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GoLoud, Ireland’s home of podcasts, has today announced the launch of The Belly of the Beast, a GoLoud Original podcast, and recipient of the GoLoud Podship.  

The podcast released this week to coincide with the 100th  anniversary of the death of Michael Collins, tells for the first time the fascinating real-life story of Ned Broy, the double agent who helped Collins secure vital information, and in doing so changed the course of Irish history. The podcast begins when a Dublin based history teacher named Brendan McCauley learns that he has bought Ned Broy’s original home.  

This starts a voyage of discovery spanning six episodes that explores Ned Broy’s story and his critical involvement in Irish history. This intriguing GoLoud podcast weaves together a remarkable story of Ned Broy, the young Irish policeman turned double agent operating at the heart of British intelligence while simultaneously serving as a double agent leaking key info to Michael Collins. 

A knife edge tale of espionage unfolds deep within the British establishment in post 1916 revolutionary Dublin with the podcast giving an unflinching inside insight into the most audacious spy story in Irish history. 

  Ned Broy in uniform

The series opens on that fateful night, 7th April 1919, when Ned Broy smuggles Michael Collins, then the most wanted man in the British empire, into the belly of the imperial beast. Where Collins would read his own secret file and glean vital intelligence that would change the course of history and give the Irish the advantage in the fight for freedom. Ned Broy is a man who walked a dangerous tightrope between the British imperialist machine and those fighting against it for Irish freedom.  

With rigorous attention to historical detail this podcast seeks to offer the definitive story of Ned Broy and features some of the leading authorities on Irish history, contributors include: Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History in UCD, Michael Laffan, Associate Professor Emeritus of Modern Irish History, UCD, Eunan O’Halpin, Professor Emeritus of Contemporary Irish History in Trinity College, Dublin, Dr. Gerri O Neill, Lecturer in History, Dublin City University. McCauley also tracks down a key person in Broy’s life, Ms. Áine Broy, his youngest daughter.

The series is the recipient of the GoLoud Podship, a special bursary designed to foster creativity and remove the barrier to podcasting for creators either with or without audio experience. Worth €20,000, the GoLoud Podship is open to everyone with an original idea for a podcast series. The lucky winner receives a cash prize of €5,000 as well as in-house studio facilities, production and editorial support and a national audio and digital launch campaign. 

The Belly of the Beast  is a GoLoud Original podcast, new episodes will be released weekly on Monday, the series is researched, written and presented by Brendan Mc Cauley and produced by Oran O’Halloran, with a rich soundscape designed by Lochlainn Harte, Eoin Brennan is the executive producer for GoLoud, Darren Cleary is managing editor. 

Brendan McCauley, creator of The Belly of the Beast said: “Every morning I wake up in Ned Broy’s bedroom and sometimes I think I hear his ghost on that creaking last step of the stairs. Often, when the house is silent, I imagine Broy sitting by our fireside, recalling past conversations with his idol Michael Collins, the Big Fella, and other players in the pivotal years of Ireland’s struggle for Independence. Some days digging in the garden I wonder will my spade strike the metal of buried and silenced guns. I always wondered what stories these walls have to tell, and after receiving the GoLoud Podship, I was thrilled to be able to pursue the story and shine a spotlight on a pivotal figure of Irish history.” 

Darren Cleary, GoLoud Managing Editor said: “The GoLoud Podship was created to remove the barrier the podcasting for people with a story to tell, who may not have the resources or audio expertise to do so. Our GoLoud Podship winner ‘The Belly of the Beast’ is a story that needs to be told, and particularly resonates on the week where the nation reflects on the 100-year anniversary of the death of Michael Collins. Collins place in Irish history is prominent, but Broy played a critical and often overlooked role in Irish history. I know listeners will connect with Brendan’s passion and enthusiasm for the story, and the personal connection, living in Ned Broy’s old home, has created a compelling listen.” 

The Belly of the Beast, a GoLoud Original Podcast launchedtoday, 23 August. Episode 1is available now on the GoLoud app and on goloudnow.com.