Newspapers and Newsmakers

BookNewspapers and Newsmakers

Newspapers and Newsmakers

The Dublin Nationalist Press in the Mid-Nineteenth Century


October 13th, 2014

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Focusing on the years 1842 to 1867, Newspapers and Newsmakers evaluates the impact of the Dublin nationalist press on the Irish nationalist cause in its aspirations to overthrow the 1800 Act of Union and establish an independent Irish nation. The Dublin nationalist journalists were totally immersed in Irish nationalist activities, whether by reporting news or creating it, often risking danger to themselves from the British government. Beginning with The Nation, a newspaper that heralded a new era of Irish political and cultural nationalism, this book charts the Dublin nationalist press’s emphatic role in the promotion of Daniel O’Connell’s Repeal of the Union campaign with its impressive peaceful mass mobilizations, the bitter and turbulent splits between leading Irish nationalists in 1846 and 1848, and the attempted Young Ireland rebellion. Following the temporary downfall of the nationalist movement, and in response to the Great Famine, the Dublin nationalist journalists sought an ideological reconstruction of the Irish nationalist cause that included a long-term commitment to revolutionary nationalism leading to the rise of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Drawing upon critical analyses of the political and literary contents of the Dublin nationalist newspapers, emphasis is placed upon the power of ideas, particularly the impassioned dynamics between constitutional nationalism and revolutionary nationalism. This book also focuses on the thinking of high-profile nationalist writers such as Thomas Davis and John Mitchel and the inspiration they gave to their contemporaries and future Irish nationalists alike. Newspapers and Newsmakers establishes that what was written in the Dublin nationalist press during the mid-nineteenth century had a powerful and enduring influence on the development of Irish nationalism.


'An original contribution to the historiography of Irish nationalism and press history in Ireland.'
Michael Foley

'Based on much original research, this well written and very readable work is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the nationalist press and its central role in Irish political life over the period in question, making it a worthy contribution to the literature.' Mark O'Brien

'The political awareness and thirst for knowledge of the lower classes can be glossed over by historians. Andrews has done us a service by redressing this imbalance in a fine and thoughtful book.'
History, The Journal of the Historical Association

Author Information

Ann Andrews is an independent researcher and member of the British Association for Irish Studies.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Tables7
1. The Nation and the Dublin Repeal Press28
The founding of The Nation29
The Dublin Repeal papers and the work of the Repeal Association35
Irish nationality and The Nation’s literature69
The zenith of the Repeal movement, 184380
2. The role of the Dublin nationalist press85
Conflicts between The Nation and the Repeal leadership from 184487
The 1846 secession between Young and Old Ireland and its aftermath102
The impact of the Great Famine on the 1848 secession115
The rebel press and the collapse of the Irish nationalist cause127
3. Survival and revival141
Recovery of the Irish nationalist cause and The Irishman, 1849–50144
The Dublin nationalist press and the tenant right movement in the 1850s167
The 1855–56 Tribune and the reassertion of advanced nationalism180
The strengthening of Irish nationalism from 1858: The Nation and The Irishman187
4. The Irish People and the Fenian movement196
The founding of The Irish People198
The Irish People and the ideology of Fenianism202
The Irish People and nationalist literature230
The Irish People and its influence on the rise of the IRB236
Select Bibliography273