This book examines the history of journalists and journalism in twentieth century Ireland. While many media institutions have been subjected to historical scrutiny, the professional and organisational development of journalists, the changing practices of journalism, and the contribution of journalists and journalism to the evolution of modern Ireland have not. This book rectifies this deficit by mapping the development of journalism in Ireland from the late 1880s to today. Beginning with the premise that the position of journalists and the power of journalism are products of their time and are shaped by ever-shifting political, economic, technological, and cultural forces it examines the background and values of those who worked as journalists, how they viewed and understood their role over the decades, how they organised and what they stood for as a professional body, how the prevailing political and social atmosphere facilitated or constrained their work, and, crucially, how their work impacted on social change and contributed to the development of modern Ireland. Placing the experiences of journalists and the practice of journalism at the heart of its analysis it examines, for the first time, the work of journalists within the ever-changing context of Irish society. Based on strong primary research – including the previously un-consulted journals and records produced by the many journalistic representative organisations that came and went over the decades – and written in an accessible and engaging style, this book will appeal to anyone interested in journalism, history, the media, and the development of Ireland as a modern nation.
in both doctrine and practice within the Roman CatholicChurch, changes in the policies of important external actors, and what he calls ‘snowballing’ as one regime after another tumbled from the late 1970s onwards. 1 For our purposes it is his use of the religious argument that is most interesting, and in particular the focus upon change within one particular religious tradition.
The first stage of his argument here is simply to observe the strong correlation between Western Christianity and democracy and to note that of 46 democracies
the right to criticise majority representatives where they promoted values opposed to the teachings of the Church or, the more cynical might suggest, where they challenged the Church’s institutional interests. Nonetheless, and despite exceptions such as Argentina, there can be little doubt that during the ‘third wave’ the CatholicChurch did become an institution that tended to support those arguing for an end to the abuse of human rights and the bringing down of authoritarian regimes.
With the partial exception of Greece, in those
–in all its guises –
came to dominate the journalistic agenda. To state that the political and banking
scandals prompted a sense of cynicism and distrust of basic institutions among the
public would be an understatement –but worse was to follow.
That other institution central to Irish society –the CatholicChurch –also
witnessed its relationship with journalism change utterly. In the early 1990s, the
revelations that a priest and a bishop had fathered children were greeted with incredulity, with much anger being directed towards the media in the guise of
Catholic human rights discourse in Northern Ireland in the 1980s
human rights has historically been recognised as an important issue in IR with
important ramifications for peace.
Despite the historic concern, definitions of human rights remain contested,
with tensions persisting between secular and religious meanings, leading in
some cases to clashes between the two.2 This chapter highlights the important role that the CatholicChurch has played in conceptualising, defining,
and attempting to promote the realisation of human rights around the world,
including Northern Ireland. The CatholicChurch has long been recognised
the nineteenth century.1 This
essay will develop three major points: the dramatic change that occurred with the
Catholic acceptance of human rights in the latter part of the twentieth century,
the basis and grounding of human rights in contemporary Catholic thought, and
a somewhat troubling development in the teaching of Pope John Paul II.
A dramatic change
The most signiﬁcant change was the dramatic move from adamant opposition to
human rights to strong support for human rights in the second half of the twentieth
century. The CatholicChurch staunchly opposed human
leadership is important. Much also depends upon the attitude of the authoritarian regime, for in those systems ostensibly committed to ‘strengthening Christian civilisation’ it may be much harder to attack religious leaders, though in countries such as Chile and South Africa there was always the option of favouring one religious group over another. By way of contrast, communist authorities with their commitment to anti-religion could safely sideline or ignore leading clerics, except perhaps in Poland where the CatholicChurch was able to retain its social authority
The nation in social practice II
Language, education and the CatholicChurch
The language question
Many writers argue that language is one of the distinguishing aspects of a
nation. Eugene Hammel, for instance, suggested that in the Balkans, linguistic
and religious identification are the primary sources of nationality.1 Attempts to
form a codified language for the Southern Slavs were a cornerstone of the
Illyrian movement in the nineteenth century and both Yugoslav states tried to
enforce a standardised state language as a means of avoiding the potentially
Crisis, what crisis? The CatholicChurch
during the Celtic Tiger years
Any book purporting to offer a socio-cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger
cannot fail to deal with the thorny issue of Irish Catholicism. There is a
commonly held belief that the Celtic Tiger hastened a wave of aggressive
secularism that proved fatal to the hallowed status of organized religion
in Ireland, and particularly to the majority faith, Roman Catholicism.
However, such a perspective fails to recognize the steady decline in vocations to the priesthood from the beginning
disturbed’. An objective and critical examination of Irish social life would, Brown concluded, ‘have revealed as well as things
unique to the country the degree to which Irish life was influenced by the world
During this period, many national newspapers were effectively the organs or
semi-organs of the dominant institutions within the state. In broad terms, Fianna
Fáil had the uncritical support of the Irish Press, Fine Gael was supported by the
business-oriented Irish Independent, and both these newspapers were wholly
uncritical of the CatholicChurch