Irish History Podcast
Burned Alive: The Burning of Bridget Cleary
In 1895 Bridget Cleary was a confident independent woman in a rapidly changing Ireland. This brought her into conflict with dark and sinister figures in her own community.
After being labelled a 'changeling' (a fairy who had taken the place of the real person) Bridget was tortured in a brutal ritual. This podcast, based in an original episode released in 2016, explores Cleary's life and why those closest to her ultimately murdered her.
The book mentioned in the show is The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story by Angela Bourke
Sound By Kate Dunlea
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Belfast and the Slave Trade
The history of Belfast has been dominated by the Troubles of the late 20th century and the longer history of sectarian conflict in the city. However Belfast holds a lesser-known yet significant chapter in its past—it's connections to the slave trade. In this episode, I am joined by Tom Thorpe who uncovers Belfast's complex ties to slavery in the United States. Join us as Tom sheds light on how Belfast's economy became intertwined with the slave trade and explores the emergence of a radical anti-slavery movement within the city. To delve deeper into this fascinating topic check out Tom's walking tour at antislaverybelfast.com
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
The Parnell Divorce Case - a story that shocked the Victorian world
In the 1880s Charles Stewart Parnell was the most famous Irish politician of his generation. Dubbed 'the uncrowned king of Ireland' he was respected and admired across the political spectrum.However 1890 he was embroiled in a sensational scandal that rocked the Victorian world when it emerged he had been in a decade long relationship with a married woman. In this episode I am joined by Dr Lloyd (Meadhbh) Houston. Their recent book Irish Modernism and the Politics of Sexual Health explores the impact this scandal had on Irish politics and society.They explain who Parnell was, his rise and then his spectacular downfall.If you want to learn more about the Land War - check out my Patron's Exclusive Podcast on this fascinating conflict that changed Irish history here https://www.patreon.com/posts/patrons-podcast-7434081You can find Lloyd's book here. It's an academic text so its on the pricey side but you can read Lloyd's work at their website https://lmhouston.co.uk/
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Disert - A Place Where Mythology and History Meets
Disert is a remote townland in the Bluestack Mountains in Co Donegal. For reasons that are not entirely clear, our ancestors have been drawn here for thousands of years. There is no question it is a special place.Located in the shade of a sacred mountain - Carnaween - it was a site of pagan worship associated with some of the most famous figures in Irish mythology. There are stories relating to Finn MacCumhail (McCool), Diarmaid and Grainne in the surrounding area.It was also used by early Irish Christians and medieval pilgrims. In the 18th century Catholics were drawn to Disert when their religion was suppressed by the penal laws. Even into the 20th century it was used as a cillín to bury unbaptised children. Today the local community continues to pray at the site.The questions remains why? What is special about this site?Over the last few years archaeologists led by Dr Fiona Beglane from Atlantic Technological University, Sligo have been excavating Disert to try and understand its complex story.Her international team of archaeologists from the Institute for Field Research and California State University Los Angeles have made some fascinating discoveries.Last summer I visited Disert to record an episode at the excavation. In this podcast Fiona shares what her team uncovered in this remarkable place...Thanks to Dr Fiona Beglane for her time and archaeologist Rebekka Grace who arranged the recordings.Find out more about Disert at https://disertheritage.com/