Irish History Podcast (general)

This bonus episode contains the first two shows in my podcast series 'This Week in Irish history'. These shows look at the life of Ireland's most famous highwayman and Cromwell's Siege of Wexford in 1649. There is a third episode already available once you subscribe to THis Week in Irish History in iTunes

www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: Itunes_Version_of_1__2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

Many histories of the Great Hunger refer to the famine ending in 1847. It is true that the famine did start to ease in some parts of the island in the following years.

However in the west the catastrophe was far from over - some of the darkest chapters lay ahead as 1847 drew to a close.

This episode focuses in on one area – Clifden in Co Galway where the famine in 1848 was arguably even worse than it had been during Black ’47. This show also looks at who was responsible, how the British Government created the illusion (that persists to the present day) that the famine was nearing an end in 1847 and why they did this.

We also look at the brutal struggle for survival in Clifden. This saw people pushed to the extremes and break the greatest of human taboos – cannibalism.

Thanks to Aidan Crowe, Josh Clarke, Tara Lonij, Janet Johnson, Danny Burke, Caitlin White, Wayne O'Brien, Mark Laherty, Conor Lenehan, John Brennan, Sean Comiskey, Denis O'Donnell & Christopher Devine for their help in making the show.

 

Direct download: Our_Darkest_Hour_The_Forgotten_Famine_of_1847-48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am EDT

On October 1st my new free weekly podcast series 'This Week in Irish History' begins.

This short episode tells you want you can expect, what's in the first four shows and the simple step you need to take to make sure you dont miss out on Ireland's newest podcast.

 

 

Direct download: IHP_PROMO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

This week see the release of the first major movie set during the Great Famine. Starring James Frecheville, Stephen Rae, Jim Broadbent & Hugo Weaving Black '47 is one of the most eagerly awaited Irish films of 2018.

Last Wednesday I got a sneak preview of the movie and in this podcast I review Black '47.

Last Wednesday I got a sneak preview of the movie and in this podcast I review Black '47.

What is the movie like?

Is it true to history?

Does it pass the Bechdal test?

It goes on general release in Ireland today (Wednesday 5th) and in the US & UK at the end of September. This is another review by John Dorney mentioned in the podcast www.theirishstory.com/2018/08/21/fil…view-black-47/

This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast As a listener to the show you can get 30% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod30 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

Direct download: Black47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:51am EDT

This week sees the launch of the movie Black '47 & my return to the Great Famine series.

So whether you want to find out the history behind the movie or catch up on the series to date this is podcast for you. While it does summarise the series to date the show also includes lots of new information. 

The episode tells the fascinating but forgotten story of Margaret Murphy. Margaret's life is one of neglected stories of people who lived through the Great Hunger. 

She was born in Ireland in the final years of the 18th century and was an eyewitness to the rebellions, wars and recession that set the stage for the Great Famine in the late 1840s. 

Thanks to the following people for readings.

Clodagh Leonard

Nick MacCrimmons

Tomas

Hugh Sheehy

Aidan Crowe

& Tara Lonij

This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

As a listener to the show you can get 30% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod30 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

Direct download: The_Road_to_Black_47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

The 'Mulranny Police Conspiracy' is a little-known story that took place in the west of Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. The setting is Mulranny a stunning village along the Wild Atlantic Way but in 1900 it was something of a forgotten backwater. 
 
However it was here, on the shores of Clew Bay that this story of deceit unfolded. In what is at times a bizarre and tragic plot, the Royal Irish Constabulary turned on this poor community in Co Mayo when they began to campaign for better rights. The following story is intriguing and fascinating...
 
You can support the show on www.patreon.com/irishpodcast.
 
Book your tickets on the interactive tour of Medieval Dublin mentioned in the show here https://tinyurl.com/y7tuxg5k

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This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

As a listener to the show you can get 30% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod30 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast 

 
Direct download: ric.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:17am EDT

The Iniskea Islands are among the most remote places in Ireland. Although deserted today, throughout the 19th century the lives of the islanders were the source of bizarre rumours. Numerous outsiders accused the islanders of piracy & worshipping pagan gods into the 1870s.

In this podcast I look at whether these Islanders were truly the last pagans and pirates in Ireland. The answers are suprising to say the least.

The episode guide is available at patreon.com/irishpodcast

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This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

As a listener to the show you can get 30% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod30 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast 

Direct download: Iniskea_Island_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54am EDT

In the 1830s the British politican George Lewis described the fate of an informer in ireland as a man "doomed to certain death....he would be hunted through the country like a mad dog every hand would be raised against him". 

