Ireland’s regional newspapers were among the first to record the turbulent events that took place in the country between 1914 and 1921. But who were the personalities behind these papers and what was their background? Did they remain as impassive bystanders while dramatic developments unfolded or were they willing or unwilling participants? What were the difficulties they faced when reporting such formative and sometimes violent events? This book addresses these questions and provides a comprehensive portrayal of the regional press across the entire island at that time. The origins of Ireland’s contemporary provincial newspapers, both nationalist and unionist, as well as independent, are examined and those who ran such publications are profiled. Additionally, the manner in which many of these titles reacted to events during these years is scrutinised and analysed. How did they respond to the Easter Rising? Did they foresee the rise of Sinn Féin? Did they approve of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921? This was a time when regional newspapers risked censorship, suppression, possible closure, and ultimately violent attack. This book records their experiences and charts the history of Ireland’s regional press during the tumultuous and violent years leading up to independence.
‘A very wide gap in the historiography of Irish newspapers has been filled with the publication of ‘The Voice of the Provinces’.’
Paul Murphy, Meath Chronicle
‘[A] masterly survey…there are invaluable insights on virtually every page of this absorbing exploration of Irish journalism and society into one of the most tumultuous periods of our political and newspaper history.’
Reviews‘Given their centrality to Irish political life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it is remarkable that the only comprehensive survey of local newspapers between the Famine and independence, Newspapers and nationalism: the Irish provincial press, 1850-1892, was published twenty years ago by the late Marie-Louise Legg. Christopher Doughan’s painstaking study of the regional press during the revolutionary period is therefore long overdue. Scrutinising seventeen different titles across all four provinces he provides a valuable account of the ownership and editorial positions of local newspapers during the decade of upheaval that began with the First World War. Not only does he extend the range of established titles that Legg studied, he also takes in a new burst of vitality in the regional press since, several papers were launched in the decade following the fall of Parnell.’
Maurice Walsh, Dublin Review of Books