Irish History Podcast

Many of the foods you will eat on Christmas day were unknown to medieval Europeans. Turkey, cranberries and even potatoes only arrived in Europe after the conquest of the Americas began. This podcast looks at the world of medieval food to see at what was available . You will be surprised at the variety of food in medieval Ireland (if you had the money). This show also looks at the strange, lethal and somewhat scary world of takeaway food in medieval Ireland.

Direct download: food.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55am EST

This podcast takes the story to a pivotal year in the Norman Invasion of Ireland - 1176. The episode begins where part XII left off - the aftermath of Raymond le Gros' successful siege of Limerick. Raymond makes his way back to Dublin where he receives the shock of lifetime. He is not welcomed by his fellow Normans but instead faces accusations of treachery.  This show sees the Normans turn on each other and then ends in the most dramatic of circumstances! Listen to find out more about these intriguing events

 

Direct download: Norman_Invasion_13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47pm EST

In 1173 Strongbow returned to Ireland after fighting in Normandy for his king Henry II. Within months he faced one of the biggest crises since the invasion had begun as Gaelic resistance to the Invasion surged. Not only was his castle at Kilkenny destroyed but west of the Shannon Ireland's most powerful king Rory O'Connor was planning a major assault on the colony. The Norman presence in Ireland teetered on the brink of potential annihilation. Listen to the podcast to find out what happened.

Direct download: Norman_Invasion_I2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm EST

In the Spring of 1925 newspapers around the world carried stories that a famine had broken out in Ireland. The Manchester Guardian reported 750,000 people were at risk, a figure repeated by the Soviet Union's daily Pravda. However there is no mention of this "famine" in Irish history books so in I went to the National Archives in search of evidence. What I found was tragic details of yet another cover up. Listen to the show to find out what I discovered.

If you have any questions or queries about this show you can mail me at history@irishhistorypodcast.ie or find me at Irishhistory on twitter and  Irishhistorypodcast on facebook.

Direct download: Did_the_Irish_Government_cover_up_mass_starvation_in_the_1920s_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45am EST

This is a brief update on whats coming next in the Norman invasion series.

Direct download: Update_on_the_Norman_Invasion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EST

The year is 1174, much of Ireland is reeling from 5 years of warfare since the Norman Invasion began in earnest in 1169. The island is gripped by sweeping change and chaos. This podcast is an enthralling journey through this land ravaged by conflict. 

Before I continue the story of the invasion this episodes stops and takes stock of how the invasion so far was changing life in Ireland. Taking the form of a tour around Ireland it looks at the varying impacts across the Island from war-torn Meath and Leinster to Ulster and Connacht revealing a population traumatised, living in  uncertain times with only more chaos and upheaval on the horizon. The show looks at Ireland through eyes of Marcus Judeus one of the earliest Jews recorded in Ireland who had probably arrived in Dublin in the aftermath of the conquest.Find out more about my upcoming book at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/book

Direct download: Ireland_1174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37am EST

On November 2nd 1324, Petronilla of Meath, one of 12 people charged with witchcraft in Kilkenny was burned at the stake in the town. She was the first person to suffer this horrendous fate in Irish history. In this festively themed podcast I trace the story behind this fascinating case and those accused and convicted of witchcraft. What actually happened in Kilkenny in 1324? Was Petronilla of Meath a witch? And what were medieval witches supposed to have done anyway?Contact me with any questions, queries and suggestions for future shows at history@irishhistorypodcast.ie

 

Direct download: Irelands_first_witch-burning_Kilkenny_1324.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am EST

The story of protest in medieval Ireland is a forgotten but fascinating chapter in our history. While forthright and often violent these protests voiced the concerns of ordinary people so often excluded from written records. In this podcast I look at five protests from late medieval Ireland including a water tax in 1244 and Ireland's first recorded strike in 1299. The intriguing stories behind these protests are brought to light for the first time in centuries in this podcast.

To get more free podcasts from my new series on the black death subscribe to my mailing list at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie

Direct download: Riots_murder_and_the_mob_protest_in_medieval.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:31am EST

At Easter 1172 Henry II left Ireland, having spent six months on the island. Before departing he conferred the Kingdom of Meath onto the Norman baron Hugh de Lacy. However Meath already a king, in fact it had several. Through most of the 12th century numerous Irish kings had been laying claim to what was one of the oldest territories in Ireland. Naturally when de Lacy tried to claim what Henry II had no right to give him he faced opposition. However nothing is simple and his attempted invasion of Meath took a most unusual direction.

