Irish History Podcast

tellin like it was...

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  • Daily Life in the Middle Ages. Worse than you imagine...

    How difficult was life in the Middle Ages? This is something archaeologists and historians have debated for decades. In recent years, new techniques, including genetic analysis, have given us new insights into the lives of our distant ancestors in the Medieval Era. Their findings are unsettling. Life in the Middle Ages was far more difficult than we imagine.My guest in this episode is Prof. Eileen Murphy from Queen's University Belfast. Eileen has recently published groundbreaking research on daily life in early medieval Ireland, based on her analysis of human remains excavated in Co. Roscommon. In this podcast, she answers all your questions on what life was like.Eileen shares her discoveries on how people survived in a hard and difficult world. It's not for the faint of heart.This episode is not suitable for children.Our interview is based on the book "The Forgotten Cemetery: Excavations at Ranelagh, Co. Roscommon," available for free at is the deputy head of the School of Built & Natural Heritage at Queen's University Belfast:

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  • Manipulating the Past - A History of Photography in Ireland

    The camera never lies or does it? In this episode, I take a trip to the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar, Dublin. Joining me is the archivist, Nora Thornton. Nora not only leads you through the history of photography from its earliest days but also delves into the murky history of image manipulation. It's much older than modern photoshopping. From your great-grandmother, who was eager to alter her figure, to more significant political editing, there's a fascinating history that unfolded behind the scenes.You can visit the National Photographic Archive - its located on Meeting House Square in Templebar. You can also check out thousands of images from their collection that have been digitised here are the images mentioned in the show No.1 
  • The Troubles Part 4: Points of No Return

    In the fourth installment of this exclusive series on the outbreak of the Troubles. Dr Brian Hanley and myself explore the dramatic events of 1970 and 1971. As Northern Ireland was sliding towards war, we look at the key events. This includes the internment of large numbers of republicans to the growing clashes and gun battles in Belfast and Derry.
  • Strongbow & Aoife: The wedding that changed Ireland

    In 1170, the Norman Lord Strongbow landed an army in Ireland. The following day, he launched a deadly assault on the nearby city of Waterford. Before the day was out, Strongbow had not only conquered Waterford in a brutal assault but also made time for his wedding.This marriage changed Ireland forever.Discover how the marriage of Aoife, a seventeen-year-old, and Strongbow, a man in his mid-forties, altered the course of Irish history. I also explore how it elevated Aoife to one of the most powerful women in medieval Irish history.In addition, my supporters of "The Troubles" with Dr. Brian Hanley continues this week with part four, as we delve into the years 1970 and 1971. During this time, the IRA begins to engage the British Army across Northern Ireland.Get the first four episodes at
  • Exiled: Irish Writers in the 1930s

    The 1930s stood out as one of the most dramatic decades in modern history. Fascism was on the rise, and Europe was hurtling towards the Second World War.However, it was a peculiar time in Ireland. The Revolutionary Era was firmly in the rearview, and the optimism and hope it once inspired had long faded. Irish society was increasingly dominated by the Catholic Church and conservative political forces. This podcast delves into life in Ireland during the 1930s by examining the experiences of a series of writers. These writers were critical of Irish society, and due to their political or religious beliefs, they found themselves labeled as outsiders. This podcast tracks their journeys as they left Ireland for London, where they mingled with the most renowned writers of the age, such as T.S. Eliot and George Orwell, and were drawn into the dramatic global politics of the time.My guest is Katrina Goldstone. Katrina has published a book Irish Writers and the 30s and is available here can find Katrina’s website
  • Ireland's Lost Generation - The Orphans of the Great Hunger

    In 1851 there were nearly 90,000 orphans in Irish Workhouses. Many of these children had lost their parents to hunger and disease. Others had been abandoned. This podcast explores the lives of these resilient children as they turned into young adults and rebelled against a world that had forsaken them...
  • The Battle of the Bogside & the emergence of the Provisional IRA: The Troubles Part III

    Hey folks apologies of the delay on releasing this episode - I have been sick Part III of my exclusive series on the Troubles explores the events of 1969, which marked a critical turning point in the history of Northern Ireland. Major clashes in Derry, known as the Battle of the Bogside, ignited widespread unrest and garnered international attention. We will also look at how the spread of protests across the north underscored the deep-seated tensions in the region, pushing Northern Ireland to the brink.Amidst this turmoil, the Republican movement faced internal divisions. Growing discontent led to a split in the IRA, resulting in the formation of the Provisional IRA. More militant and uncompromising in their approach, they would go on to play a central role in the Troubles. This episode explains how they emerged.This Part III of my exclusive series is structured around interviews with Dr. Brian Hanley from the History Department of Trinity College Dublin.