General info about Irish Newspaper Archives

  • The Influenza Flue - Plague 1892

    Influenza Flue 1892 Russian Flue Influenza Flue 1892 Russian Flue

    The Plague of 1889 -

    View this excellent production by Bailey & Blake . The video provides background on the global impact of the Influenza epidemic 1889. The so-called Russian flue claimed the lives of 15,000 Irish people and over a period of 3 years killed 110,000 in the United Kingdom. By 1894 it was estimated to have killed over 1 million people Worldwide.

    The past events in history seem so relevant today when scientists during the pandemic of 1889 suggest isolation as key to survival.

    The Bailey & Blake production used many sources to create this video including the Irish Newspaper Archive resource.

  • Friendly Sinn Fein Coverage - September 1920


    While the Republican movement and Sinn Fein could count on many newspapers for friendly coverage of their activities and goals (not to mention the host of radical newspapers which they promoted) there were others who were not so receptive to their ideals.

    One such newspaper who continued to be a vocal critic of the Sinn Fein party and so by extension the activities of the IRA was the Belfast Newsletter. In September 1920 in an effort to thwart the support and success of the IRA the newspaper published a list of the alleged crimes and outrages which they had committed. In many ways it resembled the propaganda pieces which the radical newspapers were printing in Dublin. Describing a list of murders, attacks and other assaults on both civilians and the military, the newspaper quoted an official Dublin Report that suggested that there had been: 60 courthouses destroyed, 469 RIC vacated barracks destroyed and 113 damaged, 17 occupied RIC barracks destroyed and 40 damaged, 364 raids on mails, 33 raids on coastguard stations and lighthouses, and 1,610 raids for arms. Indeed, in the first week of September 1920 there were an estimated 600 raids for arms. The report also noted that 87 members of the RIC had been killed since the 1 January 1919. In addition, 12 soldiers had been killed and 21 civilians. The statistics laid bare how the War of Independence had escalated over the previous twenty months.


    Source: Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, 13.09.1920, page 5


    BNL_13sep_1920_thumb BNL_13sep1920_page5

  • Irish War of Independence - Industrial Unrest - 19.June.1920


    The continued industrial unrest in Ireland was carried by the newspaper, The Watchword of Labour, who in June 1920 reported on a host of disputes across the country.


    Agitating for better pay and working conditions, disputes included workers from a number of professions. In county Kildare stable workers at the Curragh demanded an increase in pay, as did the shop girls in Newbridge town. At the Kynoch factory in Arklow town the workers were again looking for an increase in wages, having been refused on a number of occasions. A host of Dublin workers, including those in the Gas Works also sought the same. It also included the cleaning women in the Freeman’s Journal offices. Amongst the most successful demands were achieved in New Ross, county Wexford where under the charge of the union organiser, O’Donaghue, a host of workers succeeded in getting wage increases. O’Donaghue, the newspaper commented, was ‘battering the gateways of Ross’, invoking the fighting spirit of the county in 1798. In other areas of the country, such as in Ennis, county Clare the demands were for the reduction in the working week; the grocers assistants in particular who then worked in excess of 47 hours a week.


    Source: The Watchword of Labour 1919-1920, 19.06.1920, page 4




  • Irish War of Independence - Irish Language Revival - 24.June.1920

    Irish war of Independence


    The targeting of the Irish language was an obvious tactic adopted by the British military as the War of Independence continued.


    Seeking to disrupt efforts to promote the Irish language, the military intervened to prevent a host of activities. In June 1920 the Irish Bulletin newspaper compiled a list of just some of the attempts to prevent the teaching and spread of Irish. They included preventing the hosting of Irish language festivals in Bantry and Ballinspittle in county Cork for example; raids on the O’Curry Language school in Carrigaholt, county Clare and the suppressing of the newspaper, Fainne an Lae, the official organ of the Irish Language Revival. In other instances people collecting and involved in the Gaelic League were arrested and targeted. Homes were raided and where papers found in the Irish language discovered, they were ceased. In Skibbereen, county Cork a school with thirty girls learning Irish was dispersed and the girls forcibly removed. These were subtle attempts to prevent the spread of the language and support for other nationalist organisations. It had the opposite effect and in many cases actually swelled the numbers joining the republican cause.


    Source: Irish Bulletin 1918-1921, Thursday, June 24, 1920; Page: 2






  • Irish War of Independence - Cappoquin Fatality - June.1920

     Irish War of independence

    Many communities across the country will be actively preparing for the centenary commemorations of events, which happened during the War of Independence.


