Episode 7: Grace O'Malley, The Pirate Queen of Ireland / by Eric Jaffe

Episode 7: Grace O'Malley, The Pirate Queen of Ireland

Episode 7: Grace O'Malley, The Pirate Queen of Ireland

Produced and Written by Eric Jaffe


Kate Wright as Lottie

Eric Jaffe as Gif

Jenna Bryson as Grace O'Malley

Casey Leach as Richard Bingham

Sound Design by Trae Budde

"Time Turners Theme" by Daniel Hildreth


We hear the SEA, the sound of LABORERS moving cargo.

LOTTIE: Ahoy, Time Cadets! This is Lottie Turner, and you’re listening to Time Turners, the podcast where me and my robot Gif go back in time to meet historical figures and bring you all of yesterday’s news today. 

GIF: On today's show, we’ve gone all the way to 16th Century Ireland to loot ships and kick butts!

LOTTIE: Well, no, we’re not looting ships. Grace O’Malley is.

GIF: And we’re her trusty pirate comrades! Listen to my sword! Huh, huh, hyah!

Gif accidentally THROWS his sword. We hear a cartoon WHISTLE.

GIF: Uh oh.

PIRATE: Ow! My leg!

GIF: He’ll be okay.

GRACE: Hey, what’s going on over here?

LOTTIE: Sorry, Captain Grace. Gif was—

GIF: I threw my sword.

LOTTIE (face-palms): Dang it, Gif.

GRACE: Men, make that weird metal boy walk the plank.

GIF: Oh, boy, a diving board. I love swimming. Wooooo!


GRACE: Good riddance.

BANG. A CANON misses the ship.

GRACE: Mother of Mary, the British have spotted us! Grab your weapons, everyone! 


GRACE: Hey! Where are you going?

LOTTIE: Sorry, Gif and I aren’t really the fighting types.  But don’t worry. You’ll win this without us.

GIF: It said so in our history textbook.

GRACE: What the— We threw you overboard!

GIF: I swam back!

GRACE: How- I-

LOTTIE: See you in the future!

Portal closes.

BOOM. Another CANNON blast.


THEME SONG. The following dialogue plays OVER THE THEME.

LOTTIE: On today’s episode of Time Turners, Gif and I meet Grace O’Malley. 

GIF: She was a self-made businesswoman...

LOTTIE: A loving mother and wife…

GIF: … and a pirate who controlled the waters of County Mayo for over 40 years.

Theme ends. Over silence:

LOTTIE: But, before she was the Sea Queen of Connacht, she was just an itty bitty baby.

[A baby is BORN. It CRIES.]

OWEN: What a beautiful little child.

MAEVE: I’ll call her: Grace.


LOTTIE: Grace O’Malley was born in the 1530s. Her father, Owen O’Malley, was a wealthy sea trader and the chieftan of Clan O’Malley.

MAEVE: I’m sorry, who are you and what are you doing in my castle?

GIF: What’s a sea trader, Lottie?

LOTTIE: Owen, do you want to answer that? 

OWEN: Oh, yeah, sure. A sea trader brings crops and livestock from one land to another. For example, I might bring some fish from Galway to Spain, where I sell them for a boat-load of coin—no pun intended. 

MAEVE: We O’Malleys also charge a toll to anyone who tries to sail through our bay. You can’t travel through our waters without paying a fee. 

LOTTIE: At least that’s what they do for now. What the O’Malleys don’t know is that King Henry VIII of England is about to declare himself King of Ireland and, when he does, the English will use all of their might to dismantle the clan system in Ireland and strip the clan leaders of their power.

OWEN: What?

LOTTIE: Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.

GIF: What’s the clan system?


LOTTIE: Good question. I know just the person to ask.

MAEVE: Hold on, you can’t just—

GIF: Congrats on the baby!

RICHARD: Hello, my name is Richard Bingham and I’m the governor of Connacht.

LOTTIE: Can you explain the Irish clan system to us?

RICHARD: Indeed, I can. You see, before the English brought civilization to Ireland, the Irish organized themselves by kinship groups. For instance, what’s your name, little boy?

GIF: Gif. 

RICHARD: And your last name?

GIF: [Fax machine noise].

RICHARD: Okay, I can’t pronounce that. How about you, little girl?

LOTTIE: Lottie Turner.

