Wednesday 23 December 2020

Festive brain food: Irish history - videos and podcasts

With so many restrictions on movement and travel this festive season, I thought some readers of Irish Genealogy News might find themselves with a rare bit of quiet or spare time over the next couple of weeks. So here's a list of recent videos and podcasts, all freely available online, covering Irish history topics that genealogists may find of interest. I hope they'll help keep your brain supple!


Man, maps and map history: John Andrews, 1927–2019. Host: Royal Irish Academy. Lecture about John Andrews, a founding member of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, presented by Arnold Horner. Filmed November 2020. RIA. 1hr 13mins.

Behind the Scenes of PRONI's Conservation Studio, a virtual tour with Sarah Graham, head of conservation. Host: Public Record Office of Nothern Ireland. YouTube PRONI Online channel. 9 minutes. Filmed October 2020.

How to use PRONI's e-catalogue, with Gemma Eaton, workshop tutor. Host: Public Record Office of Nothern Ireland. YouTube PRONI Online channel. 6mins. Filmed August 2020. 

Landholding in the new English settlement of Hacketstown, Co. Carlow, 1635–1875, with Oliver Whelan. Host: Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society (CHAS). Filmed November 2020. YouTube CHAS channel. 1hr 11mins.

Beyond 2022, and the hunt for lost records, with Ciarán Wallace. Presented at the AGM of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) in August 2020. YouTube/IrishAncestors. 1hr 9mins.

Offaly in the Military Service (1916-23) Pensions Collection, with Cécile Gordon. Host: Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society. Presented October 2020. YouTube OffalyHistory channel. 55mins.

Carlow and the Crusades, c1095-1291, with Aoife Haberlin. Hosted by Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society (CHAS). Filmed December 2020. YouTube CHAS channel. 8mins. 

In Search of the 1490: Tracking the Famine Migrants from Strokestown to Canada in 1847, with Professor Mark G McGowan. Host: Irish Embassy, Canada. YouTube. Recorded October 2020. 1hr 12mins. 

The Butlers of Kilcash in the 18th century, with John Flood. Hosted by Tipperary Studies. YouTube TippStudies channel. 32mins.

The Irish DNA Atlas – Revealing Irish History through Genetics, with Dr Edmund Gilbert. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland (GSI). Recorded March 2020. YouTube. 39mins.

DNA for beginners, with Andy Hochreiter. Host: Genetic Genealogy Ireland. Presented February 2020. YouTube. 57mins.

Death and the Irish, with Professor Salvador Ryan. Hosted by Tipperary Studies. Filmed November 2020. YouTube TippStudies channel. 58mins.


John Charles McQuaid - A Ghost of our Catholic Past, with Finn Dwyer interviewing Dr Aoife Bhreathnach. Through the mid 20th century, the archbishop of Dublin come to symbolise not only the power of the Catholic Church at the time but also for many the abuse of that power. IrishHistoryPodcast. 30mins. December 2020.

Dead and buried in Dublin, with Donal Fallon exploring the history of the capital's cemeteries. ThreeCastlesBurning. 41mins. October 2020.

Bloody Sunday: the day that shook Dublin, with Padraig Yeates, John Borgonovo and Michael Foley. Dublin Festival of history. 1hr 9min

The Forgotten Lives of the Women of Cahir. Finn Dwyer interviews three women contributors to a book profiling 20 Tipperary women. Irish History Podcast. 45 mins.

The Vegetarian Restaurant of the Irish Revolution. Donal Fallon explores the significance and history of the place where the 1916 Proclamation was signed.ThreeCastlesBurning. 25mins. November 2020.

The Connaught Rangers mutiny — 1920, 1970 & 2020, a panel discussion of the events and their subsequent commemoration with John Gibney, Cécile Gordon, Brian Hanley and Kate O’Malley. HistoryIreland. 1hr 9mins. June 2020.

In Mountjoy Jail one Monday morning — the Irish Revolution in ballad and song, with Liz Gillis, Eunan O’Halpin, Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc and Fintan Vallely. 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? HistoryIreland. 1hr 16mins. October 2020.

Belfast and the North 1920-22, with Tommy Graham in discussion with Marie Coleman, Kieran Glennon, Brian Hanley and Brian Walker. 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? HistoryIreland. 56mins. November 2020.

Terence MacSwiney — martyrdom, civil resistance & the Irish Revolution. The centenary of his death, after 74 days on hunger strike, fell this October. John Borgonovo, Dr Sarah-Ann Buckley, Dr Kate O’Malley and Dr Pádraig Yeates discuss his legacy and the relationship between passive, civil and physical resistance. HistoryIreland. 1hr 7mins. August 2020.

By the way, the Famine's not funny. Jason Burke interviews comedian, actor and historian Tim McGarry. Historical Belfast. 27mins.

A Short History of Ireland in 250 episodes, a popular and recommended book written by Dr Jonathan Bardon, who died earlier this year. BBC Radio Ulster presents two series of podcasts, each of 5 minutes to 30 minutes duration. Some 61 podcasts are now available here Each podcasts covers a number of topics, as you can see from the examples below.

  • Series 1: Omnibus 8 ● Famine ● The Black Death ● Gallowglasses ● More Irish Than the Irish Themselves ● The Statute of Kilkenny
  • Series 1: Omnibus 23 ● The Battle of the Boyne ● Galloping Hogan and the Walls of Limerick ● Athlone and Aughrim ● Limerick - A Second Siege ● The Wild Geese