    During this commemorative phase, long ago battles, raids and skirmishes will be recalled. Plaques and information signs erected telling the stories from 100 years ago, many of which we have featured on the blog since last October. However, commemoration is selective and many events will undoubtedly go unrecorded. Ones wonders how many stories such as the death of young Michael Walsh, aged 13 ½ years old, at Cappoquin, county Waterford will go untold. A native of Lismore and son of a hairdresser, Walsh was in Cappoquin as the local elections results were celebrated. A large crowd had gathered and tar barrels were lit before a military lorry drove at the crowd, killing Walsh in the process. According to newspaper accounts the young boy ‘was afforded a magnificent funeral’ and the volunteers of Lismore, Ballyduff, Modellys, Cappoquin and the surrounding districts attended. The jury at the inquest recommended that the boys parents should seek compensation from the military as the act appeared to have been deliberate. It was a sad occasion for all in Waterford and worth remembering that many innocent lives were lost during the conflict.


    Source:  See also Irish Examiner 1841-current, Monday, June 07, 1920; Page: 8; see also The Freemans Journal 1763-1924, Thursday, June 10, 1920; Page: 4





  • Irish War of Independence - Poets and Writers - 19.June.1920

     irish war of independence

    One of the features of Irish radical newspapers was the platform they provided for poets and writers.


    Harking back to episodes of Irish history or lamenting the present, poetry were used to instil pride, belief and hope for Ireland. Of course many of these poems and prose were nationalist in nature and reflected the interests of the newspaper in which they were published. Many were local scribes, but the newspapers also published the works of those like Thomas McDonagh who had been executed for his role in the 1916 rising. Some like The Watchword of Labour published international poetry including from India, which reflected their own ideals. In June 1920 The Irish Statesman also published the work of Jack B. Yeats, the brother of the Nobel prize winner, William. His poem, ‘Tardy Spring’, was not political in nature but an interesting inclusion nonetheless. Was it published elsewhere or in a collection of poetry? The poem in full can be found in the Irish Statesman, 19 June 1920, which is available on the Radical Newspapers section of the Irish Newspaper Archive. The poem opened with the following lines:

    ‘Sleepy head, sleepy head, awake and begone

    From under the leaves of dead yesterday,

    The leaves snug and warms where you lay –

    Stop from complaining, and put away moan,

    cast away sleep and dry up your tears,

    and weave, weave,

    the green mantle that great summer wears.



    Source: The Irish Statesman, 19 June 1920, page 7.


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  • Irish Radical & Political Archives

    Radical Newspaper Archives

    The Radical Irish Newspaper Archive
    In the spring of 1921, with the Irish War of Independence raging on many fronts, Patrick J. Little (1884-1963) was sent by Eamon de Valera and the provisional government on a diplomatic mission to South Africa.

    To many people Little’s role in the War of Independence up until this point had been relatively unknown, although behind the scenes through his work as a newspaper editor he had played an important role in the propaganda war. During the course of six weeks in 1921 Little travelled throughout the vast South African terrain relaying the message of the provisional government, speaking at no less than thirty-six locations. In the university town of Stellenbosch he was given a great welcome where all of the student body quit their classes. This of course reflected the fact that the students were largely Afrikaner nationalist in character. The success of Little’s diplomatic mission was quickly evident forcing the South African premier, Jan Christian Smuts to adopt the ‘Irish question’ for domestic and international diplomacy concerns.
    The career and work of Patrick Little as a newspaper editor is just one such which is highlighted in a new collection of Irish history which has just been made accessible to the public. The Radical Newspaper Archive is an extraordinary collection of over 115 Irish radical and political newspapers, journals, pamphlets and bulletins. Fully searchable and consisting of more than 11,000 editions with a total page count of 102,755 these newspapers, according to Dr Ciarán Reilly of Maynooth University, ‘hold the key to understanding Ireland in the turbulent decades of the early twentieth century’. Spanning one of the most important periods in Irish history, from the Home Rule debates of the 1880s to Ireland on the eve of the Second World War, these somewhat obscure titles provide an insight into a myriad of opinions on Irish life. Covering events such as Home Rule, the redistribution of land, the 1913 Lock Out, the 1916 Rising and its aftermath, the War of Independence, the fractious Civil War, the rise of Fascism in Ireland and the Economic War of the 1930s to name but a few, The Radical Newspaper Archive sheds important new light on all of these critical moments.
    Despite the military clamp down on radical and subversive newspapers after the 1916 Rising, the propaganda they provided played a major role before, during and after the revolutionary period. Many of these newspapers are unavailable elsewhere, and this is the first time that they have been made available in one place, offering researchers and the general public a unique and accessible insight into this period of Irish history. From newspapers such as the short An Saogal Gaedealac, suppressed by Military Authority in 1917, to the voice of rural Ireland The Hammer and the Plough, the newspaper of the Workers Party of Ireland & Working Farmers Party, to The Irish Peasant published in Navan, county Meath and heavily influenced by the local implication of the introduction of the Wyndham Land Act of 1903, every facet of Irish life is represented in this collection. In the main, the newspapers in the Radical Newspaper Archive differ from other publications available for this period in that their focus was on opinion and editorials, rather than reporting news. Here we see the work of important editors such as the aforementioned Little, P.S. O’Hegarty (Irish Freedom), one of the first historians of the revolutionary period and James Upton (Honesty). For other editors the premise and objective of many of these titles was education. Newspapers such as Young Ireland: Eire Og (1917) and The Hibernian (1915-16), the newspaper of the fraternal organistantion – the Ancient Order of Hibernians- regularly featured stories of Irish history as a means of educating younger members of its organisation. An interesting feature of the newspapers in the collection is the advertisements that they carried, in particular titles such as Sinn Fein Daily (1909-10) which highlight the support that existed in the years prior to the 1916 Rising. It was for this reason that these newspapers were monitored closely by Dublin Castle officials who examined the content and readership.

