Episodes

  • In this episode Trina and Sarah chat to author and advocate for victims of Domestic Abuse Lee Marks. Lee talks about his own experience and his support guide for male victims of domestic abuse called “Break the Silence. He encourages more men to seek support and says officers need more training on how better to engage with male victims of domestic abuse.

    Anyone who has been impacted by the issues in this episode can contact Men's Aid on 01 554 3811 or go to the website www.mensaid.ie


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  • In this episode Trina and Sarah are joined by well known Crime journalists, editors and podcasters Nicola Tallant and Niall Donald. They chat about how they got into journalism, what attracted them to crime reporting, the dangers involved and what cases stood out for them. They talk about the success of the Crime World podcast , their live shows and Nicola's latest book Cocaine Cowboys. We discuss the Kinahan Hutch feud, the trial of Gerry Hutch who was acquitted in relation to the 2016 infamous Regency Hotel attack, Nicola's brief chat with him afterwards and the recent sentencing of Thomas and Molly Martens for the manslaughter of Molly's husband Jason Corbett in August 2015.

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  • This week Sarah and Trina are joined by the Deputy Editor of the Tullamore Tribune Gearoid Keegan as they examine the murder of schoolteacher and talented musician Ashling Murphy.

    We discuss the recent trial of Jozef Puska, his murder conviction and his life sentence.

    From a local journalist's perspective, Gearoid takes us through what happened on the day Ashling was attacked and killed by the vicious predator as she exercised by the canal in Tullamore, County Offaly in January 2022.

    He recounts how the circumstances of her murder brought his town and the nation to a standstill.

    We also examine the investigation, how her attacker was tracked down and brought to justice.

    This episode pays tribute to the much loved and talented Ashling who was robbed from her loved ones in such a monstrous way.


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  • In this powerful episode we speak with Dublin GAA legend Philly McMahon about his illustrious football career from kicking a ball in Ballymun to kicking it over the bar in Croke Park. Philly talks about his work in the community motivating young adults with social problems.

    He tells us the story of his Dad who was shot in West Belfast during the troubles, was interned in the North, escaped custody, went on the run and settled in Ballymun.

    The GAA star also recounts the tragic death of his older brother John in 2012 following a long battle with drug addiction.


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  • In this episode Sarah and Trina speak with former Assistant Commissioner Dr Pat Leahy who was shortlisted for the top job as Garda Commissioner back in 2018. He has described the toughest time during his 38 years in the force as those few weeks around the Regency Hotel shootings in February 2016 which triggered the rapid escalation of the deadly Kinahan-Hutch Feud here. He is passionate about community policing, completed his doctorate in community orientation and is adamant it is the way forward. He joined the force in the early 80s and within a few years he was part of the Tango Unit set up to pursue Martin Cahill or the General. He also served overseas with the United nations , was chief in store street in Dublin until 2017 and assistant commissioner for the Dublin metropolitan region until his retirement in 2020.

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  • This week Sarah and Trina chat to John Lonergan or "The man who ran Mountjoy". John joined the prison service in 1968 and served as governor in the JOY or Mountjoy Prison on Dublin's Northside for 26 years, retiring in 2010. He has always argued that there is a direct link between crime and social-economic deprivation and is a believes that the only real long-term solution to poverty is education. He’s never been afraid to speak out against the establishment and is an advocate of the Irish Penal Reform Trust maintaining its imperative that the public should be informed about what's going on with our prison system. In this episode John talks about his life, his work within the prison system and what he's doing now.

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  • In this episode Trina and Sarah speak with the incredibly brave Anita Byrne, a sexual abuse survivor who waived her anonymity so her attacker could be named. Her uncle, 65 yr-old Paul Farrell, from Breffni Gardens, Baldoyle in Dublin was jailed for 2 years in 2022 after he was convicted of sexually assaulting her in the early 90s starting when she was was just 12 years old, before her grandfather’s funeral. Anita talks about her long road to justice and the stark impact the abuse has had on her relationships as well as her mental and physical health.