This show also sees Henry II return home to face rebellion not only from his sons but also his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine. This revolt has massive consequences for Strongbow, Hugh de Lacy and the Normans in Ireland who are soon embroiled in one of the bitterest family disputes in history.

You can contact me at www.twitter.com/irishhistory, www.facebook.com/irishhistorypodcast or email at history@irishhistorypodcast.ie

Direct download: 1172-1174_The_Norman_Invasion_X_The_Return_to_War.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53am EST

On October 17th 1172 Henry II became the first King of England to set foot in Ireland. Henry had come in the hope to proclaiming himself lord over the entire island. Awaiting him were not just his own Norman subjects who had been fighting in Ireland since 1169 but also dozens of Gaelic kings. How these kings in particular would react to Henry's claims would be crucial. The King however had prepared for all eventualities bringing an army of over 4,000 warriors and even prefabricated siege towers. In the show I look at how Henry was received, why he had come and what a medieval royal visit like this looked like.

If you want to receive my exclusive podcast series on the Black Death Subscribe at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/blackdeath/

 

Direct download: Henry_II_in_Ireland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:49am EST

Despite their victory at the siege of Dublin (covered in Part VII), Strongbow and his Normans followers in Ireland are by no means in a secure position. In Wexford their comrade-in-arms Robert FitzStephen is being held prisoner. Meanwhile across Leinster they face widespread opposition. The man who invited them to Ireland Diarmait McMurrough is dead and his brother is hostile to the Normans. Meanwhile the neighbouring king of Ossory, Gillapatrick, is a constant threat. If these aren't enough problems, King Henry II in England is demanding answers as to what is happening in Ireland and decides he will come in person to investigate. This podcast takes us through a hectic three months period in late 1171 as Strongbow tries to stabilise his presence in Ireland but the odds are he will fail....

You can subscribe to the my podcast series on the Black Death at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/blackdeath

 

Direct download: Norman_Invasion_VIII_The_Arrival_of_Henry_II.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:05am EST

This podcast sees the Normans suffer a ferocious backlash after their conquests in the year of 1170. A Norse army including beserkers - feared viking warriors - attack Dublin before a vast host lead by the king of Connacht - Rory O'Connor besieges the town. The Norman presence in Ireland hangs by a thread as they lose the few friends they had. This episode also sees tensions ramp between Strongbow and his king back home Henry II who is increasingly fearful Strongbow is about to establish a rival kingdom in Ireland.

At the end of the episode I have an exciting announcement about how you can get more exclusive podcasts on Irish history and how you can have your say over my next book. You can find out more at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/blackdeath.

Direct download: Norman_Invasion_VII_-_The_Second_Siege_of_Dublin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:19am EST

After their brutal conquest of Waterford, Diarmait McMurrough and his Norman allies marshaled their forces and marched on Dublin. If the most important town in medieval Ireland fell into their hands it could be a game changer. The claims of Rory O'Connor of Connacht to be Ireland's most powerful king would be in tatters. This scenario set up a major conflict over Dublin as Rory marched west, reaching the town before the Normans and digging in. Listen to the show to find out what happened....

In the show I ask for your feedback on this series on the Norman Invasion @irishhistory on twitter, Irishhistorypodcast on facebook or if email works better you'll find me at history@irishhistorypodcast.ie

Direct download: Normans_VI_-_the_first_siege_of_Dublin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:10am EST

In the summer of 1170, Ireland stood on a precipice. After the arrival of several hundred Norman mercenaries in 1169 the fortunes of Diarmait McMurrough had changed. He had reconquered his lost power in the kingdom of Leinster and re-established himself as a major player in Irish politics.

However this was only the beginning, a violent prelude to Diarmait’s main ambition. He was still waiting for the main force of his mercenaries lead by the Norman Lord Strongbow to arrive and when they did they in the summer of 1170 they did not fail to make their mark. The arrival of the Norman lord and 1200 men signaled the beginning of a dark period in Irish history fittingly preceeded by the battle of Baginbun in May and then followed by the siege of Waterford in August. These crucial encounters form the basis of this episode.

Let me know you thoughts on the show @irishhistory on twitter or www.facebook.com/irishhistorypodcast

Direct download: Normans_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am EST

On May 1st 1169, Robert FitzStephen a Norman Knight from Wales, finds himself on Bannow Strand, Ireland leading 300 Norman mercenaries. Their mission - to restore Diarmait McMurrough, the one time gaelic king of Leinster to power. However both they and Diarmait have much greater ambitions.

With a few days of arriving in Ireland the Normans are outside the walls of Wexford besieging what is one of Ireland's most important medieval towns. Although few know it at the time the Norman conquest is well underway. However its not all plain sailing for the Normans - before this show ends they will face the wrath of Ireland's most powerful king Rory O'Connor. 

