The History Show

    Sunday, 6pm

    DO YOU HAVE A RELATIVE WHO FOUGHT IN GALLIPOLI?

    Close to 15,000 Irishmen fought in Gallipoli during World War I.  Almost 4,000 of these soldiers died.   Three quarters of the fatalities served in the Volunteer 10th (Irish) Division.    This is a staggering fatality rate of almost 27%.

    Do you have an ancestor who fought with the Australian forces at Gallipoli?

    We’d like to include your stories in our special Gallipoli centenary programme in April. Please Email: history@rte.ie

    The History Show Sunday 29 March 2015

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    The History Show

    Orson Welles in Ireland

    Michael Doherty on the celebrated filmmaker, actor and theatre director Orson Welles, and the times he visited Ireland throughout a long and varied career.

    RMS Lusitania

    Flor MacCarthy on the sinking of the RMS Lusitania.  The 7th of May 2015 will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking, and communities along the coast of Cork are already commemorating the tragedy which their ancestors witnessed first-hand.

    Road to the Rising

    Catriona Crowe of the National Archives and Mark Duncan of Century Ireland on RTÉ Road to the Rising, which takes place on Dublin's O'Connell Street, this Easter Monday, the 6th of April 2015.

    Monaghan Lunatic Asylum

    Brendan Kelly, Anne MacLellan and Fiona Kelly on the history of the Monaghan Lunatic Asylum, which opened in 1869. This institution's records demonstrate how mental illness was perceived and treated over the years.

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    Orson Welles in Ireland

    Michael Doherty on the celebrated filmmaker, actor and theatre director Orson Welles, and the times he visited Ireland throughout a long and varied career.

    Orson Welles as a young man

    Welles first came to Ireland in 1931, at the age of sixteen.  After attending a performance at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, he presented himself to the manager Hilton Edwards as a "noted actor" from the Broadway stage. Edwards and partner Micheál Mac Liammóir saw something in the audacious young man, and they cast him in a major role, the evil Duke Karl Alexander, in an adaptation of Lion Feuchtwanger’s Jew Suss

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    RMS Lusitania

    Flor MacCarthy reports on the sinking of the RMS Lusitania.  The 7th of May 2015 will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking, and communities along the coast of Cork are already commemorating the tragedy which their ancestors witnessed first-hand.  

    Click here to read about some of the events on the centenary programme of events.

    The RMS Lusitania

    Known as the "Greyhound of the Seas," the RMS Lusitania was the fastest liner afloat, and still sailed he Atlantic during World War One, despite the risk of submarine attack. As a passenger vessel, she was deemed immune to the U-boats patrolling the seas off Ireland.  

    But catastrophe struck, at ten past two in the afternoon of May the 7th 1915: a single torpedo, fired by a German U-boat, struck the liner, 11 miles due south of the Old Head of Kinsale. A second explosion, within the hull, caused it to sink in just 18 minutes, despite calm seas and good visibility. 

     A British Army recruitment poster, using an illustration of the Lusitania tragedy to encourage enlistment

    One of the most important shipwrecks in the world, and by far the most famous in Irish waters, its sinking is credited with bringing the USA into the First World War.

    Among the well known passengers were Vanderbilts, and the 39-year-old Sir Hugh Lane, with his collection of priceless paintings, thought to have included Renoirs and Monets. Still, questions and conspiracy theories abound, over whether or not the Lusitania was carrying munitions.

    Hugh Lane, art collector and dealer, died aboard the Lusitania

    Less well-known are the individual stories which help our understanding of this major tragedy.

    There’s a story told in Cobh of some children who were brought ashore alive but traumatised. One, a 12 year old boy was covered head to toe in thick black soot. It’s said that when the ship sank beneath the surface the suction pulled him down into one of the four huge funnels. When the boilers then blew, he was shot back up like a cannonball ... and lived to tell the tale.

    A glance down through the passenger and crew lists reveals many individual tragedies……and poses countless questions: Like what became of baby Nigel Frederick Booth, an 8-month-old first class passenger, rescued without his parents, who were lost,  And what of the 3 German stowaways - listed as just that, stowaways: names not recorded, bodies never found.

