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A Slum City - Life & Death in Late Victorian Dublin

Life in Dublin at the turn of the 20th century was difficult to say the least. Working Class Dubliners were lucky if they reached 50. In those five or so decades, they worked dangerous jobs and lived in appalling conditions.

In this episode I am joined by Dr Ciara Breathnach. Ciara has spent several years researching the records of Dublin's Coroners Court for her book 'Ordinary Lives, Death, and Social Class: Dublin City Coroner's Court, 1876-1902'. As the Coroner investigated suspicious, unexplained and unusual deaths, this research gave Ciara a unique insight into life in Dublin around 1900.

Over the course of our interview Ciara explained how Dubliners lived and died. She also shares some individual cases from the Coroner's Court which provides a deeply personal history of the time and the challenges people faced.

You can find Ciara’s Profile at the University of Limerick where she is an Associate Professor in History

Her book Ordinary Lives, Death, and Social Class: Dublin City Coroner's Court, 1876-1902 is available here (You can also ask your local library to order the book!)

My audiobook on the Black Death in Ireland is available for download at This can be purchase for a one off payment of €5.99 or is available for show supporters at

“From the creator of the Irish History Podcast comes the story of Modern Ireland and its people written in death” 

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