While not in the vanguard of the War of Independence, Donegal became the scene of the last stand-up fight between the IRA (pro- and anti-Treaty) and British military (in the ‘Pettigo triangle’), with the latter using heavy artillery for the first time in Ireland since 1916. On the outbreak of the Civil War some of these IRA men, originally mobilised for the now-aborted ‘Northern offensive’, were caught up in the hostilities that followed. Four of them were subsequently executed, the only four executions to take place in the county. To discuss these and related questions join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham in conversation with Adrian GrantBreandán MacSuibhne and Pauric Travers.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

(Recorded at the Allingham Festival, Ballyshannon, 5 November 2022)

How have Irish Travellers fared since the foundation of the state a century ago, and in particular since the 1963 Report of the Commission on Itinerancy? What are the challenges facing the current generation of Traveller activists? How can non-Travellers be effective allies? To address these and related questions, join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Martin CollinsRose Marie Maughan, and Patrick Nevin.

Available from 21 October 2022

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. 

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

At the outbreak of the Irish Civil War in June 1922 the anti-Treaty IRA numbered some 15,000, holding key positions in Dublin and throughout the country, in particular behind a defensive line running from Limerick to Waterford (the so-called ‘Munster Republic’). Their pro-Treaty opponents in the newly-formed National Army numbered less than half that. Why then did the pro-Treaty side win? To address this and related questions join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Bill KissaneJohn DorneyMary McAuliffe and Gareth Prendergast.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. 

Supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

On 22 August 1922, Michael Collins was killed at Béal na Bláth, Co. Cork. But what if he had survived? Would he have become a military dictator? (Was he one already?) Would he have been more or less ruthless than his successors in prosecuting the Civil War? Would he have torn up the Treaty and launched an invasion of the North? What if he and not Eoin O’Duffy had later become leader of the Blueshirts? And if he, rather than Dev, had become Ireland’s dominant statesman, would his economic or social policies have been any different? Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Paddy Cullivan, Brian Hanley, David McCullagh, Fearghal McGarry and Margaret O’Callaghan.

This Hege School was recorded at the Electric Picnic 2022 immediately after Paddy Cullivan’s historical entertainment, ‘The Murder of Michael Collins’. Details here www.paddycullivan.com.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. 

For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

It is nearly 40 years since Margaret Ward’s pioneering Unmanageable Revolutionaries: Women and Irish Nationalism, 1880-1980 (1983) first appeared. How has women’s history, and history written by women, fared in the meantime, particularly in this ‘decade of centenaries’? Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Síobhra Aiken, Leeann Lane, Sarah-Anne Buckley and Margaret Ward. Recorded at the Electric Picnic 2022.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. 

For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

Born in West Cork in 1890, Michael Collins joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) as a teenager while working as a clerk in London. He fought in the GPO in 1916, and rose to prominence by the War of Independence, combining the positions of Dáil minister for finance and IRA director of intelligence. How can his meteoric rise be explained? Why did he sign the Treaty? Did he intend to tear it up and invade the North? Was he by the outbreak of the Civil War effectively a military dictator? Why are the circumstances of his death at Béal na Bláth, exactly a century ago, still disputed? To address these and related questions, join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with John BorgonovoGemma Clark, Dominic Price and John Regan.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

Available from 22 August 2022

So said Michael Collins, yet despite his central role in the development of the Irish nationalism from which the Irish State would emerge, Arthur Griffith has had to settle for a side-line role in the national historical memory. How fair or accurate are accusations of anti-Semitism, misogyny or ‘selling the pass’ at the Treaty negotiations? How stands his reputation today a century on from his untimely death, aged 51, on 12 August 1922? To address these and related questions listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Frank Barry, Brian Hanley, Colum Kenny and Margaret Ward.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

Available 12 August 2022

One of the most engaging figures of the revolutionary period, Harry Boland, along with his brother Gerry, joined the IRB in 1904 and participated in the 1916 Rising. He was centrally involved in the subsequent reorganization of Sinn Féin and the Volunteers and was uniquely close to the two dominant figures of the period, Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins. Having taken the anti-Treaty side, he was killed in controversial circumstances exactly a century ago on 1 August 1922. To discuss his life and times join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in conversation with Tim CrowleyDonnacha DeLongLiz Gillis and Éamon Ó Cuiv.

