Most people with Irish connections will undoubtedly be
aware of Ireland's longest running magazine, 'Ireland's Own',
the first copy of which was published on 26th November 1902,
price one penny. John M Walsh of People Newspapers established
the title for a newly literate Irish readership and the arrival
of a journal of fiction, literature and general information
met with instant success.Walsh presented a diet of wholesome
rather than exotic fare - by which is meant that it was Irish
and not bringing in some corrupt, weird and strange stuff
that you'd get from 'across the water'. You wouldn't be corrupted
or scandalised by it...and the same can be said of the magazine
By all rights, Ireland's Own should not exist in modern Ireland.
It's 'folksy' image belies the fact that it comfortably outsells
its glossy rivals, with weekly sales of almost 50,000. The
very old-fashioned, non-glossy nature of the magazine makes
it stand out on the news stands. Subscriptions of more than
3000, family networks and religious orders bring the magazine
to a worldwide audience.
Says Editor, Phil Murphy:
'Ireland's Own and contention
are complete strangers to each other - and that would be
a deliberate policy. It's not 'Dublin 4' and trendy 'liberalism'
and that aspect of Ireland, which is pretty shallow and
skin deep anyway. We're slightly old-fashioned in our ways,
for which we make no apologies. We attract a lot of our
readership from people who probably have a yearning for
what they consider to be the 'good old days, when things
were better' as they see them. We do not take a hard-faced
attitude towards our journalism or our magazine. We accept
the fact that people do have
a yearning for the old days, and nostalgia is a significant
part of the magazine.'
To preserve it's wholesome ethos, the magazine must bypass
even world-changing events, so if you want 'comfort' history,
if you want 'comfort' Irish Nationalism, this is the magazine
for you. It's non-political, non-sectarian and has something
for all the family, giving special comfort for those living
alone. It's a microcosm of all that's good about Ireland...and
provides a direct link with the people out there who regularly
contribute to the Readers' Letters.