The Irish Times

From Academic Kids

The Irish Times is Ireland's "newspaper of record", launched in the late 1850s. The current editor is Geraldine Kennedy, who succeeded Conor Brady in 2002. Its main daily rival is the Irish Independent newspaper, Ireland's best-selling broadsheet newspaper.

The paper is generally perceived as liberal and social democratic, in contrast to the Irish Independent, which is perceived as populist and economically right wing. For example, The Irish Times was seen as supportive of Mary Robinson's campaign for the presidency of Ireland, and of legal changes in Ireland to Ireland's divorce, contraception and abortion laws.

Historically, The Irish Times was formed to be the voice of Irish protestants and unionists who wanted Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. In the early twentieth century, as the Republic of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom and later also the Commonwealth, the paper changed its identity, becoming a more radical voice in the Irish media.

Its most prominent columnists include controversial former Sunday Tribune editor, Vincent Browne, left wing writer and arts commentator Fintan O'Toole and former taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Garret FitzGerald. Senior international figures, including Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and others have written for its 'Op-Ed' (Opinion and Editorial) page. Its most prominent columns include Drapier (an anonymous column produced weekly by a politician, giving the 'insider' view of politics), "An Irishman's Diary" (regularly penned by the controversial right wing commentator, Kevin Myers), and Rite and Reason, its weekly religious column, edited by Patsy McGarry, its Religious Affairs Editor. On the sports pages, Tom Humphries' Locker Room column recently spawned a book.

One of its most famous columns was the biting and hilarious Cruiskeen Lawn satire column written by Myles na gCopaleen, the pen name of Brian O'Nolan (Brian Ó Nualláin) who also wrote books using the name Flann O'Brien. Cruiskeen Lawn is an anglicized spelling of the Irish words cruiscín lán, meaning 'the full little jug'. Cruiskeen Lawn first appeared in the early 1940s and continued for over twenty years.

It is also the Irish newspaper with the most bureaux abroad; it has had full time correspondents in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, London, Central and South America, Africa and other areas.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (, it had a daily circulation of 116,009 during the first six months of 2004.


Historical background

The first issue of the newspaper was published on the 29th of March, 1859. After the death of its founder, Major Lawrence Knox, in 1873, the paper was bought by the Arnott family, famous as founders of Arnotts department store. Though the paper became a publicly listed company in 1900, the family continued to hold a majority shareholding until the 1960s (even after the family lost control, the great-grandson of the original purchaser was the paper's London editor).

Today, the newspaper is not owned by shareholders, but rather overseen by the Irish Times Trust. The Trust was created in 1974 as a guarantor of editorial independence, to prevent takeover by private individuals, and to guard against commercial pressures. The Irish Times is the only newspaper in Ireland, and one of only a few worldwide, to be protected in this way.

According to the Trust's memorandum of association, the purpose of the body is "[t]o publish The Irish Times as an independent newspaper primarily concerned with serious issues for the benefit of the community throughout the whole of Ireland free from any form of personal or of party political, commercial, religious or other sectional control."

However, some commentators blame the Trust for problems that faced the paper in 2002. The Irish Times was in considerable financial difficulty over a disastrous decision to invest its reserves in the building of a new printing plant; it laid off a large number of its journalists and underwent major restructuring. Some of its external bureaux were closed, while it also ceased publishing 'colour' pages specifically devoted to covering local Irish regions, with regional coverage now merged with news. The reorganisation appears to have had the desired effect; after posting losses of almost €3 million in 2002, the paper returned to profit in 2003.

In 1895, the paper moved from its original offices on Middle Abbey Street (the street that was until late 2004 the home of the Irish Independent) to D'Olier Street in the south city centre. "D'Olier Street" became a synonym for "The Irish Times". In January 2005, the paper announced its intention to relocate from its historical home of D'Olier Street in Dublin city centre to Tara Street, just a few hundred metres away.

In May 2005, the paper launched a new international edition, which is available in London and the south-eastern United Kingdom at the same time as other daily newspapers. (Previously, copies of the Irish edition were flown from Dublin to major cities in the UK on passenger flights, arriving around lunchtime.) The new edition is printed at the Newsfax plant in Hackney, and uses the Financial Times distribution network. [1] (


The Irish Times publishes its residential property supplement every Thursday, being the main printed residential property listing for the Dublin area.

On Fridays, The Irish Times publishes a Business supplement, and an entertainment supplement, The Ticket.

On Saturdays it publishes a Weekend section, rounding-up the week's news and featuring highly-regarded book reviews. It also has a Magazine supplement, which was launched in 2000.

There are two crosswords in The Irish Times, the Simplex and the Crosaire. Finishing the cryptic crossword is generally acknowledged to be fairly difficult.

In 2005, the newspaper added three Sudoku puzzles to each issue.

The Letters page is famous as a forum for debate on any number of topics.

The Irish Times features the political cartoons of Martyn Turner.


See also

External links


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