53 Siege Warfare in 17th Century Ireland

On this episode we are joined by Dr. Pádraig Lenihan from the National University of Ireland, Galway to talk about Sieges in 17th Century Ireland.

We talk about the evolution in sieges in the 17th century; new tactics employed by combatants; how cities and towns improved their defensive measures to cope with new munitions developed by attacking armies; the effects on the civilian populations; disease and lack of access to clean water and sanitation within besieged cities; and we look at some notable Irish examples of sieges such as Derry, Limerick, Drogheda and Clonmel.

52 Belfast, from Pogrom to Civil War

On this episode, we are joined by Kieran Glennon to talk about the sectarian conflict in Belfast from 1920 to 1922, and the Northern IRA and the Civil War. Kieran is the author of From Pogrom to Civil War: Tom Glennon and the Belfast IRA.  

Vicious sectarian conflict broke out in Belfast in 1920 during the Irish War of Independence and continued on for two years with almost 500 people losing their lives. In this episode we cover what led up to the violence in Belfast; the shipyard expulsions; why Belfast Catholics referred to the violence as a pogrom; the actions of the RIC / RUC and the Special Constabulary; the Truce between the Republican movement and the British government; reaction to the conflict in Dublin; how the creation of the Northern Ireland state and its eventual control of security powers effected the violence and reaction to the Anglo – Irish Treaty among Northern Republicans.

51 Victor Brown Political Cartoonist

On this episode we are joined by Barry Sheppard from History Now on NVTV to talk about the political cartoons of Victor Brown in The Irish Press.

Previous episodes of History Now are available here: http://www.nvtv.co.uk/ondemand/community-2/history-community-2/

50 John Jinks and the Fifth Dáil

On this episode we discuss Deputy John Jinks and his role in the short lived fifth Dáil. Despite lasting just 98 days, it was one of the most historic. As Fianna Fáil agreed to drop abstentionism and take their seats in the Dáil, the parliamentary arithmetic meant that a new government was possible. With a Labour / National League coalition agreed, with support from Fianna Fáil, W.T. Cosgrave’s administration looked set to fall. John Jinks was about to throw a spanner in the works.

An article on John Jinks and the fifth Dáil is available here:

49 Commemorating the Royal Irish Constabulary

On this episode of the Irish History Show we discuss the recent controversy over the planned commemoration of the Royal Irish Constabulary as part of the Decade of Centenaries.

The RIC was the police force for the whole of Ireland, outside Dublin city, until they were disbanded following the establishment of the Irish Free State.

A recent article from the Irish Story is available here:

48 The Irish Brigade & The Spanish Civil War

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.

John Dorney’s article for the Irish Story covered the conflict here

47 The Dáil Courts

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.

46 Dublin’s Great Wars Richard Grayson

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’.

44 The 1918 General Election

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.