireland, which went on to become UCD is set for sainthood.  Father Dermot Mansfield, author of ‘Heart Speaks to Heart: The Story of Blessed John Henry Newman’, sheds light on this man’s remarkable life and legacy.

It’s the ordinary moments in life which help us tap into the spiritual aspects of ourselves, according to Susannah Healy, a psychologist, mindfulness meditation teacher and management consultant. In her new book ‘The Seven-Day Soul: Finding Meaning Beneath the Noise’, Susannah presents seven pillars for a deeper, more spiritual life: generosity; gratitude; forgiveness; patience; awe; humour; stillness.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 15th of March

The famous Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India pictured above.

As we look forward to our national holiday this weekend, have you ever wondered about the man ‘Patrick’ and how he has come to represent the essence of our national identity? 

Two leading historians Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín of NUI Galway and Dr Roy Flechner lecturer in early medieval history at UCD share their respective insights into St. Patrick. March 21st is the Bahá’í New Year and we hear from singer-songwriter and composer Luke Slott who talks of his conversion to one of the world’s youngest religion. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday 8 March 2019

On the Leap of Faith this Friday, as part of International Women’s Day, a multi-faith panel discusses the voice of women in religion.

Our panel includes Dr Anne Francis. Anne is a pastoral theologian and practitioner. She is Director of the Galilee Spirituality Centre in Co Roscommon. We are also joined by Canon Ruth Elmes Archdeacon of Ossory and Leighlin for the Church of Ireland.

Dr Rachel Woodlock, lecturer in Islamic Studies, UCC Cork joins us on the line from Tipperary.  We are also joined by Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger, senior Rabbi of Britain’s oldest Reform synagogue in West London.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 1st March 2019

Last Friday our panel was discussing the Protection of Minors in the Church Summit in Rome, we were yet to become aware of the story unfolding in Australia of the trial of Cardinal George Pell. The news was covered by an order of secrecy which was only lifted with the conviction of the third most powerful man in the Catholic Church hierarchy.  

On the Leap of Faith this week, we are joined from Australia by Dr Ben Mathews. Ben is Professor in the School of Law at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane and he’s worked extensively in the field of Child Protection.  We also hear from Joe Little RTÉ’s Religious & Social Affairs Correspondent on the implications of this conviction closer to home.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 22nd February 2019

On the Leap of Faith this week, some have described the Protection of Minors in the Church Summit this week in Rome as historic and critical to the future of the Catholic Church, others are dismissing the event as a cynical cosmetic exercise.  

Our panel tonight includes Marie Collins, herself a clerical abuse survivor and former advisor to Pope FrancisFr Joe McDonald, Parish Priest at St.Matthews Ballyfermot in Dublin and author of his book; Why The Irish Church Deserves to Die. Crux Newspaper journalist Christopher White joins us from Rome and Professor Donald Palmer an expert on organisational behaviour examines the culture of institutions that have failed to protect children worldwide.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 15th of February 2019

On the Leap of Faith this week,  Jonathan Aitken an Irish-born British former Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom and a former Cabinet minister speaks to Michael Comyn about his life. Mr Aitken was convicted of perjury and perverting the course of justice in 1999, he received an 18-month prison sentence of which he served seven months. He tells the story of his life that has taken him from war correspondent in Vietnam to television presenter, to a politician to a spell in gaol for perjury. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday 08th of February 2019

On the Leap of Faith this week, we talk with Jonny Woods and Dr Steve Holmes, Head of the School of Divinity at the University of St.Andrews in Scotland about how Jonny cracked a religious code that has baffled academics for generations. We visit the home of Wei Zhang, his wife Anna Weiwei Gon and their son Lucas in Dublin as they celebrated with their family and friends on the eve of the Chinese New Year and County Clare born Fr. Michael O’Sullivan tells us about his key role in the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE and Abu Dhabi this week and the significance of the visit of the Pontiff, a historic first in 1,400 years of Islamic history.

Over the next two weeks millions of people all over the world will be celebrating the Chinese New Year. This year is the Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of the Pig. It is the last of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, the pig is thought of as easygoing and fortunate. 

Clare born Fr. Michael O’Sullivan speaks about his key role in the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE and Abu Dhabi earlier this week and the significance of the visit of the Pontiff, a historic first in 1,400 years of Islamic history.

