New podcast shares Scotland with the world

Eamon O’Flynn.

It’s a case of mistaken identity. For 35 years, thought he was as Irish as they come. Inspired by his enthusiastic grandfather, he spent his life studying Irish history, reading Irish stories and, just generally, embracing his Irish heritage. The whole family celebrated it almost exclusively. And then he took a DNA test and it came back 63% Scottish. “It came as a surprise. I knew I had some Scottish heritage, of course, but I could never have guessed it’d be that much,” says Eamon. “I can’t walk around acting like the second coming of Liam Neeson.”

After getting over the initial shock and surprise of his new-found heritage, he began to wonder what he could do to understand and celebrate his Scottish side. He checked out books about Scotland, listened to podcasts and began to develop an interest in whisky. It was a start, but he wanted more. “You can find out what Scotland is like, but it’s harder to find out what it’s like to be Scottish. I realized that I needed to talk to real, live Scottish people,” he says.

What it means to be Scottish

Podcasts – free online radio programs, essentially – provide the opportunity to discuss topics at length and can be created by anyone with a little technical know-how. An experienced podcaster with an existing show about music, Eamon was familiar with the medium and its potential for informing and entertaining. Not only could it provide him with a unique window into what it means to be Scottish, but he’d be able to share this experience with others, too. “I have a podcast and I work in communications, so I’m comfortable with this sort of thing. I also have degrees in history and political science that give me some confidence in terms of discussing things like Culloden or Independence,” says Eamon. “But I also have a level of ignorance – having not studied Scotland – that positions me well to ask questions that most non-Scots might like to have answered.”

The new podcast, called “63 Percent Scottish,” launched on August 22. The earliest episodes tackled subjects like William Wallace, the Isle of Lewis and whisky. Future episodes will discuss Scottish football, independence, women in Scottish history and more. The interviewees include award-winning journalists like The Scotsman’s Rosalind Erskine, best-selling authors like Coinneach MacLeod and prominent podcasters like Owen Innes. “I can’t believe the calibre of guest we’ve attracted to the show – and they’re all absolutely lovely people” says Eamon. “We also have incredible partners in sharing it with the world. The Scottish Banner has been very supportive, of course. St. Andrew’s Societies and Scottish Societies all around the world – Toronto, Ottawa, New York, Los Angeles and Singapore – are sharing episodes with their memberships. The sense of community just from creating this show is simply overwhelming.”

63 Percent Scottish is free on the Scottish Banner website and at It’s also available on all major platforms – Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music. New episodes are available each week.

Listen now

EP1 “Where to begin?” with Kevin James

63 Percent Scottish: A Scotland Appreciation Podcast, EP 1: “Where to begin?” with Dr. Kevin James from the University of Guelph.” 

EP2 “Why William Wallace?” with Owen Innes

63 Percent Scottish: A Scotland Appreciation Podcast, EP 2: “Why William Wallace?” with Owen Innes from the Scottish History Podcast.” 

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