Author Archives: Aidan Coughlan

About Aidan Coughlan


#78 – Notes on The Irish Famine

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In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan examines the claims regarding culpability and blame within the historiography of The Irish Famine (circa 1845-1850). The Irish Famine devastated Ireland’s population: it is estimated to have killed a million people, with around two million more people forced to leave the country. Furthermore, this appalling event is a key example of the uneasy history between Ireland and the United Kingdom. At the time of the Famine, Ireland was a formal part of the UK, following the Act of Union in 1801. Did the British intend to extirpate the Irish, as has often been claimed, or were the British simply incompetent? The genocide charge dominates the historiography of the Famine. This debate over culpability and blame is, of course, a contentious one. This episode, after providing a brief introduction to the Famine, will summarise the competing arguments. This episode includes audio from episode 24 – The Irish Famine: Tragedy and Propaganda, which featured an interview with Professor Liam Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of History at Queen’s University Belfast. Aidan and Professor Kennedy discussed the comparisons made by Irish nationalists between the Irish Famine and the Jewish Holocaust. Professor Kennedy’s most recent book is Unhappy the Land: The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish.

Expanded show notes:

#24 – The Irish Famine: Tragedy and Propaganda

‘Blair issues apology for Irish Potato Famine’, The Independent, 1 June 1997.


D. George Boyce and Alan O’Day, The Making of Modern Irish History: Revisionism and the Revisionist Controversy, (London: Routledge, 1996).

Richard English, Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland, (London: Macmillan, 2007).

Peter Gray, The Irish Famine, (London: Thames & Hudson, 1995).

John Mitchel, ‘The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)’, Boston College Libraries,, accessed on 11 February 2018. [Note: Digital version of The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps) (1882). Other publishing dates listed are 1860 and 1873.]

Cormac Ó Gráda, The Great Irish Famine, (Cambridge: Macmillan, 1995).

#77 – Defending Trump’s Presidency

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Dr. Larry Fedewa says that Donald Trump would do well to tweet less often and to rein in some of his unseemly language, but, nevertheless, Dr. Fedewa argues that Trump is doing a good job as United States President. In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is speaking to Dr. Larry Fedewa, a conservative political commentator, with countless media contributions to his name, including the Washington Times. How successful has Trump’s administration been in gaining legislative support? What can be said of Trump’s foreign policy? Is Trump a new Ronald Reagan or is he more akin to a much earlier President, Andrew Jackson? Could Trump face impeachment, and if so, how does the impeachment process work? What is the future of the odd relationship between Trump and the mainstream media? All of these questions, and much more, are considered during this intriguing episode.

Aidan also spoke to Dr. Fedewa for the bonus audio episode, #75 – Project Extra: The Gun Debate.

For more information on Dr. Larry, you can visit his website at Larry is also on Twitter at, and you can view his Amazon author page at (US) and (UK).

Expanded show notes:

‘Trump says Kim meeting is ‘in the making’ despite concerns’, BBC News website, 10 March 2018.

‘Even when Trump is right, mainstream media downplays it rather than be honest — and more media embarrassments’, Fox News website, 10 March 2018.

“He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion.”

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

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A Podcast Spin-off

I will be launching a new, separate podcast in the coming weeks. However, fear not, The Aidan Project will continue as normal on its mission of thoughtful coverage and analysis of current events, history and culture. I will be adding more live content, too, as part of my commitment to the continual development of The Aidan Project.

The new podcast will allow me to express myself in unreserved detail on a specific cause that is of great importance to me. However, I do not want veganism to be the raison d’être of The Aidan Project, which has an identity of its own.

If veganism and associated considerations are of interest to you, then you will be pleased to know that Inside Veganism begins in April. Nevertheless, it is business as usual for The Aidan Project, where my concerns regarding the suffering of non-human animals, and the unmitigated horror show that is factory farming, need not reside. I have talked about these concerns before on The Aidan Project, but additional coverage, in my estimation, necessitates a different outlet.

Indeed, regardless of your level of sympathy towards non-human animals, The Aidan Project is a podcast about current events, history and culture. It shall remain so.

Thank you for your continuing support of The Aidan Project.


