Irish History Podcast
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/
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The Origin Story of 'A Lethal Legacy'15:20Every book has an origin story. My new book ‘A Lethal Legacy – A History of Ireland in 18 Murders’ is no different. While the book goes on sale today, the origin story goes back to 2015 when I found a trove of old letters belonging to a grandmother I never knew.Tune in to find out more.THE BOOK LAUNCH IS ON TONIGHT (SEP 14) AT 6P.M. IN HODGES FIGGIS BOOKSHOP ON DAWSON ST.Get your eBook, audiobook, kindle or hardcopy here A Lethal Legacy | Linktree
The Cork tsunami & other historic natural disasters27:00This podcast looks at forgotten story of the tsunami that hit Cork in 1755, the volcanic winter of 1816 and a meteor that was way to close for comfort in 1908. Although they dont feature prominently in history, they had huge impact at the time.Articles referenced in the show A seismic tsunami in the Irish annals, recorded at Iona in October 720 https://arxiv.org/abs/2211.05224Folklore about the Cork tsunami http://www.deepmapscork.ie/past-to-present/climate/1755-lisbon-earthquake-tsunami-west-cork-coast/The Tunguska impact event and beyond https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article/50/1/1.18/201316Narrations - Aidan CroweSound - Kate Dunlea. My new book a book a lethal legacy is out this Thursday. You can still pre-order and get 10% off when you use the discount code FD10 at Eason.*The launch takes place Thursday September 14th in Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street in Dublin at 6pm*. If you are in Dublin drop in if you are around. It would be lovely to put a face to a listener!
The First Modern Royal Visit to Ireland22:08In 1821 George IV was the first British monarch to visit Ireland in modern times. It was a historic occasion for multiple reasons. Not only was he the first king to set foot on Irish soil since the 17th century but he was the first to do so without an army.Many held out hope the king's arrival might usher in a new era in Irish history.However George himself had other ideas. Beginning as he meant to continue, George was dead drunk on arrival. The following weeks were defined by pomp, ceremony and scandal - everything we have come to expect from a modern royal visit.This show is based on research for my upcoming book that never made the final cut.The book, A Lethal Legacy - A History of Ireland in 18 Murders, will be released on 14 September. You can still pre-order your copy today and get 10% off when you use the code FD10 at Eason.com. The article referenced in the show by Karina Holton is entitled ‘All our joys will be complated’: The visit of George IV to Ireland, 1821. Its available in Irish Historical Studies, 44(166), 248-269.
A Broken People: The Survivors of the Great Hunger34:50The Great Hunger left deep scars on the Irish society. Many of those who survived the 1840s never fully survived the harrowing ordeal they had endured. They were traumatised in body and spirit. For the rest of their lives, they carried the physical and psychological injuries the Great Hunger inflicted on them.This podcast follows the life one of the last survivors in Dublin - Catherine Mulhern.This podcast was included in an early draft of my upcoming book A Lethal Legacy – A History of Ireland in 18 Murders. While it didn’t make the final edit for reasons explained in the show, it is a fascinating story.A Lethal Legacy - A History of Ireland in 18 Murders is currently available for pre-order today. If you buy your copy at Easons.com & use the coupon code FD10 you will get 10% off.