This was something of an understatement in some cases. 

In 1816 Edward Lynch became an informer. A few months later this resulted in one of the worst crimes in pre-famine Ireland - The Massacre of Wildgoose Lodge......

Tune in to hear the full story.

 

*I have been admitted to hospital since this was finished so the next show will be at least a week late.*

 

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This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

As a listener to the show you can get 30% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod30 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

Direct download: The_Massacre_of_Wildgoose_Lodge_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EDT

Mother Mountain is situated in a remote corner of Co Tipperary. An axe-murder that took place here in March 1846 shocked Irish society. Indeed had it not been obscured by the Great Famine Mother Mountain may well have been remembered alongside Maamtrasna as one of the notorious Irish murder cases of the 19th century.

Find out why....

Book your place on my Famine tour at www.dublinfaminetour.ie
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This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

As a listener to the show you can get 30% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod30 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast

Direct download: Murder_at_Mother_Mountain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:20am EDT

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 www.Irishamericancivilwar.com 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 www.dublinfaminetour.ie
Direct download: US_CIvil_War_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:09am EDT

After Ireland, no country was more affected by the Great Famine than the USA. Millions of Irish people emigrated to the United States during and after the Great Famine. This is their story.

Through this podcast you will follow them on voyages across the Atlantic before looking at several Irish communities from the Five Points Slum in New York to the Rocky Mountains.

From persecuted Irish miners in the Pennsylvanian Coalfields to deeply racist Irish prospectors in the Californian Goldrush the Irish story in America is fascinating and complex...

I am very grateful to Martin Nutty, Ryan McCormick, Laura Pasek, Lisa O'Sullivan and Ronan McGreechin for their recordings. Monica Brennan very generously allowed me use her rendition of Thousands Are Sailing.

You can book tickets for my tour at www.dublinfaminetour.ie

Direct download: The_Famine_Irish_in_the_USA_-__A_promised_land.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:51am EDT

Coffin Ships are one of the most enduring images from the Great Famine. This was the name given to the boats that carried Irish Famine emigrants to North America in 1847.
 
This sinister title comes from the appalling death rates onboard these ships. This show opens with the hopes and fears of famine emigrants in Black '47. Then I move on to the harrowing voyages and what awaited the emirgants when they landed in Canada, This fell far short of their expectations - this journey will take us onto the dreaded
quarantine station of Gross Isle in the St Laurence river. Tune in to find out more.

Thanks to Alexis Kelly for his narrating the words of Archbishop Signay. 

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This podcast is sponsored by deburcararebooks.com/podcast Ireland's largest stockist of rare books with titles from the 16th century to the present day. 

They have put together a fantastic offer for the listeners of the Irish history podcast. You can get 15% off some classics:

Maamtrasna: The murders and The mystery by Jarlath Waldron This was the key source for my podcast series on the Maamtrasna Murders and contains numerous comtemporary accounts from what is one of the most enduring mysteries in Irish history. 

The highly recommended "Transactions of the Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends during the The Famine in Ireland" I have used this repeatedly throughout the series and is the source of quotes in this podcast. Its a hardback collection of accounts, reports and letters written by quakers who were helping famine victims.

The Great Irish Book of Genealogies. This is a beautiful translation of the five volume collection of medieval history, prose and poetry. The original was written in the mid 17th century making this translation a collectors item.

You can get these for a limited time only at deburcararebooks.com/podcast 

 
Direct download: American_Wakes_Canada__Coffin_Ships.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EDT

As people across the world prepare to mark St Patrick's day this podcast looks what at happened on St Patricks Day during the worst year of the Great Famine. Celebrations were not cancelled but on a day supposed to celebrat all things Irish, events in Dublin revealed there were two very different Irelands in that year. 

While one half of the city starved the other half planned a party....

My Dublin Famine Tour launches this Sunday. Book you place now at  www.Dublinfaminetour.ie 

 

As people across the world mark St Patrick's day this podcast looks what at happened in Dublin on St Patricks Day during the worst year of the Great Famine. Celebrations were not cancelled but on a day supposed to celebrate all things Irish, events in Dublin revealed there were two very different Irelands in that year. 

While one half of the city starved the other half planned a party....

