The Irish Catholic

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The Irish Catholic
Typeweekly religion-orientated newspaper
Owner(s)Grace Communications
Founder(s)T.D. Sullivan, MP.
EditorMichael Kelly
Political alignmentRoman Catholicism
HeadquartersThe Irish Catholic, 23, Merrion Square North, Dublin 2

The Irish Catholic is an Irish weekly Roman Catholic newspaper, providing news and commentary about the Roman Catholic Church. The 32-page broadsheet 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 by Parnell supporters. 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. Bill Horgan became chairman in 1982 and Otto Herschan was appointed Managing Director in 1982. The businessman Patrick W. McGrath and former senator, became a director in 1980, he also owed the paper along with Horgan.

John Ryan was editor from 1936 until 1981, the longest-serving editor in the history of the publication. John Ryan was replaced by Nick Lundberg 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 paper's offices were on 55 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, before moving to 55 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, where there was a sign fixed to the front of the building. The paper later moved to Donnybrook, and then to the headquarters of St Joseph's Young Priests' Society in Merrion Square, Dublin.

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 in October 2012 by Michael Kelly who had been deputy editor and Rome correspondent previously.


The paper has a number of journalists and guest contributors, including Mary Kenny (founding member of the Irish Women's Liberation Movement), the psychiatrist Patricia Casey, Cathal Barry, former TD and government advisor Martin Mansergh, Martin O'Brien (Northern Correspondent), Brenda O'Brien, Baroness Nuala O'Loan, Sarah Carey, Prof. William Reville, Ronald Rolheiser, John McGuirk as well as former editors David Quinn and Garry O'Sullivan.

Polish content[edit]

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

Ownership and sale[edit]

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] In March 2012 the Irish Farmers Journal sold it to a group led by the paper's managing editor Garry O'Sullivan[8] and is published now by Grace Communications. In 2016, Grace Communications acquired Columba Book Service, which published religious books under the Columba Press imprint and general interest books under the Currach Press imprint.[9]


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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

  • Alive! (newspaper)


John Dunne, Headlines and Haloes, (Dublin 1988)

  1. ^ Church property row forces editor to quitThe Sunday Times, 27 June 2004 Archived May 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Irish Catholic, 2 December 2004, p. 24
  3. ^ "Kathy O'Beirne's family reveal the startling truth behind her bestselling book and the false allegations of abuse in a Magdalene Laundry". Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^
  5. ^ " – Casino and game guides".
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ 'Irish Catholic' newspaper sold to editor for undisclosed sum by Suzanne Lynch, Irish Times, Tue, May 8, 2012.
  9. ^ Mac Donald, Sarah (2016-10-05). "Christmas list is looking very lively says Columba Press". Retrieved 2017-10-10.

External links[edit]