The Irish Times

The Irish Times

Infobox Newspaper
name =

caption =
type = Daily newspaper
format = Broadsheet
foundation = 29 March 1859
(shortlived existence 1823–1825)
owners = Irish Times Trust
political = Liberal
headquarters = 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin.
editor = Geraldine Kennedy
website = []

"The Irish Times" is an Irish daily broadsheet news paper launched in the late 1850s. The current editor is Geraldine Kennedy, who succeeded Conor Brady in 2002.

Though formed as a Protestant Irish nationalist paper, within two decades, and under new owners, it had become the voice of Irish unionists who wanted Ireland to remain a full part of the United Kingdom.Fact|date=February 2008

Today, its most prominent columnists include writer and arts commentator Fintan O'Toole, the satirist Miriam Lord 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 have included "Drapier" (an anonymous column produced weekly by a politician, giving the 'insider' view of politics), "An Irishman's Diary" (previously penned by the controversial commentator, Kevin Myers, until his move to the rival Irish Independent, and now written by Frank McNally), 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 features , as does Philip Reid's golf articles.He is currently the golf correspondent of the Irish Times.

One of its most famous columns was the biting and humorous "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 almost daily for over twenty five years.

It is also the Irish newspaper with the most bureaux abroad;Fact|date=February 2008 it has had full time correspondents in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, London, Central and South America, Africa and other parts of the world.

According to the [ Audit Bureau of Circulations] , it had a daily circulation of 117,370 during the second six months of 2005.


The first appearance of a newspaper using the name "The Irish Times" occurred in 1823 but it closed in 1825. The title was revived as a thrice weekly publication by Major Lawrence E. Knox, with the first edition being published on 29 March 1859. It was originally founded as a moderate Protestant Irish nationalist newspaper, reflecting the politics of Knox, who stood unsuccessfully as a parliamentary candidate for Isaac Butt's Home Rule League. Its headquarters were at 4 Lower Abbey Street in Dublin.

After Knox's death in 1873 the paper was sold to the widow of Sir John Arnott, MP, a former Lord Mayor of Cork and owner of Arnotts, one of Dublin's major Department stores. The sale, for £35,000, led to two major changes. Its headquarters was shifted to 31 Westmoreland Street. It remained in buildings on or near that site until 2005. Its politics also shifted dramatically, becoming predominantly Protestant and Unionist. The paper famously called for the execution of the leaders of the failed 1916 Easter Rising.cite web
title=Sir John Maxwell's Position – "The Irish Times" editorial, 10 May 1916
publisher=BBC History website

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). The last member of the Arnott family to sit on the paper's board was Sir Lauriston Arnott, who died in 1958.

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 fewFact|date=February 2008 worldwide, to be protected in this way.

According to the Trust's memorandum of association, the purpose of the body is to "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."

"The Irish Times" faced considerable financial difficulty in 2002 when a downturn in advertising revenue coincided with a decision to invest its reserves in the building of a new printing plant; none of its journalists were laid off, but a large number availed of a voluntary redundancy package, when the paper 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", which in turn is personified as "The Old Lady of D'Olier Street". In October 2006, the paper relocated from its historical home of D'Olier Street in Dublin city centre to a new building in Tara Street, only two hundred metres away.

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

The company has diversified out of its original Irish Times title as a source of revenue. This process has seen the company, Irish Times Ltd., take a majority share in the Gazette Group Newspapers a local newspaper group publishing three local newspapers in West Dublin for €5m. This path of diversification has also seen the Irish Times acquire a property website [] , the second-largest [cite web
url= Now Ireland's Busiest Certified Property Site
] property internet portal in Ireland, for €50m, seenFact|date=February 2008 as an insurance policy against the loss of traditional classified property advertising revenues.


In 1994 the Irish Times established an internet presence at, it was the first newspaper in Ireland or Britain and one of the first 30 newspapers in the world to do so. The company acquired the domain name "" in 1997, and from 1999 to 2008 used it to publish its online edition. Initially free, charges and registration for access to most of the content were introduced in 2002. A number of blogs were added in April 2007 written by Irish Times writers Jim Carroll, Shane Hegarty and Conor Pope. On 30 June 2008, the company relaunched as a separate lifestyle portal and the online edition of the newspaper is now published at with free access to most content. [cite news
title='The Irish Times' free online at
date=30 June 2008
work=The Irish Times

Format and Content

The paper follows the same standard layout every day. The front page contains one main picture and three main news stories, with the left-hand column, News Digest, providing a 'teaser' of some of the stories inside the Home News, World News, Sport and Business Today sections as well as other information such as lottery numbers and weather forecasts.Inside, it usually contains eight to twelve pages of Irish news, called Home News, which covers the whole island of Ireland (ie. the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland). It regularly devotes several pages to important stories such as the publication of government reports, the Budget, major courts cases, etc.

World News contains some pages of world news from its correspondents abroad and also from the wires and news services such as Reuters, the Guardian Service and the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post service. "The Irish Times" has staff correspondents in London, Paris, Brussels and Washington.

"The Irish Times" publishes its residential property supplement every Thursday, this being one of the printed residential property listing for the Dublin area. That section can also be found online. Motoring and employment supplements are published on Wednesday and Friday respectively, and can be found online also.

On Fridays, "The Irish Times" publishes a Business supplement and an entertainment supplement, "The Ticket", with movie, music, theatre reviews, interviews, articles, and media listings. It features cinema writers Michael Dwyer and Donald Clarke and music writers Jim Carroll, Brian Boyd, Tony Clayton-Lea and others.

On Saturdays it publishes a Weekend section, featuring news features, arts profiles, TV and radio columns and book reviews of a limited range of mainly literary and biographical works, with occasional reviews in the technology sector. Its Saturday edition also include the Magazine (consumer and lifestyle features on food, wine, gardening etc), a travel supplement and a sports supplement.

There are two crosswords in "The Irish Times", the Simplex and the Crosaire and three Sudoku puzzles daily.

The Letters' page from readers serves as a forum for reader debate on current topics.

The "Irish Times" features the political cartoons of Martyn Turner., and the American cartoon strip Doonesbury. The business section has a satirical illustration by [ David Rooney] every Friday.


Regular columns include:
* "An Irishman's Diary"
* "Social and Personal"
* "Rite and Reason" is the weekly religious column. The column is edited by "The Irish Times" religious editor, Patsy McGarry. Many prominent Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland bishops, Irish Jewish leaders, theologians from all faiths and journalists, among others, have written the column, which is published on the "Op-Ed" (Opinion-Editorial) page every Monday.


* R.M. "Bertie" Smyllie, 1934–1954
* Alec Newman, 1954–1961
* Douglas Gageby 1963–1986
* Conor Brady, 1986–2002, the first Roman Catholic to hold the post
* Geraldine Kennedy, 2002–present

Notable Contributors (past and present)

* Garret FitzGerald
* Kevin Myers
* Myles na gCopaleen
* Conor O'Clery
* Fintan O'Toole
* Arthur Quinlan
* Martyn Turner
* John Waters
* Vincent Browne
* Lara Marlowe
* Miriam Lord
* Tom Humphries
* Maeve Binchy
* Donal Foley
* Mary Maher
* Mary Holland
* Seamus Martin
* Denis Staunton
* Joe Carroll
* Paul Gillespie
* Tom Doorley

ee also

* List of Irish companies
* Irish Times National Debating Championship


External links

* [ The Irish Times]
* [ The Irish Times' Crosswords]

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