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The Leap of Faith Friday Feburary 1st, 2019

Sixth-class students Oisín Lee and Sophie Hannon of St Brigid’s Primary School, Kildare Town who made and presented St Brigid’s crosses to President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins during their trip to the Áras. Pic: Kenneth O’Halloran.

On the Leap of Faith this week, Dr Kelly Fitzgerald from the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore at UCD talks about St. Brigid as an icon of feminism and how she could challenge St.Patrick for the role of patron saint of Ireland. 
We meet some of the children from St.Brigid’s Primary School in Kildare who made and presented crosses to President Michael D.Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin 
Christina O’Connell Musical Director of the Big C Choir tells us about the formation of this Kildare choir and its role in fundraising and RTE Reporter Ailbhe Connelly tells us about a new mindfulness course offered in Dail Eireann for our public representatives. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday ​January 25th, 2019

Kumbh Mela

On the Leap of Faith this week, Paddy Monaghan talks about his lifetime commitments to renewal and reconciliation among Christians, his personal gift from the Reverend Ian Paisley, and Paddy’s work with the Alpha course. This is an evangelistic course which seeks to introduce the basics of the Christian faith through a series of talks and discussions. We also meet Aparna Shukla who tells us about the Hindu Festival of Kumbh Mela in which Hindu pilgrims gather to bathe and worship in one of four sacred places in India.

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The Leap of Faith January 18th, 2019

Religious Liberty

On the Leap of Faith this week,  as the persecution of people of faith around the world reaches unprecedented levels the programme hears for those who monitor and report on the situation. We are joined by David Turner Director of Church in Chains and Dr.Tim Grose Asst Professor of China Studies, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana in the United States. We also speak with the author of Boy with the Top Knot,  Sathnam Sanghera on his upbringing as a Sikh in the UK, arranged marriage and the rediscovery of his faith. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday January 11th

Halal & Kosher Food

On the Leap of Faith this week, as the Vatican searches for a new Director and Deputy Director of Communications, following resignations in December, the programme looks ahead to the issues that will face their replacements we talk with Paddy Agnew in Rome and freelance journalist and contributor to the Irish Independent, Sarah McDonald. 
As parts of Belgium have recently banned the Kosher and Halal killing of animals we talk with Rabbi Zalman Lent and Sheik Dr Umar al-Quadri about the issue as a possible limit on an expression of their respective faiths.

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The Leap of Faith January 4th, 2019

A Review of 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, that was the year that was! We listen back to the many diverse voices that featured on the programme in 2018 recalling events from the visit of Pope Francis, the clergymen who are fathers of international rugby players, lessons from the Glencree Centre for peace and reconciliation and a curiosity about the morality supporting artificial intelligence.   Email the programme at

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The Christmas Day Leap of Faith December 25th

Happy Christmas.

On the Christmas Leap of Faith, our panel comes together to capture the Spirit of Christmas 2018, each brings gifts inspired by a conversation we had on The Leap of Faith earlier this year, revealing seven spiritual practices, proven to deliver mental health benefits for people of all faiths and none.  These gifts range from practices such as rituals to pilgrimage, connecting with nature to gratitude. Our guests are Philip McKinley, lay chaplain at Dublin City University and co-founding member of the Discovery Gospel Choir, Aubrey McCarthy, Chairman of Tiglin, Nuala Hayes, actor, author and storyteller, Pat Coyle, Director of Communications for the Irish Jesuits and Frank McDonald, former Environment Editor of the Irish Times and author of several books. We have music from Loah,  Harpist Andreja Malir and flautist Catriona Ryan. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday December 21st

On the Leap of Faith this week, psychotherapist, musician and singer Deirdre Ni Chinnéide, will be playing her music and sharing an insight into her Celtic spirituality.  Deirdre plays music from her album Celtic Passage on tonight’s programme. Sli Aonghusa is a retreat centre on the beautiful Aran Islands run by Deirdre Ní Chinnéide.  During the programme at 22:23 the Winter Solstice 2018 will take place in the Northern Hemisphere.

