Over recent months it has been frequently claimed that the 1916 Rising brought the gun into Irish politics. Without doubt this is an important question, given role of violence in modern Irish history. However even the most cursory of glances at our history illustrates violence was central to politics in Ireland long before 1916. If… Read more »
My upcoming book ‘1348: A Medieval Apocalypse, The Black Death in Ireland’ is currently being printed and will be out soon. Find out how you can get your hands on a copy and bring the plague to a town near you!‘1348: A Medieval Apocalypse’ resurrects one of the most interesting chapters in Irish history between… Read more »
The Irish Civil War although relatively brief saw some of the worst atrocities in Ireland in the 20th century. The most intense fighting between the IRA and the Free State forces took place in Kerry. When reports of ‘tragedies’ emerged in March 1923 they concealed a much darker truth. In early March 1923 news began… Read more »
In February 1317 Dubliners were suffering from the effects of the worst famine of the Middle Ages. To make matters worse a Scots army led by Edward Bruce, brother of the king of Scotland, had invaded Ireland in 1315. Over the following three years he and his army traipsed up and down the Norman colony… Read more »
I am currently planning a major podcast series on The Great Famine (beginning in 2017) and I have been reading newspapers from the era. I will be posting articles I come across here as much to save them as anything else. In 1849 Rev. James Anderson, a protestant rector in the West of Ireland highlighted… Read more »
On February 16th, 1932 Ireland went to the polls in what was the most hotly contested election since The War of Independence. Cumann na nGaedheal (now Fine Gael) had ruled the country since their victory in the Civil War of 1922-23. However by the early 30s they faced a staunch challenge from the defeated republican… Read more »
Around 1900 Richard and Florence Wandesforde, owners of the Castlecomer Colliery Ireland’s largest coalfield, embarked on road trip through Europe. Richard was a keen photographer and chronicled their travels, taking pictures of what was often strange or unusual sights. I came across these pictures while researching my podcast series on the Castlecomer Collieries. The pictures… Read more »
Building towards the release of my book on the Black Death – 1348: A Medieval Apocalypse on May 2nd 2016 this article look at the last time plague threatened Ireland. While bubonic plague evokes images of the Middle Ages, Ireland has had more than one brush with the dreaded disease. As recently as the year… Read more »
‘It is desired to avoid all publicity and steps have been taken to stop any account of the incident getting into the press’ So read a Garda report into strange goings on in Carrick-on-Suir in July 1940. One month after the Nazi Conquest of France a swastika had been daubed on the house of two… Read more »
Lough Derg in Donegal has been a site of Christian pilgrimage for well over a thousand years. In the 1350s the Hungarian adventurer George Grissaphan crossed the European continent to visit the internationally renowned island on Lough Derg. While site is still popular among Catholics, numbers have fallen since the decline of the Catholic Church… Read more »
Conwy Castle in Northern Wales is one of the most imposing and impressive fortresses in Northern Europe. Built in the late 13th century it was thought to be impregnable. Find out why…
This week I finally completed a draft of the book (I have stopped using the old title – I think it needs to change). Looking back now I never realised how the writing process changes the book from the early drafts. For example Maurice FitzThomas, the subject of the podcast ‘Rebel Lord’ was originally intended… Read more »
[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” url_new_window=”off” use_icon=”off” icon_color=”#ff6600″ use_circle=”off” circle_color=”#ff6600″ use_circle_border=”off” circle_border_color=”#ff6600″ icon_placement=”top” animation=”top” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_icon_font_size=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] From the frontier fortress of Castleroche to the tombs of Loughcrew this tour reveals Irelands most mesmerising sites. Before the pharaohs of Egypt built the first pyramid our distant ancestors raised the remarkable tombs of… Read more »
The battle of the Four Courts in 1922 was the event that triggered the Irish Civil War. In the midst of this battle an archive of Irish historical documents stretching back centuries was destroyed.
Woodlawn House is reputedly one of the most haunted houses in Ireland. Check out what this abandoned mansion is really like inside.
Beaumaris Castle is one of the most remarkable castles in North Western Europe. Built on a marsh in the 1290s it protected the key roadway to Norman Ireland. This short video takes you on a breathtaking tour of the castle and its incredible defences.