(Recorded at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum on Mon 1 August 2022)

This Hedge School is supported by the Harry Boland Centenary Committee.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

On 22 June 1922 Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson, former Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and Unionist MP for North Down, was assassinated outside his London home in Eaton Square. The anti-Treaty IRA were blamed and six days later, under pressure from the British, Michael Collins ordered the bombardment of the Four Courts, the opening salvos of the Irish Civil War. But who was Henry Wilson? Was he, as was alleged, the mastermind behind the anti-Catholic pogroms in Belfast 1920-22? And who ordered the hit? To address these and other questions listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with John Dorney, Caoimhe Nic Dhaibhéid, Padraig Óg Ó Ruairc, John Regan.

(Recorded at St Peter’s, North Main Street, Cork, as part of the National Civil War Conference, UCC, on Saturday 18 June 2022)

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Irelandand the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

As part of the so-called ‘Northern Offensive’, on 27 May 1922, a combined force of pro-Treaty National Army and anti-Treaty IRA occupied the ‘Belleek/Pettigo triangle’, an enclave of Fermanagh/Northern Ireland only accessible over-land through Free State territory. Less than two weeks later they had been ejected by regular British Army troops; the ‘Northern Offensive’ was over. But how serious was it in the first place? Or was it just a ruse to keep the anti-Treaty IRA on-side? To address these and other questions join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Edward Burke, Margaret O’Callaghan and Éamon Phoenix..

This Hedge School is supported by Donegal County Council, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

Given their activism in the revolutionary period, now widely acknowledged by historians, why were Irish women and their organizations on the margins of deliberations on the Treaty? Why were Irish women under 30 denied the vote in the June 1922 general election? To what extent were they the victims of gendered violence (by either side) during the Civil War? Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Síobhra AikenLeeann LaneMary McAuliffe and Margaret Ward.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

(Recorded @ Phizzfest [Phibsborough Community Arts Festival], Sun 15 May 2022, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum)

In this centenary year of its publication, the History Ireland Hedge School considers James Joyce’s Ulysses, set in Dublin on a single day, 16 June 1904. What was the history of the book? What is the history in the book? Join Tommy Graham in discussion with Sylvie Kleinman, Felix Larkin, Katherine McSharry and Dan Mulhall.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School supported by the National Library of Ireland.

Over the course of the Irish War of Independence and Civil War, nearly 300 ‘Big Houses’ (those belonging to aristocrats with in excess of 2,000 acres), 20% of a total of c. 1,500, were burned to the ground. Why? AuthorTerence Dooley, Professor of History at Maynooth University and Director of the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates, in conversation with History Ireland editor Tommy Graham, provides some answers.

Burning the Big House—the story of the Irish country house in a time of war and revolution is published by Yale University Press. 

Further information: https://yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=9780300260748

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

The Anglo-Irish Treaty sparked turmoil within the IRA. Some accepted it and joined the ranks of the Provisional Government’s new ‘National Army’; some remained neutral; the majority opposed it, but with the added twist that on the eve of the Civil War there were two anti-Treaty factions of the IRA, not one. Two Army Conventions, on 26 March and 18 June 1922, failed to resolve these differences. To make sense of these complexities, join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham in discussion with Síobhra AikenJohn BorgonovoJohn Dorney and Brian Hanley.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

While an uneasy peace prevailed in the South following the Truce of July 1921, in Northern Ireland communal violence continued to rage, exemplified most notoriously on 24 March 1922 by the killings of a ‘respectable’ Catholic family, the McMahons, by an RIC ‘murder gang’. Was this a ‘one-off’ by a ‘rogue’ element or part of a wider policy of intimidation? And as the Treaty split drifted towards civil war in the South, how did events in the North and along the border affect the situation? To discuss these and related questions, join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham in discussion with Kieran GlennonPaddy MulroeSeán Bernard Newman and Margaret O’Callaghan.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

So said the long white apron of suffragette and socialist Margaret Buckmaster at a protest in July 1921 organised by the Peace with Ireland Council (PIC). How significant were such anti-colonial solidarity movements in Britain in the revolutionary period? How effective were they? To address these and related questions, join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham in discussion with Darragh GannonAngus Mitchell and Mo Moulton.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Reconciliation Fund.

