The Irish Catholic

The Irish Catholic
Type weekly religion-orientated newspaper
Format Compact
Owner(s) The Agricultural Trust
Founder(s) T.D. Sullivan, MP.
Editor Michael Kelly
Founded 1888
Political alignment Roman Catholicism
Headquarters The Irish Farm Centre, Bluebell, Dublin 12

The Irish Catholic is an Irish weekly Roman Catholic newspaper, providing news and commentary about the Roman Catholic Church. The 32-page tabloid paper is delivered worldwide.

The newspaper is managed by a private limited company and is independent of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland.


The Irish Catholic was founded in 1888 by Timothy Daniel Sullivan, a former Lord Mayor of Dublin and an Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) MP at Westminster. A number of the paper's early staff, including Patrick Fogarty, had worked at The Nation newspaper.

William Francis Dennehy ran the paper from 1888 until his death in 1917. Following a split in the IPP, Dennehy was an outspoken anti-Parnellite and supporter of TM Healy; an editorial which he published on the death of Charles Stewart Parnell, implying that the dead man had probably gone to Hell, was widely criticised. Dennehy was a close associate of William Martin Murphy.

Leo Fogarty, Patrick’s son, was managing director of The Irish Catholic from 1936 until 1977.

John Ryan was editor from 1936 until 1981, the longest-serving editor in the history of the publication. John Ryan was replaced by Nick Lundburg in 1981 who was in turn succeeded by Brigid Anne Ryan, so far the only female editor of the newspaper. Brigid Anne Ryan was replaced by David Quinn in 1996.

The papers offices were on 55 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, before moving to 55 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1 where there was a sign affixed to the side of the building.

Recent events

When David Quinn resigned in 2003 to work for the Irish Independent, Simon Rowe, a member of Opus Dei, was appointed as editor. Simon Rowe resigned after only nine months with the newspaper, over the publication of an article that criticised the Irish bishops' conference.[1] Following Rowe's departure, Hermann Kelly was acting editor of the paper from June 2004 to January 1, 2005, and during this time weekly circulation increased from an average of 26,128 to 27,177 copies.[2] He is the author of the book, 'Kathy's Real Story' - about what he claims is a culture of false allegations against lay people and Catholic religious encouraged by a government compensation scheme.[3] The Board of Directors then appointed Garry O'Sullivan as editor, and he took up his post in January 2005. He is a former reporter with the paper and communications manager with the Jesuits in Ireland.[4]

Garry O'Sullivan stepped down as editor and was succeeded by Michael Kelly in October 2012.

Polish content

In July 2006 the newspaper added a section in Polish to cater for the massive influx of Polish migrants into Ireland.[5]


On 2 March 2007, the Irish Independent reported that the Irish Farmers Journal intended to buy The Irish Catholic.[6] The takeover of The Irish Catholic by the Irish Farmers Journal was reported to be complete on 29 March 2007.[7]


The Irish Catholic has only failed to appear on one occasion, during the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland during which Dublin was in chaos.

See also


John Dunne, Headlines and Haloes, (Dublin 1988)

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