News and Views

A slight hiatus…

Our regular blog posts have been interrupted by all the work we are doing for the 2021 Festival.


Our 2021 Programme is here

Events in bold will be paid for & broadcast live; tickets available via this website from early July. All other events will be posted on this website on the morning of the relevant day of the Festival.

Our regular historical round up

This week censored literature, port history and an online exhibition about Cork in 1920. Also do look at our recently released 2021 programme which you can see here – most will be free to view on our website over the Festival weekend, and tickets for paid events go on sale in early July.

Our weekly recommendations of historical reading, listening and watching

This week, a podcast discussing 17th century Ireland, a pioneering 20th century women and some ‘forgotten’ ones the Vicereines of Ireland, who are the focus of a new exhibition at Dublin Castle. Plus, details of a conference on Ireland & Empire, a theme we will ourselves be exploring in our 2021 Festival in August.

This week’s recommended historical reading and listening

This week, a polar explorer and his forgotten sisters, First World War war brides, Second World War lookout posts and BBC history podcasts for children (and their grown ups). Our 2021 Festival will look at the experiences of the Irish in polar exploration, so Clodagh Finn’s article in the Irish Examiner on Shackleton’s sisters Kathleen […]

Our regular update

This week we are featuring both 20th and 17th century history and some beautiful Harry Clarke windows in Cork. The Examiner is running a series on Cork in 50 Artworks, and No 4 features Harry Clarke’s stained glass windows for the Honan Chapel. The image below is a detail from the window depicting St Gobnait, […]

Our regular historical selection

This week we have the centenary of Partition along with the photographs of Helen Hooker O’Malley, a medieval manuscript associated with St Colum Cille and Edith Somerville’s birthday. On Partition there was a lot to read and hear, including the Irish History show podcast with Cathal Brennan and John Dorney interviewing Cormac Moore; the Creative […]

A fortnightly round up of interesting things to read, listen to & watch

A fortnight’s worth of history-related content to read, listen to and watch today including dark tourism, the American Civil War and Ireland’s first trade fair, held in Cork in 1852. As part of Cork World Book Festival, a digital event hosted by Nano Nagle Place about  ‘Dark Tourism’. The talk is a conversation between Gillian […]

A post-Easter post

This was supposed to be a post for the Easter weekend, but somehow that came and went …. so instead it’s a summary of a fortnight of interesting historical content including the Belfast Blitz, the 1918-19 flu pandemic and the history of emotions. The Irish Examiner recently featured a fascinating story of the MacCarthy family […]

More of a fortnightly round-up this time…

… and first up, Skibbereen Heritage Centre which now has a brilliant interactive map on its website with lots of information about different sites in and around the town. It includes individual buildings, streets, clubs, graveyards and even post boxes. Lots of good content posted in connection to St Patrick’s Day including from the National […]

A few recommendations for historical reading and watching

This week’s recommendations range across Irish coins, the blog of the Military Service Pensions Collection, old photos of Cork, Harry Clarke’s stained glass and the Benin Bronzes. We’re bit late to this, but we’ve just seen Mr Yeats & the Beastly Coins, an entertaining (and informative) short film made in 2016 about creating a new […]

Our regular round up

This week we have some great pieces connected to International Women’s Day (8 March) and a Decade of Centenaries podcast focusing on events in Limerick 100 years ago. Cork Public Museum featured the story of nurse and suffragette Violet O’Brien on social media, and appealed for a photograph of her. O’Brien trained as a nurse […]

Our regular update of stuff to read, to watch and to listen to

This week we have cricket bats, Second World War letters recovered from the sea bed, a virtual tour of Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery and West Cork gates but, very unusually, nothing relating to the Decade of Centenaries. Starting off this week with a blog – not a new one but one we’d like to recommend, […]

Regular historical round-up

An eclectic mixture of subjects in our latest round-up – 18th century plates, the Anglo-Zulu War, the most haunted house in Ireland, medieval pilgrimage and, of course, the Decade of Centenaries. Creative Centenaries is a new website which brings together information and resources about the Decade of Centenaries and the work of Northern Ireland’s creative […]

A miscellany of historical content

Here’s our regular round up of interesting historical content to read, listen to and watch, this week ranging from India via Suffolk, Dublin and Cork City to Drimoleague. The Irish Times had this interesting piece on new research about Sir Michael O’Dwyer, Irish colonial official in British India, who as lieutenant-governor of the Punjab was […]

Our regular update of interesting historical content

More of a fortnightly than a weekly update this time around – some interesting articles, an online talk from Bristol, via Belfast, on the legacies of slavery and a podcast from History Ireland on intelligence in the War of Independence. You can also listen to our very own History Ireland podcast from 2020 – exploring […]

