Irish History Podcast

In the opening line of his novel The Go Between the writer L.P. Hartley famously quipped ‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there’. For me history is about attempting to visit this foreign country L.P. Hartley talked about and seeing what life was like.
In this podcast I have  trawled through eye witness accounts of travelers to early 19th century Ireland to give you a sense of what life was like in a past where they did things very differently.
From bare-knuckle boxing to prostitution, from public transport to what people did for fun, this show takes you on the trip to the foreign country that was Ireland in the 1820s. 

This is the last show of 2016, thanks to everyone who has supported the show through the year and I hope you & yours have a great christmas and an even better new year!

Nollaig Shona

Fin

PS Don't forget in January I will be launching my new series on the Great Famine. You can help with the series and get lots of extra content by becoming a patron of the podcast today at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: A_Hitch_Hikers_Guide_to_1820s_Ireland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EST

'Letters from Dakota' is the story of my grandaunt Mollie Dwyer who emigrated to the USA when she was 15 years of age in 1906. Her emigrant experience was very different to most. Within two months she found herself in a convent in South Dakota training to be a nun. She would never return to the town she grew up in, save for the very occasional visit. 

However for over 40 years she wrote to her brother Jack Dwyer (my grandfather) in Castlecomer revealing intriguing insights into her unusual life as a nun in rural Dakota. I recently discovered her letters where she writes about prohibition in the 1920s, World War II but also her lonely life in the Midwest of the USA as well as her struggles with depression.  

These are her Letters from Dakota. 

My sister Ruth narrates her letters in this episode.

Become a patron of the show today and for a small monthly subscription you can get lots of bonus content. Find out more at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: Letters__from_Dakota.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19am EST

I launched my first exclusive patron’s podcast on the Land War yesterday.The Land War is a fascinating struggle between Irish landlords and tenants between 1879 and 1882.

This podcast contains some of that show (for free) and if you enjoy what you hear, the details of how to get the full episode at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast available only to patrons.

I also introduce the mysterious other person involved in making the Irish History Podcast - It might be you with you even knowing it. Tune in to find out more.

 

Direct download: The_Land_War_General.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:57am EST

The Phoenix Park Murders are one of the most famous assassinations in Irish History. On May 6th 1882 Lord Frederick Cavendish and Thomas Henry Burke were killed in brutal circumstances in the Phoenix Park. The full story is covered in Part I.

This episode follows the manhunt for the assassins. While the police quickly identified the likely suspects, they had almost no evidence to make arrests.

This lead to a fascinating and relentless pursuit for evidence through victorian Dublin, while the assassins prepared to carry out more attacks.

The show concludes with  the trials and one of the most notorious informers in Irish history.

So far 65 listeners like you have supported my crowd funding campaign to make a podcast series on the Great Famine in 2017. You help me make that series by becoming a patron of the series today at https://www.patreon.com/Irishpodcast. As a patron you will receive bonus and exclusive content including episode guides, exclusive patron's podcasts and access to patrons discussions.

Direct download: Phoenix_Park_II.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:12am EST

The Phoenix Park Murders are among the most famous political assassinations in Irish History. On May 6th 1882, Lord Frederick Cavendish the new chief secretary for Ireland was assassinated in the Phoenix Park in brutal circumstances. Taking place at the height of the Land War, the fascinating story of the murders is set to the backdrop of riots, protests and other assassinations. In part I, I look at this context by following Frederick Cavendish on his last day alive before finishing up with the assassination itself. 

You can become a patron of the podcast at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast. Patrons receive bonus shows, episode guides and much more. Find out more at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: Phoenix_Park_I.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:08am EST

In this episode I took my recorder and headed around my neighbourhood looking for the history of the Great Famine. Unsurprisingly I didn't have to travel far. With the Women's prison, the North Dublin Workhouse and the residence of the Lord  Lieutenant all within a kilometre, this show is full of fascinating accounts recorded at the sites they took place. From the mansions of the powerful to the prison cells of the powerless, this is a fascinating account of life in Dublin in the late 1840s. Among the lives recalled is that of 13 year old Mary Keane was imprisoned for not having a train ticket! However others faced worse punishment...

I am planning a major podcast series on the Great Famine in 2017. To deliver this I need your support. I have launched a campaign at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast. This allows you to become a patron of the series and support my research with small monthly donations. In return for your support you will get lots of bonus content including an exclusive monthly patrons podcast, a patrons guide to each episode and much more. Check it out at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast.

Thanks

Fin

Direct download: Tales_from_the_Great_Famine_in_Dublin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46pm EST

In this final episode on the Maamtrasna murders, we begin by picking up the story of this fascinating murder case in December 1882. Eight men have been sentenced to die in Galway Jail on December the 15th for their role in the brutal killings of the Joyce family.

