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.

64 Paddy Cullivan

On this episode of the Irish History Show we were joined by Paddy Cullivan. You may know Paddy from the Camembert Quartet, the Late Late Show, Callan’s Kicks, the Leviathan Political Cabaret and Kilkenomics.  Paddy’s historical live shows, 10 Dark Secrets of the Irish Revolution and 10 Dark Secrets of 1798 have toured all over Ireland and been a huge success.

We discussed the public’s engagement with history, his live shows, history as entertainment and how we commemorate historical events.


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

63 Irish Election Literature & Small Irish Parties

On this episode of the show we were joined by Alan Kinsella of the Irish Election Literature Blog. Alan talked about how he began collecting material relating to elections and referenda as a child and how this led to a lifetime of accumulating Irish political ephemera.

Alan also discussed his new podcast “The Others” dealing with small political parties and single issue campaigns over the years.

We also discussed some of the more unusual candidates and parties that have graced the Irish political landscape.


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

62 Bram Stoker and the Sligo Cholera Epidemic of 1832

On this episode we were joined by Dr. Marion McGarry and Dr. Fiona Gallagher to discuss the Sligo Cholera Epidemic of 1832 and how this inspired Dracula.

Sligo was the worst effected town in Britain and Ireland by the Cholera epidemic of 1832. The town was devastated by the outbreak. A young Charlotte Thornley lived through the events in Sligo and would later regale her son, Bram Stoker, with tales of live burials and the undead.

Marion and Fiona explain what happened in Sligo during the epidemic and the effects it had on the town. They also go through the parallels in Dracula with the events in Sligo at that time.

Was Stoker inspired by the mythology of Eastern Europe when he created Dracula or did the Sligo Cholera epidemic, and Stoker’s interest in Irish folklore, provide the basis for the vampire count?

More articles on the subjects covered in the podcast can be found at Marion and Fiona’s blogs:




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

61 Tartan Gangs & The Red Hand Commando

On this episode of the show, we were joined by Dr. Gareth Mulvenna to discuss his research into the Tartan Gangs, the Red Hand Commando and his upcoming biography of the PUP’s Billy Hutchinson. Gareth is the author of Tartan Gangs and Paramilitaries: The Loyalist Backlash.

His podcast, Hidden Histories of the Northern Ireland Troubles, is available on most podcast platforms and his blog is available here:

60 The 1641 Rebellion

On this episode of the show, we look at the 1641 Rebellion in Ireland. The Rebellion broke out in October of 1641 and would begin a conflict that would last for the next eleven years. The events in Ireland would form part of the War of the Three Kingdoms and were brought to a close by Oliver Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland with his New Model Army.

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

59 Housing in Dublin in the 20th Century

On this episode of the show we were joined by Dr. Ruth McManus, Associate Professor of Geography in the School of History and Geography in Dublin City University, to discuss housing in Dublin in the 20th century.

We discussed Dublin Corporation’s early attempts to provide housing in the late 19th century; the 1913 Lockout and how it brought into sharp focus the poor quality of housing so many of Dublin’s citizens lived in, the response of the new Free State government, Marino and the Garden City movement, subsequent developments in Drumcondra and Cabra, the role of housing co – ops and the large scale housing schemes in Crumlin, Kimmage and Drimnagh,

58 The British Empire and the Second World War

On this episode of the show, John Dorney talks to Dr. Jonathan Fennell from King’s College, London. They discuss his book Fighting the People’s War – The British and Commonwealth armies in the Second War.

57 The Jacobite Parliament of 1689

King James II

On this episode of the show we were joined by Dr. Pádraig Lenihan of NUI Galway to discuss the 1689 Irish Parliament. The Patriot, or Jacobite, Parliament was called by King James II during the 1689 to 1691 war in Ireland. It was the first Irish Parliament called since 1666 and held only one session, from 7 May 1689 to 20 July 1689.

We discussed the grievances felt by the Catholic population over land ownership and penal laws; the role of James’ Lord Deputy, the Earl of Tyrconnell; the key pieces of legislation passed by the parliament and how it was remembered by nationalists and unionists in Ireland.

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