My Dublin Famine Tour launches this Sunday. Book you place now at  www.Dublinfaminetour.ie 

Direct download: St_Patricks_Day_in_Black_47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:10pm EDT

This short podcast explains the Dublin Famine Tour, my new interactive historical experience which launches on St Patricks Weekend.

On this walking tour I guide you through Victorian Dublin, explaining the fascinating but forgotten story of how the Great Famine transformed Ireland’s capital city.


During the tour will also hear what Dublin sounded like in the 1840s along with recordings of accounts written by Dubliners at the time. Tune in for more exciting details.


Book your place today at www.dublinfaminetour.ie

Direct download: Dublin_Famine_Tour.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:47am EDT

Emigration is arguably the greatest legacy of the Great Irish Famine. Between 1846 and 1851, 1.25 million Irish people passed through the port of Liverpool alone to escape the Great Hunger. This exodus of refugees transformed the Great Famine from an Irish catastrophe into a global phenomenon as these people established Irish communities across the world. It fitting then that the show opens with a story from the Canadian city of Montreal in the 1870s.
 
The we will hone in on the port of Liverpool which provides us an overall picture of what was happening. 
 
Then to conclude I look at profiles of Irish famine emigrants. Who were these people? How did they manage to escape Ireland?  I also debunk some common myths along the way.
 
I have just launched my new Dublin based walking tour on the Great Famine - You can find out more and book your place at www.dublinfaminetour.ie 
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This podcast is sponsored by deburcararebooks.com/podcast Ireland's largest stockist of rare books with titles from the 16th century to the present day. 
They have put together a fantastic offer for the listeners of the Irish history podcast. You can get 15% off some classics:
Maamtrasna: The murders and The mystery by Jarlath Waldron This was the key source for my podcast series on the Maamtrasna Murders and contains numerous comtemporary accounts from what is one of the most enduring mysteries in Irish history. 
The highly recommended "Transactions of the Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends during the The Famine in Ireland" I have used this repeatedly throughout the series and is the source of quotes in this podcast. Its a hardback collection of accounts, reports and letters written by quakers who were helping famine victims.
The Great Irish Book of Genealogies. This is a beautiful translation of the five volume collection of medieval history, prose and poetry. The original was written in the mid 17th century making this translation a collectors item.
You can get these for a limited time only at deburcararebooks.com/podcast 
 
Direct download: Exiles_-_Irish_Famine_Emigrants.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:38am EDT

Over the course of the Great Famine, hundreds of thousands of Irish people were evicted from their homes.

As ruthless landlords showed no pity, eviction was a death sentence for many starving tenants who were made homeless.

It was inevitable these evictions provoked resistance. On November 2nd 1847, the most famous assassination of the Great Famine took place in North Roscommon.

This podcast details the background of this assassination and how it relates to the wider story of other mass evictions in Ireland in the late 1840s.

The episode also tries to assess who exactly was to blame for the evictions - Irish landlords facing bankruptcy or the British Government in London?

A fully referenced episode guide is available at patreon.com/irishpodcast

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This podcast is sponsored by deburcararebooks.com/podcast Ireland's largest stockist of rare books with titles from the 16th century to the present day.

They have put together a fantastic offer for the listeners of the Irish history podcast. You can get 15% off some classics:

Maamtrasna: The murders and The mystery by Jarlath Waldron This was the key source for my podcast series on the Maamtrasna Murders and contains numerous comtemporary accounts from what is one of the most enduring mysteries in Irish history. 

The highly recommended "Transactions of the Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends during the The Famine in Ireland" I have used this repeatedly throughout the series and is the source of quotes in this podcast. Its a hardback collection of accounts, reports and letters written by quakers who were helping famine victims.

The Great Irish Book of Genealogies. This is a beautiful translation of the five volume collection of medieval history, prose and poetry. The original was written in the mid 17th century making this translation a collectors item.

You can get these for a limited time only at deburcararebooks.com/podcast 


This episode marks a return to the Great Famine Series. Coming podcasts will detail the later phase of the Famine including emigration and the bitter struggle that broke out between lanldords & tenants.
 
This show sets the stage by focusing on the life of the most famous Irish person of the 19th century - Daniel O’Connell.  Known as 'King Dan' the final years of his life provide a great opportunity to recap on what has happened so far and tie up loose ends before we continue our story. 
Direct download: The_Great_Famine_1845-47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05am EDT

Isabella Cadel, Grace O Toole, Fynyna O Toohig. These are all women forgotten by history who lived intriguing and fascinating lives. The three had one thing in common - they were all rebels in medieval Ireland.

