Irish History Podcast

Among the thousands of visitors to Dublin in the 14th century the story of  two English sailors Robert Godard and Robert Faber stands out above the rest. Having arrived in the busy trading port of medieval Dublin they would gain the unwanted record as being the only recorded survivors of a hanging in the city. 14th Century Dublin while being a busy port was also a dangerous city at the best of times as these sailors from England soon found out.

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Irish History Podcast

Episode 16. The year is 1067. Godwin Godwinson the son and heir to the dead Saxon king Harold Godwinson fled to Ireland after the Norman Invasion of England. This podcast looks at the world he found in Ireland. How did he travel to Ireland? What did Dublin look like, sound like and smell like? What did people eat? What did they look like? What weapons did people use? What was the Brehon law? All this and much more is answered in this podcast which follows the heirs of Harald Godwinson through Ireland in 1067.

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Life in the Ireland in the 11th Century

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Irish History Podcast

Lea castle stands in remote spot on the head waters of the Barrow river, two miles east of Portarlington Co. Laois. These ruins once withstood numerous medieval sieges and witnessed some of the greatest events in Irish medieval history but today they are a skeletal reminder of this of long gone society. Destroyed over four hundred years ago Lea has not changed much since its final fight when Cromwell’s new model army destroyed the castle in 1651.  As  great stone keep collapsed at Lea, with it came down the final curtain on the medieval world drawing to a close the era of such fortresses. Today these lonely ruins are all that remains of that world.

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Irish History Podcast

Where corruption is concerned, Ireland has a poor record. Year in year out, there’s a new story about a politician on the take but rarely is anyone punished. Our medieval ancestors had a very different attitude; they were far more proactive if brutal when it came to punishing corruption in Dublin. In 1310 the city’s bakers painfully discovered how medieval Dubliners dealt with corruption.

In medieval Ireland, bread was one the main source of sustenance for the majority of the population. A shortage in bread or high prices in grain which translated into high bread prices could result in riots. In Dublin the city authorities carefully controlled and monitored the production of the city’s bread. This was done through testing or assaying the flour content in the bread as corrupt bakers were tempted to dilute the amount of floor in their bread. This saw the city officials introduce a  system of…

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The Presidential campaign has ended but the impact from the four ballot initiatives regarding marriage equality are only now being realized.  Have we hit a tipping point in the US?

Nearly a decade ago in 2003, when I was standing outside the Massachusetts State House to show my support for same sex marriage I knew I was on the correct side of history – what I didn’t know was when that side would collectively stand up.  The first hint came when President Obama spoke in favor of marriage equality.  Just weeks after Obama let his feelings be known, marriage equality activists in Maryland saw a large swing of support for their ballot initiative coming from the African American electorate.  Indeed his continued support has provided weight behind the argument that this is a civil rights issue and quieted the traditionally homophobic rants of many Black ministers.

I hope activists…

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