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The Leap Of Faith – 14th December 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, the IBU is the umbrella association of Buddhist Sanghas and organisations in Ireland, their goal is to bring Buddhist ideas and principles into Irish society. We talk with union President Rev Myozan Kodo Kilroy of Zen Buddhism Ireland.  Details at 

Also on the programme this week,  Dr.Kevin Hargaden he is a theologian who works for the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, in Dublin. He is the author of Theological Ethics in a Neoliberal Age, and tonight Kevin shares his views on the challenges facing Christians, who he claims, may be distracted by the relentless pursuit of wealth. Details of the book are available here

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The Leap of Faith Friday 7 December 2018

The Leap of Faith

On the Leap of Faith this week, Michael Comyn’s guest is Galway Historian Catherine Corless. This Friday, December 7th she will be awarded an honorary degree at Trinity College Dublin in recognition of her work.

Spending her spare time searching records in libraries, churches and council offices, she uncovered that 796 children died in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. She talks about how this research has affected her own faith and, her hopes for the future, for the families involved.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 30 November 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, two different generations and their faith. We meet Fadilah Salawu, she’s sixteen, a Muslim and the first black head girl in her school. She also represented Ireland on the committee for human rights within the European Youth Parliament.  She shares her insight into being a very visible person of faith in Ireland in 2018.  We also hear from Irish Poet, Dramatist and Broadcaster Aidan Matthews who shares the story of his formation as a Christian, from the late 1950s to today, Aidan also reads some poetry from his latest book, Strictly No Poetry, his first collection of poetry in 20 years.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 23 November 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, he was once a government minister now he ministers to a new congregation, the Reverend Trevor Sargent is a newly ordained Priest, and he joins us to talk about the motivations that have taken him on this particular route of pastoral care.  We also speak with Fr.Pat Collins C.M. author of “Prophecy” a book that captures what he describes as an explosion of interest in Christian Prophecy something he says is widely misunderstood in the contemporary church.

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The Leap of Faith Friday November 16th.

On the Leap of Faith this week, ahead of German Remembrance Day this Sunday, November 18th, which commemorates victims of war and violence, we visit the German Military Cemetry with guide Frank Tracey.
Barbara Walsh from the Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre joins us to talk about how faith can influence forgiveness and how competitive outrage can often hinder reconciliation.
DCU Chaplain Philip McKinley also joins us with DCU Students Matthew Hewston and Nzuzi Malanda to talk about the Student Gospel Music Service ‘One Dublin’ and how they are bringing a new purpose to a disused Dublin City Church.


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The Leap of Faith Friday November 9th

On the Leap of Faith this week author, preacher and photographer Helena Connolly talks about her search for perfect places to pray and how she’s captured them in her new book Prayerful Ireland.

On November 11, 1918, world leaders signed the Armistice, ending World War I and its four years of bloody conflict. We go to St.Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin where the Very Reverend Dr.William Morton Dean of the Cathedral Installation and artist Ciara Ní Cheallacháin tell us about the 36,000 paper leaves that represent Irish lives lost in World War 1.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 2 November 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, our guests include Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, an active campaigner for social justice who talks about The Sanctuary in Dublin’s Stanhope Street. She also introduces the idea of lay people following the “hours”, prayers and reflections used by those in monastic life to mark their day. We also hear from Dr. Rupert Sheldrake a Cambridge Scholar on the delusions of science and the links to science and spiritual practice.

The two books mentioned on this evenings programme are Awakening Inner Peace by Sister Stan, published by Columba Books and Science and Spiritual Practice: Reconnecting through direct experience by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake published by Hodder & Stoughton General Division.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 26th October 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, our guests include author John Scally who in his latest book Beautiful Thoughts for Beautiful Minds, helps us to see the joy in life. He shares the lighthearted, fun side of religion and personal thoughts of notable people like Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and others and we meet Patrick Ussher who shares memories of his mother, the late Dr Mary Redmond Ussher the founder of the Irish Hospice Foundation.

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The Leap of Faith Friday October 19th

On the Leap of Faith this week, our guests include the Reverend Julian Hamilton Methodist Chaplain at TCD. He is co-founder of The Good Summit, which is a speaker and networking event, bringing together would-be change-makers from a variety of backgrounds, all committed to building a better and fairer society. Julian tells us about the event and how his faith influences his decision making.

We also hear from Syed Siraj H. Zaidi ahead of the 12th Annual Imam Hussain Condolence Conference which will be held this Sunday October 21st at Ahlul – Bait Islamic Centre, Al- Hussain House Milltown Bridge. Dundrum. Dublin.