In this podcast I look at their forgotten stories which took place in an Ireland ravaged by deadly conflict. These medieval female warriors played an overlooked role in the brutal and deadly war that broke out between Norman settlers and Gaelic Rebels in the late Middle Ages.

The next installment of the Great Famine Series is currently in production and will be available in two weeks. It will be released early on patreon.com/irishpodcast.

Direct download: Spies_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:08am EDT

The last podcast looked at the arrival of the one time Nazi Commando Otto Skorzeny in Ireland in 1957 and the welcome he received from some of the most influential people in Dublin. 
This podcast continues this bizarre story using recently released files from Ireland's intelligence agency G2. These files contain serious allegations about Skorzeny in Ireland. 
  • Was he using Cork Harbour to smuggle arms to North Africa?
  • Was he guilty of testing a gas gun on concentration camp inmates?
  • Why did he reportedly meet with IRA leader Ruairi O'Bradaigh in Spain in 1971 with a view to import weapons to Ireland?
  • Did Ireland's future prime minister Charles Haughey turn a blind eye to some of these activities?
Find out more in this podcast.
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Outsiders is a short mini series I am making over Christmas - I will be returning to the story of the Great Famine in mid January 2018. 
This podcast is brought to you by Irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast the gateway to Ireland's great historical past. 
With over 70 titles some of which stretch back to the 18th century a subscription will make the ideal Christmas gift for the history buff in your family.   
You can get 30% of monthly and yearly packages today at Irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast and use the coupon code Pod30.
Direct download: Irelands_Nazi_Commando_Part_II.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44am EDT

This is the first of two podcasts which looks at the story of Otto Skorzeny, a notorious Nazi with a long but forgotten connection to Ireland.

It is set in the aftermath of World War II to the intriguing backdrop of the hunt for Nazi war criminals after the war. Once labelled the most dangerous man in Europe the focus of the podcast, Otto Skorzeny, was a man plagued with rumours of war crimes, gun running and Neo-Nazi activities all his life.

His arrival in Ireland in 1957 started a dark chapter in our history one steeped in controversy mystery and unsettling revelations about some of Irelands most prominent figures.

Outsiders is a short mini series I am making over Christmas - I will be returning to the story of the Great Famine in mid January 2018.

 

This podcast is brought to you by Irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast the gateway to Ireland's great historical past. With over 70 titles some of which stretch back to the 18th century a subscription will make the ideal Christmas gift for the history buff in your family. You can get 30% of monthly and yearly packages today at Irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast and use the coupon code Pod30.

Direct download: Irelands_Nazi_Commando.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08am EDT

Believe it or not the first Irish person to visit China left Europe in 1318 arriving. His fascinating journey would take several years. Known only as 'James of Ireland' this a story embroiled in the rise of the Mongols, medieval papal diplomacy and the tediously slow world of medieval travel. 

Hear his story in this podcast...

Outsiders is a short mini series I am making over Christmas - I will be returning to the story of the Great Famine in mid January 2018. 

This podcast is brought to you by Irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast the gateway to Ireland's great historical past. 

With over 70 titles some of which stretch back to the 18th century a subscription will make the ideal Christmas gift for the history buff in your family.   

You can get 30% of monthly and yearly packages today at Irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast and use the coupon code Pod30.

Direct download: The_First_Irish_Visitor_to_China.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:47am EDT

Over the coming weeks I am taking a break from the Great Famine Series to make a mini series entitled 'Outsiders'. These podcasts will focus on people who for one reason or another lived at the peripherary of Irish society. 
 
First up is Ireland's last executioners. These were members of a family who included one of the most prolific hangmen of all time. This is the story of the Pierrepoints who between them probably executed over 1,000 people in the mid 20th century. 
 
Find out their story in this show.
 
This podcast is brought to you by Irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast, the gateway to Ireland's great historical past. Withover 70 titles some of which stretch back to the 18th century a subscription will make the ideal Christmas gift for the history buff in your family.
You can get 30% of monthly and yearly packages today by going to Irishnewspaperarchives.com/podcast and use the coupon code Pod30 
Direct download: Pierrepoint.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39am EDT

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. 

This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast 

As a listener to the show you can get 40% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod40 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast 

Direct download: The_Workhouse_and_the_Unwanted_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am EDT

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...

