After the outbreak of civil war in Spain in 1936 there was widespread support in Ireland for the Francoist insurgents rebelling against the Spanish government. The war was largely presented as a fight to preserve the Catholic religion in Spain from the ‘Reds’ or communists. The Irish clergy and groups such as the Irish Christian Front staged rallies all over the country in support of Franco.
Volunteers were sought to form an Irish Brigade to go to Spain. The Brigade was led by Eoin O’Duffy, the first leader of Fine Gael, former commissioner of the Gardaí and former leader of the Blueshirt movement. O’Duffy stated “It is not a conflict between fascism and anti-fascism but between Christ and anti-christ,”.
Around 700 volunteers joined O’Duffy in Spain. The failure of the brigade to distinguish themselves in the field, combined with Spanish exasperation at their indiscipline, led to their eventual repatriation from Spain and ultimately the end of O’Duffy’s political career in Ireland.
On this episode of the show we discuss the Dáil Courts. The Dáil Courts were the judicial branch of the government of the Irish Republic declared in 1919. They operated in tandem to the established legal system and were subject to suppression by the state. They were an integral part of undermining British rule in Ireland.
On this episode John Dorney interviews Richard Grayson on his recent book Dublin’s Great Wars, which examines Ireland’s capital city’s experience both of the First World War and nationalist revolution from 1914-1923.
They discuss the varied motivations and social backgrounds of the recruits. Their experiences at the battlefronts. How the war came to define rival and mutually hostile brands of Irish nationalism and republicanism. How the war veterans fared on their return to Ireland, challenging assumptions about their presumed political allegiances and treatment by republicans and how commemoration of the war is a far more complex story than simply wilful ‘forgetting’.
On this episode we are joined by historian Barry Sheppard to discuss his research on Muintir na Tíre and their founder, Fr. John Hayes. Muintir na Tíre are a rural, community development group founded in 1931. Barry Sheppard also discusses Catholic social teaching and similarities and differences between Muintir na Tíre and other vocationalist groups.
In this episode we look at the 1918 Westminster General Election. This was the first General Election held in the UK since 1910. The results of this election would see a complete transformation of political representation in Ireland. Sinn Féin, running on an abstentionist, Republican platform, would win a landslide victory throughout Ireland replacing the established nationalists, the Irish Parliamentary Party. The Unionists, committed to maintaining the link with Britain, would win 26 seats. In this episode we look at the events that led up to the election and the rise of Sinn Féin. We also look at the extension of the franchise before the election and the failure of the Labour Party to contest seats outside Belfast.
On this episode of the Irish History Show, John Dorney talks to Dr. Brian Hanley about his new book “The impact of the Troubles on the Republic of Ireland, 1968–79 Boiling Volcano?” This is the first book to examine in detail the impact of the Northern Irish Troubles on southern Irish society. This study vividly illustrates how life in the Irish Republic was affected by the conflict north of the border and how people responded to the events there.
The book describes popular mobilization in support of northern nationalists, the reaction to Bloody Sunday, the experience of refugees and the popular cultural debates the conflict provoked.
In this episode we are joined by Irish American historian Joseph E.A. Connell Jr. to discuss his new book Michael Collins: Dublin 1916 – 1922. Michael Collins was the Chairman of the Provisional Government set up after the Anglo – Irish Treaty of 1921. Collins was a Gaelic League and GAA activist and served in the GPO during the Easter Rising. During the War of Independence, Collins was Director of Intelligence in the IRA and Minister of Finance in the Dáil government.
John Dorney and Joe Connell discuss Collins’ military and political abilities. How his charismatic personality attracted some and alienated others. What he hoped to achieve with the Treaty settlement. How and why he was killed and what his ultimate impact on Irish history was.
The Twelfth (also called the Glorious Twelfth) is a Protestant celebration held on 12 July. It began during the late 18th century in Ulster. It celebrates the Glorious Revolution (1688) and victory of Protestant king William of Orange over Catholic king James II at the Battle of the Boyne (1690), which began the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. On and around the Twelfth, large parades are held by the Orange Order and Ulster loyalist marching bands, streets are bedecked with British flags and bunting, and large towering bonfires are lit.
The Twelfth itself originated as a celebration of the Battle of Aughrim, which took place on 12 July 1691 in the Julian calendar then in use. Aughrim was the decisive battle of the Williamite war, in which the predominantly Irish Catholic Jacobite army was destroyed and the remainder capitulated at Limerick. The Twelfth in the early 18th century was a popular commemoration of this battle, featuring bonfires and parades. The Battle of the Boyne (fought on 1 July 1690) was commemorated with smaller parades on 1 July. However, the two events were combined in the late 18th century.
Part 3 of Near FM’s series on Dublin and the Great War. Jennifer Wellington and Tom Burke discuss the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and how the Great War is remembered. Songs from the era are provided by Luke Cheevers, Fergus Russell and Frank Nugent all from An Góilín singers. Presented by Ciarán Murray, produced by Donie Tarrant and edited by David Cullen.