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  • Three years ago this week on night of the 22nd into 23rd of October 2020, IT specialist Sameer Syed travelled to the home of his estranged wife 37 year old Seema Banu and their two children 11 year old asfira and 6 year old Faizan. It was under cover of darkness and he was dressed as a women. He murdered all three by strangling them with a ligature and then left a tap on, flooding their house in the Llewelyn estate in Ballinteer South Dublin. Their bodies were discovered a few days later. Syed was an abusive husband and father and would torture them, he had moved them from their home country two years beforehand and Seema Banu who was unhappy here was planning on moving back. Syed would regularly go to the house even after a court ordered him to stay away when he was charged and to stand trial accused of seriously assaulting Seema Banu by strangling her to an unresponsive case. He was later charged with the murders and a week before he was due to stand trial before the Central Criminal Court he was found dead in his cell in prison. In this episode we also talk to Womens Aid CEO Sarah Benson who says the focus in this case should have been on the perpetrator, she questions why he was not behind bars. Trina and I talk to Seema Banu’s nephew Kashief Ahmed who travelled to Dublin for the inquest into their deaths and to visit their grave  earlier this year. 

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  • Retired Detective Inspector Pat Marry was involved in investigating some of Ireland's most high profile murders. He has written a book entitled the Making of Detective which was then adapted into a podcast series. Today he talks to Sarah and Trina about two notorious murderers, Joe O’Reilly and Colin Whelan, who callously plotted to kill their wives and went to extraordinary lengths to cover up their crimes and evade justice. O’Reilly has never expressed remorse over the cold blooded killing of his wife Rachel, the mother of his children at the family home in the Naul, North County Dublin in 2004. Pat talks about O’Reilly’s bizarre behaviour after the murder and his latest unsuccessful bid for parole. We also discuss the brutal murder of Mary Gough by her husband Colin Whelan at their home in Balbriggan North Dublin in 2001. Whelan strangled his wife following months of plotting and planning, he then tried but failed to stage the scene to look like Mary had fallen down the stairs. The former detective talks about his close contact with the families of the victims and how these women will never be forgotten

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  • In January 2018 twenty one year-old Nicole Fox took her own life in the family home after she suffered over three years of relentless, brutal bullying both in person and online, perpetrated by a group of young adults. In the immediate aftermath of her beloved daughter’s death Nicole’s mother Jackie started to campaign for the anti-harassment laws here to be updated to include online bullying. In 2021 Jackie’s work paid off and Coco's Law was introduced. The new legislation criminalises harmful communications including the threat of and the distribution of intimate images. Jackie talks to Trina and Sarah about her painful journey, the loss of her beautiful daughter, how she will never move on but is moving forward and has learned to smile again.

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  • Sarah and Trina are joined by Micháel Campbell whose only daughter Ciara was murdered by her ex boyfriend in front of her 4 year old son in her home in County Carlow. It happened on the 12th of November 2007. Gordon Molloy from Ballickmoyler in Laois had been stalking 22 year-old Ciara for months after she ended their turbulent relationship. He had threatened to kill her and had broken into her home on numerous occasions to scare her. Ciara had been staying with friends the night before her murder and returned to the house the following morning, met her father Micháel with Jamie at the door, Micháel left for work and she made her way in with her young son. Molloy was inside her home after forcing entry the night before and lay in wait for her. He stabbed her 27 times, her son witnessed the savage attack. Micháel recounts the trauma of finding out what happened later that day and talks about the devastating impact Ciara's death has had on Jamie and the family. Micháel and Ciara's mother Paidi have met with the Parole Board to object to the murderer's 3rd application for release. They firmly believe he will kill again if he's allowed out.

