Irish History Podcast

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.

*************************************************************************
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