If you live in Ireland, or are a frequent visitor, you will know that Ireland’s Own is a fascinating and interesting slice of the Emerald Isle that is a joy for the eyes to read. For those not acquainted with this magazine, it has been published since 1902 and is an Irish institution that has transcended into a bona fide folk tradition. I discovered it while in a Cushendun shop in County Antrim one day a few years ago. The current issue includes articles on the Gaelic Athletic Association’s Seán Ó Ceallacháin and an article on Senator John McCain and his Irish roots. Ireland’s Own is an excellent way to keep in touch with Irish people and culture, both in Ireland and her Diaspora.
A few critics have noted that Ireland’s Own is a bit ‘old fashioned,’ seemingly oblivious to the fact that that is the whole point. Ireland's Own editor, Phil Murphy, describes his magazine nicely I think:
Ireland's Own and contention are complete strangers to each other — and that would be a deliberate policy. It's not 'Dublin 4' and trendy 'liberalism' and that aspect of Ireland, which is pretty shallow and skin deep anyway. We're slightly old-fashioned in our ways, for which we make no apologies. We attract a lot of our readership from people who probably have a yearning for what they consider to be the 'good old days, when things were better' as they see them. We do not take a hard-faced attitude towards our journalism or our magazine. We accept the fact that people do have a yearning for the old days, and nostalgia is a significant part of the magazine.
Ireland’s Own is about quality of life, about Irish quality of life. It is a good read and a good tradition. It is like a pint of Guinness in a quiet country pub, it is an art form. It is always a good idea to have several copies around the house, or better yet subscribe.
Barry R McCain