For regular listeners to the podcast, you probably know I'm a history nerd. I make no apologies for that and I frequently remark that the past is much closer and has a deeper influence on us than is readily recognized. If we are to predict what is to come, we need to understand where we have come from.
I was delighted when Damian Shiels agreed to come on the podcast as he brings a unique intersection of talents to any conversation on Irish heritage both diaspora and domestic. Damian is deeply connected to the Irish landscape through his years of service as an archaeologist particularly in his favored sub specialty of battlefield archaeology. Cohost John Lee and I got to talk about some of the bloodiest days in Irish history when we discussed Damian's work on the battlefields of Vinnegar Hill (1798) and Aughrim (1691) and how his investigations contributed to a deeper understanding of events that took place on those infamous days.
In the last 10 years Damian has spent less time in the trenches, opting for the archives in Washington DC where he has mined the pension records of the American Civil War which provide unique insights into the lives of the Irish in early 19th century Ireland. How you might ask? Give the podcast a listen and all will become clear
Damian's website: Irish in the American Civil War