Sex and Scandal in Medieval Ireland

On January 13th 1358, John Rathcoul a merchant from Dundalk agreed to take on a young apprentice Nicholas O’Molaghallyn. The two made a contract where John agreed to teach Nicholas the ‘merchants arts’ while in return, Nicholas had to agree to several conditions. These included not revealing John’s secrets of the trade and agreeing not… Read more »

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Norman Invasion Podcast Series Update

This is just a brief update on where the series has taken us so far, some problems encountered and what to expect next…

Castleroche – A Medieval Frontier Fortress.

Landscapes hide their past well – Ireland’s tumultuous and violent medieval history is scarcely evident at all. However when driving north-west from Dundalk, the appearance of Roche Castle on the horizon reveals a tantilising glimpse into this regions violent and turbulent history written in stone. Built on a rocky outcrop, this fortification was clearly built… Read more »

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Funding my next book!

Since starting my latest book on the Black Death “1348: A Medieval Apocalypse” I have been keen to involve you, the audience, as much as possible. Therefore when it came to funding and publishing the book, I felt trying something new made most sense. Rather than use a publishing house, I have decided to crowd-fund… Read more »

1925 – Ireland’s Forgotten Famine?

In 1925 the Irish government denied 750,000 people faced famine, however in the West of Ireland several people had already starved to death, recently unearthed state files reveal the details of another disturbing cover up. In the early 1920s Ireland was in a ruinous state. The war of independence, the civil war and an economic… Read more »

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A history of popular protest and direct action in medieval Dublin.

Tomorrow will see thousands converge on Dublin for a national demonstration against the Water Tax – the latest austerity measure imposed by the Irish government. This demonstration has come on the back of a growing wave of protests in recent weeks across Dublin which has seen direct action taken by residents across the city to… Read more »

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In the footsteps of a medieval warlord.

Maurice Fitz Thomas the first Earl of Desmond is one of my favourite characters in medieval Irish history. His life was a litany of violence, mayhem, murder and rebellion. You can hear the full story of Maurice’s life and deeds in my exclusive new podcast. However in this post I look a some locations associated… Read more »

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Carcassonne, medieval anti-Semitism and the Black Death

The medieval town of Carcassonne in the south of France is stunning. Miles of walls, punctuated by towers and gates, enclose a beautiful town of narrow, cobbled streets. Even if some of the 19th-century restoration work leaves a little to be desired, it is still one of the most evocative late medieval fortified towns in… Read more »

1348: A Medieval Apocalypse – The Black Death in Ireland

In the summer of 1348 the medieval world was changed forever by a crisis of apocalyptic proportions. Never before or since has humanity experienced anything like the events that unfolded as the Black Death swept through Northern Europe. Within a year, between 30 and 50% of the population had died. As the plague advanced across… Read more »