When the Civic Guard—later renamed An Garda Síochána—was founded in February 1922, the force it replaced, the Royal Irish Constabulary, was itself barely a century old. How much of the culture of the latter passed over to the former? What was the law-and-order situation in 1921/22? Why and how was it possible to set up an unarmed police force during a civil war? To address these and related questions, join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham in discussion with Elizabeth MalcolmFearghal McGarry and Liam McNiffe.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

Within weeks of the ratification of the Treaty by Dáil Éireann an ‘Irish Race Congress’ assembled in Paris representing Irish organizations from twenty-two countries. Inevitably the Treaty split overshadowed its proceedings. Did global Irish experiences moderate or radicalise expectations of Irish independence? What legacy did Irish sovereignty bequeath to the historical memory of the Irish diaspora? To address these and related questions join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Darragh GannonDonal McCrackenDavid Brundage, and Anne Marie O’Brien.

This Hedge School is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

Available from 21 January 2022

Under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, a Provisional Government, led by Michael Collins, was to oversee the transition of power until the Irish Free State formally came into being in December 1922. What was involved in the ‘handover’ that took place on 16 January 1922? Who was involved and what were their roles? To address these and related questions join Tommy Graham in discussion with John GibneyKate O’MalleyEdward Madigan, and Padraig Óg Ó Ruairc.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is supported by the Office of Public Works. 

Podcast available from 16 January 2022

The Handover: Dublin Castle and the British withdrawal from Ireland, 1922 by  John Gibney and Kate O’Malley is published by the Royal Irish Academy. Further details: https://www.ria.ie/handover-dublin-castle-and-british-withdrawal-ireland-1922

Of the five plenipotentiaries who signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6 December 1921 most attention has been focused on the motivations and actions of Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith—and on ‘the plenipotentiary who wasn’t’, Eamon de Valera. But what about the other three—Eamon Duggan, George Gavan Duffy and Robert Barton, particularly the latter, the only one who later took an anti-Treaty position. To find out more about this republican Protestant landlord from Wicklow join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with John DorneyJoan KavanaghChris Lawlor, and Catherine Wright.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is supported by Wicklow County Council’s Archives Service and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

Available from 31 December 2021

Dev and the Banner 1917–1926

On 10 July 1917 Eamon de Valera won a by-election in East Clare, one of a series of victories for Sinn Féin in the run-up to their landslide victory in the general election of December 1918. He would continue to represent the county in the Dáil until his election to the presidency in 1959. What was his relationship with the ‘Banner County’ in the early tumultuous years of his career—War of Independence, Treaty negotiations, Civil War—up to the founding of Fianna Fáil in 1926? To discuss this and related questions, join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham in discussion with Tomás Mac ConmaraMartin ManserghPadraig Óg Ó Ruairc and Joe Power.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is supported by Clare County Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries Programme.

As we enter the third year of the Covid crisis, people the world over are now familiar with the concept and the reality of a ‘pandemic’. But how does it compare and with the previous pandemic—the ‘Spanish flu’ of 1918-19? What are the similarities? What are the differences? To address these and other questions join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Patricia Marsh,Ida MilneGrace Mulcahy, and Luke O’Neill.

This Hedge School is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

Was the Treaty ‘Home Rule for slow learners’? Why was Eamon de Valera not part of the Irish delegation? Was the subsequent Civil War inevitable? Was it a good deal or a bad deal? To address these and other questions join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with John Gibney, Brian Hanley, Mary McAuliffe, and David McCullagh.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

Columba or Colmcille was born 1500 years ago in Gartan, Co. Donegal, and claimed descent from the legendary High King of Ireland, Niall of the Nine Hostages. He entered the church, became a missionary evangelist, and is credited with spreading Christianity to Scotland. In particular, he founded the abbey on Iona, which became the dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries. He died there, aged 75, in 597. But what do we know about Columba the man? How much of what we know is based on subsequent myth and legend? And how has he been remembered over the centuries? To address these and related questions listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in conversation with Revd. David HoultonBrian Lacey, and Helen Meehan.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is part-funded by Donegal County Council as part of the implementation of the County Donegal Heritage Plan

While there were optimistic hopes that the First World War or ‘Great War’ would be ‘the war to end all wars’, post-1918 Europe, including Ireland, instead experienced a ‘Greater War’—a series of civil, border and ethnic conflicts—that lasted at least until 1923. How did Ireland fit into that paradigm? Was it typical or atypical of the period? Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Niamh GallagherRobert GerwarthJohn Horne, and Bill Kissane.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

One of the unsung successes of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was the establishment of the all-island body, Waterways Ireland, with responsibility for canals and waterways. But what drove the construction of the former in the first place? How important were they to the Irish economy at their height? How and why did they decline? And what are the prospects for their renaissance under the new dispensation? To address these and related questions join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Eugene Coyle, David Dickson, Nuala Reilly and Alexander Ó Fháilghigh.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Reconciliation Fund.