This episode is brought to you by www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast 

As a listener to the show you can get 40% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod40 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast 

Direct download: A_Doomed_Land_Piracy_Election_and_the_1847_Harvest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:58am EDT

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 

As a listener to the show you can get 40% off monthly or yearly subscriptions by using the Coupon Code Pod40 at www.irishNewspaperArchives.com/podcast 

Direct download: At_a_Crossroads_-_Salvation_or_Starvation_1847.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18am EDT

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
 

 
Direct download: Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

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

Direct download: The_Famine_in_Dublin_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:23am EDT

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.  

 

Direct download: Voice_from_Black_47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:38am EDT

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

Direct download: Black_47_A_World_Turned_Upside_Down_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20am EDT

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.

Direct download: Insurrection__Starvation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:46am EDT

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 info@irishhistorypodcast.ie

www.facebook.com/irishhistorypodcast

www.twitter.com/irishhistory

Direct download: History_vs_Reality_-_What_was_life_in_the_1840s_really_like_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13am EDT

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

Direct download: Achill_Island_Day1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:20pm EDT

Through the summer of 1846 Ireland had endured terrible hunger and suffering. However against the odds the numbers who had starved to death were few. As many waited in great anticipation for the coming harvest, disaster struck when the potato blight returned on a much wider scale than in 1845. As the Irish MP Daniel O'Connell stated a 'death dealing famine' was on the cards. This show begins with a story of emigration and passengers on an early coffin ship. 

In the coming days I am heading to Achill Island of the west coast, where I will be making a series of podcasts and videos about life there during the Famine. You can find out more at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: In_the_Valley_of_the_Shadow_of_Death.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EDT

Next week you can join me on a virtual road trip to the 1840s! Tune in to find out more...

www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: Achill.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04am EDT

The summer of 1846 was a tense time in Ireland. As food grew scarce lawlessness, riots and violence became frequent. Everyone eagerly awaited May 15th when the British Government would open it's emergency food depots. Perhaps then the tensions and anxiety at the heart of Irish society would ease? However would the food in these emergency depots be enough to stave off famine until the harvest was ready in Autumn? 

Find out in this episode. 

(Apologies that this show is late. Research took much longer than usual and then the writing proved tricky in places and I had to rewrite several parts. Thanks for your patience).

You can support the show on patreon at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Book tickets on the tour at www.facebook.com/irishhistorypodcast or info@irishhsitorypodcast.ie

Direct download: Summer_of_Starvation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:52am EDT

This show takes you through the winter of 1845 through to April 1846 as the situation in Ireland deteriorates. Food riots and protests become common, while the Famine crisis facing Ireland is consumed in bitter political disputes around free trade in London. 

While the show follows the fate of millions through increasingly uncertain times it begins (as is often the case now) in a quite secluded spot in the west of Ireland in Co Leitrim. 

You can support the show at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: Free_trade_or_Famine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:38am EDT

As the harvest of 1845 approached in Ireland, rumours circulated that a mysterious disease was attacking the potato crop. While well informed botanists in London grew increasingly anxious about what lay ahead, many Irish peasants dependent on potatoes had little idea what was happening. When the harvest did fail, the Great Famine had begun. Terror gripped the population and I look at what the British authorities did to respond.

Direct download: The_Great_Hunger_Begins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31am EDT

1845 is famous for one thing in Irish history – the beginning of the Great Famine. However contrary to what you might expect, if you lived in Ireland through most of 1845 there was little evidence to suggest Irish society stood on the brink of one of the greatest famines in history. This episode looks at the highs and lows of life in Ireland as the Famine approached.

To this end we follow the life of William A'Court, better known as Baron Heytesbury - the Lord Leuitenant of Ireland appointed in 1844. The show looks at the problems facing Irish society - sectarianism, the political controversy around the Movement for the Repeal of the Act of Union and the Poor Law. It also looks at why there was every reason to be hopeful about the future with the approach of that fateful harvest in 1845.

You can support this series at www.patreon.com/Irishpodcast

 

Direct download: On_the_verge_of_disaster_the_Great_Famine_IV.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:26am EDT

Lola Montez, born Elizabeth Rosanna Gilbert, was one of the most scandalous women of the 19th century. She took Europe by storm with 'dances' that left little to the imagination - she was known to wear nothing beneath her tutu.

Married three times she also had a string of famous lovers including a king, the composer Franz Liszt and the author Alexander Dumas. Were she alive today her friends would include the most powerful people alive, she would be plagued by the paparazzi, have millions of twitter followers and if she had a website it would be most definitely x rated.

