Irish History Podcast

Did the experiences of the Famine drive Irish people insane?

In this episode I look at the story of the famine survivor John Thompson who ended up in the Rainhill asylum in Lancashire in the 1860s. In this Victorian institution (which treated mental illnesses) he would find himself surrounded by other Irish people.

This podcast looks at why Irish peope found themsleves in British asylums in disproportionate numbers in the 1850s and 1860s. The answers reveal some harrowing details about the difficult lives the Famine Irish in Britain faced.

Direct download: The_Famine_Irish_in_Britain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am EDT

The Great Hunger is not something we associate with war and certainly not wars in other countries. However the Famine is inextricably linked to the story of the American Civil War (1861-1865).
Around 200,000 Irish people, most of them famine or post famine emigrants, fought in the conflict making it one of the largest wars in terms of Irish participation. This podcast is structured aroud an interview with Damian Shiels of someone who has tirelessly researched the stories of these people over the last eight years. Damian’s interview provides fascinating insights into the forgotten lives of the Irish who fought in the US Civil War.
Join me on the Dublin Famine Tour - Book your place at
Direct download: US_CIvil_War_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:09am EDT