The Alive! front page for July/August 2009
|Editor||Fr. Brian McKevitt OP|
|Associate editor||Tom English|
|Political alignment||Social conservatism,
|Headquarters||St Mary's Priory, Tallaght, Dublin 24|
Alive! is a free monthly publication in the style of a newspaper which has been produced since its first edition in 1996 by Alive Group, an organisation with an address at the Dominican Order St Mary's Priory, Tallaght in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The current editor is a Catholic priest, Fr Brian McKevitt, who refers to the publication as a 'newszine'. While it claims a circulation of over 300,000 copies, its actual readership is difficult to establish since a substantial portion of its circulation is delivered door-to-door, with most of the remainder being available through Ireland's network of Catholic churches (who do not provide estimates of take-up). It is printed by Datascope, an independent publishing company in Enniscorthy and contains an appeal in each issue for donations totalling €160,000 annually to remain in circulation.
Political stance and editorial opinion
Since September 2008, the front page has contained the following disclaimer text: "The content of the newspaper Alive! and the views expressed in it are those of the editor and contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Irish Dominican Province".
Alive! upholds a conservative Catholic position on a number of issues relevant to Catholic life. These include abortion, euthanasia, marriage, sexuality, feminism, parenting, children's education, "moral decline", the European Union, the veracity of global warming, the perceived anti-Catholicism of the environmental movement in general, and the veracity of Catholicism generally. Each edition of the newspaper will typically contain at least four or five articles on topics drawn from this list. The majority of its articles are written anonymously.
The publication strongly opposed the Nice Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty on all four occasions on which they were submitted to the Irish people, a position which drew criticism from Irish politicians such as Senator Paschal Donohoe on the grounds that its position could be erroneously interpreted by many Catholics as representing the official views of the Catholic hierarchy. TD Thomas Byrne criticised the publication claiming that he was "bombarded" with its "anti-EU" views while attending mass. Individual politicians and the Oireachtas sub-committee on Europe asked the Catholic Church and Seán Cardinal Brady to ban it from being distributed in churches. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú stated that it was "completely wrong" to suggest that Cardinal Brady should ban the publication from churches simply because it espoused views opposing the Lisbon treaty. Senator Ivana Bacik defended the criticism of the publication stating that it espoused extreme views that most moderate Catholics oppose and that it was the "equivalent of the paramilitary wing of the Catholic Church".
A regular article entitled "Dumbag writes...!" features letters, purportedly from a devil named Dumbag, which highlight what the newspaper believes to be the folly of non-Catholic viewpoints. This feature is inspired by The Screwtape Letters by the Anglican writer, C.S. Lewis. The newspaper also features a column by Fr. Owen Gorman, an interview with a public personage about the role of religion in that person's life, a column dealing with perceived media bias against religion and Christianity, and a Window on History article on a historical topic of relevance to the Catholic Church (such as the Penal Laws or the Protestant Reformation).
Fr. Brian McKevitt
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upheld two complaints against the RTÉ presenter Joe Duffy that he harassed Fr. McKevitt on air, interrupting him and treating him differently from other contributors to the Liveline show. The BAI decision forced RTÉ to make a statement of apology on 22 June 2013.
In 2009, Fr. McKevitt attended a meeting in Roscommon of the John Paul II Society along with Declan Ganley (the founder of the now-defunct political organisation Libertas), Senator Ronan Mullen and a number of other conservative Roman Catholics.
Legal issues over covers
In June 2015 Dina Goldstein threatened to sue the magazine for using images from her "Fallen Princesses" works without her permission. One image appeared on the cover and others throughout the magazine. Ms Goldstein said that the magazine has not contacted her for permission to use the images. She said that she could not disagree more with the sectiments in the article which used the images, that she had left a message with the magazines' office and contacted an attorney to make a formal complaint.
- Wood, Kieron (6 May 2007), "Trust believes in Irish Catholic", The Sunday Business Post
- Lowey, Tiernan (22 July 2001), "Catholic newspaper is Alive", The Sunday Business Post, archived from the original on 12 August 2007
- Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán (5 July 2007), "A ‘newspaper’ only fit for the bin", Metro Online (Dublin)
- Cooney, John (6 November 2008), "Brady urged to ban priest's 'anti-EU' paper from Church", Irish Independent
- "Order of Business". Seanad Éireann Debate Vol. 192 No. 2 p.9. Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- Walsh, Jimmy (13 November 2008), "Bacik critical of Catholic Church publication 'Alive'", The Irish Times
- Complaint that Joe Duffy Harassed priest upheld by BAI Irish Times, Thursday 27 June 2013.
- McGarry, Patsy (10 February 2009), "Ganley Urges Public Figures over faith", The Irish Times.
- Ireland's Most Influential 100 Village Magazine, 4 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- de Brúin, Rita (6 Jun 2015). "Catholic publication Alive threatened with legal action over misuse of image". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 17 June 2015.