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The Leap of Faith Friday 12 October 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, ahead of the World Premiere of Aifreann in St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral at 11.00 am on Sunday, 14th October 2018 we meet the composer of this new mass in Irish, one of the commissioners of the composition and the director of the choirs that will perform it. Our guests are Composer and Aosdána member Kevin O’Connell, Choral Director Blánaid Murphy and one of the seven commissioners Linda O’Shea Farren. We get a sneak preview of the mass as the composer hears it in rehearsal for the first time.

For more information on commissioning a new piece of music go to the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland (, and the score of Aifreann can be obtained from CMC by phoning +353 1 673 1922 or emailing

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The Leap of Faith Friday 5 October 2018

On tonight’s programme, we join Dr Gerard Gillen at the organ of the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin as he recounts his 42 years as Titular Organists there. At a Mass last Sunday, attended by President Michael D Higgins and celebrated by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, Prof Gillen played for the last time formally, accompanying the Palestrina Choir as they sang Dvorak’s Mass in D.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 28 September 2018

Artificial Intelligence is considered by some as the greatest threat to religion
since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species.  On tonight’s programme, as robots and AI enter our homes and our lives we explore the ethics that govern their interactions with us and how the human creation of such intelligence fits into theology.

The guests on tonight’s programme are Rev Dr Ian Paul, Theologian, author and a member of the Church of England’s general synod. Professor Barry O’Sullivan University College Cork and President of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence and Dr.Mary Aiken, Cyberpsychologist and Adjunct Associate Professor at UCD.

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Leap of Faith Friday 21 September 2018

Four weeks after the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland, The Leap of Faith returns to it’s regular Friday slot with journalists Sarah McDonald, Patsy McGarry, and Joe Little in studio with presenter Michael Comyn to review the impact of that visit.

Following on from the Pope’s 36-hour visit has anything changed and what can the panel predict what might be the future for the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland?

Sarah McDonald is a freelance journalist and contributor to The Tablet and the Irish Times, Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs correspondent with the Irish Times and Joe Little is Religious and Social Affairs correspondent with RTÉ

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Late Date RTE Radio 1

Late Date July 26th 23:00 to 02:00 am

About The Show

It might be winding down time in Ireland, but thanks to the web, Late Date has an audience all over the world! So whether the phones have stopped ringing in your part of the planet or not there’s always room for a quality music mix show.

One of the best known music shows on Radio 1 for the last two decades, Late Date always attracts a loyal, local audience of night owls, from cabbies to clubbers, shift workers to security crews and a lot more besides. Each programme brings you the perfect blend of music and good company.


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Late Date RTE Radio 1

Late Date July 25th 23:00 to 02:00am

About The Show

It might be winding down time in Ireland, but thanks to the web, Late Date has an audience all over the world! So whether the phones have stopped ringing in your part of the planet or not there’s always room for a quality music mix show.

One of the best known music shows on Radio 1 for the last two decades, Late Date always attracts a loyal, local audience of night owls, from cabbies to clubbers, shift workers to security crews and a lot more besides. Each programme brings you the perfect blend of music and good company.

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The Final in the Current Series of The Leap of Faith

On the Leap of Faith this week, in the final programme in the current series, we hear from Elma Walsh, the mother of Donal Walsh the young 16-year old Kerry teenager who died five years ago of cancer. His appearance on RTE Television weeks before his death inspired teenagers and adults with his appeal that suicide is not an option for those who might seek help elsewhere.  We hear of plans to remember Donal at a special mass in Knock which will see over 3,000 TY teenagers celebrate his life.Nicola Mitchell, Director of Knock Youth Ministry, Knock Shrine, Co Mayo also joins us to describe the event which will be broadcast on Sunday, May 13th on RTE One Television and RTE Radio 1 Extra at 11.00 am.

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Support information is available from:

Samaritans 1850 60 90 90 or email
Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634
Aware 1890 303 302
Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email
Childline 1800 66 66 66

The Leap of Faith Friday April 20th, 2018

As farmers across Ireland continue to face increased pressures as a result of the above average wet winter weather, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt. Rev. Dr Noble McNeely wrote to ministers asking them to remember farming communities in prayer at church services over the weekend.

As temperatures soar this weekend, were these prayers answered and should those that pray use prayer for such divine interventions.

On tonight’s programme, The Reverend Gary McDowell of Greystones Presbyterian Church in County Wicklow and Patrick Semple a former Chuch of Ireland clergyman and now an atheist and author of the book “The rector who wouldn’t pray for rain”, they discuss the place and power of prayer.

