Irish History Podcast

Honour was all important in Ireland in 1300 A.D. Unsurprisingly when a miller, Walter de Capella, insulted the mistress of John Thebaud it sparked a row between the two men. This row escalated and within a few short weeks a vicious and ultimately violent feud broke out. This podcast takes a look at this long forgotten story of two ordinary people from medieval Ireland. Previously untold, this is a dramatic and hair-raising story of medieval  honour, violence and justice that will make you feel lucky to be born in the 21st century!

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Direct download: Ireland_1300_A.D._-_a_tale_of_honour.mp3
Category:history -- posted at: 10:09am EDT

Today, the long forgotten ruins of the medieval fortress and town of Castlekevin, situated in a remote valley in the Wicklow mountains are serene and peaceful. There is little evidence of this scenic valley's turbulent past. However in the early 14th century this castle became the epicentre of a ferocious struggle between Gaelic Irish and Norman Colonists in the Wicklow Mountains. This podcast is the fascinating story of the rise of Castlekevin, a colonial settlement deep in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains before charting its long and bloody battle for survival when the surrounding region became a battlezone.


To download right click on the file below and go to “save link as”.

Direct download: Castlekevin_life_and_death_on_a_medieval_frontier.mp3
Category:history -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

During the high summer of 1235 the west of Ireland witnessed one of the most violent chapters in its history when the Normans invaded and conquered the province. This campaign culminated in the storming of an Island fortress using siege engines on floating platforms and fire-ships. This assault was the final chapter in a story that saw the Gaelic Irish in the province struggle to keep the Normans at bay after their initial invasion of the South and East of Ireland in the 1170s. Listen to this fascinating story of rivalry, warfare and the stuggle for survival of gaelic society in the west of Ireland.

Direct download: the-norman-conquest-of-connacht.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm EDT

In February 1317 Dublin faced its greatest crisis. A huge army lead by Robert the Bruce, the victor of Bannockburn, was making its way to lay siege to the city. There was no Norman army to save Dublin. The city’s inhabitants were effectively on their own. However everyone in the city could not be trusted, a few days earlier the Earl of Ulster who also happened to be Bruce’s father in law arrived in the city supposedly fleeing the Scots. What happened next is one the deadliest and strangest events in Dublin history. Set to the backdrop of famine this episode explores the history of one of Dublins darkest periods.

Direct download: the-1317-siege-of-dublin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT

This episode looks at the fascinating story of Dennis Doherty. Born in Derry in 1814, Doherty would spend most of his life in Australian prisons or trying to break out of them. His story is remarkable – he was flogged 3,000 times and spent years in solitary confinement but yet he continually struggled for freedom.

This podcast journeys through the life of Dennis Doherty from a poverty stricken childhood in Ireland in the early 19th century to his time in the British Army and then his horrific life of incarceration in Australia.

You can read the article this podcast is based on here

Direct download: dennis-doherty-a-life-of-survival-against-the-odds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49am EDT

After the Norman conquest of Ireland, the Wicklow region was surprisingly peaceful. Despite the fact the Gaelic Irish had been dispossessed, many appeared to be getting on with life and adjusting to Norman Rule. This was deceptive and in 1270 a massive rebellion broke out deep in the Wicklow Mountains that would see settlement after settlement raided and burned. This is the story of that rebellion, a fascinating medieval tale that has everything  from the crusading Knights Hospitaller to assassins, ambushes and much more.

Direct download: the-great-gaelic-revolt-of-the-1270s.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:43pm EDT

In 1303 the Earl of Ulster, Richard de Burgh, amassed a large army in Dublin which was destined for Scotland, where they would fight none other than William Wallace (a.k.a. Braveheart). However getting this army of thousands from Dublin to Scotland created a logistical nightmare. In the podcast we look at a forgotten story of medieval Dubliners who had to undertake what now seem as strange, unusual and often chaotic preparations to get a medieval army to the battlefield and the chaos this caused for people in early 14th century Dublin.

Direct download: dublin-in-1303-the-business-of-war.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

In 1090 Muirchertach O Briain, grandson of Brian Boru, faced the darkest moment of his rule as King of Munster. Defeated and vanquished by his rival the king of Ulster, Domnal McLochlainn, he faced two options; either accept his fate or try and claw his way back to power. Within a year he was at war begining an epic struggle. This podcast journeys through the final years of the 11th century as one of the worst plagues of the medieval period struck Ireland. Its not all bloodshed, misery and violence as this show also takes a look at what the medieval church thought of attitudes to sex in Gaelic Ireland.

Direct download: the-great-war-of-ulster-and-munster.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:40pm EDT

In 1072 the aging King of Leinster Diarmait Mc Mael na mBó died. His death saw the descendents of Brian Boru try to follow in the footsteps of their famous ancestor and dominate Ireland but there was a queue of people waiting to stop them.  Although initially Ireland witnessed a certain amount of stability, the rise of the O Briains sparked a ferocious struggle as several kings sought to dominate the island. In todays show we traverse Ireland in the late 11th century through a real life game of thrones, daring naval raids and unending brutality and war.

Direct download: the-return-of-the-o-briains.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32pm EDT

The year is 1067. Godwin Godwinson the son and heir to the dead Saxon king Harold Godwinson fled to Ireland after the Norman Invasion of England. This podcast looks at the world he found in Ireland. How did he travel to Ireland? What did Dublin look like, sound like and smell like? What did people eat? What did they look like? What weapons did people use? What was the Brehon law? All this and much more is answered in this podcast which follows the heirs of Harald Godwinson through Ireland in 1067.

Direct download: life-in-the-ireland-in-the-11th-century1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT