War of Independence podcast series

The funeral procession of Terence MacSwiney. Picture: Cork public Museum


To mark the centenary of the War of Independence, the Irish Examiner published a four-part podcast series focussing on some of the events from those turbulent times. Michael Clifford spoke to a variety of historians in a series of enlightening and informative conversations.



Episode 1 – ‘A Tale of Two mayors’ 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.



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.



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? 




Part 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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