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Newstalk Moncrieff in Feb 2010
Gay Byrne interview on Lyric FM
with Marie Coleman Sunday 21 February, 2010
(about 1hr 30 mins in)

Marie Coleman interview on
on Talking History Newstalk 25 April 2010

Marie Coleman discusses the life of Joe McGrath,
who ran the Irish Hospitals Sweepstake, on Dublin City FM, January 2015

The Irish Sweep
A History of the Irish Hospitals Sweepstake, 1930-87

Marie Coleman (author)
Paperback / softback,
Publication date:
12th November 2009

Author Biography

Dr Marie Coleman is a lecturer in Irish history in the School of History and Anthropology at the Queen's University of Belfast.


The Irish hospitals sweepstake, initially established to provide money for cash-strapped voluntary hospitals in Dublin, provided funding for Irish hospitals for over fifty years. Apart from its role in bringing millions of pounds of foreign currency into Ireland to build new hospitals and provide employment, it also contributed to the development of Irish advertising and broadcasting, horse-racing, the growth of Irish business and commercial sponsorship of sport. But that was not the whole story. Marie Coleman also digs deep into the murkier side of the Irish Sweep. She successfully reveals scandals, skulduggery and gangsterism, which all played their part in the sweepstakes, exposing the blind eyes that were turned to its shortcomings and exploring the extent to which these failings ultimately damaged the Irish health services by postponing necessary reforms.Using original archive material, "The Irish Sweep" successfully draws together these disparate aspects of the sweepstake - its social and economic importance in independent Ireland, its contribution to the development of Irish health services, and its illicit operation outside Ireland - to construct the first detailed and comprehensive history of an iconic institution.