Episode 8 sees medieval Ireland stand of the edge of a precipice. A rootless struggle for control of the O Neill kingdom breaks out in the North, while in Munster a new comer to the podcast – the Dal Cais challengthe King of Munster for power in the South. While Ireland is on the verge of chaos we look at these wars and how people struggled through a very tough period of not only war but famine, hard winters and an out break of leprosy and dysentery. By the end of the show Medieval Ireland will have changed and Brian Boru will have started his rise to power……
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Imagine how our understanding of the Norman invasion of Ireland might change if we had footage of Strongbow entering Dublin in 1170 or what we might think of Brian Boru if we had footage of his burial at Armagh in 1014. These comparisons highlight the role that film footage will play as we construct the history of the late 19th and 20th centuries. While film is as biased as any other source it gives an unique insight into past societies. There are numerous free film clips online about Irish history but here’s five clips i think are really fascinating and informative….. (more…)
I was researching the Great Irish Famine (1845-51) when I came across this bleak report written in Clifden workhouse on Christmas day 1847. Thesituation in Ireland was desperate by 1847 when famine related diseases started to ravage an already weakened population. The workhouse was what the 19th century offered up as state welfare. Orphans, the old and the destitute were admitted and in return for food they were subjected to a horrendous regime. The desperate situation in Ireland during the famine meant that these institutions were completely overwhelmed leading to massive levels of disease and mortality in the workhouses. Needless to say Christmas day 1847 was just another day of misery, disease and death for the people in Clifden workhouse.
A world without Christmas may seem inconceivable, however Christmas wasn’t always the festive public holiday it is today. Its popularity has wax and waned over the centuries being celebrated to varying degrees in different places and periods. In England in the late medieval era it was first officially declared a public holiday by royal decree of 1448. However in 1645 it was banned when radical Protestants – Puritans among them Oliver Cromwell, came to power in England.
One of the main sources for medieval Irish history, The Annals of the Four Masters, has an entry for the year 887 which talks about a mermaid 195 feet tall. So can you trust sources with such claims – How could a mermaid be so tall?
Have you ever been puzzled by history? Did people really only live to 40? What was it like to go to a medieval dentist? Maybe you’ve been puzzled how people survived before email, phones, cars or even proper roads? Well if you have the Irish history podcast is for you! The series tracks Irish history and archaeology trying to understand what daily life was like for normal people whilst also tracking the big picture of war, politics and needless to say invasions.
The first episode looks at early medieval Ireland, a world called Barbarian by the Romans. What did Ireland look like to the first missionaries from Rome and see how the Gaelic Irish lived. It also examines how people dealt with low life expectancy and constant death.
Fin, for his sins, completed a degree in Greek and Roman Civilisation and Archaeology. After this he took a Masters in Archaeology. Miraculously he still likes history and archaeology, despite the best intentions of the education system. He spent a few years being used by shady developers in what is often called the 'archaeology industry' in Ireland. Now, not surprisingly given his qualifications he is among the 500,000 unemployed in Ireland. He recently was disappointed when the Irish government decided against hiring him as a adviser on the fall of the Roman republic but this music http://www.myspace.com/racketsquad cheers him up no end......