Fighting Irish

The Fighting Irish tells the extraordinary story of the Irish soldier serving around the world. There are dramatic accounts of fighting for Napoleon and Wellington, military adventures in Mexico and Argentina, death-defying charges in the American Civil War, riding with General Custer, slaughter on the Western Front, bravery in the Second World War, prison camps in Korea, desperate last-stands in the Congo, and amazing tales of survival and sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tim Newark meets John Gorski of Chicago’s Irish American Heritage Center.

Sometimes the Irish soldiers didn't always behave as well as they should have and there are tales of drunken riots in New York, unseemly brawls in Paris, and mutinous behaviour that shocked the Emperor of Brazil.

There is controversy too—criticism of Irish lives wasted in foreign battles, stories of betrayal and secret conspiracy, fascist Irishmen and Nazi agents. Documents uncovered in Irish and British archives reveal startling new facts about sensitive wartime issues.

Acclaimed historian Tim Newark tells this story in the dramatic words of the soldiers themselves, gathered from diaries, letters and journals from archives—and interviews with veterans—in Ireland and across the world.

Tim Newark meets Congo veteran John Gorman at Custume Barracks in Athlone, Ireland. They stand in front of the memorial John helped raise to the forgotten Irish fighters of Jadotville.