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Insights by UCC Historians

19 Dec 2020

Mick Clifford hosts a series of podcasts by the Irish Examiner to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the revolutionary period.

Episode 1: A Tale of Two Majors with Gabriel Doherty

Tomas MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney both served as lord mayors of Cork in 1920. Both tenures in office were very short as Mac Curtain was murdered in his home two months after taking the mayoral chain and MacSwiney, his successor, died in Brixton Prison at the end of a 74 day hunger strike.

Historian Garbriel Doherty sketches out the lives and deaths of these two close friends, their respective roles in the War of Independence and how each of them is regarded within Cork and beyond. 

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Episode 2: 'The Burning of Cork' with Kieran McCarthy

The burning of Cork in December 1920 was one of the seminal events of the War of Independence. Major damage was done to the city centre and to the psyche of the population in what was an wanton act of violence and destruction. The event had a major impact on the city and its populace for many years after. Historian Kieran McCarthy discusses what led up to the fateful night, how it unfolded and the drawn out aftermath.

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Episode 3: 'The War of Independence' with John Borgonovo

Dr John Borgonovo is the guest on this week’s podcast. The War of Independence was an early example of guerrilla warfare, fought with the co-operation and consent of the native population. But how intense was the war? What kind of people were the volunteers and how did they operate and engage with the native population and how did they deal with informers? 

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Episode 4: 'Women of their Time' with Helene O'Keeffe

The role of women during the revolutionary period had, until recent decades, not so much been written out but not written in at all. That is beginning to change with greater research into the roles played by women both inside and outside Cumann na mBan. Helene O’Keeffe speaks here about a number of the women who made serious contributions during that period.

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Episode 5: 'When the Guns Fell Silent' with John Borgonovo

In July 1921 a truce was called in the War of Independence bringing to an end a conflict that was to shape the future of this island. The truce also ended a unity of purpose among Irish nationalists that had flourished since the Rising in 1916, to be replaced by a politics that was to last in one form or another for the following century.

But what was it like for the man and woman in the street in Ireland when war came to an end? How did the combatants feel about it? And was there any way that what was to follow could have been avoided? 

This week, Mick Clifford speaks to Dr John Borgonovo, from UCC’s school of history who tells it like it was.

Listen here: 

The Irish Revolution Project

Scoil na Staire /Tíreolaíocht

University College Cork, Cork,