27 May 2022

History Podcast looks into gruesome Offaly murder


The remains of Oldcroghan man unearthed in an Offaly bog

Irish History Podcast launched a new six episode series this week telling the story of a gruesome murder in Offaly. 

Peat worker Kevin Barry was just doing a days work digging drainage ditches on a quiet private bog in April 2003. Then he was brought to sudden stop as he saw an arm sticking out from a pile of peat he’d just scooped into the bucket of his digger. 

In the hours and days that followed the Gardaí, Marie Cassidy then the state pathologist and journalists found themselves on the road to Oldcroghan.

A man had been murdered and buried in a bog! 

However that is only the start of story. He had been tortured and the body mutilated. This young man had had his head cut off. He had also been disembowelled. There was a stab wound to his chest and cut to his arm. In addition both his nipples had been sliced. Finally the torso of the young man was pinned to the ground by a rope tied to stakes. The rope was made by intertwining branches from a hazel tree and was then looped through holes that had been cut through the young mans arms. 

It was more than a murder. It was a ritual killing. 

The Irish History Podcast brings you on a journey through Offaly’s fascinating past. This podcast series is not just dates but an enthralling account of Offaly’s history. 

The show is currently focused on Offaly but series in recent years have looked at the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s, Irish involvement in the Spanish Civil War, Ireland's ancient High Kings, Viking raiders and the Norman Invasion of the Middle Ages. 

The series was produced and researched by Fin Dwyer with Offaly historians Damian Lawlor and Miriam Ryan also carrying out research for the series.

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