Tue, 13 December 2016
'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
Thu, 8 December 2016
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.
Thu, 1 December 2016
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.
Wed, 23 November 2016
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.
Wed, 16 November 2016
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.
Mon, 14 November 2016
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
Wed, 9 November 2016
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.
Tue, 1 November 2016
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.
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Mon, 24 October 2016
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/p
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/
Mon, 17 October 2016
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.
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.