 

Direct download: Normans_IV.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59am EST

This podcast looks at the first Normans to arrive in Ireland, in a chapter often forgotten by the history books. These mercenaries accompany Diarmait McMurrough who returned to Ireland in 1167  to pave the way for the larger forces of Strongbow. However if these warriors led by Robert FitzGodibert, thought the Gaelic Irish were going to be a pushover they are in for a rude awakening.

They quickly run into the might of Rory O'Connor, perhaps the most powerful Gaelic King in Irish history and things don't go according to plan. Let me know what you thought of the show by contacting me @irishhistory on twitter or irishhistorypodcast on facebook

Direct download: Norman_Invasion_III_-_The_conquest_begins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EST

Over the last few weeks Ireland has been rocked by yet another child abuse scandal. Newspaper headlines around the world have reported in disbelief details of how society in Ireland treated unmarried mothers and their children in so called “Mother and Child homes". Child mortality rates reached over 50% in some of these institutions.

While many around the world are understandably astounded as to how a society could be so cruel to children, in Ireland this is only the latest chapter in a long horrific story of institutional abuse that has been emerging over the last two decades. As a light is finally shone into the darkest recesses of modern Irish history, the question of how will Irish society deal with this is increasingly important. It is here where history has a crucial role to play.

For years the dominant narrative around abuse in Ireland was that it took place behind closed doors and that the vast majority of people had no idea it was being perpetrated. However historical research indictaes this is not entirely true. I think if we are to move forward and deal with our dark past we must acknowledge who knew what and why they were powerless to act. In this podcast, based on this article, I am going to look over some of the evidence that indicates there was a widespread knowledge of child abuse in Ireland throughout the 20th century.

Let me know what your thought of the show by contacting me @irishhistory on twitter or irishhistorypodcast on facebook.

 

 

 


This show looks at some of the most pivotal events in Ireland's history. As Part I of the Norman invasion drew to a close Diarmait McMurrough, the King of Leinster was routed after his powerful ally Muirchertach McLochlainn was killed in 1166. His rivals Rory O'Connor and Tiernan O'Rourke then forced him into exile.

This episode follows Diarmait as he journeys across into the medieval crossroads that was the Irish sea in the Middle Ages. Diarmait is on mission to find allies in the powerful Norman Angevin Empire ruled by Henry II. He is in a desperate position - if he cannot secure the help of Henry II to restore him to power he is doomed.

Diarmait's enthralling quest takes us across Northern Europe from Wales to Normandy and even as far as the Duchy of Aquitaine in western France. Before the show ends he will have met with King Henry II and several Norman nobles not least among them the famous Lord - Strongbow. As Diarmait negotiates with these men - some of the most  of the age - seeking military aid, the history of Ireland hangs in the balance!


This is the first in a multipart series on the Norman invasion of Ireland. The Invasion was one of the most important and fascinating events in Irish history beginning Ireland's turbulent relationship with England. This episode sets the same in the brutal struggle for dominance between Irish kings in the 12th century.


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Direct download: Norman_Invasion_PartI_1156_-_1166.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09am EST

1972 was one of the darkest yet defining years in modern Irish history. Nearly five hundred people were killed in the conflict known as “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. Events of that year like Bloody Sunday, Bloody Friday and Operation Motorman would shape Ireland for decades to come. In many ways one death has been remembered more than any other – this was abduction and murder of Jean McConville in December 1972.

 

In the last two weeks this event in particular has brought 1972 back centre stage when the prominent Irish politician and leader of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams was arrested in relation to Mrs. McConville’s murder. This has had huge implications for history, as much of the case against Adams appears to have originated in a historical archive seized by the police.

 

In this podcast I look at the events in Ireland in 1972 and how it has come to pass that 42 years later one of the Ireland’s most prominent politicians arrested. What was in this historical archive? What are the rights of historians to record history vs. the rights of families of victims who may want to read private archives looking of answers? What are the rights of people to their good name when allegations are made about them in historical interviews? Finally perhaps the most important question for historians - who has the right to record our history? This show takes you through these controversial questions and indeed the interviews conducted with former members of the IRA revealing what the allegations made were.

Let me know what your thought of the show by contacting me @irishhistory on twitter or irishhistorypodcast on facebook.

Direct download: The_IRA_the_Boston_College_Tapes_and_who_tells_the_past.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm EST

On this day 1000 years today, one of the most famous battle in Irish history, the Battle of Clontarf  took place. In this show I look at day to day life in Ireland in 1014. Its a strange world that would stun, shock and surprise in equal measure.


