The History Show

The History Show

Sunday, 6pm

The History Show Sunday 10 February 2019

The History Show

The History Show

On this week's programme ...  a look back at the history of the Common Travel Area; we take a trip on the historic Liffey Ferry; the prison letters of Countess Markievicz; and the story of Luke P Smith who was involved with Irish Military Intelligence during World War 2. 

Common Travel Area

Common Travel Area

We begin this evening with the Common Travel Area. Over the last two years, the regulation of the movement of goods has dominated the Brexit negotiations. But the movement of people between Britain and Ireland could, of course, also prove complicated.

Our reciprocal agreement of free movement rights includes the right to work, settle, claim benefits and even vote, and has lasted for the better part of a hundred years. Partly, that’s because our immigration policies have always been strongly aligned – but that could change now that Britain is leaving the EU and Ireland is staying put. 

This isn’t the first time this unusual arrangement has hit a stumbling block. Myles is joined by two guests who have been looking into the history of the Common Travel Area, our ‘open borders’ agreement with our nearest neighbour.  Piaras Mac Éinrí is a lecturer in Geography at University College Cork, and Gavin Barrett, a Professor at the Sutherland School of Law in University College Dublin. 

Liffey Ferry

Liffey Ferry

As you may have heard, the Liffey Ferry is going to set sail again after a 35 year absence from the river. Starting tomorrow at 7AM, the water taxi will carry workers, tourists and anyone who wants to get a different perspective on the city from quay to quay, for two Euro a trip. 

The ferry has a long history, stretching back over 350 years. The service was discontinued in the 1980s with the opening of the East Link Bridge.  But now, one of the original boats – the Number 11 Ferry – is coming out of retirement.  Earlier, our producer Lorcan Clancy went to Dublin’s docklands to find out more. He spoke to Richie Saunders, a former skipper with the original ferry service, Jimmy Murray of the Irish Nautical Trust, and Thomas Murray, one of the new skippers. 

Constance Markievicz - Prison Letters

Constance Markievicz - Prison Letters

Markievicz: Prison Letters and Rebel Writings is a new book which collects the correspondence of Countess Markievicz. They reveal her character, her day to day life behind bars, her opinions on events in Ireland, and her relationships with friends and family. The letters were compiled and edited by Lindie Naughton, who joins Myles in studio. 

Luke Smith and Irish Military Intelligence

Luke Smith and Irish Military Intelligence

We turn now to the subject of Irish military intelligence during World War Two. Ireland of course was officially neutral during the war, or ‘The Emergency’ as it was known here. But it wasn’t as straightforward as that – the Directorate of Military Intelligence , also known as ‘G2’, broke codes,  intercepted German naval and aerial communications and shared information with the Allies.

The people who took part in these efforts were for a long time mostly unnamed and unhonoured. In a report from Marc McMenamin, we hear the story of one of these individuals, Luke P Smith, who is remembered by his son and namesake Luke Smith.

Then, Marc McMenamin joins Myles in studio to talk more about Luke P. Smith's story and the wider subject of Irish Military Intelligence during World War Two. Marc's recently published book is called Codebreaker, it's published by Gill Books. 

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.

A Pegasus production for RTÉ. 

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Presenter: Myles Dungan

Producer: Lorcan Clancy

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