Dublin’s first recorded transgender person?

The stories of transgender people are rarely recorded. The bigotry of wider society has garunteed few records are left as many transgender people have lived their lives in near total secrecy. The Dubliner Patrick McCormack c.1821 – 1871 is the first transperson I have ever come across in records. Born around 1821 most of his… Read more »

About me

My Name is Fin Dwyer, a 36 year old historian, author and blogger. Having studied Archaeology and Greek and Roman Civilisation I completed an M.A. in archaeology in 2004. After working in archaeology for several years in the Dublin region a combination of the recession and ill-health ended my aspirations to become Indiana Jones. Since… Read more »

Is this new museum Ireland’s best medieval restoration?

St Mary’s Church and graveyard has a long and chequered history. Built around 1205, it was the heart of medieval life in Kilkenny for centuries. Throughout the Middle Ages town meetings were held here while generations of townspeople were buried in the crypts, ornate tombs or mass graves (depending on what you could afford).                   … Read more »

My Grandaunt – the Bootlegging Irish Nun

Between 1920 and 1933 alcohol was banned in the U.S.A. Almost immediately the sale of illegal alcohol – bootlegging – soared and the ban became increasingly ineffectual. While the likes of Al Capone made a fortune bootlegging, ordinary folks, including one Irish nun also turned their hand to it. In 1926 my grandaunt, Sister Genevieve… Read more »

Mad Men – Wacky Advertisers from 1916

Limited by very few restrictions, advertisers in 1916 could do what they liked. Tonics, elixors and pills were offered as the cure to all ills, while cigarettes and alcohol were advertised freely. I took a quick look at the bizarre, often hilarious and even some strangely familiar advertisements from the Irish Independent on October 6,… Read more »

Listener Survey

A few weeks ago I announced I was looking for a sponsor. Things have progressed and the good folks at Libsyn.com should be able to link me up with a potential sponsor. However first they need you, the listeners of the show, to fill out this really brief survey. It will take about thirty seconds.… Read more »

Medieval Maps and Notes for Fatal Feuds podcast.

The following maps and text explains some of the important places and people mentioned in the Fatal Feuds Series. This map illustrates the important factions in Ireland around 1290. While there were dozens of powerful families in Ireland this podcast is primarily interested in Connacht and Ulster. The Lordship of Connacht and the Earldom of… Read more »

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New Book on The Black Death in Ireland out now!

Historian and podcaster Fin Dwyer has released his second book ‘1348: A Medieval Apocalypse – The Black Death in Ireland’. Exclusively for sale through this site it’s available in audio, hard back and eBook. 1348: A Medieval Apocalypse will immerse you in a fascinating and forgotten world. Late medieval Ireland was a land ravaged by… Read more »

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Whats this book about?

‘There was scarcely a house in which only one died, but commonly man and wife with their children and family crossing to death’ – John Clyn Kilkenny 1349 Our 14th century ancestors were survivors if nothing else. Between 1315 and 1350 they endured, struggled and in many cases survived against the odds. There was scarcely… Read more »