History Hub


Connecting past and present

The series – recorded for Newstalk FM’s award-winning show: Off The Ball – provides a fascinating guide to the history of sport in Ireland. Each episode takes on a new era and topic.

Sport and Ireland: A History - podcast series based on UCD module

In the spring and early summer of 2020, the playing of organised sporting competitions in Ireland and across most of the world was effectively suspended. During those months – between March and June 2020 – Prof. Paul Rouse of the School of History in University College Dublin recorded the weekly lecturers of his long running ‘Sport and Ireland: A History’ module. The recordings were undertaken as a series of interviews with Joe Molloy, the award-winning presenter of ‘Off the Ball’ on Newstalk FM and were broadcast live on radio.

The recordings are available here now courtesy of ‘Off the Ball’. Thank you to Joe Molloy, Ger Gilroy and all of the OTB Team at Newstalk for facilitating this series and for making it available on History Hub.

Sport and Ireland

How to listen

For people interested in learning about the history of sport in Ireland the 11 episodes in the series are available on the Hisrtory Hub podcast series on Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud and via RSS Feed.

Individual Episodes:

Episode 1: Sport in Ireland: An historical introduction

Episode 2: Sport before 1800

Episode 3: Cockfighting, bullbaiting and the death of traditional sports

Episode 4: The history of football games and the myth of William Webb Ellis.

Episode 5: Sport as imperialism | Teaching nationalism | Ireland and England’s intertwining

Episode 6: The Importance of the GAA

Episode 7: The commercialisation of sport through history

Episode 8: ‘Denounced, belittled, trivialised’ – Women’s presence in sport

Episode 9: Sport, Politics and War

Episode 10: Sport in Ireland after Partition

Episode 11: Sport and the Troubles | How TV brought GAA into homes

Images: Front cover of Sport and Ireland: A History (OUP, 2017). Detail from “hammer-throwing at the Ballyhooly Sports Day, Co. Cork in August 1956”. Source: Irish Examiner Archive.

Other image: Ford Model Y Junior Sport Cabriolet (ZA- Dublin license plate) hill climbing the Sweep Hilclimb 1933, Dungarvan, Ireland, driver Mrs P A Sheehan aka Ní Shíocháin née Marjorie Griffin, in the Ladies Trophy Class.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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