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Polygamy, the Pope or Politics. Why was 19th Century Ireland so Hostile to Mormonism?

In the mid 19th century Mormonism was one of the fastest growing religions in the world. However when Mormon missionaries arrived in Ireland in 1840 they failed to establish a foothold. Over time Ireland gained a reputation as the most hostile country on earth for Mormons.

This podcast explores why this was the case. The answer is the complexities of Irish identity, our relationship with Catholicism and scandals surrounding the 19th century Mormon practice of polygamy.

The show starts however with the bizarre story of a 19th century Irish conman who played a role in getting the church off the ground in the 1830s.


If you are interested in exploring more about the history of Mormonism I would recommend the podcast Mormon Stories has an extensive back catalogue.

Brent Barlow’s PhD thesis on the history of Mormonism is extremely useful -

The website is an excellent resource on the Irish born Mormon Patrick McGuire

Irish Mormons- Reconciling identity in Global Mormonism by Hazel O’Brien is analysis of contemporary Mormonism.

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