Wed, 15 November 2017
The crumbling ruins of workhouses are one of the last visible reminders of the horrors of the Great Hunger in the Irish landscape. During the Great Famine they became home to the unwanted in Irish society. Ultimately over 300,000 people Irish people died in these institutions during the Great Hunger.
While they may have been unwanted by the late 1840s very few of the so called 'inmates' of workhouses were born unwanted. The show begins by looking at how people found themsleves in such a position by following the journey of one 14 year old boy, Patrick Duignan from Co Leitrim.
This is his story.
I also look at an often forgotten aspect of workhouses: the bitter and sometimes violent struggles for control of the running of these institutions which explains why so many died.
Mon, 23 October 2017
This show opens with the fascinating story of communities in Mayo who resorted to piracy to survive in 1847. This is only a prelude however before we look at two pivotal events later in the year.
After two years of starvation, the only election held during the Great Famine took place in August 1847. In some constituencies this poll was more like a blood sport than modern elections.
That summer was also decisive because no sooner were the ballots counted than the island became fixated on an even more important test – the harvest. If this failed the future was bleak but many had reason to be hopeful...
Direct download: A_Doomed_Land_Piracy_Election_and_the_1847_Harvest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:58am EST
Mon, 25 September 2017
This podcast continues our journey through the summer of 1847 as we reach one of the pivotal moments in the history of the Great Famine. The British government finally realise a new policy is needed in Ireland but will it help or hinder?
Decisions taken in this podcast overshadow life Ireland for years to come.
Tune in to find out more.
This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast
Direct download: At_a_Crossroads_-_Salvation_or_Starvation_1847.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18am EST
Mon, 11 September 2017
Transportation was a particularity cruel punishment. For centuries those condemned to this fate were shipped to penal colonies on the far side of the globe to serve out their sentences. It has become synonymous with injustice during the famine when many caught stealing food suffered this fate.
For this podcast I dug deep into the archives and found the story of the Nangle family whose lives were ripped apart after they were caught stealing sheep.
Their story also gives us an insight into life in Dublin prisons during the famine. The second part of the show is somewhat different focusing on the bizarre and perverse chapters in the entire famine - the arrival of the french celebrity chef Alexis Soyer to Dublin in 1847 to help famine victims.
This episode is brought to you by www.irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast - the world’s largest and oldest online database of Irish newspapers. Containing nearly 300 years of Irish newspapers, Irish Newspaper Archives.com is an essential tool for anyone interested Irish history or genealogy.
Listeners of the Irish history podcast can get 40% off monthly and yearly subscriptions by using the coupon code Pod40 at www.irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast
Mon, 14 August 2017
Dublin is often forgotten in the story of the Great Famine. While death rates in the capital were not as severe as the west of Ireland, the city suffered nevertheless. The show follows the story of the Mulherins, a family who fled famine in their home in Co Leitrim and settled in the Smithfield - Stoneybatter area of Dublin. They quickly found life in the capital city was very different but not necessarily easier...
The show also looks at life in one of the city workhouses and how prostitution increased dramatically during the late 1840s.
****Become a patron of the show today and get the 78 minute audiobook of An Emigrants Narrative. This is the first time this fascinating personal account written by William Smith in 1850 has been released on audio. Smith crossed the Atlantic with Irish emigrants in the winter of 1847 and his account is an amazing insight into what our ancestors endured.
You can get this today at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast
Mon, 24 July 2017
From January 1847 Irish people desperately trying to flee the famine began to leave the island in huge numbers.
220,000 left in that year alone and by 1853 more than one in six people who had lived in Ireland in 1845 had emigrated. While we know a lot about where they went and the horrendous conditions they faced, we know less about the lives they left behind. This show tells that story through the words of these Irish emigrants.
Research for this show took me into the archives of the National Library of Ireland. After sifting through what hundreds of letters from Famine emigrants this podcast publishes several for the first time since the 1840s. These never before heard accounts give a unique insight into the lives of Irish people in 1847 as they prepared to leave Ireland forever. Their stories are far more complex and all too often more tragic than we imagine.
This is only possible through the support of patrons - previously I would not have been able to devote the necessary time to one episode. If you want to become a patron today and get bonus content check out patreon.com/irishpodcast.
Thanks to Clare Ryan, Jamie Goldrick, Thom McDermott and Dave Lordan who narrate the letters.
Mon, 10 July 2017
This series continues the story of the Great Famine into the notorious year of Black '47 by returning to the town of Skibbereen. Looking at how life in the town changed it details the horrifying lives many had to endure. However starvation was not the only way the famine changed Ireland and the show begins by looking at the unusual story of James Dillon, a coroner in Co Offaly who was tasked with investigating two suspicious deaths in December 1846.
You can get bonus content by supporting the show at patreon.com/Irishpodcast
Mon, 19 June 2017
As the situation deteriorated in Ireland in late 1846, the two Cork towns of Youghal and Skibbereen experienced the unfolding horrors in very different ways. The people of Youghal, due to local dynamics, were in a position to rise up against some of the causes of famine. Through the Autumn of 1846 they launched an insurrection in a desperate bid to stop food being exported. However at Skibbereen in west Cork the people found themselves in a far worse situation. Ravaged by severe starvation from as early as October, the town became notorious for the horrific conditions its inhabitants faced.
You can support the show and get lots of bonus content on patreon at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast.
Mon, 5 June 2017
Many travellers who visited the west of Ireland in the 19th century considered it as a frontier of sorts. They were more often than not deeply racist, yet we still rely heavily on their accounts to reconstruct a picture of life at the time. In this show I question how reliable their accounts are. In an effort to create a more vivid picture of life in the 1840s I have interviewed with two archaeologists - Franc Myles and Eve Campbell for this show.
You can support the show at patreon.com/irishpodcast
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Direct download: History_vs_Reality_-_What_was_life_in_the_1840s_really_like_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13am EST
Thu, 25 May 2017
Join Fin as he treks around Achill island visiting Ireland's newest beach and the ruins of a famine era village.
To get exclusive content from Achill check out patreon.com/irishpodcast