Related links:

Inside Veganism on Facebook
The Aidan Project Live: Inside Veganism
#39 – Animal Liberation: Ethics and Speciesism

#76 – The Evolution of Alternative Facts

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In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is talking to Dr. Gleb Tsipursky of the Pro-Truth Pledge about the battle for honest discourse. This is an important consideration. During a speech at the White House in January 2017, Donald Trump’s Press Secretary at the time, Sean Spicer, famously said: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.” This statement has been endlessly mocked, but, in more serious terms, it has come to represent, as stated shortly afterwards without irony by Trump advisor, Kellyanne Conway, as not being a lie, but an entirely different version of the truth. Spicer, explained Conway, was not being dishonest, but was dealing in “alternative facts”. Comparisons to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four were manifestly obvious and, indeed, were deeply indicative of a very real problem. What is the answer to alternative facts? Utilising research in behavioral science, Dr. Tsipursky is leading a team effort to address post-truth politics, fake news, and those unscrupulous alternative facts. Dr. Tsipursky is asking people, be they members of congress or members of the public, to sign the Pro-Truth Pledge as a commitment to deal in only one type of fact, and not the alternative variety. Dr. Tsipursky explains the motivation behind this movement, and outlines his hopes for a more honest arena of public discourse. Why are humans so easily misled? What can be done about fake news? Is it possible that Donald Trump would sign such a pledge? How has social media been manipulated to spread misinformation, and can this be prevented? These questions, including a fascinating look at why humans are, from an evolutionary standpoint, poorly equipped to deal with the modern age, are featured in this episode.

For more information on the Pro-Truth Pledge, or to sign the pledge, head to

Expanded show notes:

‘Richard Dawkins: We’re too stupid to decide on EU (that includes me)’, The Times, 23 May 2016.

‘Nigel Farage backtracks on Leave campaign’s ‘£350m for the NHS’ pledge hours after result’, The Independent, 24 June 2016.

Related episode:

#10 – George Orwell Versus Alternative Facts
#17 – The Fake News Agenda
#63 – Tribalism Aboard the Ship of Theseus

The Aidan Project on YouTube

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The Aidan Project has a shiny new address on YouTube! If you have not already done so, please subscribe at

There is some exclusive content to be found, including interviews which were not published on the main podcast. You can also find interviews which, in a sense, served as a dress rehearsal for The Aidan Project podcast.

At the time of this update, the most recent upload is a preview ahead of an upcoming episode (see video below).

I hope you enjoy looking through the archives!

#75 – Project Extra: The Gun Debate

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In this bonus edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is speaking to Dr. Larry Fedewa, a conservative political commentator, with countless media contributions to his name, including the Washington Times. In this mini-episode, Dr. Larry offers his reflections on the 14 February 2018 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, before discussing the wider issue of guns in American culture. Dr. Larry talks about the Second Amendment, the failures of the FBI, the culture clash in the US between rural and urban areas, and more. How soluble is the gun problem in America? Or is the problem less about guns, but more about mental health and law enforcement? Dr. Larry provides considered insight into these questions.

For more information on Dr. Larry, you can visit his website at Larry is also on Twitter at, and you can view his Amazon author page at (US) and (UK).

Expanded show notes:

Aidan’s full-length conversation with Dr. Larry will be released in the coming weeks. In this upcoming episode, Aidan and Dr. Larry talk for around an hour regarding the presidency of Donald Trump. In a wide-ranging conversation, all aspects of Trump’s administration are discussed, from foreign affairs to the president’s battle with the press. To ensure you do not miss an episode, you can subscribe to the podcast or join the mailing list at

I recommend reading Sam Harris’ 2003 article, The Riddle of the Gun, which is available at

Aidan and Mary Shores spoke briefly about the Florida shooting in #74 – Déjà Vu: Consciousness and Free Will.

#74 – Déjà Vu: Consciousness and Free Will

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In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Mary Shores, author of Conscious Communications: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Words to Change Your Mind, Your Choices, and Your Life, to discuss neuroscience, positive thinking, free will, the self, consciousness, stress, the negative aspects of social media, and much more. In fact, Aidan and Mary are having this conversation for the second time, the previous conversation having been lost due to the capricious nature of technology. This time, however, nothing was lost, and a wide-ranging conversation has been preserved. Recognized as a leader of innovative thought, Mary travels across the United States giving lectures, and teaching courses, and has been featured on local and national radio and television shows, podcasts, and blogs. Within this episode, Mary speaks candidly about life’s challenges, providing practical guidance, alongside first-hand experience, to explain the power of positive thinking. 

For more information on Mary, you can head to Mary’s website at, you can find Mary on Twitter at, on Facebook at and on YouTube at For options on purchasing Conscious Communications, head to

Expanded show notes:

As a thank you for listening to the podcast, Mary is currently offering a free download for the Conscious Communications Guidebook, which serves as a companion course for Conscious Communications. Featuring over 35 pages of exercises, you can sign-up for your free copy at

#73 – Abraham’s Secular Covenant