While five get their sentences commuted to the life imprisonment three are set to die. However at the last minute new evidence emerges. This is sent to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland of Ireland John Poyntz Spencer. However he doesn't have much time to decide what to do - the hangman William Marwood was already on his way to Galway prison. Find out what happens in the show.

In this episode I also launch a new patreon campaign where you can support the podcast as I build towards my upcoming major series on the Great Famine. You can find out more at patreon.com/irishpodcast where i also have a new video. Filmed in an abandoned famine village in the Cooley Mountains, it explains what you can expect from the podcast in 2017. For more check out patreon.com/irishpodcast 

Direct download: Maamtrasna_Part_III.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm EST

In Part I of this series on the Maamtrasna murders I looked at one of the most brutal killings in 19th century Ireland when the Joyce family were attacked in their remote home in Maamtrasna on the Mayo-Galway border.

This podcast follows looks at the trials. While the police made a major break through within days of the murder a botched attempt at swift justice would see the story of the trials become nearly as famous the murders themselves.

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Email: history@Irishhistorypodcast.ie

Direct download: Maamtrasna_Trial.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am EST

Prior to 1882, Maamtrasna a remote townland in the west of Ireland, was known to few outside Co. Galway. That all changed on the night of August 17th 1882 when one of the most brutal murders in 19th century Ireland took place there.

Five members of the Joyce family were killed in a horrific and disturbing attack. In a deeply unnerving aspect of a case still shrouded in mystery, the perpetrators were almost certainly known to the victims.

This first podcast looks at what exactly happened in Maamtrasna on that fateful summers night in 1882 before looking at some possible motives. Following shows will look at the trials and scandal that followed brutal murders.

Follow the show at

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Direct download: Maamtrasna_I.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38am EST

Medieval outlaws have captured the human imagination for centuries. The story of Robin Hood who famously robbed from the rich to give to the poor has proved the most enduring. However most were ruthless individuals, many were willing to rob from the rich but few ever gave their bounty to the poor.

This podcast is about a Irish man who was an outlaw in all but name. While Jack would avoid being declared an outlaw his life gives a much better sense of what a medieval outlaw was like rather than the oft recounted tales of Robin Hood. His story is a the real life tale of an Irish man who ran amok across the North of England living well beyond the bounds of what was legal but was protected by friends in very high places!

You can get my copies of my book "1348: A Medieval Apocalypse - The Black Death in Ireland" at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/product/1348/

I will be speaking about The Black Death in Dublin at the Street Stories History Festival in the Cobblestone Pub, Smithfield, Dublin 7 at 12 noon, Saturday October 29th https://www.facebook.com/events/325711434474828/

Direct download: Jack_of_Ireland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:07am EST

 This podcast was funded by the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund.

We don’t remember 1980s fondly in Ireland. Emigration and recession were features of life. The political atmosphere was defined by divisive and bitter debates around abortion in 1983 and divorce in 1986.

There was also a third deeply discomforting debate that rocked Irish society. Almost completely forgotten, this debate around child sexual abuse lifted the lid on a topic previously shrouded by shame, taboo and a code of silence. Contrary to what we might expect this did not involve priests, institutions or the Catholic Church. This debate has had an enduring legacy - shaping stereotypes and misinforming how we understand child sexual abuse in the 21 Century.

This podcast deals with Child Sexual Abuse. It is not suitable children. If you find this is a topic distressing you may not want skip this show.

If you are affected by issues in this podcast these organisations may be of help.

Ireland www.oneinfour.ie

Britain www.oneinfour.org.uk

The podcast is part of a wider investigation funded by the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund where myself and Peter McGuire looked into child sexual abuse in the recent past and the present. You can find more material here.

Direct download: Raftery.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22am EST

In November 1867 tension and fear gripped the city of Manchester. A regiment of the British Army was drafted in to support a police force already bolstered by an extra 2,000 recruits.

With the most contentious execution in a century due to take place at the New Bailey Prison, it was feared racial tensions in Manchester would erupt into violence.

The three condemned men Michael O'Brien, Michael Larkin and William Allen were all Irish. It was widely believed that the British courts had treated them harshly. As the execution day approached rumours spread that an escape orchestrated by the Fenians was on the cards. The city was on a knife edge...

This podcast tells the fascinating story of these three men remembered as the Manchester Martyrs.

You can see pictures of the individuals involved at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/manchester

Direct download: Manchester_Martyrs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:29am EST

The Fatal Feuds series has tracked the dramatic rise of the de Burgh Lords of the West and Earls of Ulster - the most powerful family in Medieval Irish history.

In 1326 the family Patriarch, the Red Earl, died leaving the family facing an uncertain future. The heir, known as the Brown Earl, was only 15 years of age. He now had to unify his vassals and powerful relations many of whom had ambitions of their own in an Ireland beset by war and hardships. As the title suggests things dont go according to plan in what is a dramatic conclusion to the series.