Our regular historical round-up

Starting this week with a wonderful online exhibition ‘Mapping History’, put together by Dublin’s Marsh’s Library and Armagh’s Robinson Library. It showcases Irish and world maps and atlases published in the three centuries after the year 1536, drawing on the collections of both libraries. The map featured shows Ireland from Edmund Halley’s Atlas Maritimus and […]

Our weekly round-up

First off the Bad Bridget podcasts, which tell the story of Irish women who emigrated to America and whose American dream did not end so well – we really enjoyed the first few episodes. They are all based on the research of, and presented by, Dr Elaine Farrell of Queen’s University Belfast and Dr Leanne […]

Our not-quite weekly at this time of year round-up

Well, it’s been a while since the last post but there has been a lot going on. So here goes – another big centenary on 11-12 December, which marks 100 years since the Burning of Cork. And lots of other interesting content too… St Peter’s church and Nano Nagle Place, both in Cork City, are […]

Almost too much history this week…..

… it has been quite a week for interesting historical content, with the centenary of Bloody Sunday and associated events in the War of Independence. Croke Park have lots of information on their website about events there 100 years ago when British forces killed 14 people. There is a good overview and a short film […]

Our weekly round-up

Lots of really interesting things to read and listen to this past week….. The always excellent blog on the Irish American Civil War by Damian Shiels had this post on the famous song Paddy’s Lament and its origins and history. The image below is by John Ross Dix and was published in 1864 (Library of […]

Our weekly historical miscellany

Lots of really interesting things to read and watch this week…. A major Cork-related Decade of Centenaries anniversary falls today – 100 years since the death in Brixton Prison, on hunger strike, of Cork Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney. There have been lots of articles on the subject in the last few days, but two of […]

WCHF’s (mostly) regular round-up

The play Embargo by Deirdre Kinahan had its premiere last week as part of the Dublin Festival of Theatre. Inspired by the embargo placed on the transport of British troops and weapons by Irish workers during the War of Independence, it was appropriately enough sponsored by Dublin Port Authority and Iarnrod Eireann. Well worth a […]

History Festival selection

So, our weekly round-up has become more of a fortnightly one – but hey, that just means more good material to watch, listen to and read. We were shocked to see images of the fire at the former Convent of Mercy in Skibbereen – the roof was destroyed and much else besides. The Skibbereen Heritage […]

A short selection this week

Our selection this week takes us to the Soviet Union, Palestine, back to Cork city and then finally to the horrors of the Famine in Skibbereen. The Irish in the USSR is the first of a series of films on the theme of ‘Hidden Histories of the Irish Abroad’, produced by Epic: the Irish Emigration […]

Our regular round-up of historical content online

A blog post on Damian Shiels’ always fascinating Irish-American Civil War website caught our eye after he re-posted it on Twitter – Looking Into the Face of A Dying Irish Soldier. Actually it’s the photos that are initially so striking, telling the moving story of John Ruddy, an Irishman who was wounded fighting for the […]

Our not-quite-weekly round up

Slightly longer than a week since our last round-up but never mind – links to lots of interesting historical content below. Plus, don’t forget that our 2020 digital Festival is all available on this website to watch and listen to as often as you like, along with all the talks from our real life Festivals […]

Our weekly round-up

Of course the best history available at the moment to watch and listen to is our 2020 digital Festival, which is right here on our website. And we got some great coverage in the Southern Star as well. If you are in Cork city, can we recommend visits to two organisations with whom we have […]

Our weekly round up

Here’s our weekly round up of interesting historical content – lots to read and listen to. There won’t be a round up next weekend as on Saturday 8 August we have here on our website our digital (mini) Festival with specially recorded talks and discussions. Find out more here. In the Irish Times, historian and […]

A fortnightly round up ….

Last week’s round up was rather delayed so we thought instead we’d do a longer fortnightly round up – some really interesting reads and listens below. Festival contributor Claire Connolly of UCC wrote in the Irish Times about the power of literature in a time of global pandemic. We are looking forward to hearing Claire’s […]

Our weekly round up

Yesterday was Independence Day in the US – to mark the occasion why not listen to ‘Declaring Independence: America 1776, Ireland 1919’, a talk from last year’s Festival given by Dan Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the US? Alternatively, you could read this fascinating article by historian Damian Shiels, re-posted from his archive, about John Dunlap, […]

Our weekly historical miscellany

The Irish archaeological story of the year was published by Nature magazine last week. Genetic analysis by researchers at TCD showed that an adult male from the Neolithic period whose body was found inside Newgrange was the product of first degree incest. This may indicate he came from a ruling social elite who married within […]