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

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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.

While the constitutional outcomes of the revolutionary period have evolved over time, one has remained constant over the past century—partition. While a previous Hedge School in December 2020 examined how that came about in 1920/21, this discussion will focus on its effects over the following century, up to and including the uncertainly caused by Brexit and growing calls for a border poll on Irish unity. Tune in to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Paul BewBrian HanleyMartin Mansergh, 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 National Library of Ireland.

At Crossbarry, Co. Cork, on 19 March 1921 over 100 IRA volunteers, under the command of Tom Barry, were almost surrounded by a combined force of regular British Army and Auxiliaries of at least ten times that number. What happened? What were its consequences? And what does it tell us about the conduct of the War of Independence generally? Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham in discussion with John BorgonovoBill KauttEve Morrison and Gerry White.

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.

Despite its apparent geographical isolation, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and north, and the River Shannon to the south and east, County Clare has been centre stage in Irish political life, from the election of Daniel O’Connell in 1828, to the equally ground-breaking election of Eamon de Valera in 1917, and was one of the most active counties in the War of Independence. Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, for a discussion on the ‘revolutionary decade’, with Cecile GordanTomás Mac ConmaraPadraig Óg Ó Ruairc, and Joe Power.

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

On the night of the 6/7 March 1921, the Mayor of Limerick, George Clancy, his predecessor, Michael O’Callaghan, and IRA Volunteer Joseph O’Donoghue, were shot dead by an Auxiliary death squad lead by Maj. George Montagu Nathan. How did these killings fit into the wider story of Limerick during the revolutionary decade? Tune in to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in conversation with Brian HanleyHelen LittonJohn O’Callaghan and Tom Toomey

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.

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While not in the vanguard of armed activity in the revolutionary decade, Wicklow was, nevertheless, active in other respects. Moreover, its unique characteristics—proximity to Dublin, pioneering development of tourism, and one of the highest Protestant populations outside Ulster—make it worthy of study. Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham in discussion with Rosemary Raughter (Greystones), James Scannell (Bray), Brian White (Enniskerry) and John Dorney (editor of ‘The Irish Story’).

Supported by the Commemorations Unit of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Wicklow County Council’s Archives Service.

Originally conceived as a ‘temporary’ amendment to the Third Home Rule Act, on the statute book since 1914, the 1920 Government of Ireland Act was presciently derided by the Freeman’s Journal as ‘the Dismemberment of Ireland Bill’—partition was the only element of it to endure.  How did it come about and what were its effects over the following century?  Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, discuss these questions with Dr Martin ManserghCormac Moore, Dr Margaret O’Callaghan and Professor Brian Walker.

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

The events of Sunday 21 November 1920 are well named. Within fifteen hours on that fateful day, 32 people died: in the morning, eleven British intelligence officers killed by Michael Collins’s ‘squad’ (plus two Auxiliaries and two civilians); in the afternoon, fourteen civilians killed by British forces at Croke Park (including player Michael Hogan of Tipperary); and that evening, in murky circumstances in Dublin Castle, two high-ranking IRA officers, Dick McKee and Peadar Clancy, and civilian Conor Clune.  Did these events mark a decisive turning point in the ongoing War of Independence?  How were they presented at the time?  How are they remembered today?  Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, discuss these and related matters in a lively and unfettered discussion with Joe Connell Jnr, Dr Siobhán Doyle, Dr Brian Hanley and Professor Fearghal McGarry.

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

As the War of Independence raged in southern Ireland a different type and more deadly form of conflict erupted in the northeast, and in Belfast in particular. Should this be considered part of the overall Irish revolution? Or a separate and distinct conflict with its roots in the sectarian geography of city? What was the long-term effect on community relations and on the formation of Northern Ireland? Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham in discussion with Marie ColemanKieran GlennonBrian Hanley and Brian Walker.

This podcast is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund in association with the Linen Hall Library.


Founded in Thurles in 1884, the GAA has had a long association with Tipperary, an association intensified by the events of Bloody Sunday, 21 November 1920, when Crown forces attacked a Dublin vs Tipperary football match at Croke Park. Three of the fourteen victims were from Tipperary, including, famously, the only player killed on the day, Michael Hogan. Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in conversation with John FlanneryAogán Ó FearghailEnda O’Sullivan and Jayne Sutcliffe.

This podcast is produced in association with Tipperary County Council, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

Commemorating Bloody Sunday in the Junior Cycle history classroom

In the early morning of Sunday 21 November 1920 units of Dublin’s IRA assassinated 11 suspected British intelligence agents; two Auxiliaries and two civilians were also killed. That afternoon Crown forces opened fire on the crowd at a Dublin vs Tipperary football match in Croke Park, killing 14 people. Later that evening senior IRA officers Peadar Clancy and Dick McKee, and civilian Conor Clune, were ‘shot while trying to escape’ from Dublin Castle. Collectively these killings became known as Bloody Sunday. To discuss these events, with particular relevance to history teachers, join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Donal FallonJohn GibneyLiz Gillis and Angela Hanratty.

