The Ireland's Own Christmas Annual 2020 is on sale now
A Childlike Love of Christmas - David Kelly Junior shares memories of his much-loved actor dad
Daniel's childhood Christmases in Donegal
Band Aid -Stories from the Studio
Maxi looks back on 60 years of Coronation Street
Editor's Welcome

Hello and welcome
to Ireland’s Own.

We are delighted to present the Ireland’s Own Christmas Annual 2020. And what a jam-packed edition we have for you this year. David Kelly Junior shares memories of his much-loved actor dad…David Kelly lit up our TV and cinema screens with roles from O’Reilly in ‘Fawlty Towers’ to Grandpa Joe in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. David Junior looks back on his father’s life and career, and explains how he had a childlike love of Christmas.

Daniel O’Donnell recalls childhood Christmases in Donegal and also offers readers a chance to win a copy of his brand new album. We also have a very special Christmas message from Father Brian D’Arcy. Read festive columns from Mary Kennedy, Michael Lyster and Maxi, who looks back on sixty years of Coronation Street.

Francis Kaye Beirne has some very interesting stories from the studio during the making of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ and Thomas Myler takes a look behind the scenes of festive favourite ‘Home Alone’ on its 30th birthday. Christopher Warner tells the stories of the Christmas films ‘White Christmas’ and ‘The Bells of St Mary’s’.

Seán Creedon meets Ireland’s Own writer and former RTE and BBC broadcaster, Liam Nolan, and Seán also takes a look back at the sports stars we lost during 2020. Liam has a nice story about Patsy Cline’s lost Christmas song.

Dominic Price and Michael Dwyer remember what life in Ireland was like at Christmas-time 100 years ago, and Brian McCabe and Pauline Murphy report on festive GAA action from back then. Plus read about the Irishwoman who pretended to be a man so that she could fight in the American Civil War…she was born on Christmas Day.

Miss Flanagan returns as she tries to solve a crime at Christmas, while Kitty the Hare is back too with a ghostly festive tale about the Girl in the Mirror. Michael Grehan recalls the life of Maureen O’Hara, while Gerry Breen writes about the Monaghan man who wrote the New Zealand national anthem.

We have all this for you to enjoy alongside your regular favourites like Cassidy Says, Dan Conway’s Corner, Marjorie’s Kitchen (delicious mince pies!), jokes, songs, memories, puzzles, lots of competitions, Stranger Than Fiction, Catch the Criminal, a special children’s story by Gordon Snell, Brendan Graham, Mary O’Rourke and much much more. And we also announce the winners of the 2020 writing competition. Sure Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it!

Enjoy the read and I will look forward to talking to you all again next week.

                                                                                                         Best wishes,

Seán Nolan, Editor, Ireland’s Own

Inside this week's issue