Former ‘Irish Press’ journalists contribute to new book

‘The Press Gang’ marks passing of a way of life in pre-Twitter newspaper age, says editor

May 25th 1995 was the last day the presses rolled at Irish Press Newspapers. That day journalists outraged at the sacking of colleague Colm Rapple, began a protest which evolved into a 5 day occupation of the newspaper’s offices. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

Dozens of former employees of the Irish Press Group last night attended the launch in Dublin of a new book about the company.

The Press Gang includes reminiscences from many of its former journalists. The newspapers in the group, which was founded by Eamon de Valera in 1931, closed in 1995.

Editor of The Press Gang David Kenny (with former Sunday Press editor Michael Keane, above) writes in the preface that the book is not “celebrating a failed business” but marking the passing of a “way of life”.

“The book is a collective memoir by 60 former paper men/women that aims to give an insight into the golden (or at least pyrite-hued) pre-Twitter, internet age of newspapers”.

Launching the book Michael Keane said it was hard to believe it was 20 years since the paper had stopped. Irish life was “much poorer” for its absence and there was a lack of diversity in the present Irish media.

He said few workplaces attracted such loyalty, even 20 years after closing.

Fifty-five former journalists and photographers contributed to The Press Gang, including Frank McDonald, David McCullough, Chris Dooley and Mary Kenny.