74 Commemoration & Discontent

On this episode of the Irish History Show we were joined by Dr. Laura McAtackney and Dr. Brian Hanley to discuss the controversies surrounding the Decade of Centenaries.

Dr. Laura McAtackney is an associate professor in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at Aarhus University in Denmark. In her work she explores the historical and contemporary archaeologies of institutions and colonialism of post conflict Northern Ireland. Some of her previous work includes Walling in and Walling Out, An Archaeology of the Troubles – The dark history of Long Kesh / Maze Prison and Kilmainhamgaolgraffiti.com, which explores female experiences of imprisonment during the Irish Civil War.

Dr. Brian Hanley lectures in 20th century Irish History in Trinity College, Dublin. He has written several books including The IRA 1926 – 36, The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party and Boiling Volcano – The impact of the Troubles on the Republic of Ireland 1968 – 79.

Intro / Outro music “Sliabh” from Aislinn. Licensed under creative commons from the free music archive.

73 Tom Barry and the Kilmichael Ambush

On this episode of the Irish History Show we discussed the Kilmichael Ambush. The Kilmichael Ambush occurred on the 28th of November 1920 when a flying column of the IRA, led by Tom Barry, ambushed a company of the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The Auxiliaries lost 17 members in the engagement, including one who had escaped and was subsequently captured and killed.

We also looked at the career of Tom Barry. Hi service with the British Army in the First World War, his actions in the War of Independence and Civil War and his recently released Military Service Pension application.

We also looked at the controversies surrounding Kilmichael and the disputes regarding Barry’s claim of a false surrender by the Auxiliaries which led Barry not to take prisoners during the engagement.

Intro / Outro music “Sliabh” from Aislinn. Licensed under creative commons from the free music archive.

72 Kevin Boyle & The Human Rights Movement

On this episode of the Irish History Show we were joined by Mike Chinoy to discuss his new book, Are You With Me? Kevin Boyle and the rise of the Human Rights Movement, published by Lilliput Press.

Kevin Boyle was one of the founders of People’s Democracy in Queens University Belfast and was one of the leading figures in the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. As a human rights lawyer he embraced causes such as freedom of speech and expression, anti – apartheid, gay rights and the treatment of Kurds in Turkey.

In an Irish context he represented internees who had been subject to abuse in custody and mediated during the Hunger Strikes in the H- Blocks. His work during the New Ireland Forum and the Anglo – Irish Agreement eventually led to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

Mike Chinoy is a former foreign correspondent for CNN and is an Emmy, Peabody and Dupont award winning journalist.

Intro / Outro music “Sliabh” from Aislinn. Licensed under creative commons from the free music archive.

71 The British Empire, the Middle East and Ireland

On this episode of the Irish History Show, we looked at the Middle East and the Brtish Empire in the period after the First World War.  We discussed how the British Empire dealt with their new mandates in the region and how their dealings with these countries compared and contrasted with their treatment of Ireland during Ireland’s War of Independence. 

We looked at issues such as the use of military forces to suppress rebellions, political initiatives, reprisals, attitudes towards sovereignty and the evolution of colonialism.  We also look at British regiments and officers who ended up in Ireland after being involved in actions in the Middle East.

Intro / Outro music “Sliabh” from Aislinn. Licensed under creative commons from the free music archive.

70 1917 East Clare By – Election

On this episode of the show we were joined by Dr. Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc to discuss the historic East Clare by – election of 1917. The by – election was held on the 10th of July 1917 following the death of the incumbent MP, Willie Redmond, of the Irish Parliamentary Party. The by – election saw the leader of Sinn Féin, Éamon de Valera, face Patrick Lynch of the Irish Parliamentary Party. The Home Rulers had held the seat since it was first created in 1885. Sinn Féin ended up winning the seat by a more than two to one majority.