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The Leap of Faith Friday April 13th, 2018

On The Leap of Faith, the strength of human spirit has been a regular theme –  occasionally that spirit is tested, especially true when addiction change lives.

On tonight’s programme, we hear of a centre that has as it’s mission, a range of solutions to life-controlling addiction. Tiglin in County Wicklow has for ten years operated under a Christian ethos and helps people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive.

The Founder of Tiglin Aubrey McCarthy is joined by Chris and Karen both graduates of the centre who now work there, and they’ll talk about the successes of its graduates in overcoming addictions.

More information at their website

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The Leap of Faith Friday April 6th, 2018

Dr.Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief.

On The Leap of Faith this week, April 6th, we talk about her work and her approach to the end of life with Dr Mary Stefanazzi, who completed her training with the Kübler-Ross foundation and first met the doctor in 1989.

Also on this week’s programme, we take another opportunity to hear an interview with the late Rev James Good. FrGood told us of his experiences 50 years ago this year when he lost his privileges to preach when he spoke out against the then Pope’s encyclical on contraception. Fr. Good died on March 21st this year.
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The Leap of Faith Good Friday Afternoon March 30th.

On the Leap of Faith this Good Friday; Asylum seeker Ellie Kisyombe is in the system of Direct Provision and while not allowed to work is allowed to volunteer and her energy goes into a project called Our Table. For the last five weeks, they’ve operated a pop-up cafe on the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral highlighting the situation for asylum seekers and using food as a way of connecting with others. Ellie talks about her life in direct provision, her faith, and how her political activism resulted in her new life in Ireland.

Also on the programme this week, on Easter Sunday RTE One Television broadcast a new documentary presented by Hugh Bonneville called Jesus: Countdown to Calvary, Bonneville as well as being an actor is also a graduate in Theology from Cambridge University. We hear from the programme’s Director Gerry Hoban and contributor Dr Zuleika Rodgers on six days in the life of Jesus that changed the world.

The Leap of Faith Good Friday 2.30pm RTE Radio One

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The Leap of Faith Friday March 23rd, 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week; Fifty years ago John and the late Kay O’Loughlin-Kennedy called a meeting to talk about the developing famine behind a military blockade in Biafra. Unexpectedly, 40 people crowded into an apartment at Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, on March 19th, 1968.

Those present were deeply moved by first-hand accounts of the situation from Biafran Chief Robert Olisa and Chief Jerome Udoji who, quite providentially, had turned up in Dublin on that very day. This week on the programme, 50 years later John tells the story of the founding of Concern to Michael Comyn.


The Leap of Faith Friday March 16th, 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week; following on from the recent speech in Rome by former President Mary McAleese and her subsequent interview on Today with Sean O’Rourke, we hear from Professor Siobhán Garrigan,  Loyola Chair of Theology, Head of School – Religions, Peace Studies and Theology and Dr.Mary McCaughey, Theologian and Academic Executive of the Priory Institute.

They discuss the impact of the speech on the role of women in the Catholic Church.

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The Leap of Faith March 9th, 2018


On the Leap of Faith this week, Dr David Shepherd from the Loyola Institute in Trinity College Dublin joins us to add his insight to a film due out next week (March 16th) on the life of Mary Magdalene. It stars Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix and offers a revisionist view of the apostles’ apostle.

Also on the programme this week Fr Tim Hazelwood of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland challenges the organisers of the World Meeting of Families 2018 to clarify who influenced the changes to the World Meeting of Families print and video promotional material that saw the removal of images and references to same-sex couples.

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The Leap of Faith February 23rd, 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, we talk with Fr.Alan Hilliard, Chaplain at Dublin Institute of Technology and author of Dipping into Lent a new guide to creating a personal retreat over the 40 days before Easter.

We’ll hear of a novel Lenten event run by the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality and Culture in Galway that offers spiritual support, face to face or by Skype in the weeks before Easter, and we talk with Sister Moira McDowall who is one of the prayer guides supporting people over that period.

Listen to the programme here

The Leap of Faith February 16th

The Leap Of Faith

On the Leap of Faith this week, television personality and broadcaster Norah Casey talks about Lent, Faith and self esteem and her support of the World Meeting of Families in 2018. This week Norah Casey was also awarded the Philanthropist of the Year Award.  Norah was acknowledged for her significant support for a number of charities including the Irish Hospice Foundation, Women’s Aid and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

Listen to the programme here

The Leap of Faith February 2nd.