You can find a de Burgh family tree and biographies of the major figures at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/fatal

Direct download: Fatal_Feuds_V_-_Medieval_Downfall.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:29am EST

TV series like Downton Abbey offer a sensationalised view of life in Stately Homes but what was it really like? This podcast uses the never before published words of Florence Doreen Wandesforde who wrote a short account of her childhood in Castlecomer House before she died in 1999 at the age 95.

This is a fascinating insight to the world of upstairs-downstairs. Doreen and her family had their own butler, cook, servants and even gym instructor. Their house had a heated swimming pool in the early 20th century! She even met King George V and Queen Mary. However she also gives an insight into the simplicity of children's games and the tragedies inflicted on her family during World War I.

 

Direct download: Castlecomer_House_Childhood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

The show picks up the story of the de Burgh family in August 1316 as the biggest battle in medieval Irish history approaches. The De Burghs have paid an huge ransom to free their best battle commander William 'Liath' de Burgh. He will lead the Norman forces against the might of the O'Connors and their king Felim. This battle fought beneath the walls of Athenry will decide the fate of a generation.

This episode also continues the story of the Bruce Invasion and Dublin's earliest popular revolt.

You can find the show on social media @

www.facebook.com/irishhistorypodcast

www.twitter.com/irishhistory

Direct download: Fatal_Feuds_IV.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am EST

In 1296 King Edward I of England invaded Scotland. During this campaign he removed the Stone of Destiny (a.k.a. The Stone of Scone) bringing it back to England. The removal of the stone which had been used to inaugurate medieval Scottish Kings, symbolised Scotland's domination by her southern neighbour. That was until Christmas 1950 when three students and a teacher attempted to take the stone back north of the border. Hear the full story of a heist that dominated the headlines around the world.

Buy the audiobook of 1348: A Medieval Apocalyspe - The Black Death in Ireland using the couponcode 'listener' before August 31st and you will receive 20% off.

The book is available now at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie

 

Direct download: Stealing_the_Stone_of_Destiny_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:43am EST

The third part of the mini-series Fatal Feuds focuses on the Bruce Invasion of Ireland in 1315. This sees the famous Scottish King Robert the Bruce wage war on his father-in-law the Red Earl of Ulster Richard de Burgh. This podcast on the greatest war in Medieval Irish history is packed full of fascinating characters and stories not to mention the longest siege in Irish history.

Dont forget to buy your audio book of 1348: A Medieval Apocalyspe at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie before August 31st using the couponcode listener to get your discount of 20%.

Direct download: Fatal_Feuds_III.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25am EST

The Red Wedding is an infamous chapter in the Game of Thrones series. It saw one family wipe out their rivals in a treacherous and brutal massacre. In this podcast I look at a comparable event from Ireland in the 14th century.

In 1305 the Lord of Tethmoy Peter de Bermingham invited several leading members of the O'Connor-Faly family to Carrick castle for a feast. The guests included his godchild. What followed was one of the most notorious incidents in what was already a brutal age. Listen to the show for the full story.

You can get in touch at history@Irishhistorypodcast.ie

My latest book '1348: A Medieval Apocalypse - The Black Death in Ireland' is available at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie. If you buy the audio book before August 31st you get 20% off by using the couponcode 'listener'.

 

Direct download: Red_wedding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:28am EST

This show picks up the story of Richard de Burgh, the Red Earl of Ulster at Christmas 1294. At the end of Fatal Feuds Part I he had been kidnapped & imprisoned in Lea castle by his rival John Fitzthomas. This  plunged Ireland into chaos.

In this show with the the Earl in captivity Fitzthomas goes on the offensive attacking his rivals in Connacht. Mayhem sweeps across Ireland in an event known as The Time of Disturbance. This show covers the following 20 years of frantic warfare in Ireland.

And if Ireland's nobles weren't creating enough trouble, by the end of the episode Robert the Bruce Scotland’s most famous King will enters the fray.

Direct download: Fatal_Feuds_Final_II_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14am EST

Hi folks in episode 84 I mentioned I am looking for a sponsor for the show. Things have moved along. I now have an agency and the final hurdle is getting you guys to fill out a 30 second survey at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/survey. It asks six really quick multiple  choice questions. Less than a minute of your time now you will mean hours of podcasts  in the coming months and years.

Thanks

Fin

Direct download: Sponsor_piece.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:18pm EST

This episode is the first of four that looks at a series of related feuds that ripped Ireland apart in the late Middle Ages. 'Fatal Feuds' begins in the late 13th century when the de Burgh and FitzGerald families fought out a private war of epic proportions. This episode begins by introducing the most important character in the series  - Richard Og de Burgh, The Red Earl of Ulster and Lord of Connacht. Before the podcast ends Ireland is gripped by war, barbarism and uncertainty.

