Treasured Echos that mean so much to us

As we celebrate our 125th anniversary tomorrow, June 14, we asked readers to share their Evening Echo stories with us... and, as ever, you came up with the goods!
Treasured Echos that mean so much to us

ONE OF THE FAMILY: Kathleen Healy and her son Alan holding the edition of the Evening Echo on the day he was born in 1989. INSET: Alan as a baby

WHEN any member of a family has a significant birthday, it’s only right that people are invited to join in the celebrations and pay fitting tribute.

So it has proved with the 125th anniversary of the Cork Evening Echo, which falls tomorrow, June 14.

All this week, we are celebrating the achievement, and when we asked our army of readers to share their favourite Evening Echo story with us, you responded in kind.

On these pages are a few of your responses, and we will publish more of them later in the week.

The Evening Echo prides itself on being a family newspaper, and for one Cork mum-to-be, her memory related to a new arrival in her own household.

Kathleen Healy, from Tower, Co Cork, revealed why she had kept her treasured copy of the Evening Echo from Thursday, November 30, 1989.

“I had been awake all night and at 5.25am, I gave birth to my son, Alan, at Victoria Hospital, Cork,” said Kathleen.

“I found it hard to sleep then but at about 3pm I dozed off. A knock came to my room door and an Echo boy came in and shouted ECHO...OOO! I awoke with a start, and wasn’t too happy — but how was he to know I was so long awake?

“Anyway, I bought the Echo and still have it as a souvenir. The date is Thursday, November 30, 1989. I love the Echo and buy it five days a week.”

Kathleen Healy and baby Alan in 1989.
Kathleen Healy and baby Alan in 1989.

Kathleen is pictured, with her now-strapping 27-year-old son. The front page splash in that day’s edition was an article by TP O’Mahony about Greenpeace demanding tougher government action to prevent further pollution at Cork Harbour. The main photograph, by Denis Minihane, was about an RTÉ TV programme called Iris 89 which had been filming various musicians in Cork for a Christmas Eve special.

Other stories that day included an article about the price of a pint going up in the run up to Christmas. while talks had reopened among two major European ship builders in the hope of finding a buyer for the mothballed Verolme Cork Dockyard.

Another reader who contacted us, Nora Nevin, had kept the last ever broadsheet copy of the Evening Echo on March 2, 1991, before it went to a tabloid format.

The splash that day, by Tim Vaughan, was a story about people smuggling drugs into Cork Prison, using hurleys to volley the illegal substances inside tennis balls over the jail walls. There was also a report on a vigil for the soon-to-be-released Birmingham Six and a headline stated that war loomed in the Gulf, while — perhaps predictably — another declared there was a Cork ‘Flood Warning’.

BIG NEWS: Monday, March 4, 1991, was a historic date for the Cork Evening Echo as the newspaper became a compact tabloid, after 99 years of being a broadsheet. Nora Nevin, from Westbourne Park in The Lough, kept her copy of the last broadsheet of the Evening Echo that previous Saturday, March 2, for posterity and is pictured holding it
BIG NEWS: Monday, March 4, 1991, was a historic date for the Cork Evening Echo as the newspaper became a compact tabloid, after 99 years of being a broadsheet. Nora Nevin, from Westbourne Park in The Lough, kept her copy of the last broadsheet of the Evening Echo that previous Saturday, March 2, for posterity and is pictured holding it

Some readers just wanted to take the opportunity to convey their affections for the Evening Echo.

Margaret O’Reilly, of Castlemaine, Co Kerry, wrote in to say: “I was born in 1963 and grew up in the country just outside Tralee. We came into town twice a week in the evenings.

“We used to love to hear the voice of the paper men chanting “Echo, get your Evening Echo”. My parents would always give us money to buy the newspaper.

“I used to love to read the paper as a child, even though a lot of the news made no sense to me. However, now, in my early fifties, I still read the newspaper daily. I lived in Washington DC for 18 years and read the Washington Post every day.

“Thank you to all at the Evening Echo for giving me the great memories of buying my first newspaper and for my love of reading today.

“Although, I do not have an old copy of the Evening Echo, I hold many copies in my heart. Congratulations on celebrating 125 years.”

For one Cork reader, his proudest achievement was gracing the pages of his favourite publication.

William Walsh, aka The Birdman from Fairhill, a four times World Bird champion, said: “Congratulations on the 125th anniversary of the first publication of the Evening Echo on June 14. My wife Helena and myself were also married 40 years on June 4 this year.

“Growing up as a child in Gurranabraher in the 1960s, the Echo was always a daily read in our house, my parents first, then everyone else after.

“This was our link with the world outside of Gurrane, good news, bad news, sports, religion, deaths, marriages, crosswords for dad to do, celebrities in the news and social events among some of the news items.

“My late parents would never be without the Echo on a daily basis and I and all my family are the same, it’s part of our DNA now.

