About the Irish News

How It All Began

The Irish News was founded in 1891 as a direct result of the involvement of Charles Stewart Parnell, one of the great figures in Irish Nationalism, in a celebrated divorce scandal. However the origins of the title lie 36 years earlier.

1855    The Read brothers launched the Belfast Morning News as Ireland's first penny newspaper. The Morning News first appeared on 2nd July 1855 in a highly competitive market.

1890    Charles Stewart Parnell's affair with Kitty O'Shea became public knowledge. Parnell led the Irish Nationalist campaigners, but his ensuing divorce scandal split the Nationalist camp into pro and anti Parnell factions.

1891    Whilst the Belfast Morning News remained loyal to Parnell, the Irish News was launched on an anti-Parnell platform on 15th August 1891. The anti-Parnell view prevailed and within a year the Irish News had taken over its failing rival.

The paper saw a dramatic growth in its circulation with historical events:

  • Great War (1914 - 1918)
  • Easter Rising 1916
  • Second World War (1939 – 1945)
  • Outbreak of the “Troubles” in 1969

1982    The paper came under total control of the company's present owners. This saw major investment in equipment and reorganisation of the editorial department.

1991    Re-launch of the Irish News including a new masthead

2000    Moved to new Euro format – 64 pages, full colour

2005    Switched to new Compact format – 96 pages, full colour

Today the Irish News is Northern Ireland’s largest selling morning newspaper.

Award Winning

1999    CIPR Awards, Newspaper of the Year

2000    CIPR Awards, Newspaper of the Year

2002    CIPR Awards, Newspaper of the Year

2004    CIPR Awards, Newspaper of the Year

2005    CIPR Awards, Newspaper of the Year

2006    The Newspaper Awards, Regional Newspaper of the Year

2007    The Newspaper Awards, Regional Newspaper of the Year

2010    Society of Editors, Regional Press Awards, Regional Newspaper of the Year

2011    Society of Editors, Regional Press Awards, Regional Newspaper of the Year

2012    The Newspaper Awards, Grand Prix and Regional Newspaper of the Year

2014    The Newspaper Awards, Regional Newspaper of the Year

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