Need is say I more?

You can support the show at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: Lola_Montez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42am EDT

In 1845 the population of Ireland was heading towards 9 million with many people surviving on a diet of potatoes. This has lead many to claim that the island was overpopulated. In this podcast I head to a remote village of Inver in Erris to see how the population has changed over the past 150 years. I also investigate exactly how many people lived in Ireland, what was the standard of living and whether the people were healthy. The answers are surprising to say the least. 

You can support the Great Famine Series and get lots of bonus content by becoming a patron today at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

 

Direct download: People__Potatoes._Was_Ireland_Overpopulated.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20am EDT

The series on the Great Famine got off to a bloody start with the story of Anne Devlin and the rebellions of 1798 and 1803. By the end of the first episode, Ireland had been incorporated into the United Kingdom under the Act of Union. 

In this show we will see what life in Ireland was like after the Act of Union. Within a few decades inequality was soaring. Strikes, riots and assassination were becoming increasingly common. Then the bizarre story of an eruption of Mount Tambura, a volcano on the far side of the world made everything worse. Tune in to find out more. 

 You can get a listeners guide to this episode which includes a transcript of the show at www.patreon.com/irishpodcast

Direct download: Rents_Riot_and_Volcanoes_Ireland_1800-1845.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am EDT

This podcast, the first in my new series on the Great Famine, gives a background to Ireland in the 19th century. Entitled 'Rebel Island' it focuses on the life of one extraordinary Irish rebel -  Anne Devlin. She lived a remarkable life and was involved in the 1798 and 1803 rebellions. These reshaped Ireland and had profound consequences impacting life right up to and during the Great Famine.

Anne Devlin's life also explains why sectarian tensions between Catholics and Protestants dominated life in Ireland, what the Act of Union was and why it was so important.

An episode guide including a fully referenced transcript of the show is available for patrons at https://www.patreon.com/Irishpodcast. Become a patron today and get lots of exclusive content.

Direct download: Ep.1_Rebel_Island.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53am EDT

Over the past few months I have been preparing a major podcast series on the Great Famine of the 1840s and its finally here! This short episode is an introduction to the series, what you can expect from it and why I am making it. Basically its like an introduction to a book.

If this isn't your thing and you want to crack on with the series the first episode - Rebel Island is available for patrons now at patreon.com/irishpodcast. Otherwise you will have to wait a week when it will be available through my website (Irishhistorypodcast.ie), iTunes, Googleplay and other platforms.

Direct download: IntroductionII.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25am EDT

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 EDT

'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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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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www.twitter.com/irishhistory

Email: history@Irishhistorypodcast.ie

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

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

www.facebook.com/irishhistorypodcast

www.twitter.com/irishhistory

 

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

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 EDT

 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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

'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 EDT

The turkey only arrived in Northern Europe in 16th century so what did people eat for Christmas Dinner? In this episode I look at the foods available in medieval Ireland. This includes everything from larks cooked in cinnamon and cloves, geese cooked in garlic to soggy pies and lethal takeaways!

Direct download: Medieval_Feast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:47am EDT

Strange as it may sound, if you lived in the Northwest of Ireland 1000 years ago you may well have witnessed your king attempting to mate with a horse! Medieval Ireland was a very strange place and this show looks at the stranger aspects of magic, superstition and the custom from the world of our medieval ancestors...

Direct download: Superstitions__Custom_in_Medieval_Ireland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05am EDT

Its Christmas and to celebrate I am releasing three podcasts this week. This episode looks at the Ireland's hidden hand in history - Irish people who you have never heard of but nevertheless played key roles in history. For example the first is a 50 year old Irish woman who tried to assassinate the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1920s. Others include Eliza Lynch a cork woman who became the first lady of Paraguay in the 19th century and Joseph Kavanagh a leading figure in the French Revolution. This show also includes a competition and an update about my book on the Black Death.

Direct download: The_Hidden_Irish_hand_in_History.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21am EDT

In the aftermath of the famine the people of Castlecomer were shell-shocked, reeling from years of death, disease and emigration. However by the 1880s this had changed. When yet another famine threatened in 1879, and landlords threatened eviction, tenants across Ireland rose up in rebellion. The miners of Castlecomer, not to be left behind, launched the Great Coal Strike of 1881. Hear this fascinating story here in this latest episode of Secret Societies, Communism and Coal – Life in the Castlecomer Colliery.