“Being a proud northsider, if you were lucky enough to get your picture or an article written about you on the Echo for something that you won or achieved, this was a great sense of pride. People would stop to congratulate you on the street, on the bus, and they would genuinely be very happy and proud that one of their own did well. ‘You were on the Echo boy, fair play to ya, you did us proud, one of our own’, these would be comments made to you and to me gave the greatest sense of pride.northsider, if you were lucky enough to get your picture or an article written about you on the Echo for something that you won or achieved, this was a great sense of pride. People would stop to congratulate you on the street, on the bus, and they would genuinely be very happy and proud that one of their own did well. ‘You were on the Echo boy, fair play to ya, you did us proud, one of our own’, these would be comments made to you and to me gave the greatest sense of pride.

On February 19, 2010, I was on the front cover of the Cork Sports World, a supplement of the Evening Echo, and there is a full page picture of me as I had just won a gold medal at the World Bird Show in Portugal — not bad for a fella originally from Gurrane.

As part of the 11-member Irish team and a first-time exhibitor at the 60th World Bird Show, I had struck gold. I was in total shock, more than 3,000 exhibitors from 22 countries exhibited and here was I, living in Fairhill now, and I winning a gold medal. Total disbelief, shock, feelings of ‘is it really true or a dream?’, but it was true. I had been exhibiting since 1983 and this was unreal.

“I had climbed Everest in my chosen sport, I had already won the Irish National Bird Show in 1997 in Dublin and won in every other bird show around the country but this was me now, a world champion birdbreeder/exhibitor from the northside of Cork.

“I was interviewed by Conor George from the Echo in detail which is all contained in that sports supplement, interview, pictures, etc. which was another great honour, I have a copy of the front page framed forever and it’s now a family heirloom.

“I had become a world champion, winning a gold medal, and had my picture on the cover of Sports World in the Echo. I had made history and how I loved it and still do and it’s one of my most treasured possessions.

“Since then I have won a total of four gold, six silver and three bronze medals at World Bird Shows in Portugal, France, Spain, Belgium and Italy, but nothing will ever compare to the day I made the headlines on the Evening Echo Sports World. This memory and the pride that it still gives me today will stay with me forever.

“My very best regards and congratulations on your 125th anniversary to the Echo, a Cork institution. Here’s to the next 125 years when the next generation of my family will continue our family tradition of reading the Echo — De only Paper.”

A regular contributor to the Evening Echo down the years, Maeve O’Keeffe, also paid tribute to the newspaper.

She said: “The Evening Echo has played a very important part in my life as it not only provided me with a freelance job for 10 years, but I got a chance to do what I really love — to draw and write. Best of all, I got to chronicle memories of those precious early years of motherhood, which tied in with doing the school run and coping with the everyday dramas of family life.

“It started back in 2004 when I submitted a written piece with an accompanying black and white cartoon of a frazzled mammy (me) trying to sort my then small kids for St Patrick’s Day.mammy (me) trying to sort my then small kids for St Patrick’s Day.

“The article was printed and I followed up with another illustrated story — that of a parents’ worst nightmare when their small child goes missing (my three year-old went AWOL in the Douglas Shopping Centre, with me nearly having a nervous breakdown trying to find him!)

“Those two submissions developed into ten glorious years of doing a weekly column with colour cartoon in the WOW! section of the Echo. I covered the years from the youngest being a toddler, of starting schools (Primary and Secondary), First Communions and Confirmations to facing state exams. I wrote about head lice, bad haircuts, wobbly teeth, acne and putting on weight (me). The nit shampoo was for me, too, unfortunately!

“I spoke of miscarriage, bereavement, growing old and the highs and lows of motherhood. But mostly highs. I cherish the joy and privilege of being a mum, which provided inspiration for so many columns.

“Thanks to my experience with the Echo, I developed the confidence and self-belief to create a blog and website www.frazzledmammy.com based on those family stories.

“I still write the occasional ‘Frazzled Mammy’ article for the Echo about the trials and tribulations of motherhood, this time with teenagers. And I get the same thrill from seeing my work in print — like the one I did on the left for the Echo’s anniversary — as I did, with boisterous small kids by the kitchen table back in the day!

PRIZE POSSESSION: The edition of December 30, 1970, that was cherished by Essie Farr, whose story appeared in it
PRIZE POSSESSION: The edition of December 30, 1970, that was cherished by Essie Farr, whose story appeared in it

BACK in 1970, one Evening Echo reader was so delighted to have her story published in it, she waived the fee due to her!

Essie Farr penned the work of fiction about buying a table whose knob kept falling off and her neice Eithne Farr, of Passage West, shared her story with us.

“My aunt, Essie Farr, had a story published in the Evening Echo of Wednesday, December 30, 1970, called The Knob,” explained Eithne. “She owned a newsagents, so had more than one copy.

