Hidden Voices Audio Book

The archaeology of the M8 Fermoy–Mitchelstown motorway

Welcome to the Hidden Voices Audio Book.  The M8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Motorway, winds its way through the storied lands of North Cork, crossing an undulating landscape between the River Blackwater and the Galtee Mountains.  The road was constructed to bypass the towns of Fermoy and Mitchelstown as part of the upgraded Cork to Dublin national road network. In advance of the construction of the road, archaeologists, from Eachtra Archaeological Projects, unearthed a succession of exciting discoveries along its route, as they excavated 22 archaeological sites.  The remarkable insights their findings provide into life in North Cork across the millennia is the subject of this Abarta audiobook, that was produced on behalf of Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

In the shadow of Caherdrinny Hill

The M8 is just the latest in a series of routeways to negotiate the shadow of Caherdrinny Hill, one of the great physical and historical landmarks of North Cork.  Just as the hill today watches over the motorway, in ages past it kept vigilant eye on the comings and goings of all who crossed the plains and river valleys straddling either side of the Kilworth Mountains.  It bore witness to each of those who feature in our story, all the way back to the hunter-gathers who established a seasonal camp at its base, 10,000 years ago.  Theirs are the first ‘hidden voices’ whose echoes reverberate through this audiobook, but they are far from the last.  It takes us from the thud of axes and crash of trees that sounded through the landscape of Ireland’s first farmers, to the anguish, pain and despair that accompanied the deaths of those taken far too young during the Bronze Age.  We encounter those who constructed North Cork’s most monumental boundaries some 2000 years ago, and meet master craftsmen who may have counted Saints among their customers.  We will step inside the modest homes of those whose lives were shaped by a new power, the Anglo-Normans, and take our leave with a visit to the equally modest dwellings of the region’s nineteenth century inhabitants.  Each track of our guide examines an aspect of life in a specific period of history. But it begins with the story of the hunter-gathers and farmers, who were the first to make North Cork their home.

If you would like more detail and analysis of the sites featured in this audio book you can explore the published scheme monograph, Hidden Voices: The Archaeology of the M8 Fermoy-Mitchelstown Motorway, by Penny Johnston and Jacinta Kiely.  You can find more information about the archaeological sites investigated along the route of the M8 and elsewhere in a series of publications by Transport Infrastructure Ireland.  Check out the archaeology section on their website at

This is part of a series of archaeological audiobooks that have been commissioned by Transport Infrastructure Ireland.  It was written by Damian Shiels, and edited by Neil Jackman with assistance from the project archaeologist, Ken Hanley.  The audiobook is narrated by Gerry O’Brien, and recorded at Bluebird Studios in Kildare with sound engineer Declan Lonergan and producers Róisín Burke and Geni Murphy.


How to Access Your Free Downloadable Hidden Voices Audio Book

Download to PC / Mac

To download your free Hidden Voices Audio Book simply add to basket and complete the check out. The audio guide will download as a .zip folder containing the nine MP3 tracks that make up the audiobook. Once downloaded you can copy the audio files to iTunes or your media player and enjoy!

Stream to Mobile Devices, Tablets and Computers

If you are on a mobile device or tablet, or if you would prefer not to download the audiobook, you can stream it for free using the player below:

  1. Track 01 Introduction - Hidden Voices Audio Book 3:05
  2. Track 02 First Farmers Revealed - Hidden Voices Audio Book 8:21
  3. Track 03 Continuity & Change at the Dawn of the Age of Metal - Hidden Voices Audio Book 5:49
  4. Track 04 Venerating the Ancestors Death in the Bronze Age - Hidden Voices Audio Book 6:29
  5. Track 05 In Hot Water Fulachtí Fia - Hidden Voices Audio Book 6:43
  6. Track 06 Behind the Black Ditch The Iron Age - Hidden Voices Audio Book 6:59
  7. Track 07 The Coming of History - Hidden Voices Audio Book 7:00
  8. Track 08 Daily Life in Early Medieval North Cork - Hidden Voices Audio Book 6:22
  9. Track 09 Forging a Christian Future - Hidden Voices Audio Book 5:25
  10. Track 10 Making a Home in Late Medieval North Cork - Hidden Voices Audio Book 6:21
  11. Track 11 Conclusion - TII Hidden Voices Audio Book 1:52


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