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Join me on a tour at dublinfaminetour.ie

Direct download: Ireland_1014_-_What_a_difference_a_millennium_makes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm EST

 

In a show with a title such as this you might expect names such as Oliver Cromwell or Strongbow to feature heavily. While these men are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Ireland, the greatest killers in Irish history are not humans but disease. In this show I take a look at the worst diseases to hit Ireland and how they changed the course of our history.

Support the show on patreon.com/irishpodcast

Join me on a tour at dublinfaminetour.ie

 

Direct download: Five_of_the_greatest_killers_in_Irish_history.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24am EST

The potato is synonymous with the biggest disaster in Irish history – the Great Famine of the 1840s. However this is only part of the story of the potato in Irish history. The arrival of the potato in Ireland transformed the island and resulted in changes in how people lived their lives. In the podcast I examine the good, the bad and the ugly of the potato's fascinating and chequered relationship with Ireland.

Support the show on patreon.com/irishpodcast

Join me on a tour at dublinfaminetour.ie

 

Direct download: The_impact_of_the_potato_on_Irish_History.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:43am EST

Everyone has heard of the Great Irish Famine of the 1840's when around 10% of the Irish population died from starvation and disease. This however was not the worst famine in Irish history. A century earlier in the 1740s the island was ravaged by an event known as the year of slaughter when as much as 20% of the population perished. Hear the full story

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Join me on a tour - Dublinfaminetour.ie

 

Direct download: Irelands_other_Great_Famine_-_The_Year_of_Slaughter_of_1740-41.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am EST

In 1270 the battle of Ath-an-Chip saw a major Gaelic Army take on the forces of the powerful Norman Lord of Connacht Walter de Burgh on the upper reaches of the river Shannon. This decisive battle would shape the history of medieval Ireland in Connacht for decades if not centuries to come...

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Join me on a tour - Dublinfaminetour.ie

 

 

Direct download: The_Battle_of_Ath-an-Chip_and_the_life_of_the_rebel-king_Aodh_OConnor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:02am EST

Most of the podcasts I make focus on the darker aspects of medieval life. War is a common theme and famine is never far away. However in this podcast I am asking the question was life in medieval Ireland ever anything other than an endless struggle for survival. The show start in the Vale of Dublin in 1326 when the region was an apocalyptic wasteland before looking back to 1234 when the region enjoyed better days.
Support the show on patreon.com/irishpodcast
Join me on a tour at dublinfaminetour.ie

Direct download: Medieval_Ireland_-_Was_there_ever_any_good_old_daysmp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:31am EST

Climate change is constantly in the news. In the late 13th & early 14th centuries Ireland was also battered by storms and maligned by poor weather. This podcast takes a look at some of the ways it impacted the medieval world. While society didn't collapse if the experience of our ancestors is anything to go by our future could be something of a rocky and hungry road!

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Join me on a tour at dublinfaminetour.ie

 

Direct download: 31_Climate_change_in_Medieval_Ireland_a_warning_from_the_past.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28am EST

What did Dublin sound like in 1320? What was the news of the day? Who were the people who lived there? In this episode you will experience the world of late medieval Dublin. The podcast takes the form of a walk through the city as it was in 1320 where we encounter everything from pigs roaming the streets to the city hangman Philip of Colchester.

Support the show on patreon.com/irishpodcast

Join me on a tour at dublinfaminetour.ie

Direct download: The_sounds_of_a_medieval_city_-_A_walk_through_Dublin_in_1320.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33am EST

Lambert Simnel's life must be one of the most unusual stories from medieval history. Born the son of a carpenter he became embroiled in a conspiracy to overthrow Henry VII and before he knew what was happening he became the only english King crowned in Ireland and was on his way to invading England...

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Join me on a tour at dublinfaminetour.ie

 

Direct download: From_Carpenters_son_to_King_-_the_Lambert_Simnel_conpiracy_of_1487.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:43am EST

This podcast is based on this article I wrote on my blog (irishhistorypodcast.ie) about Cristiana la Sadelhackere, a woman who worked as a prostitute in medieval Ireland. Her story is an intriguing account of a precarious life on the fringes of medieval society struggling against the authorities of the day. The podcast also takes a fascinating look at why women became prostitutes in medieval Ireland and how wider society viewed them.

You can listen to the show here http://irishhistorypodcast.ie/2014/01/23/podcast-prostitution-in-medieval-ireland-the-story-of-cristiana-la-sadelhackere/

or download directly at the link below

Direct download: Prostitution_in_Medieval_Ireland_-_the_story_of_Cristiana_Sadelhackere.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14pm EST

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