The Leap Of Faith

On the Leap of Faith this week (February 2nd), the relationship between psychotherapy and religion. We talk with Dublin Psychotherapist Dr Mary Stefanazzi who recently completed a PhD on the dialogue between Victor White (Theologian) and Carl Jung (Analytical Psychology) on the frontier between Theology and Psychology.

This week is World Interfaith Harmony Week and we’re joined by the Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough Most Reverend Dr Michael Jackson who tells us more about a new initiative launched in Dublin to promote Interfaith Understanding.

Listen to the programme here

The Leap of Faith January 26th

The Leap of Faith

On the Leap of Faith, this week we talk with Fr.James Good now aged 94, who in 1968 lost his right to preach in the Cork dioceses when he expressed his objections to Humanae Vitae Pope Paul VI, encyclical on contraception. 

Celebrating 70 years this year as a priest he shares how he took the decision to speak out and the repercussions to his life as a priest.
This Saturday is International Holocaust Memorial Day and we talk with Yanky Fachler from the Jewish Historical Society of Ireland who drops in to talk about a unique convergence of circumstances resulting in the creation of three Jewish-owned textile factories in Galway, Castlebar and Longford that saved dozens of European Jews from the Holocaust.

The Leap Of Faith January 19th

The Leap of Faith

On the Leap of Faith, this week (19th January) have you ever been inspired by the preacher at a religious service or do you seek out one that is renowned for their brevity? We explore the art, craft and skill of great preachers with the Reverend Canon Dr Maurice Elliott Director of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute and Orlaith Carmody, Media Consultant and Trainer.

Listen to the programme here

The Leap of Faith January 12th.

On the Leap of Faith this week, Fr Tim Bartlett, Secretary General of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin this August, talk about the possibility of the attendance of Pope Francis at the event in August.  Sunday January 14th is the Hindu Festival of Makar Sankranti, Kites, Sweets and family activities are in store for some of the 14,300 Hindus in Ireland and we talk with Bindu Nair about being a Hindu in Ireland. 

Listen to the programme here

The Christmas Leap Of Faith

On the Christmas Leap of Faith, our panel comes together to capture the Spirit of Christmas 2017 with music and conversation. Joining us are Bibi Baskin, Fr.Bryan Shortall, Alice Leahy of the Alice Leahy Trust, Prof Roja Fazaeli Islamic Scholar from Trinity College Dublin and leading expert on the life of Jesus Prof Helen Bond from the University of Edinburgh.  We also hear from the Golan Heights from Army Chaplain Fr Dan McCarthy and we’ve poetry in studio from John F.Deane.

Listen back to the programme here

The Leap of Faith Friday December 15th, 2017

On the Leap of Faith this week, 15th December, the unique style of artist Harry Clarke and in particular two windows constructed by him in St Joseph’s Church, Terenure, The Annunciation and  The Coronation of the Virgin Glory.  We talk with husband and wife team Ken and Murial Ryan from Abbey Stained Glass Studios, about their work restoring these and other windows and science, meets faith when we talk with Irishman Brendan Owens, Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London about the Star of Bethlehem.

Listen to the programme here

Leap of Faith 8th Dec 2017

On the Leap of Faith this week, All Things Bright and Beautiful, A Green Hill Far Away and Once in Royal David’s City – three well-known hymns but what about their Dublin born author? We hear from The Very Revd Dr. William Morton on the life of Cecil Frances Alexander and Midlands Priest Fr.Paddy Byrne, a prodigious tweeter puts down his phone and joins us to talk about what he believes is a new springtime for the Catholic Church.

Listen to the programme here

The Leap of Faith November 24th

On the Leap of Faith this week, November 30th is the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift and we visit St.Patricks Cathedral and the surrounding streets to hear the story of this famous 18th-century satirist and clergyman.

This year is also the 200th anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh the founder of the Bahá’í Faith born in 1817 and we meet actor and writer Paddy Dawson who shares an Irish perspective on this relatively new world faith.

Listen to the programme here

The Leap of Faith November 17th


As the countdown to Christmas continues we have two things on our mind, money and evil.

We meet author Martina Lehane Sheehan who in a response to the commercial activity of Black Friday has organised Bright Friday. Monks, musicians, poets and mindfulness practitioners will hold a free day of calm and reflection in opposition to the increasing dominance of ‘Black Friday’, the annual shopping frenzy which often sees customers queuing and physically competing to get bargain deals.