The West’s awake!—Revolution in Roscommon 1916–1921

Roscommon was one of the first counties to reflect the ‘utter change’ of the post-1916 period, with the election of the first Sinn Féin-backed MP in February 1917. In less than two years that party would win a landslide victory in the general election of 1918, but that mandate for independence was ignored by the British, resulting in the War of Independence. How typical of that transformation was Roscommon and how did it fare in the War of Independence? Join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham in discussion with John BurkeBrian Hanley and May Moran.

Kevin Barry is one of the most popular, and certainly one of the most sung, of Irish ballads. But who was Kevin Barry? Why was he immortalised in song? And what has been the significance of the ballad tradition generally in the Irish Revolution and, indeed, of the Irish Revolution in the ballad tradition? Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Liz GillisEunan O’HalpinPádraig Óg Ó Ruairc and Fintan Vallely.This Hedge School, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative, was recorded via Zoom and is now available as a podcast 

Seat of Crown administration since the twelfth century, and still bearing the physical scars of the 1916 Rising, during the War of Independence Dublin was also GHQ of the IRA and the location of the underground Dáil administration. 

To find out how the conflict played out between the two sides join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Donal FallonJohn GibneyLiz Gillis and Padraig Yeates.

Available on www.historyireland.com/podcast-channel and or wherever you get your podcasts.

Supported by the National Library of Ireland as part of the Dublin Festival of History.

So said Winston Churchill in reference to the Irish Free State on hearing news of the destruction of the Public Records Office in the Four Courts in June 1922 at the outbreak of the Civil War. But in many respects, this also applies to Northern Ireland whose Public Records Office Northern Ireland (PRONI) didn’t open its doors until 1924. How did these two institutions overcome this initial setback and what has been their significance in state formation, archives and commemoration?  

Listen to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, in discussion with Marie ColemanCatriona CroweRay Gillespie and Neil Johnston

This Hedge School is a part of a wider digital event hosted by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, in conjunction with Beyond 2022.

Having considered the ‘global’ impact of the Irish revolution in the last podcast (Dev in America), this Hedge School zooms in on the ‘local’—the market town of Nenagh and the surrounding North Tipperary area during the revolutionary decade—but also sets events in the wider national context. 

Listen to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, in discussion with Gerard DooleyJohn FlannerySeán Hogan and Caitlin White

PANELLISTS

Ger Dooley, originally from County Laois, has studied early twentieth-century North Tipperary and has published two books on the towns of Nenagh and Roscrea during that period. He is a programme manager in the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business in UCD.

John Flannery is a member of the Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution group and of the Tipperary GAA Bloody Sunday Commemoration Committee, and is a past president of the Ormond Historical Society.

Seán Hogan is also a member of the Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution group and the author of The Black and Tans in North Tipperary—policing, revolution and war 1913–1922 (Nenagh Guardian, 2013), widely regarded as a definitive account of events in North Tipperary. 

Caitlin White is studying for a Ph.D at Trinity College, Dublin, investigating how public history was used to promote various identities in the two Irish states after partition. She has a chapter on public history in Nenagh in the forthcoming The public in public history (Routledge, 2021).

This podcast is supported by Tipperary County Council and the Heritage Council as part of ‘Nenagh 800’.

While the War of Independence raged in Ireland, a parallel international diplomatic campaign for recognition and funding for the underground Irish Republic was being waged. Central to this was the tour of Eamon de Valera, ‘President of the Irish Republic’, to the United States from June 1919 to December 1920. To assess its success or otherwise listen to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, in discussion with Michael DoorleyDarragh GannonMiriam Nyhan Grey, and David McCullagh.

The great voyages of discovery (Columbus, de Gama, etc.) shifted the centre of gravity of European maritime trade from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Over the same period the conquest of Ireland was completed. By the eighteenth century, Ireland, for centuries on the periphery of Europe, found itself at the centre of this newly formed ‘Atlantic world’ as part of the British Empire.
 
Listen to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, discuss the maritime and colonial legacies with Aoife Bhreatnach (Irish Garrison Towns), Claire Connolly (UCC), Lar Joye (Dublin Port) and David Murphy (Maynooth).
This podcast is supported by Dublin Port in association with the West Cork History Festival.

This podcast is part of the History Ireland Hedge School programme supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Decade of Centenaries 2012–2023 initiative.

Terence MacSwiney—martyrdom, civil resistance & the Irish Revolution On 25 October 1920, after 74 days on hunger strike, Terence MacSwiney, lord mayor of Cork, died in Brixton Prison. His death not only evoked huge sympathy within Ireland but was also a turning point in the mobilisation of Irish nationalism abroad. In addition, his martyrdom inspired anti-colonial struggles throughout the world, particularly in India. Listen to History Ireland editor Tommy Graham discuss these and related questions, in particular the relationship between passive, civil and physical resistance, with Dr John Borgonovo, Dr Sarah-Ann Buckley, Dr Kate O’Malleyand Dr Pádraig Yeates

Photo:
Terence MacSwiney on the day of his wedding to Muriel Murphy in Bromyard, Herefordshire, where he had been interned after the 1916 Rising prior to his release in June 1917. Standing (left to right) are sisters Mary and Annie, Capuchin friar Fr Augustine Hayden OFM, bridesmaid Geraldine O’Sullivan and best man Richard Mulcahy. (Cork Public Museum)



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