About The Podcast.

The name Peelers and Sheep comes from an incident in the 1919 Meath and Kildare farm labour strike. It took eleven policemen, nicknamed peelers, led by a sergeant and a head constable, with fixed bayonets, just to deliver thirteen sheep to Drumree railway station.  In the end, as you’ll discover when listening to our first episode, the bayonets of the Royal Irish Constabulary were of no avail, the sheep were boycotted in Dublin and returned on the very next train.

This is the land, but this is not a land of timeless tradition, this is the hothouse where the modern world is made.

This is a rebel story.  This is a story of people who are not the big names of Irish history. This is not the history you learned in school.

This is history from below.


Ep 8: The Factory Farm and the Forest Frontier

All about habitat destruction, simplified eco-systems, declining bio-diversity and how this ties in the spread of zoonotic diseases such as Ebola, AIDS, Avian Flu & Swine Flu. Looking not just at human impact on nature but at particularly capitalist forms of agriculture & resource...

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Ep 7: Landscape of Lyme

All about landscape as a historic creation – how what we often think of as ‘nature’ has been shaped by generations of human activity – especially farming. Changing land uses impact on eco-systems and helps spread zoonotic diseases – that’s diseases that come to...

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Ep 6: In Dublin County In 1913

Starting in the summer just before the famous Lock-Out of 1913 was a movement of farm workers in the rural parts of Dublin – back then the countryside went in as far as Crumlin. So this is Dublin in 1913, but not the Dublin...

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Ep 5: Notes on the Defence of Irish Country Houses.

The name comes from a draft document composed in 1914 by Colonel George O’Callaghan-Westropp, self-styled as The O’Callaghan, a county Clare landlord. O’Callaghan-Westropp was an activist in the British conservative-nationalist mobilisation against Home Rule and lost out through agrarian agitation and government intervention in...

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My Name Is Terry Dunne

The peelers and the sheep featured in the Meath and Kildare farm labour strike of 1919 – farm labourers were described by one historian as the forgotten men of Irish history. The Drumree incident — the peelers and the sheep — comes from a space that is marginal in popular memory. 

It resonates with me personally as I am descended from agricultural wage workers and from part of the country – south Kildare – where they formed a large part of the population.

But this wasn’t always the history I grew up with…

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Where suitable, we’ll be sharing documents, photos, illustrations and ephemera that will add texture and context to the podcast.

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