    IF YOU HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY ANY OF THE ISSUES IN THE EPISODE YOU CAN CALL THE CRIME VICTIM'S HELPINE (crimevictimshelpline.ie) Freephone 116006 I WOMEN'S AID ON 1800 341 900 I MEN'S AID 01 5543811


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  • In the first episode of Season 2 Trina and Sarah speak with Janet O'Brien, an amazingly courageous and resilient woman who lost her son Luke to a one-punch assault in Tallaght, South West Dublin on Halloween night 2017. His killer, 21 year old Jack Hall Ellis of Lismore Road in Crumlin, a childhood friend of Luke, punched him in his words “in drunkenness and anger” on the old Blessington Road after they left a pub. 13 days later Luke who was just 20 lost his fight for life in hospital from the injuries to his brain that he sustained when he hit his head on the ground as a result of the punch. Hall Ellis had downed up to ten double shots rum that night the court heard after he pleaded guilty in 2019 to the unlawful killing of Luke O' Brien O'Reilly and he was jailed for five years. Before his release from prison late last year Luke’s mother Janet met her son’s killer as part of the Restorative Justice Process, something she sought out herself, it has to be stressed. During that meeting she showed Hall Ellis a photograph of her son as he fought for his life in hospital during those last days. Janet has kindly agreed to tell us her painful story , she believes one punch assaults should carry a minimum sentence and she would encourage more people to avail of restorative justice.

    IF YOU HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY ANY OF THE ISSUES IN THE EPISODE YOU CAN CALL THE CRIME VICTIM'S HELPINE (crimevictimshelpline.ie) Freephone 116006

    Or go to Home - Restorative Justice to find out more


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  • The Real Lives Untold podcast is back - the first episode of Season 2 drops Wednesday 27th September.


    Trina O'Connor and Sarah O'Connor are taking you on another journey through the captivating stories of more fascinating, insightful and courageous guests who talk about how their lives were devastated by murder, sexual abuse, domestic abuse and cyber bullying.


    The co-hosts also speak with investigators of high profile murders and feuds and to people who have worked with criminals on the inside.


    In their podcast Sarah and Trina, both of whom have a background in criminology, focus on all things crime and human interest, creating a space for people to tell their stories and raise awareness.


    Sarah has worked as a Crime and Courts Correspondent and has produced and presented a number of documentaries. Trina is a criminologist and psychologist who works in the community.


    Have a listen to our Season 2 Trailer.


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  • Today we are joined by Kathleen Chada, an incredibly inspirational woman who has been through so much since her two sons 10 year old Eoghan and 5 year old Ruadhri were murdered by their father and her then husband Sanjeev Chada ten years ago this week on the 29th July 2013.


    He told Kathleen he was taking the boys bowling that Sunday evening but when they didn’t return the country’s first every child rescue Ireland alert was issued.


    The boys remains were found the next day after he had murdered them and placed them in the boot and then crashed his car in Ballintubber County Mayo.


    He pleaded guilty to their murders the following year.


    Kathleen has written a book entitled “ Everything” as a tribute to the boys. Its been described as a beautiful though painful celebration of their young lives. But it illustrates so powerfully how its possible to rebuild your life even in the most devastating of circumstances.


    Kathleen talks to Sarah and Trina about her life, her unimaginable loss , the betrayal, the potential red flags in her relationship with the boys' father, what and who has helped her over the past ten years to come to terms with losing Eoghan and Ruaidhrí.



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  • Today we speak to Welsh rugby star Wesley Cunliffe from Newport who in his own words says the sport saved him from a life of crime. At a very young age, as the eldest of his siblings, driven by poverty, circumstance and tragedy, he was stealing to feed his family. By the age of 13 he was recruited by a drug gang to babysit their stash, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy.


    He worked for the gang to support his family. At the age of 16 he underwent life saving surgery when he was stabbed six times for a bag full of drugs after he was followed by rival gang members and set upon. This was the turning point for him.


    He found rugby, developed a passion for it and with the support of family and the police he went on to play semi professional rugby and is coaching people from disadvantaged backgrounds at the school of hard knocks.


    Wes chats with Sarah and Trina about his experience of being attacked and stabbed and seeing the effects on his family as he lay in hospital.

    In his own words.


    He talks about his semi professional career playing rugby, how he wasn't judged for where he came from or the colour of his skin when he played and continues to play . He said rugby became like a "second father" to him.


    He's now helping young people who find themselves stuck in the scenarios he got involved in and diverting them away from criminal behaviour.


