Sunday, March 29, 2009

Olive Tree Genealogy

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Irish Times Archives 1859-2009 FREE until April 5

The Irish Times Digital Archives is FREE from March 27/09 to April 5/09. It covers the years 1859 to 2009
Enjoy this wonderful 150th Birthday Celebration!

"NEXT TO THE LONG editorial that announced the arrival of a new Irish newspaper on Tuesday, March 29th, 1859, was an ad for "Irish bog oak ornaments patronised by the Queen". The advertiser judged the tone of the fledgling Irish Times rather well.

The queen's patronage represented one side of its identity. It was, and remained for the first half of its existence, a paper for what the editorial called "Irishmen loyal to the British connexion". Yet it also saw itself as a distinctively Irish institution. If it could hardly claim to be as racy of the soil as ancient bog oak, its self-image was always inseparable from a sense of Irishness. What its founders could scarcely have imagined, however, is that this second side of the paper's identity would transcend and outlast the first. The Irish Times has lasted for 150 years because it turned out to be a more straightforwardly Irish institution than almost anyone connected with its establishment ever intended.

From the beginning, The Irish Times was a somewhat paradoxical enterprise – a newspaper for a country that did not really exist. Journalism is immediate, urgent and engaged. Its perspective is not Olympian. It reflects and reports on the conflicts and passions, the hopes and terrors, of its times. And the times of The Irish Times have been turbulent. They encompass the bloodiest conflicts in human history, the rise of mass democratic politics and the fall of empires, extreme and violent clashes of ideology, and the massive psychological and social disruptions of industrialisation, urbanisation, secularisation, new technologies and globalisation.

More intimately, they span the often violent struggles for the control of the land of Ireland, the creation of an independent state and the maintenance of a continuing "British connexion". Much that is mundane, and much that is peaceful and pleasant has flowed through the pages of the paper, but blood and passion have never been far from the headlines . . . . "


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