The History Show

The History Show

Sunday, 6pm

The History Show Sunday 26 May 2013

The History Show

The History Show

On this evening’s programme, we’ll be discussing our History Show book club choice for May- ‘The Outer Edge of Ulster’ by Hugh Dorian. Historian Sinéad McCoole tells us about the Jackie Clarke collection and we mark the 90th anniversary of  end of the Irish Civil War.

The History Show Book Club- ‘The Outer Edge of Ulster’ by Hugh Dorian.

The History Show Book Club- ‘The Outer Edge of Ulster’ by Hugh Dorian.

Life in 19th century Donegal could be, to quote Thomas Hobbes, ‘nasty, brutish and short’. And that was at the best of times, in the most convivial places. The Fanad peninsula was neither. It is situated on the far side of Lough Swilly to the Inishowen peninsula.

With much of the land owned by one of the most oppressive landlords in the country, William Sydney, the 3rd earl of Leitrim, the people of Fanaid, to paraphrase the words of Henry David Thoreau, ‘led lives of quiet desperation and went to the grave with the song still in them.’

Except for Hugh Dorian, clerk, schoolmaster, whose ‘song’ was a fascinating memoir of the area through most of the Victorian period. His portrayal of Fanad from the 1830’s to the 1890s has finally been published, almost a century after his death, by Lilliput press, in an edition edited by Breandan Mac Suibhne of the University of Notre Dame, and Professor David Dickson of Trinity College, Dublin.

It was our History Show book club choice for May and Myles was joined by historians Roisin Higgins, Arlene Crampsie and Ciarán Reilly.

The Jackie Clarke Collection

The Jackie Clarke Collection

Gertrude O’Reilly McHale, a history fan and a friend of Jackie Clarke  introduced this piece on the impressive collection of this important Mayo man.

Jackie Clarke amassed more than 100,000 items spanning 400 years during his lifetime

Many are of huge historical significance including artefacts associated with the likes of Wolfe Tone and Michael Collins as well as maps, posters, books, cartoons- all from various different periods and personal items from the leaders of the 1916 rising

It’s perhaps the most important collection of Irish historic material and it’s gone on public display in Ballina Co Mayo

To learn more about the collection, Myles was joined by Sinéad McCoole, historian and curator of the Jackie Clarke collection.

For more information on Jackie Clarke and his collection you can go to

The 90th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War

The 90th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War

Like all civil wars, the one fought in Ireland in 1922 and 1923 was a bleak time for the country as it underwent a bitter struggle of conflicting ideologies.

The eleven month long conflict pitted brother against brother and forged a long-lasting divide in Irish politics. The actions of the war’s leaders, Michael Collins and Eamon De Valera are still a matter of extreme disagreement. This week marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

Lorcan Clancy explored how this dark chapter of Irish history drew to a close.

Myles was also joined in studio by historian Conor Mulvagh, who looked at the repercussions of this bitter conflict.

Last programme in the current season

This is the last programme in the current season. Don’t forget that you can listen back to past programmes by following the links at the top of this page.

And you can keep up to date with events from 1913 by visiting Century Ireland


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. 



Contact the Show

Presenter: Myles Dungan

Producer: Lorcan Clancy


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