07 May 2020

Ryan Tubridy with Fin Dwyer on Irish Deaf History (extract) - RTE Radio

I was surprised to hear that I was mentioned on Ryan Tubridy on RTE radio this morning!
He was interviewing the brilliant Fin Dwyer, who interviewed me two weeks ago for the 'Irish History Podcast'. Ryan was very interested to hear more about Irish history.

I did a short ISL version of what Ryan and Fin talked about. English voiceover and English closed captions.


[Ryan Tubridy] .... It's fascinating, and just to remind people, we’re walking to Fin Dwyer the man behind – it’s Irish History Podcast, is where you need to go, this is just a flavour of where your stories go, because it's so broad as a church. In fact the other one I was listening to the other morning was the history of the Deaf community in Ireland - and I had no idea that people at one time thought that Deaf people were considered to be psychics!?

[Fin Dwyer] Yeah the actual back story to this is interesting; I lie yourself had no idea, never really thought about the history of the deaf community, and then Cormac Leonard a researcher from Trinity College contacted me about signing a podcast I'd made on the Aran islands, and it was just through that - I was looking at Cormac’s website and I just started to think about this, I'd never really thought of the deaf community and their role in Irish history. So I asked Cormac would he do an interview, and it was one of the most eye opening interviews I'd ever done! It brings to the fore all these - first of all, the way deaf people were viewed before the 19th century, in this role as mystics, maybe, and fortune tellers. And then the 19th century where you get the emergence of sign language in deaf schools, but he also talks about really interesting stuff like, people for example from the deaf community involved in the IRA, involved in the Unionist movement in the early 20th century; and then just things lie how do Deaf people navigate the workhouses and particularly prisons. Because we've a tendency - even today - to maybe infantilise deaf people and think that they don't have the same experiences as hearing people, but definitely Cormac on the Podcast really brought out how essentially, deaf people have all the same experiences, but then often face the barriers, because people dismiss them.

[Ryan Tubridy] Absolutely, and that's, as I say, just one that jumped out recently ....

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