Irish History Podcast

After their brutal conquest of Waterford, Diarmait McMurrough and his Norman allies marshaled their forces and marched on Dublin. If the most important town in medieval Ireland fell into their hands it could be a game changer. The claims of Rory O'Connor of Connacht to be Ireland's most powerful king would be in tatters. This scenario set up a major conflict over Dublin as Rory marched west, reaching the town before the Normans and digging in. Listen to the show to find out what happened....

In the show I ask for your feedback on this series on the Norman Invasion @irishhistory on twitter, Irishhistorypodcast on facebook or if email works better you'll find me at history@irishhistorypodcast.ie

Direct download: Normans_VI_-_the_first_siege_of_Dublin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:10am EDT

In the summer of 1170, Ireland stood on a precipice. After the arrival of several hundred Norman mercenaries in 1169 the fortunes of Diarmait McMurrough had changed. He had reconquered his lost power in the kingdom of Leinster and re-established himself as a major player in Irish politics.

However this was only the beginning, a violent prelude to Diarmait’s main ambition. He was still waiting for the main force of his mercenaries lead by the Norman Lord Strongbow to arrive and when they did they in the summer of 1170 they did not fail to make their mark. The arrival of the Norman lord and 1200 men signaled the beginning of a dark period in Irish history fittingly preceeded by the battle of Baginbun in May and then followed by the siege of Waterford in August. These crucial encounters form the basis of this episode.

Let me know you thoughts on the show @irishhistory on twitter or www.facebook.com/irishhistorypodcast

Direct download: Normans_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am EDT

On May 1st 1169, Robert FitzStephen a Norman Knight from Wales, finds himself on Bannow Strand, Ireland leading 300 Norman mercenaries. Their mission - to restore Diarmait McMurrough, the one time gaelic king of Leinster to power. However both they and Diarmait have much greater ambitions.

With a few days of arriving in Ireland the Normans are outside the walls of Wexford besieging what is one of Ireland's most important medieval towns. Although few know it at the time the Norman conquest is well underway. However its not all plain sailing for the Normans - before this show ends they will face the wrath of Ireland's most powerful king Rory O'Connor. 

 

Direct download: Normans_IV.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

This podcast looks at the first Normans to arrive in Ireland, in a chapter often forgotten by the history books. These mercenaries accompany Diarmait McMurrough who returned to Ireland in 1167  to pave the way for the larger forces of Strongbow. However if these warriors led by Robert FitzGodibert, thought the Gaelic Irish were going to be a pushover they are in for a rude awakening.

They quickly run into the might of Rory O'Connor, perhaps the most powerful Gaelic King in Irish history and things don't go according to plan. Let me know what you thought of the show by contacting me @irishhistory on twitter or irishhistorypodcast on facebook

Direct download: Norman_Invasion_III_-_The_conquest_begins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

Over the last few weeks Ireland has been rocked by yet another child abuse scandal. Newspaper headlines around the world have reported in disbelief details of how society in Ireland treated unmarried mothers and their children in so called “Mother and Child homes". Child mortality rates reached over 50% in some of these institutions.

While many around the world are understandably astounded as to how a society could be so cruel to children, in Ireland this is only the latest chapter in a long horrific story of institutional abuse that has been emerging over the last two decades. As a light is finally shone into the darkest recesses of modern Irish history, the question of how will Irish society deal with this is increasingly important. It is here where history has a crucial role to play.

For years the dominant narrative around abuse in Ireland was that it took place behind closed doors and that the vast majority of people had no idea it was being perpetrated. However historical research indictaes this is not entirely true. I think if we are to move forward and deal with our dark past we must acknowledge who knew what and why they were powerless to act. In this podcast, based on this article, I am going to look over some of the evidence that indicates there was a widespread knowledge of child abuse in Ireland throughout the 20th century.

Let me know what your thought of the show by contacting me @irishhistory on twitter or irishhistorypodcast on facebook.