 


In 1845 life in the Castlecomer Coalfields was racked by economic recession and grinding poverty. When the potato crop, the staple diet of millions across Ireland, failed disaster struck. In the following years around one million Irish people died and over one million emigrated.

In Castlecomer the fate of thousands lay in the hands on one man - Charles Wandesforde - the mine owner and local landlord. His decisions were controversial but it not easy to decide whether they were good bad. One thing is for certain life in the coalfield would never be the same again.

Direct download: Castlecomer_The_Famine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am EDT

For three centuries the town of Castlecomer in North Co. Kilkenny staged one of the most fascinating but forgotten struggles in Irish history. Miners who worked in some of the most harsh working conditions constantly struggled against the mine owner. Given it was often a matter of life and death this struggle was often bitter and conflict was never far from the surface. This saw the miners form secret societies, trade unions, republican and indeed even communist organisations. This is the first of four podcast to tell their story being in the 17th century.

Direct download: Castlecomer_Coal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:12am EDT

Fin hasn't joined a Black Metal band. However this episode is a break from the usual format and explores three very different topics. The Black Death section takes you through the medieval equivalent of the Battle of Stalingrad - The Siege of Calais 1346-47, while updating you on when my upcoming book on the plague is out. Then the show delves into the harsh world of mining in the 19th century before turning to some thoughts on the Great Famine.

Direct download: Black_Death_Black_Lung.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41am EDT

By 1190 the Normans were utterly dominant throughout much of Ireland. As undisputed masters they set about tranforming their lands into societies modelled on their homelands in Wales and England. Gaelic Society was destroyed. This podcast looks at what exactly this change was like, what happened and what it was like to live in the Norman Colony. In order to gain a clear insight the show focuses on the Gaelic Kingdom of Ossory and how it became the Norman County of Kilkenny.

Direct download: 23_The_Conquered_Lands.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am EDT

In this episode the Normans push far into the North and North west. There they come up against one of the greatest powers in medieval Ireland  - the kingdom of Tyrone and its ruling families - the O’Neills and their cousins the McLochlainns. The last of the great Gaelic Irish kingdoms faces an onslaught but will it survive? Hear the full story in this podcast. 

Direct download: Normans_XXII.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am EDT

The Kingdom of Connacht in the west of Ireland represented one of the greatest obstacles to Norman domination of Ireland. The ruling family, the O'Connors had resisted Norman intrusion into their kingdom on several occasions. However in the 1190s their power began to fade.  As three members of the family  - Cathal 'of the Red Hand' O'Connor, his brother and grandnephew battled for the crown, the Normans were quick to intervene. The results were disastrous. Led by William Burke and the self styled 'Prince of Ulster' John de Courcy, their arrival saw Connacht explode in violence.

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This show proved to be one of the most difficult to write and make. While I have a fairly good handle on the topic, the intrigues that make it interesting are byzantine in nature.

The very essences of the story - a dispute within the O'Connor family is deeply confusing. There are four distinct factions all lead by relatives who share similar names.

The faction is lead by Rory O'Connor while two others are lead by his brother Cathal 'of the Red Hand' and his son Conor (yes his name is Conor O'Connor!). Finally to make matter even more complicated a fourth faction is lead by Conor's son, another Cathal. He was known as a Cathal 'Carrach' O'Connor.

To make the storyflow easier I changed Cathal 'Carrach' O'Connor's name to the simpler Carrach (pronounced Carr-ock)O'Connor.

The Norman side is equally complex. The two leading figures are John de Courcy and William Burke. Burke supported three differing factions and this makes their involvement labyrinthine at times.

When you listen to the show I would be really grateful if you could let me know what you thought - feedback is very useful when I am making future shows. Thanks
Fin

Direct download: Norman_Invasion_XXI.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24am EDT

Part XX sees us enter the 1190s and the Norman Invasion enters what might be called end game. In this decade they begin to advance in to the far west of the island. The Gaelic Irish response is at times baffling. Old internal feuds only intensify as the ruling families cannot let go of past transgressions and unify against the Normans. This leads to a disasterous otcome. This episode looks at events in Munster while coming shows will look at Connacht and Ulster.

 

Direct download: Part_XX_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:28am EDT

This show covers the chaotic years between 1186 and 1189. Assassinations, warfare and violence break out across Ireland as many of  the key figures in the story so far struggle to survive in what is an increasingly unpredictable world. 

