Hello and welcome
to this week’s issue of Ireland’s Own.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … well it always does here in the Ireland’s Own office when we publish our Christmas Annual! This year is all the more special as we celebrate our 120th birthday. It might be hard to believe but the country’s longest running weekly family magazine first appeared on shop shelves on November 26th, 1902, and here it is today, thriving, and it’s all down to you, our faithful readers.
There is so much packed inside this year’s Christmas Annual that it is hard to mention everything, but I’ll give it a go! Many of your regular favourites are in there including Cassidy, Dan Conway, Miss Flanagan, who is investigating a theft at the pantomime, Kitty the Hare (who made her her first appearance in Ireland’s Own in 1914, the years have been kind to her!), Marjorie’s Kitchen, What’s In A Name, Verdun Ball’s Here and There, Patrick O’Sullivan’s seasonal reflection, competitions, jokes, songs, puzzles and much more.
Old friends drop by to express season’s greetings including The Fureys, Alice Taylor, Charlie McGettigan, Fr. Brian D’Arcy and Olympia Panto star, James Patrice. Father Peter McVerry speaks to Seán Creedon in an exclusive interview, while Liam Nolan remembers the life and career of ‘This is Your Life’ star, Eamonn Andrews, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
We have haunting Christmas ghost stories including the ‘Lady of the Lake’ who appears on Christmas Eve in Limerick, and a tragic tale of twin brothers in Waterford in a story that is surely stranger than fiction. David Flynn remembers the best Irish soap stories that have been served up to us on Christmas Day, while Thomas Myler features more festive movie classics.
Regular columnists Mary Kennedy and Michael Lyster return along with Maxi who speaks to Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan, and she also profiles Downton Abbey star, ‘Dowager’ Maggie Smith, who was born on Christmas Eve.
Christopher Warner goes behind the scenes of the making of the music video of ‘Fairytale of New York’ while Nicky Rossiter takes a look back at famous Christmas customs. Charlie Chaplin died on Christmas Day, writes Michael Grehan, and Eugene Dunphy and Michael Dwyer remember Christmas in Ireland 100 years ago.
John Scally charts the history of the Late Late Toy Show, and we have also selected some Christmas Annual covers from yesteryear that you might recall. Readers share warm memories of Christmas in Ireland long ago, and there are countless competitions for you to enter to win prizes such as books, CDs, tickets to shows and much more.
We hope that you join us in celebrating our 120th birthday, and Christmas, with this year’s Annual and on behalf of myself and all the team here at Ireland’s Own we would like to thank you for all your support this year, and to all those who went before you and enjoyed Ireland’s Own for the past 120 years!
Wishing you a peaceful and joyful Christmas, and the best of health and happiness in 2023.
Seán Nolan, Editor, Ireland’s Own