Dáil Éireann sought not only to take back the political control lost in the 1800 Act of Union, but also the fiscal and monetary powers lost with the merger of the Irish and British exchequers in 1817. It also established a parallel legal system, the ‘Dáil Courts’, and, especially after the local elections of 1920, sought to control local government. To assess the success of these efforts join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with John BorgonovoCaoimhe Nic DháibhéidPatrick O’Sullivan Greene, and Brian Hughes.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

On 9 September 1921 over fifty IRA prisoners staged a break-out—one of several during the War of Independence—from Rath internment camp in the Curragh, Co. Kildare. To mark its centenary, and to discuss the wider significance of prisons and prisoners in the revolutionary period, join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with James DurneyMary McAuliffeWilliam Murphy, and Liam J. Ó Duibhir.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. 

For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by Kildare County Council’s Decade of Commemorations Programme and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative.

Listen to author Colum Kenny in conversation with History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, as he discusses the story of a remarkable man’s efforts to help starving people during the Irish Great Famine. He reveals their terrible experiences inside and outside one of the national ‘workhouses’ and throws new light on the relationship between class, religion and poverty in Ireland before independence. John O’Sullivan (1807–1874) was an independent-minded priest who clashed with bishops and landlords. He kept journals that have not been published. The author mines these and other sources, including eyewitness accounts, UK archives and Kerry’s workhouse minutes, for new insights into aspects of Irish society, including politics, proselytism and the status of women.

Dr Colum Kenny BL is Professor Emeritus, Dublin City University, a journalist and an honorary bencher of King’s Inns. Awarded the Irish Legal History Society’s Gold Medal, his books include histories of King’s Inns, an account of Irish emigration to the USA and, most recently, a biography of Arthur Griffith.

Kenmare: History and survival—Fr John O’Sullivan and the Famine Poor Is available from all good bookshops and online from wordwellbooks.com

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. 

For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

To what extent did the military tactics of Thomas Ashe’s (5th) Fingal battalion of the Irish Volunteers in 1916 prefigure those of the IRA in the War of Independence, 1919-21? To what extent did the sack of Balbriggan in September 1920 provide the template for subsequent reprisals by Crown force? To discuss the role of Fingal (North County Dublin) in the revolutionary decade join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with John Dorney, Marie Bashford Synnott, and Frank Whearity.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is supported by Fingal County Council and the Creative Ireland Programme 2017–2022.

According to British Prime Minister David Lloyd George Irish nationalists were ‘natural propagandists’. How accurate was this description? How did they breach what Arthur Griffith called the ‘paper wall’ of British news coverage? How important was the new medium of film? And what was the role of women as both the disseminators and objects of propaganda? To address these and other questions tune in to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Ciara Chambers, Darragh Gannon, Maurice Walsh and Margaret Ward.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012–2023 Initiative.

Author Bryan MacMahon in conversation with Tommy Graham (editor, History Ireland)

In West Kerry between 1825-45, the work of Protestant evangelicals was widely hailed as a model of a successful missionary campaign; however, it evoked a furious response from Catholic priests. The war of words between clergymen of both persuasions was fomented by rival local newspapers, reaching a climax in a notorious libel case in March 1845.

Listen to author and historian Bryan MacMahon in conversation with History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, as he discusses the origins and progress of the campaign and the backlash during these years, in particular, how the Church of Ireland missionaries were motivated by a desire to save Irish-speaking Catholics from what they saw as superstitious practices and enthralment to Rome.

Bryan MacMahon is an author and historian whose previous books include The Great Famine in Tralee and North Kerry (2017) and Ascend or Die: Richard Crosbie, Pioneer of Balloon Flight (2010). He has contributed to a range of historical journals, including History Ireland, Dublin Historical Record and The Irish Sword.

