Irish History Podcast (general)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST