Irish History Podcast (general)

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