On October 17, 1171, King Henry II became the first English King to set foot on Irish soil. By the time he left the island six months later Ireland's relationship with England had been changed forever.

Indeed Henry's visit still haunts Ireland today...

Leading a vast army of thousands of medieval warriors, Henry had prepared for all eventualities in Ireland. His fleet of hundreds of ships carried warhorses, armor, and even prefabricated siege towers to attack Ireland's walled towns.

This podcast, the latest in the series 'This Week in Irish History' looks at the famous visit of Henry II. The story behind the invasion is fascinating.

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In 1170 army Norman mercenaries, lead by the Earl of Pembroke, Strongbow, had arrived in Ireland to reinstate Diarmait McMurrough, an Irish King forced from power. However by 1171 Strongbow appeared to be attempting to make a grab for power in Ireland. While this alarmed Irish kings who besieged Strongbow in Dublin, Henry II was increasingly concerned as well.

Although one of the most powerful men in Europe at the time Henry was worried Strongbow might emerge as a rival in Ireland. In the late summer of 1171, the King resolved to invade Ireland. The events that followed would change Irish history. Indeed Ireland would be dominated by English kings for centuries to come.

Tune in to hear the full story:

Created by Fin Dwyer, “This Week in Irish History” is Ireland's newest podcast series. Released weekly the podcast covers sieges, battles, assassinations, and scandals from the last thousand years of our history. Next week the topic is the first English royal visit to Ireland which took place in 1171. This is a fascinating story which would prove to be one of the most important events in Irish history. You can subscribe to 'This Week in Irish History' today via iTunes or Spotify.

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* Fin Dwyer is a historian, author, and creator of The Irish History Podcast. Over the last seven years, he has been creating free podcasts which makes Irish history accessible to new audiences. He has covered diverse topics from the Middle Ages to the modern history. He is currently focusing on the story of the Great Hunger. With over three million individual downloads, the show is one of Ireland's most popular podcasts. You can find his podcast on iTunes.

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