Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Raheny News @ 40
Raheny News is 40 this year and will soon be issuing its 1,100th edition.
The first edition of the "Green Paper" came out on 2 February 1975 "after trials and tribulations, problems with typewriters, with a stubborn gestetner printer, with the search for news and content". It was produced "by a small band of volunteers, led by the first editor, Liam Flynn, gathered in the home of the curate Fr. Con O'Keeffe on St. Assam's Road" and its fair to say it hasn't looked back since.
It has reported on many historical local events, such as the Stardust fire on St. Valentine's Day 1981, and the arson of the thatched cottage in Fox's Lane in October 2002 (above). But these were exceptional events. The paper reports local sports results in great detail, records local deaths, reminds us of upcoming festivals (religious and lay) and, in general, keeps the local people in touch with what's going on around them.
The thatched cottage is still there at the entrance to Fox's Lane.
During the month of February 2015 Raheny library hosted an exhibition of some of the gems from the Green Paper over the decades.
Here's wishing the paper another forty years. It is a huge community resource in the area and I'm sure many copies are sent abroad to keep emigrants connected to their place of origin.
And it has managed to keep the real (inflation adjusted) price of the paper almost stable. The original price in 1975 was 2p which would translate into about 2½ cent. The consumer price index has increased about sevenfold since then while the nominal price of the paper has increased by about eightfold, giving an increase in the real price of just over 10%. But who would baulk at forking out 20 cent for such a valuable resource?
Unfortunately the paper's website seems to have lapsed so we'll just have to hope for a new start in the near future.
I edited such a paper once myself, though on a smaller scale and for a very short period long ago, so my wishes are from the heart.