Culture From The Couch: Dublin

Culture From The Couch: Dublin
The Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin, Ireland, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

We know we are way past St Patrick’s Day, but it’s never too late to binge on some Irish gems

Roshni Subramanian
May 20 , 2020
07 Min Read

The 'Emerald Isle' has been the go-to destination for many filmmakers and showrunners, especially in the past decade. From the award-winning Game of Thrones and the popular sitcom Derry Girls to the historical drama Vikings, Ireland has served as backdrop for some of the greatest shows of recent times. Inevitably, it makes you wonder what does modern-day Ireland look like? Is the belief in a certain creature clad in green suit, pointy shoes and four-leaf clovers true? Where did the phrase ‘drunken Irish’ stem from?

About time we moved beyond potatoes, accents and leprechaun stereotypes. Catch up on these podcasts and shows that offer a  window into the world of Irish culture and customs. 

The Blindboy Podcast

 
 
 
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Started in October 2018, The Blindboy Podcast is a weekly show by Blindboy Boatclub of the Rubberbandits. Focussing on issues faced by contemporary Irish society, the show has consistently topped the iTunes charts. Right from the rise of Bebo culture in Ireland to an in-depth look at the racist tropes in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the podcast touches upon a wide range of themes. The host’s uncanny ability to articulate the current issues in a candid manner is unparalleled and sorely needed in Irish society. Often hailed as an eclectic podcast containing short fiction, interviews and comedy, the episodes also delve into thought-provoking musings relating to mental health, gun laws, feminism and racism.

Irish History Podcast

 
 
 
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Taking the listeners on a journey through Ireland’s fascinating past, the Irish History podcast, offers a glimpse into all the major events that have shaped the fabric of modern-day Ireland. Created by historian and author Fin Dwyer, the podcast brings forth enthralling accounts of Ireland’s ancient high kings, Viking raiders, and Norman invasion of the Middle Ages. Currently focussed on the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s, the podcast takes you back to the 19th century, recalling the tales of the survivors and Irish famine emigrants. From rebellion to riots and eviction to emigration, the show is a reflection of how the Irish folks have lived through world-changing events. 

ComhaltasLive

A cultural revolution of sorts, ComhaltasLive by ComhaltasCeoltóiríÉireann, a group exclusively involved in the preservation and promotion of traditional Irish music, is a weekly 20-minute programme divided into segments featuring musicians from around the globe. The podcast brings forth concerts, festivals and competitions that focus on non-commercial Irish music. Through their video clips, audio tracks and photographs the show attempts to introduce the listeners to the richness of Irish culture.

Derry Girls

 
 
 
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Currently streaming on Netflix, this brillliant sitcom has been our saviour during this unprecedented lockdown. Written by Lisa McGee, the show explores the hilarious exploits of a group of Irish teenagers. Set in Derry, Northern Ireland in the year 1996, the lighthearted comedy follows the life of four girls during the last years of the Troubles, a conflict that began in the 1960s, when the city’s Catholic population rose up against English Protestant rule. With shots featuring British soldiers patrolling the streets, the series is set amid the chaotic events that have shaped contemporary society. Showcasing the vibrant city, its nightlife, and a sense of civic pride, it not only touches upon coming-of-age stories but also reflects on the politics of the era. 

The Siege of Jadotville

 
 
 
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The criminally underrated Netflix film, Siege of Jadotville, recounts the story of what happened to 155 soldiers of the Irish army, part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Starring Jamie Dornan, the film revolves around the events that unfolded over a period of five days in Jadotville. Though the movie doesn’t provide much context, it manages to set certain records straight by documenting the realities of the conflict. It reveals how the army was a victim of a political cover-up and weren’t officially recognised for their services until 2005. 


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