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  • In this episode Trina and Sarah speak with cyberpsychologist Dr Nicola Fox Hamilton about the trials and tribulations of online dating and much more.


    Nicola's research has focused on communication through technology, particularly in the areas of online dating, relationships and attraction.


    She has written a number of papers and book chapters in the area of online dating, online behavior, online consumer behavior and cyberpsychology.


    We talk about the rise in misogyny and Incels (involuntary celibates).


    We also talk about cat fishing, kitten fishing, the negative impact social media can have on females in particular and we discuss the merits of legislating against children having a smartphone under a certain age.


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  • This week Sarah and Trina speak with author and RTE Prime Time's Security Correspondent Barry Cummins. Barry talks about growing up in Tallaght in South West Dublin, his path to journalism and how one of the first stories he covered as a local radio journalist was the disappearance of Fiona Pender who was seven months pregnant when she vanished from her home town of Tullamore in County Offaly in August 1996.


    He has covered numerous stories about the women who vanished from the Leinster area in the 90s and his book Missing was published 20 years ago this year.


    Barry talks about his work with the families of missing persons since then saying it is an area he has covered a lot of "by chance."


    He describes the torment that families endure when a loved one goes missing saying there really are no words to sum up what these families have gone through.


    "One thing I have found down the years is that families of missing people are very vulnerable, in many ways they need media, the need the publicity, they need help....sometimes if you knock on a door....they let you in to do an interview....they were grateful for the interest I had but they also realised I could help them in terms of publicity."


    He talks about the upgrade this year to murder of the case into the disappearance of American woman Annie McCarrick " if it happened today there would be so many other appeals, social media, you might be able to reach the person.....somebody knows."


    Barry Cummins has been involved as MC since 2013 for the annual Missing Person's Day which takes place in December. "families of missing people are invited to attend and its all about the families."


    He also talks about recent developments in the ongoing bid by International law enforcement to take down the Kinahan Cartel and the fact that the net is closing on those involved.


    Enjoy the episode.



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  • Today we are joined by Ireland's number one female professional Darts player Robyn Byrne. She plays in the World Darts Federation and Professional Darts Corporation. She's the first Irish person to get a gold medal in the European Championships and win the Masters, at any level. Robyn started competing when she was about six.


    She has represented Ireland at the European Championships in Austria and in England when she won the World Masters in the under 18s category.

    Despite her achieving what no other Irish man or woman has done before, the story has not made headlines.


    None of her siblings play the sport so we ask her where her love for DARTs comes from.


    Robyn is now playing darts at senior level and is the number one female in Ireland, so she has already qualified for the Six Nations, World Cup, World Masters and European Championships for next year - all at senior level.


    We wish her every success and hope that she takes home the GOLD for Ireland.


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  • In Episode 7 we are joined by Karl Ducque who works as a team leader with the TRY project (Targeted Response with Youth) in Dublin.


    Karl grew up in the flats in Dublin's inner city and talks about feeling like an outsider in school and turning to drugs at a very young age.


    By the age of 15 he was using heroin and started selling drugs and getting involved in crime because of debt.

    "Acting the gangster basically, wanting to make a name for yourself."


    He speaks about his struggles with addiction

    "What addiction does to you is it cuts everything off slow, it cuts your friends off, your family off, it burns all your bridges basically and I went through years of that I suppose....at the end your little spirit is dead....."


    He speaks to Sarah and Trina about his his views on methadone and his resentment at being prescribed it at a young age.


    He also talks about his inspiring recovery journey, his determination through the work he does now to deter young people from getting involved in criminality and steer them away from the path he went down.




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  • Real Lives Untold is hosted by Sarah O'Connor, a documentary maker and former crime and courts reporter, and Trina O'Connor, a working community criminologist.


    It is a podcast that focuses on all things crime and human interest, and offers a space for people to tell their stories, raise awareness and help others in similar situations.


    In season 1, Real Lives Untold will tell stories of redemption, restorative justice stories of survival; the raw, unedited version.


    New episodes coming very soon.

    Music from freemusicarchive.org

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