    The unrest which spread across Ireland in the first three decades of the twentieth century in the form of strikes and labour disputes indicated that if some had been left behind in previous times, for example following the Land Acts, they would not be so in the coming revolution. Titles such as The Torch – the organ of the Kilkenny Workers Council reflect these feelings, while the prelude to unrest in Dublin in 1913, for example, can be traced in titles such as The Trade and Labour Journal: the official organ of the workers of the city and county of Dublin, which survives for 1909. The upsurge in labour movements in Ireland in the wake of Russian Revolution of 1917 is also evident in the collection highlighting that the union voice, representing and fighting for workers’ rights was heavily influenced by events elsewhere. This access to the voice of the marginalised and the left is a key feature of The Radical Newspaper Archive.
    The addition of a number of Irish language newspapers, including An Claidheamh Soluis, represents another and important facet of the cultural reawakening, which shaped the revolutionary period. The collection also includes the voice of the Irish diaspora including Irish-American papers, for example, The Harp (first published in 1910) and The Irish Exile which embraced the voice of the Irish in Britain. Local and provincial newspapers are also to be found in the collection through the pages of The Dalcassion (Clare) and The Bottom Dog (Limerick), while a number are remarkable for their longevity such as Notes from Ireland which ran from 1886 to 1918. Researchers and others will be interested in the legacy of the Irish War of Independence and the subsequent Civil War and the pages of newspapers such as The Blueshirt illuminate on this. In the battle to win the hearts and minds of a fractured society, by the late 1920s other newspapers such as The Star (1929-30) were dedicated to the political and economic improvement of the country. Conversely, newspapers such as Dublin News (1922-1929) continuously outlined violence and intimidation against republicans in Dublin. All of these fascinating publications provide hidden histories of Ireland during this transformative period and it is hoped that the archive will allow for further examination. If you want to understand Ireland during this period and the various political opinions which formed it, then these newspapers are a necessity. According to Dr Reilly ‘The Radical Newspaper Archive provides access to those who influenced a whole generation and today provide us with an understanding the development, transition of power and early struggles of independent Ireland’.
    Ends #history #irish #politics

  • Irish schools continued success with Irish Newspaper Archives via Scoilnet

    Scoilnet Rapid Archives Access

    Nationwide school access to Irish Newspaper Archives continues to gather pace.

    Over the past two years, Irish Newspaper Archives has worked closely with the PDST to make the archives accessible to Irish schools through the Scoilnet portal. Scoilnet is the Department of Education and Skills (DES) official portal for Irish education, developed as a support for teachers. Through the Scoilnet portal teachers and students alike have unlimited access to the largest database of Irish newspaper content in the World.

    The schools' access programme was initially launched as a pilot scheme in 2017. During the initial 10 months of the scheme, the archive’s Counter Compliant analytic tool reported that, nationally, schools viewed over 30,000 records. With a successful pilot, the archives were opened up through Scoilnet for 2018.

    To generate awareness of the availability of the archives to schools, the PDST created a series of tasks and projects based on newspaper research. These tasks, combined with a marketing campaign to generate awareness of the archives, helped schools to engage with the archives.

    2018 saw the usage climb from 30,000 to 290,985 views per record (page views). Through the Irish Newspaper Archive gateway, students are learning about historical figures such as Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Eamon De Valera and many more.

    Irish Newspaper Archives is proud to open our nation’s past to our country’s future leaders.

  • Irish Newspaper Archives FREE to all Irish Schools

    Irish Newspaper Archives is now available in your school!

    We are delighted to announce the release of the Irish Newspaper Archives resource to all schools nationwide. INA have worked closely with the PDST to make this project possible. The project is a pilot scheme and will be open to every school nationwide until January 2018.


    Schools will have access to the world's oldest and largest Irish Newspaper Archive via the schools network broadband. This incredible project now means that every school in the country will gain access to a national database of Irish newspapers spanning a period of 300 years. Students and teachers alike will gain the ability to peer back in time through over 9 million pages of newspaper from 69 newspaper titles nationwide. Continue Reading

  • Irish Newspaper Archives First Newspaper Edition Download Page

    First Newspaper Edition Download Page:

    Welcome to Irish Newspaper Archives first edition download page. Feel free to download and share the newspaper pages below.  The newspaper pages that you will find here are a catalog of first editions or newspaper clippings of each titles prospectus. A newspaper prospectus sets out a title's goals and what readers can expect from a newspaper and may indicate a political leaning.

    Continue Reading

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