Social campaigner and mindfulness practitioner Sr Stan Kennedy will lead the line-up which includes Mark Patrick Hederman OSB, John Waters and Martina Lehane Sheehan.

More information on

What is evil – this weekend on RTE 1 Television Sunday at 10:35 pm Mick Peelo presents Would You Believe Special that over two programmes explore our concepts of evil.

And financial investors and leaders of more than 30 different faith traditions representing over 500 faith investment groups from eight religions and around three trillion dollars in assets, met in Zug, Switzerland, earlier this month – we speak with Martin Palmer of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation.


Listen to the programme here

The Leap of Faith November 3rd

On the Leap of Faith tonight November 3rd, one hundred years ago this week, the Balfour Declaration, a 67 word, public statement was issued by the British government during World War 1. It announced support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

We explore the historical context of the letter and how its impact is felt even today.

We speak to Yanky Fachler, writer, broadcaster and founder of the Jewish Historical Society of Ireland and Gaza born Dr Yaser Alashqar adjunct assistant professor in International Peace Studies at Trinity College Dublin.

Listen to the programme here.

The Leap Of Faith Friday October 27th, 2017

On the Leap of Faith this week, as the 500th-anniversary approaches of the publishing of his 95 theses, by Martin Luther in Wittenburg … we’ve gathered a panel to learn more about this German Augustinian Monk and to discuss the implications of his actions on us today.

On the panel, the Rev. Dr Martyn Cowan of Union Theological College in Belfast,  Dr Alison Forrestal, a lecturer at NUI Galway and Professor Daire Keogh, Professor of History and Deputy President of Dublin City University. The challenge, to explore the impact of someone referred to as the last medieval man and the first modern one.



The Leap Of Faith Friday October 20th, 2017

On the Leap of Faith this week; psychiatry, mental health and faith. We talk with Professor Jim Lucey,
Medical Director, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin who was, with former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, one of the first Lay Canons to be installed at Christ Church Cathedral a few weeks ago.

On this programme, he talks about religion, faith and mental health.


The Leap Of Faith October 13th, 2017

Pinky Lilani CBE DL has been recognised as one of Britain’s most entrepreneurial leaders. A Muslim woman educated by Loretto Nuns in Calcutta she moved to Britain in 1978 in a semi-arranged marriage.

Now a promoter of several awards recognising Asian women she talks food and faith on this weeks programme. Also on the Leap of Faith this week October is Mission month and we hear from Fr.Shay Cullen an Irish missionary priest and the founder of the PREDA Foundation, from his home in the Philippines as he renews his call for protection for young people there, from sex tourism, from Ireland and other countries.


Leap of Faith Friday 29th September 2017

On the Leap of Faith this week, as the programme returns to Friday evenings we ask does religion cause war and conflict and divide us rather than acting as a unifying force.  Joining Michael Comyn this week areBarbara Walsh Chair of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation,  Colm O’Gorman Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland and Dr Jude Lal Fernando Assistant Professor in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin.


The Leap of Faith RTE Radio One

In a programme for people of all faiths and none, Michael talks with those whose life experiences cause them to call on their beliefs, as he seeks to discover what religion does for people – and occasionally to them.

With regular updates from across the world’s faiths and from those that hold them, this will be a thought-provoking 30 minutes of radio. Each week the programme will hear from people about how they access their ‘spiritual intelligence’ at different times in their lives.

Michael Comyn has worked in radio on and off for over 40 years, reading the news at lunchtime on his local radio station in Louth while still at secondary school.  A short hiatus followed while he got a “proper” job working in communications training before he found himself back on RTÉ Radio in 1999 as the first voice on RTÉ Lyric FM. He kept in touch with radio by occasionally filling in on Playback, Risin’ Time and Late Date, followed by a brief period presenting a talk show on commercial radio in Dublin.

The programme is produced by Sheila O’Callaghan.

Listen to the programmes here

Getting to present even more on RTE Lyric FM

Weekend Drive for Evelyn Grant

Some of the world’s best music played by the finest musicians, familiar favourites and new releases. Plus news and traffic updates this weekend presented by Michael Comyn.

