Irish History Podcast

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.

 

Subscribe in iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/ie/podcast/irish-history-podcast/id363368392

 

 

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

The potato is synonymous with the biggest disaster in Irish history – the Great Famine of the 1840s when nearly one million people died and another million emigrated. However this is only part of the story of the potato in Irish history.  The arrival of the potato in Ireland transformed the island and resulted in changes in how people lived their lives and what the landscape looked like. It even led to changes in the peoples' appearance. In the podcast I examine the good, the bad and the ugly of the potato's fascinating and checkered relationship with Ireland and Irish history.

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

Subscribe in iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/ie/podcast/irish-history-podcast/id363368392

Direct download: The_impact_of_the_potato_on_Irish_History.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:43am EDT

Everyone has heard of the Great Potato Famine of the 1840's when around 10% of the Irish population died from starvation and disease. This however was not the worst famine in Irish history. A century earlier in the 1740s the island was ravaged by an event known as the year of slaughter when as much as 20% of the population succumbed to famine and related diseases. This podcast tells the story of a bizarre year of weather, crop failures and what was unbelievable indifference among the rich of 18th century Ireland to the plight of a starving people.

Direct download: Irelands_other_Great_Famine_-_The_Year_of_Slaughter_of_1740-41.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am EDT