The History Show

The History Show

Sunday, 6pm


Sunday 8th January

Maeve Brennan's 100th Birthday

One of Maeve’s strongest admirers is the Booker Prize-winning author, Anne Enright, who’s been reflecting for us, in a column, on the work of Maeve Brennan.

Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

Dr. Kay Muhr & Dr. Liam Ó hAisibéil

Report from Dublin Docks

Colette Kinsella takes a tour of Dublin Port with some retired dockers who worked there from the 1950s and ‘60s.

The History of Colours

Kassia St Clair & Vaari Claffey

Sunday 18th December

Christmas History Books

Catriona Crowe, archivist and broadcaster; Heather Jones, Assoc. Professor, Dept of International History, London School of Economics; Michael Kennedy, Executive Editor, Documents on Irish Foreign Policy at the Royal Irish Academy; Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, composer and musician.

Sunday 11th December

Empires and Archives

Ian Cobain, a Guardian journalist, is the author of The History Thieves. He joins us this week from London; as does UK-based legal historian, Seán Enright, author of After the Rising and Easter Rising 1916 – The Trials; and UCD historian, Diarmaid Ferriter, is live in studio.

Sisters, Hanna & Mary Sheehy

Colette Kinsella reports

Thatcher v. Haughey over the Falklands War

Myles is joined by one of the key players in that crisis almost thirty-five years ago: former senior diplomat Noel Dorr; and by historian Stephen Kelly, who is the author of ‘A Failed Political Entity’ – Charles Haughey and the Northern Ireland Question.

Sunday 4th December

Peter Paul Galligan

Orla Rapple report

2016 Commemorations Assessed

Brian Crowley is the Curator at the Pearse Museum in Dublin, and he’s also Chair of the Irish Museums Association. And historian, Mike Cronin, is Academic Director at Boston College Ireland, and Project Director of Century Ireland.

Pearl Harbour, 75 Years On

Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, authors of the book A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame, and a Family's Quest for Justice.

Re-enactment of Pearse Rising Surrender

We hear from a remarkable re-enactment of the Easter Rising surrender – with descendents of those involved from all sides - Louise Denvir reports

Sunday 27th November

Fidel Castro, Cuba’s revolutionary leader, dies aged 90

Dr. Daniel Geary, Mark Pigott Associate Professor in American History at TCD on the life & times of Fidel Castro

Aleppo, in Happier Times

Writer Mary Russell in a column for The History Show, has been remembering happier times, in Aleppo.

1950s Ireland Revisited

Myles is joined by UCC sociologist, Niamh Hourigan; and by historian Kate O’Malley, who was Assistant Editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy 1951-’57 which was published on Thursday.

Sunday 20th November

Science and the Irish State

As Science Week comes to a close, Science journalist, Sean Duke, has been finding out more about the relationship between science and the Irish State.

The Life and Times of Constance Markievicz

Author, Lindie Naughton, sees a connection between the attitudes we see today and how history has viewed Countess Markievicz, who is the subject of her new biography.

The Love Letters of Francois Mitterrand

- they're contained in two volumes Letters to Anne 1962-1995 and Diary for Anne 1964-1970.....Myles is joined from Paris by journalist, Lara Marlowe, who’s been reading the two books.

Protectionism: the Irish experience

Economist Frank Barry, from the Trinity Business School focuses this week on what happened in Ireland in the Twentieth Century

Eimear McBride on history and Brexit

Eimear McBride on history and Brexit

Sunday 13th November

Belfast On the Somme

Reporter Allan Preston speaks to people at Belfast's City Hall, as they mark Remembrance Sunday.

Jennifer Johnston reflects on the First World War

This week, we hear now acclaimed author, Jennifer Johnston, whose 1974 novel, How Many Miles to Babylon? helped generations of Leaving Cert students understand the complexity of the First World War.  Jennifer’s great uncle died at the Battle of the Somme, and her mother’s brother survived the Somme, but was killed soon after, aged 22.

The new Ginchy Cross in Glasnevin Cemetery

Louise Denvir reports from Glasnevin Cemetery where, this morning, a new memorial was unveiled to commemorate Irish lives lost on French soil, including those lost at the Somme.

The History Show 13th November 2016

This Friday is the centenary of the end of the Battle of the Somme, a battle which lasted four and a half months and, by the time it ended, no fewer than one million soldiers had been killed, lost or wounded.  On the first day alone, the British Army suffered almost 20,000 deaths ... including 2,000 men lost by the 36th Ulster Division.

Sunday 6th November

Irish Women's Stories from World War Two

Two of the stories of Irish women who had deep involvement inWW2, form part of a pan-European arts project which produced plays, films, and now an online publication which will be launched this Tuesday. Mary Moynihan, Artistic Director of Smashing Times Theatre Company; and playwright, Deirdre Kinahan discuss.

Kate O'Callaghan performs song called 'Lay' from the album The Girl with the Beret

The song 'Lay' from the album The Girl with the Beret is written and performed by Catherine Rooney's great grand niece Kate O'Callaghan, she is accompanied by Seamus Devenney and Tim Jarvis. Catherine Rooney was known as the 'Petticoat Heroine' for her actions in the first hours of the Rising.

Ned Foley on US Elections

Professor Ned Foley, Director of Election Law at Ohio State University and author of a history of disputed US elections Ballot Battles.

Sunday 30th October

Patrick Comerford on unusual journeys undertaken by Irish corpses

In Death and the Irish, Patrick Comerford has a chapter called Bringing the Bodies Home: JJ Murphy and the ‘Pickled Earl’, which tells the stories of how two Irish men who died abroad in the 19th Century found their way home.  Here Patrick Comerford tells Louise Denvir the stories...

