Irish History Podcast

The year is 1310. Ireland was gripped by a severe economic, military and political crisis - pretty much everything that could go wrong had gone wrong for the Norman colonists. In October, a man called Jordan the Chaplain made his way to Drogheda, a major port in medieval Ireland. However not long after arriving he got involved in a dispute with one of the townspeople - Robert the Tailor. What started as a fraca in a tavern, quickly escalated begining a fascinating story which ended in a murder, producing strange and unexpected reactions in the divided and crisis ridden Drogheda.

This podcast is a little different that many of the previous episodes. In this story, I attempt to explain how a major crisis in Ireland in the 14th century affected two ordinary people who lived  in these trying times. Through this story of murder and unexpected solidarity the podcast explains why such what were seemingly minor events were indicative of much bigger changes underway in medieval Ireland. It is a bit of an experiment so I would appreciate feedback - whether you enjoyed the show and whether agree with my argument or disagree, mail me at history@irishhistorypodcast.ie

You can listen to the show here or download at the link below http://irishhistorypodcast.ie/2013/12/05/drogheda-1310-murder-and-solidarity-in-a-medieval-crisis/

Direct download: Drogheda_1310_-_Murder_and_Solidarity_in_a_Medieval_Crisis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11am EDT

This show returns to the story of Gaelic Ireland in the final decades prior to the Norman Invasion. Ireland is being torn apart by long running tensions between the kings of Munster and Ulster. The show begins in 1101 with Donal McLochlainn the king of the O'Neills on his knees. His great rival Muirchertach O'Briain, the king of Munster had just invaded and ravaged his kingdom. However Donal is by no means finished; further war and bloodshed loom ahead. However for the people of medieval Ireland this is not the only problem they face as in 1102 the king of Norway Magnus Barelegs arrives threatening invasion!

You can hear part one here http://irishhistorypodcast.ie/2013/02/28/1090-1101-the-great-war-of-ulster-and-munster-part-i/

Direct download: 1101-1103_The_Great_War_of_Ulster_and_Munster_Part_II.mp3
Category:history -- posted at: 6:44am EDT

This podcast concludes our journey through the Top 5 turning points of Medieval Ireland. This show focuses on one of the most intriguing events of our medieval past, the Battle of Athenry in 1316. This conflict occured during one of the most fascinating wars in Irish history - the Bruce Invasion of 1315-18. In May 1315, a Scots army led by Edward Bruce, brother to the King of Scotland, invaded Ireland, so this podcast starts in Scotland, with none other than William Wallace a.k.a. Braveheart making an appearance.Then it follows the Scots invasion of Ireland in a story of sieges, battles, deceit and even cannibalism! Although the war would last until 1318, the decisive turning point I argue occured beneath the walls of Athenry on the 10th of August 1316. While there was not a single Scot on this battlefield this particularly bloody affair decided their fate nonetheless. Tune in to see how!

Check out Part I here http://irishhistory.libsyn.com/top-5-turning-points-in-medieval-ireland-part-i

If you want updates check the show out on facebook and follow irishhistory on twitter.

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

Support the podcast by making a contribution toward the cost of sources here. Thanks!


This episode is a whistlestop tour through medieval Ireland stopping off at battlefields along the way, taking a look at the top five  turning points as I see them. This podcast will introduce some of the key characters from Irish history, some of whom are well known such as Strongbow and Brian Boru, others less well-known but equally fascinating such as Flann Sinna and William 'Liath de Burgh'. Part I starts in 908 at the long forgotten battle of Ballymoon and finishes at the siege of Dublin in 1171. Part II out next week will conclude the top 5.

If you want updates check the show out on facebook and follow irishhistory on twitter.

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

Support the podcast by making a contribution toward the cost of sources here. Thanks!

Direct download: Top_5_turning_points_in_Medieval_Ire.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm EDT

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!

If you want updates check the show out on facebook and follow irishhistory on twitter.

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


Support the podcast by making a contribution toward the cost of sources here. Thanks!

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