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

In 1895 Bridget Cleary made international news after she was burned to death in South Tipperary. Rumours circulated she had been accused of being a witch. Could this be true? On the eve of the 20th century a woman was burned as a witch in Ireland. This podcast tells the full story and looks at the horrific murder of Bridget Cleary - the last person who was burned to death in Ireland.

Direct download: Bridget_Cleary_-_The_last_woman_burned_in_Ireland_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13am EST

Mary Doheny was born in Ireland in the 1820s.  A ruthless, mysterious and controversial woman she gained notoriety in the 1860s. In 1864 she stood trial for organising one of the most bizarre scams of the 19th century which involved among other things raising people from the dead. Unsurprisingly rumours of witchcraft were never far from what was an incredible story. Hear her fascinating but forgotten history in the latest show.

Direct download: The_witch_Mary_Doheny_-_a_19th_century_supernatural_scam_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34am EST

The Irish Free State remained neutral in World War II. Nevertheless the country and its people still faced attack. In 1941 the Nazis bombed the North Strand in Dublin. However the most lethal explosion took place in a remote corner of Donegal killing 19 people. An eyewitness recalled a "tremendous explosion shook the heavens and a brilliant blinding flash of light illuminated the countryside lighting up mountains many miles to the rear" Hear the forgotten story of this and the other casualties of World War II bombs in Ireland in this episode.

As a podcast listener you can also avail of a 20% discount on my new audio book '1348: A Medieval Apocalypse: The Black Death in Ireland'. Just use the coupon code 'listener' at www.irishhistorpodcast.ie

Direct download: Irelands_Forgotten_World_War_II_bombings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am EST

Hubert Butler (1900-1991) is a forgotten Irish hero. In 1938-39 he traveled to the Nazi Third Reich to help Jews escape persecution. While he ultimately helped save 150 people from the holocaust, he was not celebrated in Ireland. Instead after he revealed how the church was involved in supporting the Nazi allies in Yugoslavia he suffered what was in effect internal exile. Listen to Hubert's fascinating story in this podcast.

Direct download: Hubert_Butler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30am EST

I've just released my new book '1348: A Medieval Apocalypse - The Black Death in Ireland' at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie. This couldn't have happened without your support so this episode has an extract and info on how to get your 20% exclusive listeners discount. Thanks for all the support folks!

*****

'1348: A Medieval Apocalypse' will immerse you in a fascinating and forgotten world. Late medieval Ireland was a land ravaged by invasion, famine and disease where history proves stranger than fiction.

The book begins in 1315 when a Scots army invaded Ulster triggering three years of devastating war and famine. Ireland had scarcely recovered before the greatest killer in recorded human history – The Black Death – struck in 1348. Life would never be the same again. As this devastating plague swept through Ireland’s cities and towns, many believed they were facing the end of the world.

Telling the story of eight individuals who lived through such chaotic times, the book is laced with evocative details from daily life in late medieval Ireland.

From the life of James Butler, the Earl of the Ormond to that of Johanna Stackpoll (a previously unknown Dublin widow unearthed in research) this book will fascinate and unnerve in equal measure.

Some people were survivors, others were less fortunate, their stories are all fascinating.

Funded by listeners to The Irish History Podcast book is exclusively available through www.Irishhistorypodcast.ie

Direct download: THANKS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EST

In 1921 the War of Independence came to an end. Many had high hopes for what the future held in store for them in an Independent Ireland. However while people lived in what was officially called the Irish Free State, Fin asks was it a free or fair state?

This episode is not suitable for younger listeners as it contains references to sex.

Direct download: Free_State_or_Fair_State.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50pm EST

In 1919 the War of Independence broke out in Ireland. In Castlecomer, Ireland’s largest mining community, this had a profound effect. While the I.R.A. fought the British Army in the surrounding countryside, below ground the miners waged their own revolution. This brought not only ambushes and assassination to Castlecomer but strikes, industrial Sabotage & kidnapping. Listen to the full show to hear this enthralling story!

Direct download: The_Revolution_Underground_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:13am EST

'The Road to War' returns to my series on the Castlecomer Coalfields. It takes you on a gripping journey through life in one small Irish town and the surrounding coalfields between 1894 & 1918. From the relative peace of the 1890s to the dark years of World War I and the tumultuous days of the Easter Rising, life in Castlecomer and its mines was never dull.

This show also reveals for the first time the attitude  of R.H. Wandesforde (one of of Ireland's most famous businessmen & mine owner) towards the 1916 Rising. He voiced some pretty controversial opinions when writing to his wife Florence. While he never thought these letters would see the light of day, they are (for the first time in a century) published in this episode.

The research and time needed to produce this episode was funded by listeners like yourself. You can help me research the next episode by donating towards the costs of making the show at www.Irishhistorypodcast.ie.

Direct download: _Castlecomer_IV_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17am EST

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