My medieval roadtrip is on this weekend. If you want to book a ticket for this unique trip visiting some of the best sites in medieval Ireland contact me now at booking@Irishhistorytours.ie

Direct download: Norman_XIX_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24am EDT

Bad, possibly mad and very dangerous, Prince John was one of the most notorious men of the Middle Ages. While his cruel reputation is preserved in the Robin Hood myths his real life notoriety began in Ireland in 1185. If the Island did not have enough problems in the aftermath of the Norman Invasion, the arrival of this prince threatened not only the Gaelic Irish kings but the existing Norman Colonists aswell. Hear the full story of the Johns escapades in Ireland in this show.

To book tickets for the Bus tour mentioned in the show mail booking@irishhistorytours.ie

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

A few weeks ago I hit the road with a recorder taking in some of the best medieval sites in Ireland. The show takes in 1000 years of Irish history in one day-trip. Starting in around the year 600 in the monastery Glendalough at sunrise before driving through the Wicklow mountains to Kilkenny, I visited many places mentioned in the podcast. The trip finished off in the 16th century in a spot off the beaten track, but a real forgotten gem.

You can join me on a similar trip on Saturday June 6th (2015). Mail booking@Irishhistorytours.ie to reserve your spot.

Direct download: Road_Trip_Through_Medieval_Ireland_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:35am EDT

Magna Carta is the most famous medieval document ever written and the story behind it a fascinating. Forged amidst a civil war in England some people even claim it is the cornerstone of modern democracy. This podcast looks at the brutal reign of King John which led to Magna Carta being written, before looking at its impact in Ireland. The show concludes with why I think its over rated and perhaps why medieval riots are as important....

Direct download: magna_carta.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm EDT

This podcast tells the story of Irish-Americans who have been forgotten by history. These were the revolutionaries, feminists, socialists, and trade union organisers in the early 20th century . Often dubbed as unamerican they strenuously rejected this notion. They saw themselves as much Americans or Irish American as much as anyone else, they just held a very different view of what America should be. Hear their fascinating story in the show.

 

Direct download: emigrants.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:52pm EDT

This episode covers a frenetic period of activity. The show starts in 1181 when Hugh de Lacy is suspected of treason by Kking Henry II. The Normans in Ireland wait with bated breath to see what future holds for their most powerful Lord. From there we travel to Munster in 1182 where a revolt breaks out leading to the death of one of the most well known of the invaders. Finally in the second half of the show we return to Ulster where a somewhat mysterious figure, the knight John de Courcy, was leading the Norman charge north against one of Ireland's most powerful families - the O'Neills.

Direct download: Final_XVII.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:15am EDT

This show sees the arrival of the man who is probably the most important figure in our story after Strongbow. Hugh de Lacy, the Lord of Meath ruled over 800,000 acres of land north of Dublin. When he arrived however it was ruined by years of war. During his first four years as the kings representative in Ireland he transformed these territories, but it came at a cost. Nevertheless by the time he was finished many would struggle to recognise what had once been the Southern O'Neill kingdom of Meath.

Direct download: XVIfinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52am EDT

So far in the story of the invasion the kingdoms of Munster - Desmond and Thomond have escaped relatively unscathed. That is until this episode. In this show we see a fresh Norman army land in Waterford bent on conquering Munster. They are however stepping into a minefield of bloody feuds that stretch back centuries. In this episode I take a different approach, focusing on experience of the Gaelic Irish rather than the Normans. This takes us into a bitter world of dynastic feuds and bloody struggles for domination in the world of Gaelic Munster. Add a Norman army into the mix and the results are explosive.

Direct download: Norman_Conquest_of_Munster.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

The last show on the Norman Invasion ended in somewhat dramatic circumstances with the death of Strongbow, the leader of the Norman Invasion. As you can imagine the fall out from this was immense.

The episode begins with a group of Normans lead by Raymond le Gros who hear the news when they are deep in Gaelic territory. No one knows how the kings of Gaelic Ireland will react when they hear the news. Some will surely take the chance to revolt. Raymond tries to keep the news secret while he attempts to escape back to the safety of Dublin. Meanwhile other Norman knights in Ireland, seize the opportunity to launch new conquests. This results in one of the most dramatic events of the entire invasion - the conquest of Eastern Ulster.

You can find a map of medieval Ireland here http://irishhistorypodcast.ie/1176-77-the-norman-invasion-xiv-new-blood/

Direct download: New_Blood_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41am EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT