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32 The Assassination of Seán Hales

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On the 7th of December 1922, Pro – Treaty TDs, Sean Hales of Cork and Pádraig Ó Máille of Mayo, emerged from their lunch at a hotel on Ormonde Quay, along Dublin’s river Liffey, for the short drive to the Dáil in Leinster House.

Both had been active in Sinn Féin and the IRA in the struggle against the British, but had supported the Treaty. Hales had a brother, Tom, in hills of west Cork fighting with the Anti-Treaty IRA. As they were getting into the car that would drive them to the Dáil, two gunmen opened fire on them, killing Hales and severely wounding Ó Máille, before disappearing into the backstreets behind the Quays.

Liam Lynch, Anti-Treaty IRA Chief of Staff, had ordered the killing of any TD who had voted for the “Murder Bill” and also threatened hostile judges and newspaper editors. Frank Henderson, head of the IRA Dublin Brigade had, apparently, ordered the killing only of Ó Máille, the Leas Cean Comhairle, or Deputy Speaker of the Dail, and was dismayed that Hales had been killed. For 16 years afterwards he had his son, a priest, say a Mass for Hales.

The Cabinet met in an emergency session and decided, after an all-night debate, on retaliatory executions of four Republican leaders captured in the Four Courts back in July – Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey. The executions were no more and no less than a reprisal killing for the death of Seán Hales. The four had been captured months before the Government had even proposed its emergency legislation in September 1922.

30 The Siege at Jadotville Part 1

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On Episode 30 of the Irish History Show we look at the Siege of Jadotville in 1961. John Dorney interviews Declan Power, whose book on the siege was recently adapted for the screen in a Netflix movie. The engagement took place during the United Nations intervention in the Katanga conflict in Congo-Léopoldville, in Central Africa. “A” Company, 35th Battalion (UN service) of the Irish Army ONUC contingent was attacked by Katanga Gendarmerie troops loyal to the Katangese Prime Minister Moise Tshombe. The lightly armed Irish soldiers, besieged in Jadotville (modern Likasi), resisted Katangese assaults for six days as a relief force of Irish and Swedish troops unsuccessfully attempted to reach the Irish.

26 Howth Gun Running

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On this episode, we discuss the landing of arms for the Irish Volunteers in Howth in 1914.  We also discuss the Bachelor’s Walk Massacre that happened that same day.  We were joined by Pádraig Yeates.  Pádraig Yeates is a distinguished social and labour historian and the author of Lockout, the standard work on the great 1913 labour dispute. He is also author of the acclaimed A City in Wartime, A City in Turmoil and A City in Revolution.

New Blog for the Irish History Show

'The Ould Irish Jig' - painting of couple dancing in traditional dress, with man playing flute behind, late 19th century.

Finally, after three years of broadcasting, the Irish History Show has it’s own website! The speed may be glacial but we’ve got there in the end. This is first of hopefully many posts letting you know when new episodes are available, links to interesting articles, videos and lectures on Irish history, and feedback from you the listeners to the show.

We’d really like to thank the many guests we’ve had so far who have so generously contributed both their time and expertise to the show. We’d also like to thank Near FM for putting us on the air, and in particular the station manager, Ciarán Murray and head of IT, Gavin Byrne. We’d also like to thank Richard O’Shea for helping us to get the website set up.

Having our own website will also allow us to submit the show to podcast search engines such as iTunes so hopefully this will allow us to expand the audience for our podcasts.

Thank you very much to everyone who has listened to the show over the years. It’s very much appreciated!