RICHARD: Okay, so you, Miss Lottie, might be a member of the O’Turner Clan. The “O” in Irish names means “descendant of.” Your clan would be made up of your family, but also other families that are closely tied to your own. In a way, it’s like you’re playing for the same team. And, like a team, you’d have a chieftain, or a leader, and they would be responsible for maintaining and protecting the clan and its property. Everyone would work together to further the team’s interests, whether those be in business or battle.

GIF: That seems fun.

RICHARD: Ha! Not at all. Those savages are always feuding, and intermarrying, and vying for domination. They’re far too concerned with following their chieftains when they need to be following the English Crown instead. And by Crown I mean me… and the Queen.


RICHARD: You see, I was appointed by the Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1584 to govern this land. I came here to make it nice and tidy for British settlers.

GIF: Isn’t this Irish land?

RICHARD: Irish land is English land now. But unfortunately, the Clans are an unruly bunch. They have to be tamed with swords, not words.

LOTTIE: Is Grace O’Malley one of those unruly people?

RICHARD: Grace O’Malley is the worst of all— a nurse to all rebellions in the province. She attacks our ships on Clew Bay, taxes men who sail the coast...

LOTTIE: But she’s so cool...

RICHARD: Be careful, my dear. You’re starting to sound like a traitor. You’re not a traitor, are you?

LOTTIE: What? No. We love the English.

GIF: Oh, I get it. He’s the bad guy in this story.

LOTTIE: Be quiet, Gif.

RICHARD: Grab them, guards!

LOTTIE: Gotta go!

[PORTAL. We’re back on the sea.]

GRACE: Oh, look who it is, the little girl with the weird accent and her machine boy. Thanks for jumping ship when the battle started.

LOTTIE: We knew you’d be okay.

GIF: You’re not going to throw me overboard again, are you?

GRACE: Not if ye keep your mouth shut and your sword sheathed.
GIF: I don’t have a sword.

GRACE: Even better then.

LOTTIE: So, where are we headed?

GRACE: You wouldn’t believe it, but that bloody English governor imprisoned my son Theobald for treason. 

LOTTIE: No way!

GRACE: Yes way. First, the English come here, confiscate my cattle and seize my ships. Now they lock away my son for fighting a government that shouldn’t be here in the first place? No chance. I’ll burn them to the ground. I’ll hold this land by any means necessary!

LOTTIES: Have you considered sending the governor a letter?

GRACE: You think I haven’t tried that? Letters mean nothing to such a man. Besides, I already sent one to the Queen.

GIF: You think the Queen is going to listen to a pirate?!

GRACE: I thought that at first, but then I thought, Why not just give it a try? I mean, what would make Richard more upset than to know his Queen sided with me over him? I’ll destroy that shipwreck of a man. I love it. Land ho!


GIF: She’s not really going to meet the queen, is she?


LOTTIE: Let’s see.

ROYAL HORNS open the scene.

QUEEN ELIZABETH: So you’re the pirate I’ve heard so much about.

GRACE: Indeed, I am.

GIF: No. Freaking. Way.

LOTTIE: Shhh. This is history. Just listen.

QUEEN ELIZABETH: Will you not bow?

GRACE: No, for I am just as much a queen as you are.


QUEEN ELIZABETH: You’ve caused my men much grief. I’ve been urged not to take your audience. Why do you wish to speak?

GRACE: I come offering a deal. You release my son and pay me and my men, and we will fight your enemies. We’ll be allies. What do you say?

[Nail-biting silence.]

QUEEN ELIZABETH: I like the sound of that.


QUEEN ELIZABETH: What is that silver boy thing doing here?

GRACE: You again? What is it with you? Men! Take him to the ship!

GIF: Uh oh. Time to go, Lottie.

LOTTIE: Nah, I kind of want to see them make you walk the plank again.

GIF: You’ve gone mad with power.


GIF and LOTTIE return.

LOTTIE: Ah. Nothing like coming back to 2017 to kick back and relax. What did we learn today, GIF?

GIF: That even pirates can be good sometimes.

LOTTIE: That’s right. No one is ever all bad.

GIF: Except for the English.

LOTTIE (awkward): That’s not true. You love One Direction! 

GIF: That’s what English people are? Nevermind then.

LOTTIE: Anyway, to hear more of our time travel adventures, subscribe to this podcast wherever podcasts are found.

GIF: And don’t forget to become an official Time Cadet by supporting us on Patreon. 

LOTTIE: This month, we’re picking one lucky donor to choose the topic for an upcoming adventure.

GIF: See you next week.

LOTTIE: In the future!