69 Croke Park and Bloody Sunday

On this episode of the show we were joined by Michael Foley to discuss his book, The Bloodied Field, about the events in Croke Park on the 21st of November 1920. That day would become known as Bloody Sunday. On that morning, the IRA killed or mortally wounded 16 people in a co – ordinated series of assassinations directed against British intelligence officers in Dublin.

That afternoon Dublin were due to play Tipperary in a challenge match in Croke Park. British troops, the Royal Irish Constabulary and Auxiliaries surrounded the ground. Crown forces began shooting into the stadium and 14 civilians were killed, including Tipperary player Michael Hogan.

Michael Foley is a sportswriter for the Irish edition of The Sunday Times. He is a three-time GAA McNamee award-winner and winner of the 2007 BoyleSports Irish Sports Book of the Year. Michael has been nominated three times as Irish Sports Journalist of the Year.  He is a member of the GAA’s history committee and is involved in the GAA’s commemoration of Bloody Sunday. Michael’s book, The Bloodied Field, has been re-released by O’Brien Books in a special updated 100th anniversary edition.

Intro / Outro music “Sliabh” from Aislinn. Licensed under creative commons from the free music archive.

68 Mick O’Reilly

On this episode of the show we were joined by Mick O’Reilly. Mick’s recently published autobiography ‘From Lucifer to Lazarus – A life on the left,’ is now available.

Mick talked about his lifetime of activism as a socialist and trade union official.

Intro / Outro music “Sliabh” from Aislinn. Licensed under creative commons from the free music archive.

67 Irish republicanism, anti-Semitism and the post-war world

On this episode of the show we were joined by Dr. Brian Hanley to discuss his recent article for Irish Historical Studies entitled ‘The Irish and the Jews have a good deal in common’: Irish republicanism, anti-Semitism and the post-war world.

In the episode we discuss the Irish Jewish Community, casual anti – Semitism in Ireland in this period, Irish republican attitudes towards Jews, the relationship between Jews and Irish republicanism outside Ireland and British and unionist conspiracy theories regarding Jewish influence over events happening in Ireland at the time.

66 The Disappeared of the Irish Revolution

On this episode of the show Dr. Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc talks about ‘The Disappeared’ who were killed and secretly buried during the Irish Revolutionary Period.

This is the fruit of a research project carried out by Pádraig himself and Andy Bielenberg of University College Cork into forcible disappearances during the Irish revolution.

Pádraig has previously written extensively on the killing of alleged informers by the IRA and Andy Beilenberg has compiled a register of fatalities in County Cork from 1919-1921.

By their figures 108 people were killed and their bodies disposed of in secret by the IRA and seven by British forces. This is a far larger figure than the sixteen people ‘disappeared’ during the Northern Ireland conflict in the 1970s  and 80s, whose recovery remains a political issue today.

We discuss:

  • Why some victims of political violence were ‘disappeared’
  • Why County Cork accounted for a disproportionate number of the disappeared people.
  • Why the practice was relatively common in the War of Independence but not a feature of the Civil War.
  • How reliable oral traditions and rumours are as to the presence of these unmarked graves.

65 Ireland and World War II

On this episode of the Irish History Show, John Dorney interviewed Dr. Joseph Quinn about Ireland’s role in World War 2. They discussed:

  • Why Ireland remained neutral
  • How successive British governments made offers of Irish unity in return for the use of Ireland’s Atlantic ports during the war and why these offers were ultimately rejected.
  • In what numbers Irishmen and women served in Allied forces and other Irish aid to the allied powers, notably in naval intelligence.
  • The prospects for the invasion of neutral Ireland by one or more of the belligerents.
  • Ireland’s uneasy relationship with the United States during the war.
  • Éamon de Valera’s infamous condolences to German ambassador Hempel on the death of Adolf Hitler.

Dr. Joseph Quinn is a Second World War Research Associate at the UK National Archives and secretary and co – founder of the Irish Military Heritage Foundation.

Intro / Outro music “Sliabh” from Aislinn. Licensed under creative commons from the free music archive.