The Brighton Bombing - the attempt to kill Margaret Thatcher50:05In 1984, the Conservative Party, lead by the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, gathered in the seaside town of Brighton for their annual conference. In the early hours of October 12th a bomb ripped through the Grand Hotel where Thatcher and several other conservative leaders were staying. The following day the Provisional IRA would claim responsibility for the attack. This triggered one of the largest manhunts in history. While the plan was audacious, the police operation to catch the IRA team that planted the bomb was extraordinary. In this episode I am joined by Guardian journalist and author Rory Carroll to discuss the bombing, the wider historical context and the man hunt that followed. Rory has recent published an excellent book on the Brighton Bombing called Killing Thatcher the IRA, the manhunt and the Long War Against the Crown.-----------My upcoming book 'A Lethal Legacy - A History of Ireland in 18 Murders' will be released on September 14th 2023.Pre-Order at Easons today and get 10% off when you use the coupon code FD10 https://www.easons.com/a-lethal-legacy-finbar-dwyer-9780008555993-----------You can get Rory's book Killing Thatcher: The IRA, the Manhunt and the Long War on the Crown
A Deep, Dark History. Bunmahon & the Copper Rush of the 19th Century41:30Bunmahon is an idyllic seaside town in Co Waterford but it has a deep dark history. It's a story that begins in an abandoned mine and ends in a search for a lost town...Need I say more?You can find out more about Bunmahon at the local visitor centre.My upcoming book 'A Lethal Legacy - A History of Ireland in 18 Murders' will be released on September 14th 2023. Pre-Order at Easons today and get 10% off when you use the coupon code FD10 https://www.easons.com/a-lethal-legacy-finbar-dwyer-9780008555993
Jack the Ripper: Irish Connections [From the Archives]29:50This episode was originally released in 2019. Over the past week I was recording the audio version of 'A Lethal Legacy - A History of Ireland in 18 Murders' so I didnt have time to prepare a new episode but this is worth a relisten! Normal service resumes next week.“In the later half 1888 London was gripped by fear when five women were murdered within a few months of each other in the East End of the city. Initially dubbed the Whitechapel murders after the district where they took place, they are better known today by the sensational title of the Jack the Ripper murders. Over the past century the case has become without doubt the most famous serial killings in history however the victims have been largely forgotten. The identity of the killer, frequently cast as an evil genius, dominates the seeming endless retellings of the murders both in fact and fiction. However in 2019, this changed when Hallie Rubenhold published a book called The Five – The untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper…”In this interview with Hallie Rubenhold explores Irish connections to the notorious murders and shares her new research from her book ‘The Five’.Pre-Order A Lethal Legacy - A History of Ireland in 18 Murders today https://www.easons.com/a-lethal-legacy-finbar-dwyer-9780008555993 Use the Code FD10 & get 10% off today!
Taking the Hard Road - Edward O’Rourke & opposing Hitler28:19As I mention in the episode I am recording the audio version of A Lethal Legacy - A History of Ireland in 18 Murders this week! Don't forget to pre-order at Easons and use the code FD10 to get 10% off!Edward O’Rourke is not a name you expect to encounter in the history of Eastern Europe, yet he is a celebrated figure in the Polish city of Gdansk for the role he played in opposing the rise of the Nazis in the city in the 1930s.In this episode I am joined by the Irish Times journalist Derek Scally to explore the life of Edward O'Rourke which was in a word unique. This episode reveals why a man born near Minsk in the Russian Empire in 1876 was named O’Rourke and how he went to oppose Fascism at a time when many of his contemporaries were supporting Hitler. This is the image at the start of the show https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Landmesser#/media/File:August-Landmesser-Almanya-1936.jpg Follow Derek on twitter - @DerekinBerlin Articles references in the podcast https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irishman-honoured-in-polish-city-where-he-warned-of-nazi-danger-1.642893 - https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/2023/07/04/sean-lester-and-edward-phelan-irish-world-leaders/
The Road to War - How the Irish Civil War Started31:10'The Road to War' is the first episode in a five part Irish History Podcast production on the Irish Civil War. The full series, exclusively available for supporters, features the leading Irish historian Dr Brian Hanley from Trinity College Dublin. Over the five episodes the series covers the full story of the Irish Civil War from the National Army assault on the Four Courts through to the IRA order to dump arms in 1923. The series also explores the legacy and memory of the conflict, looking at how movies like Michael Collins leave us with a problematic understanding of the Civil War. Become a supporter on Patreon and Acast+ today and get the full seriesPatreon https://patreon.com/irishpodcastAcast+ https://plus.acast.com/s/irishhistoryWhen you become a supporter today you will getThe five part series on the Irish Civil WarMy Audiobook on the Black DeathHours of Bonus podcasts only available to supportersAd free contentEarly Access to the show