Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My article in Ireland's Own

I have an article in the St. Patrick's Day edition of Ireland's Own magazine, now on sale! If you live in Ireland, don't forget to buy your copy! It's about letters pages.

This is something of a boyhood dream fulfilled. I've always wanted to have an article or a story in Ireland's Own, and indeed I've had several rejected over the years.

What is Ireland's Own? It's a weekly magazine with a nostalgic, rather rural, gentle style. It must be popular because it's in pretty much every newsagent. Indeed, in smaller newsagents it's very often the only magazine that isn't a glossy celebrity rag.

I grew up reading Ireland's Own. My aunt in Limerick had lots of back issues. That's rural Ireland for me-- a farm in Limerick, Ireland's Own, The Rose of Tralee (I saw it there at least a couple of times), buttered scones, holy pictures...and bats. (I saw quite a lot of bats in Limerick. They also used to roost in the flats in Ballymun so I saw some of them there. However, it's been years and years since I've seen bats, and I'd like to see them again.)

Ireland's Own features nostalgic articles about the way things were (often by way of childhood memories), articles about "vintage" popular culture, articles about Irish writers and sportsmen and other celebrities, and short stories which are usually about the vicissitudes of ordinary people (I gobbled these up in my childhood). It's also had a strain of the supernatural in a less pious sense-- its "Stranger than Fiction" column, which I loved as a child, is still running. I remember one bright summer's day, on my aunt's farm in Limerick, feeling a delicious chill after I read a "Stranger Than Fiction" about someone trying to record a radio programme (or something) on a blank casette tape, but hearing the screams of some decades-old disaster when he replayed it. I think it's fair to say that the magazine has influenced my own idea of Irishness, and I'm happy to see it going strong.

I can now say I've been published in The Catholic Voice, The Irish Catholic, Annals Australasia, The Open Door, Ireland's Own, Spirituality magazine, and Anti-Modernist Chesterton för Moderna Framtider, a book introducing Chesterton to Sweden, which includes an appendix by me (really!). Seeing my words in print always gives me a special thrill, so I'm grateful.


  1. Somehow IRELAND'S OWN brings back childhood memories for me also, even though I don't think my parents actually bought it. We must have got the odd edition from somewhere. I've probably only had my hands on two or three editions in the last twenty years, but what struck me was the timelessness of it, yet the fact that they weren't living in the past either; internet use might play a big part in a short detective story, a feature on a particular town in Ireland would make mention of immigrants from Pakistan who run the local B&B,a short story would feature a priest who needs counselling etc.
    Glad you're being appreciated

    1. Thanks! Yes, I've noticed that Ireland's Own has become quite modern in its own way, while remaining as nostalgic as ever.