Dennis Doherty: A life of survival against the odds….

You can listen to a podcast of this article here. The haunting picture below of an Irish “convict”was taken in Port Arthur prison, Tasmania in 1876. Dennis Doherty had been transported from Europe 43 years earlier and was one of the longest serving prisoners in the Australian penal system. He served a staggering 43 years… Read more »

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William and Daniel Cormack: from Execution to International Fame

In March 1858, two brothers mounted the scaffold outside Nenagh Jail in North Tipperary for the murder of John Ellis. One of the brothers, 19 year old Daniel Cormack pleaded “Lord have mercy on me, for you know, Jesus, that I neither had hand, act nor part in that for which I am about to… Read more »

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Top 5 Celebrity Jailbirds in Irish history

Never mind X factor or any of that rubbish, here’s 5 people (or groups of people) who are actually worth talking about….. Although not all are recognisable today these were all celebrity jailbirds in their day. 1.     Oscar Wilde While celebrated today for his skill with the pen, Oscar Wilde at the time of his… Read more »

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Hidden Dungeons and a Medieval Priory – A day in medieval Kilkenny…..

Want to spend a day exploring castles with hidden chambers or wandering around monasteries that were bigger than small towns? Here’s how to visit three sites for €6! Although you’ll probably only have heard of one – Kilkenny castle, the others – Clara castle and Kells Priory are equally interesting. They are all close to… Read more »

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1741: The Year of Slaughter

1741, “The Year of Slaughter” (Bliadhain an Air) was one of the most tragic events in post-medieval Irish history. Although this famine has been overshadowed by the famine of 1845-1851 it was  equally destructive. In fact it killed a greater percentage of the population in a shorter period of time. Although often attributed to “natural… Read more »

Top 5 Irish people who almost changed history

Top 5 Irish people who almost changed history. The individual stories behind an Irish assassin, a revolutionary, an explorer,  a dictators mistress and a scientist who almost changed history. 5. Violet Gibson. …..almost assassinated Benito Mussolini in 1926…… In 1944 Italian partisans captured the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini and executed him, hanging his body… Read more »

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The Vikings (part I)

Episode 2 sees the Vikings enter Irish History. Were the Vikings really blood thirsty? In this show we hear what it was like to experience a Viking attack, why the attacks started, what did the Gaelic Irish make of these people when they first appeared and how they dealt with these raids. Subscribe in itunes… Read more »

The Sewer that spawned a city….

Many cities pride themselves in their humble origins. Few however, could more humble than Dublin. It was around this sewer that channels the river Poddle into the Liffey that the Vikings built a settlement that would grow into Dublin.  The original settlement was built on a strip of land between these two rivers. The poddle… Read more »

What did the Romans do for us?

The first episode of the series picks up the story of Irish history around the end of the Roman Empire. This article looks at Ireland and its interaction with Roman Europe to set the stage. What did the Romans do for us ? It’s one of those questions that’s relevant to nearly every country in… Read more »