    Most of the Irish passengers were listed as British, or Irish-American. Katherine and Margaret Ward, sisters in their 20s, perished, as did 59 of the 81 crew listed as Irish, many of them, for some inexplicable reason, from Mayo.  Charles Knight, at 65 the oldest crewman, was a night watchman aboard the Lusitania. He was saved, but died later, it’s recalled, from trauma.

    But stories of incredible valour and luck are also to be told: Charles Scannel was 25 and a fireman aboard the vessel. His job was to stoke the huge furnaces which powered the engines. A Corkman, the ship sank within view of Charles’ home in Robert’s Cove near Kinsale. He survived.

    More than 100 victims of the tragedy are buried in a small cemetery just outside Cobh, Many are in unmarked graves. To this day never named, or claimed. But they will be remembered on May the 7th.

    As the centenary looms, 4 coastal communities in Co Cork have come together to host a series of events entitled Lusitania 100 Cork.  They want to remember those who died, but also the gallant efforts of their ancestors who responded with great courage and compassion to rescue survivors and recover the dead. These communities, in Cobh, Courtmacsherry, Old Head and Kinsale witnessed first-hand the trauma and heartbreak of the disaster. 

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    Road to the Rising

    Catriona Crowe of the National Archives and Mark Duncan of Century Ireland on RTÉ Road to the Rising, which takes place on Dublin's O'Connell Street, this Easter Monday, the 6th of April 2015.

    The day of events will evoke the Ireland of one hundred years ago. Catriona and Mark told Myles about what was going on in Ireland in 1915.

    Monaghan Lunatic Asylum

    Brendan Kelly, Anne MacLellan and Fiona Byrne on the history of the Monaghan Lunatic Asylum, which opened in 1869. This institution's records demonstrate how mental illness was perceived and treated over the years.

     

    Book Launch: World Within Walls

    At 6PM on Thursday the 23rd of April 2015, a new book World Within Walls: From Asylum to Contemporary Mental Health Services will be launched at the Íontas Theatre in Castleblayney, County Monaghan. Copies of the book will be available on the night, and locally in shops at a cost of 25 Euro.  

    The launch will be followed by a performance of Stories from the Front at 7PM.  This tells the oersibak stirues of people who have experienced mental ill-health, as well as carers and mental health professionals.  

    Admission is free, by ticket only.  Click here to book tickets.  

    1916 Debate

    A talk on the subject of 1916 will take place at The Old Schoolhouse Restaurant, Swords on Tuesday the 7th of April.

    There will be a dinner followed by a debate, titled O Had They Died By Pearse's Side, with speakers for and against a motion.

    For full details, e-mail seamanship@campus.ie or text 0879549700.

    Gallipoli 100

    The History Show and the organisers of the annual Hay Literary Festival in Kells have joined forces, to launch a commemorative event "Gallipoli 100", marking the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the ill-fated WW1 Dardanelles campaign.  All events will take place in the Church of Ireland, Cannon St, Kells.  It will run from the 24th to the 26th of April 2015, the centenary of the first landings by troops on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.

    The three-day programme of events will commence on the evening of Friday, 24th April with the Francis Ledwidge Memorial Lecture, delivered by the distinguished Irish WW1 historian Philip Orr.

    Click on the links below to view or download more information, and a draft schedule of events.

    Gallipoli 100 Information

    Gallipoli 100 Draft Schedule

    About The Show

    Bringing the past to life! Discover how our world was shaped as Myles Dungan and guests explore events ranging from medieval times to the recent past.

    We want to help explain ourselves to ourselves. We will search out fresh angles on familiar topics, seek out the unfamiliar and will not shy away from bizarre or controversial issues. Our ultimate goal is to make The History Show the primary port of call for those with an intense or even a modest interest in the subject. We want to entice the casual and the curious to join us in celebrating the past.

    Our aim is to create informative, reflective, stimulating and above all, entertaining radio.

    Join us on Sundays from 6.05pm for The History Show with Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio 1.

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