Orla Fitzgerald on childhood post-mortem photos

In Grave Matters, Orla Fitzpatrick has a chapter called Momento Mori: photography and loss in Dublin, where she looks at two examples of formal photographs taken of dead children around the turn of the last Century.  Here Orla Fitzpatrick tells Louise Denvir the stories...

History Bites: The 40 Steps to Hell

History Bites is our occasional series where Colette Kinsella investigates the history and stories behind some of the objects we pass every day.  In this report, Colette is with travel writer Pol Ó Conghaile.

The History Show 30th October 2016

On the Eve of Hallowe’en – and with All Souls’ Day on Wednesday – this week, we’re talking about death and the Irish, with historians Lisa Marie Griffith; Ciarán Wallace; and Salvador Ryan.

Sunday 23rd October

Why World War One Didn’t end in 1918

Robert Gerwarth looks at what happened east of the Rhine after the First World War officially ended in 1918.

Damien Shiels on The Forgotten Irish

Damian Shiels has written a new book which brings together 35 previously unknown stories about the lives of Irish immigrants in America after the Famine – gleaned from an unlikely source.

History Bites: Why King Billy is on the Dublin Lord Mayor’s chain

Another instalment from our series History Bites where Colette Kinsella uncovers stories behind some of the objects we might pass by every day. This week, Colette Kinsella speaks to Donal Fallon about the strange tale of King William of Orange and the chain of office of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

Guglielmo Marconi

Next year marks the 80th anniversary of the death of the extraordinary innovator, Guglielmo Marconi, who - from 1896 to 1937 - was at the heart of every major development in electronic communication. Orla Rapples reports from Wexford, and Myles is joined by Marconi’s biographer, Marc Raboy.

Sunday 16th October

Holles Street in 1916

As part of The Royal College of Physicians’s St Luke’s Symposium this week, the Master of Holles Street, Rhona Mahony, will be speaking on Thursday morning about life in Holles Street on Easter Week 1916. Sinead Egan reports.

Genetic Genealogy

DNA tests – and their increasing affordability – are revolutionising the world of genealogy. Next weekend, a genealogy conference Back to our Past will take place in Dublin’s RDS, with a particular focus on DNA. Myles is joined this week in studio by three genetic genealogists.

History Bites: William Rowan Hamilton

This week, we have another instalment from our series History Bites where Colette Kinsella uncovers stories behind some of the objects we might pass by every day. This time, we find Colette in Dublin looking for a piece of Victorian graffiti – written on this day 173 years ago - that changed the world.

Alex Salmond MP

This year, for its annual Ivy Day commemoration at Glasnevin, the Parnell Society invited Alex Salmond to give the lecture and graveside oration. Alex is a former First Minister of Scotland who resigned as leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party immediately after the unsuccessful independence referendum two years ago.

Sunday 9th October

The History Show 9th October, 2016

The History Show 9th October, 2016

Stephen Collins on 1980s budgets

With next Tuesday’s budget shaping up to be a very dull affair, we’ve asked Stephen Collins, Irish Times Political Editor, to take us back to that decade where not just one, but two governments were brought down by budgets.

History Bites

Colette Kinsella brings us another instalment of History Bites, the occasional series that uncovers the sometimes remarkable stories behind everyday objects.

Catriona Crowe

Until last month, Catriona Crowe was Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland – a position which she has just stepped down from after many years.

Sunday 2nd October

The History Show 2 October 2016

The History Show 2 October 2016

Making Memory

Later this month, a conference opens in Dublin entitled Making Memory – visual and material cultures of commemoration in Ireland. Myles is joined by Lisa Godson, from NCAD, who is the conference convenor; and by two speakers at the conference: Brian Hand, from IT Carlow, and Claudia Kinmonth, from NUI Galway.

50 Years of Free Education

We mark 50 years since Donogh O’Malley announced free secondary school education, with educationalist, John Coolahan, political analyst, Noel Whelan. We also have contributions from Patricia Borden, Principal Mount Anville Secondary School; Liam F. Ryan, Senior Lecturer at Limerick Institute of Technology; and broadcaster and author, Joe Duffy.

Dublin Mean Time

Colette Kinsella tells the unusual story of Dublin Mean Time, which ended one hundred years ago.

US Presidential TV debates of the past

It’s US Presidential debate season, so on The History Show, we’ve asked Sandra Scanlon, Lecturer in American History at UCD, to take us on a whistle-stop tour of TV debates from the last century.

Sunday 8th May

1916 Rising Oral History Collection

Lorcan Clancy reports on the 1916 Rising Oral History Collections, speaking to husband and wife Maurice and Jane O'Keefe, and their daughter Hélène O'Keefe about how family memories reveal a rich revolutionary inheritance. Then, Mark Duncan of Century Ireland joins Myles to reflect on this centenary year.

Entwined Histories Challenge

Former Rugby international Trevor Ringland on a charity cycle and walk in Dublin and France, visting many of the sites of battle of the Somme. It will take place from the 23rd to the 29th May

Prisoners after the Rising

The experiences of people taken prisoner after the Rising, the day to day reality of life for internees, and how prisons like Frongoch in Wales became breeding grounds for sedition. Myles is joined by William Murphy, Frank Shouldice and Joanna Brück

Sunday 1st May

The History Show - Full Programme Podcast - 1st May 2016

The story of the trials and executions of the 1916 rebels in the aftermath of the Easter Rising.

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The History Show



Contact the Show

Presenter: Myles Dungan

Producer: Alan Torney


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