 

 

 


This show looks at some of the most pivotal events in Ireland's history. As Part I of the Norman invasion drew to a close Diarmait McMurrough, the King of Leinster was routed after his powerful ally Muirchertach McLochlainn was killed in 1166. His rivals Rory O'Connor and Tiernan O'Rourke then forced him into exile.

This episode follows Diarmait as he journeys across into the medieval crossroads that was the Irish sea in the Middle Ages. Diarmait is on mission to find allies in the powerful Norman Angevin Empire ruled by Henry II. He is in a desperate position - if he cannot secure the help of Henry II to restore him to power he is doomed.

Diarmait's enthralling quest takes us across Northern Europe from Wales to Normandy and even as far as the Duchy of Aquitaine in western France. Before the show ends he will have met with King Henry II and several Norman nobles not least among them the famous Lord - Strongbow. As Diarmait negotiates with these men - some of the most  of the age - seeking military aid, the history of Ireland hangs in the balance!


This is the first in a multipart series on the Norman invasion of Ireland. The Invasion was one of the most important and fascinating events in Irish history beginning Ireland's turbulent relationship with England. While the first Norman mercenaries landed in 1167 the back story to their arrival is crucial to understanding the subsequent invasion. This backstory forms the basis of this podcast. It is a great tale in its own right - the story of the last great contest between Gaelic Kings to dominate Ireland. This sees Rory O'Connor of Connacht and Muirchertach McLochlainn of Ulster fight a protracted war over ten years. Through this fascinating and bloody encounter you will meet kings who will become key players during the invasion which will be covered in future shows. These include Diarmait McMurrough and Tiernan O'Rourke.

In the podcast I advertise my upcoming tour of medieval Dublin which is on Saturday, June 14th. Places are strictly limited - to guarantee your spot mail me at history@irishhistorypodcast.ie.

Direct download: Norman_Invasion_PartI_1156_-_1166.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09am EDT

1972 was one of the darkest yet defining years in modern Irish history. Nearly five hundred people were killed in the conflict known as “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. Events of that year like Bloody Sunday, Bloody Friday and Operation Motorman would shape Ireland for decades to come. In many ways one death has been remembered more than any other – this was abduction and murder of Jean McConville in December 1972.

 

In the last two weeks this event in particular has brought 1972 back centre stage when the prominent Irish politician and leader of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams was arrested in relation to Mrs. McConville’s murder. This has had huge implications for history, as much of the case against Adams appears to have originated in a historical archive seized by the police.

 

In this podcast I look at the events in Ireland in 1972 and how it has come to pass that 42 years later one of the Ireland’s most prominent politicians arrested. What was in this historical archive? What are the rights of historians to record history vs. the rights of families of victims who may want to read private archives looking of answers? What are the rights of people to their good name when allegations are made about them in historical interviews? Finally perhaps the most important question for historians - who has the right to record our history? This show takes you through these controversial questions and indeed the interviews conducted with former members of the IRA revealing what the allegations made were.

Let me know what your thought of the show by contacting me @irishhistory on twitter or irishhistorypodcast on facebook.

Direct download: The_IRA_the_Boston_College_Tapes_and_who_tells_the_past.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm EDT

1000 years today, one of the most famous battle in Irish history, the Battle of Clontarf  took place. While I have made an audiobook about that the events surrounding Clontarf and Irelands greatest high-king Brian Boru (available at www.irishhistorypodcast.ie/brianboru), I nonetheless wanted to mark this momentous anniversary with a podcast. In this show I look at Ireland in 1014 and some of the things about that world that would stun, shock and surprise us. From Population to paganism there is alot about the world of Clontarf and Brian Boru thats often forgotten!

Direct download: Ireland_1014_-_What_a_difference_a_millennium_makes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm EDT

In a show with a title such as this you might expect names such as Oliver Cromwell or Strongbow to feature heavily. While these men are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Ireland, the greatest killers in Irish history are not humans but disease. In this show I take a look at the worst diseases to hit Ireland and how they changed the course of our history. 

 

 

 

Let me know what your thought of the show by contacting me @irishhistory on twitter or irishhistorypodcast on facebook.

 

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Direct download: Five_of_the_greatest_killers_in_Irish_history.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24am EDT