Faith and Fury: the evangelical campaign in Dingle and West Kerry 1825–45
Is available from all good bookshops and online from wordwellbooks.com
https://wordwellbooks.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1978

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com


Kilkenny was described by Ernie O’Malley as ‘slack’ during the War of Independence. Was this really the case? Kilkenny has a notable revolutionary history—as crucible of the Tithe War (1830s), birthplace of one the founders of the IRB, James Stephens (1858), and a rebel turnout, albeit small (1916). Also, the attack and capture of Hugginstowm RIC barracks by the IRA in March 1920 was one of the earliest of such attacks in the country, and the county was to the fore in the ‘counter state’, with particularly active Dáil Courts. To address the question of Kilkenny’s role in the revolutionary decade, including the role of women, listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Mary McAuliffe, Orla Murphy and Eoin Walsh.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is commissioned by Kilkenny County Council and funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

A century ago, at noon on 11 July 1921, a truce came into effect in the Anglo-Irish war between the IRA and Crown forces. Why did it happen then—and why had peace feelers in late 1920 failed? What motivated each side to sue for peace? What were their expectations? To address these and other questions tune in to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with John DorneyDavid McCullaghEve Morrison and Padraig Óg Ó Ruairc.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This podcast is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012–2023 Initiative.

On 22 June 1921 King George V officially opened the Northern Ireland parliament, thus confirming the existence of Northern Ireland as set out in the 1920 Government of Ireland Act. Moreover, since the formation of the Ulster Special Constabulary in autumn 1920 it also had the means to defend itself. To discuss these and related matters tune in to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Elaine CallinanSeán B. NewmanMike Rast and Brian Walker.

This Hedge School is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

Despite a notable revolutionary pedigree—scene of a French invasion in support of the 1798 Rebellion and cradle of the Land League in 1879—Mayo was a ‘slow starter’ in the War of Independence, with major IRA engagements with Crown forces only starting in the spring of 1921. It was also the scene of major agrarian unrest. 

Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with James LaffeySinéad MacCooleCormac O’Malley and Dominic Price.

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

This Hedge School is supported by The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Mayo County Library

Author David Dickson in conversation with Tommy Graham (editor, History Ireland)

The untold story of a group of Irish cities and their remarkable development before the age of industrialization. A backward corner of Europe in 1600, Ireland was transformed during the following centuries. This was most evident in the rise of its cities, notably Dublin and Cork. David Dickson explores ten urban centers and their patterns of physical, social, and cultural evolution, relating this to the legacies of a violent past, and he reflects on their subsequent partial eclipse.

The First Irish Cities: an eighteenth-century transformation is published by Yale University Press. 

Further information:  https://www.yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=9780300229462

The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit historyireland.com

On 25 May 1921, Dublin’s Custom House, headquarters of the Local Government Board of Ireland, was occupied and then burnt in an operation involving over 100 IRA volunteers. It has long been regarded as a propaganda coup but a military disaster for the IRA. But are either of these assumptions correct? Did it disrupt British administration? Did it disable Dublin’s IRA subsequently? What does it tell us about how the IRA conducted operations in an urban environment? 

Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham in discussion with Joe ConnellJohn DorneyLiz Gillis and Bill Kautt.This Hedge School is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative

Today James Gandon’s neoclassical masterpiece is one of the most recognizable and well-regarded buildings in Dublin. Its completion in 1791 marked yet another instalment in the movement of the axis of the Georgian city eastwards. Yet over the ten years of its construction it was regarded as a ‘white elephant’, built in what was then a swamp, with substantial cost overruns—even provoking the ire of the Dublin ‘mob’. Why was it so controversial and what was its effect on the long-term planning of the city? Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Christine CaseyDavid DicksonJames Kelly and Sylvie Kleinman.

This podcast is supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

While not in the vanguard of armed activity during the War of Independence, Wexford has the distinction of being one of the few counties outside Dublin that saw action during the 1916 Rising. On the other hand it was also one of the few places where John Redmond’s (a native of the county) Irish Parliamentary Party maintained a substantial level of support throughout the revolutionary period. To interrogate these apparent contradictions listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Bernard BrowneIda MilneWilliam Murphy and Kevin Whelan.

This podcast is supported by Wexford County Council Public Library Service and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.



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