Listen to Saturday, October 7th here

Listen to Sunday, October 8th here

Aedín Gormley’s Sunday Matinee

Music for your Sunday afternoon featuring live performances from across the globe and outstanding works from our featured artists. This weekend presented by Michael Comyn.

Listen to Sunday, October 15th here.

Listen to Sunday, June 4th here

Listen to Sunday, May 28th 

Summer on RTE Radio 2017


Presenting Radio 1 Replay,
Highlights of today’s programmes on RTE Radio 1


Radio 1 Replay Thursday, Aug 24th, 2017


Join Michael Comyn as he takes the chill out of your early mornings with music, news, weather and travel updates while Marty Whelan is away.

Filling in on Evelyn Grant’s Weekend Drive

Listen to Sunday 20th of August

Listen to Saturday 19th of August

Filling in for August 14th and 15th 

Listen to Tuesday, August 15th

Listen to Monday August 14th

Filling In for August 7th to 11th

Listen to Friday August 11th

Listen to Thursday Aug 10th

Listen to Wednesday Aug 9th 

Listen to Monday August 7th 

Filling in for July 3rd to 14th

Listen to Monday, July 10th here

Listen to Friday, July 7th here

Listen to Thursday, July 6th here

Listen to Wednesday, July 5th here

Listen to Tuesday, July 4th here

Listen to Monday, July 3rd here

Listen to Friday’s show here

Listen to Thursday’s show here

Listen to Wednesday’s show here

Listen to Monday’s show here 

The Leap of Faith Friday 12 May 2017

On the Leap of Faith this week, in the last programme in the current series we hear from David Dunlea of Jehovah’s Witnesses Ireland and their reaction to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court that the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation should be closed down and no longer allowed to operate legally in Russia. We’ll also hear from Fr. Roy Donovan spokesperson for the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland and Fergal Rooney, Principal Psychologist at St.John of Gods on a noticeable increase in mental health issues among Roman Catholic Priests in Ireland.

Listen to the programme here

Friday, May 5th.

Listen to the programme 

On the Leap of Faith this Friday evening – Ireland’s social contract is broken and according to Dr Sean Healy of Social Justice Ireland, the legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met. Saturday, May 13th sees the first ever Beatification ceremony to be held in Ireland, when Jesuit Fr John Sullivan SJ, will graduate from Venerable to Blessed Father John Looby SJ tells us more about the road to sainthood for this Irish-born priest. We hear from the Presbyterian Women’s PW annual meeting in Belfast and Lindsey Rountree tees up the 2017 Gospel Rising Music Festival.

Friday, April 28th.

Listen to the programme

On the Leap of Faith tonight Dr Anthony Campolo, once the spiritual advisor to President Bill Clinton is the subject of a new film by Irish based filmmaker Greg Fromholz. The film Divine Dissatisfaction premieres on May 8th.

We talk with Dr. Campolo about his work with the Red Letter Christian movement and his approach to being a “disruptor” to the thinking of “comfortable” Christians.
Last Tuesday, for the first time since Catholic Emancipation in 1829 there was no Morning Roman Catholic Masses celebrated in the Dioceses of Limerick due to a shortage of available priests. The Diocese did offer three evening masses for those parishioners who wished to receive communion. We talk with the Reverend Anne Marie O’Farrell who has a personal insight to share into a role for women as celebrants.



Friday, April 21st.

Listen to the programme 

On the Leap of Faith this week; is there a Christian influence on the music of U2? We talk with Presbyterian Minister the Reverend Steve Stockman from Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast and author of Walk on, The Spiritual Journey of U2. Thirty years on from The Joshua Tree Tour, Steve shares research into the band’s music and answers the question; is there a biblical theme fueling their life and work?

Shortlisted for the Jerusalem Awards

The Leap of Faith has been shortlisted for the 2017 Jerusalem Awards in October this year.  Listen to our entry here


Did Jesus Have to Die? – RTÉ Radio One

Winner – Good Friday Meditation – BBC Radio 4  


The Jerusalem Awards promotes Christian involvement in broadcasting. Some of our past winners are very well known to UK listeners while others are just starting out and speak to a small niche audience. Wherever they come from, whatever the style, our expert judges give every entry the same amount of care and attention.

The Awards started life in the mid-1990s as the Independent Local Radio awards, encouraging local radio stations to include religious programming on Good Friday.  Twenty years later we have 11 categories across radio and digital platforms and attract over 150 entries each year.