IN PRINT: Essie Farr's story
IN PRINT: Essie Farr's story

“She passed away many years ago but her brother, my uncle, kept them. When he passed away in 2010 I was tasked with clearing out his house. I came across them and held on to them. She was so proud of the story (pictured right), she even kept the cheque she received for writing it!

The edition that day, costing sixpence, splashed on a story about General Franco deciding on whether to execute six Basque nationalist guerrillas, and also reported that the new Parnell Bridge in Cork city now completely spanned the Lee — it opened the following year.

Another reader with a fond memory of the Echo was Liam Cleary, of Earlwood Estate, The Lough.

He said: “I have the Evening Echo from Wednesday, February 29, 1984, in my possession.

“The reason for this is because I donated a cup to be competed annually in a debate between the girls of St Aloysius and the boys of North Monastery — my alma mater.

“I am on the front page, presenting the Cleary Perpetual Cup to Mary O’Sullivan, Catherine Rice and Linda Moloney of St Al’s, who were the winners of the competition.”

The splash that Leap Year day was an article by Maurice Gubbins, the present editor, on s plan by the Lord Mayor of Cork to provide jobs for construction workers.

WHEN any member of a family has a significant birthday, it’s only right that people are invited to join in the celebrations and pay fitting tribute.

So it has proved with the 125th anniversary of the Cork Evening Echo, which falls tomorrow.

All this week, we are celebrating the achievement, and when we asked our army of readers to share their favourite Evening Echo story with us, you responded in kind.

On these pages are a few of your responses, and we will publish more of them later in the week.

The Evening Echo prides itself on being a family newspaper, and for one Cork mum-to-be, her memory related to a new arrival in her own household.

Kathleen Healy, from Tower, Co Cork, revealed why she had kept her treasured copy of the Evening Echo from Thursday, November 30, 1989.

“I had been awake all night and at 5.25am, I gave birth to my son, Alan, at Victoria Hospital, Cork,” said Kathleen.

“I found it hard to sleep then but at about 3pm I dozed off. A knock came to my room door and an Echo boy came in and shouted ECHO...OOO! I awoke with a start, and wasn’t too happy — but how was he to know I was so long awake?

“Anyway, I bought the Echo and still have it as a souvenir. The date is Thursday, November 30, 1989. I love the Echo and buy it five days a week.”

Kathleen is pictured on the right with her now-strapping 27-year-old son. The front page splash in that day’s edition was an article by TP O’Mahony about Greenpeace demanding tougher government action to prevent further pollution at Cork Harbour. The main photograph, by Denis Minihane, was about an RTE TV programme called Iris 89 which had been filming various musicians in Cork for a Christmas Eve special.

Other stories that day included an article about the price of a pint going up in the run up to Christmas. while talks had reopened among two major European ship builders in the hope of finding a buyer for the mothballed Verolme Cork Dockyard.

Another reader who contacted us, Nora Nevin, pictured left, had kept the last ever broadsheet copy of the Evening Echo on March 2, 1991, before it went to a tabloid format.

The splash that day, by Tim Vaughan, was a story about people smuggling drugs into Cork Prison, using hurleys to volley the illegal substances inside tennis balls over the jail walls. There was also a report on a vigil for the soon-to-be-released Birmingham Six and a headline stated that war loomed in the Gulf, while — perhaps predictably — another declared there was a Cork ‘Flood Warning’.

Some readers just wanted to take the opportunity to convey their affections for the Evening Echo.

Margaret O’Reilly, of Castlemaine, Co Kerry, wrote in to say: “I was born in 1963 and grew up in the country just outside Tralee. We came into town twice a week in the evenings.

“We used to love to hear the voice of the paper men chanting “Echo, get your Evening Echo”. My parents would always give us money to buy the newspaper.

“I used to love to read the paper as a child, even though a lot of the news made no sense to me. However, now, in my early fifties, I still read the newspaper daily. I lived in Washington DC for 18 years and read the Washington Post every day.

“Thank you to all at the Evening Echo for giving me the great memories of buying my first newspaper and for my love of reading today.

“Although, I do not have an old copy of the Evening Echo, I hold many copies in my heart. Congratulations on celebrating 125 years.”

For one Cork reader, his proudest achievement was gracing the pages of his favourite publication.

William Walsh, aka The Birdman from Fairhill, a four times World Bird champion, said: “Congratulations on the 125th anniversary of the first publication of the Evening Echo on June 14. My wife Helena and myself were also married 40 years on June 4 this year.

“Growing up as a child in Gurranabraher in the 1960s, the Echo was always a daily read in our house, my parents first, then everyone else after.

“This was our link with the world outside of Gurrane, good news, bad news, sports, religion, deaths, marriages, crosswords for dad to do, celebrities in the news and social events among some of the news items.

“My late parents would never be without the Echo on a daily basis and I and all my family are the same, it’s part of our DNA now.

“Being a proud northsider, if you were lucky enough to get your picture or an article written about you on the Echo for something that you won or achieved, this was a great sense of pride. People would stop to congratulate you on the street, on the bus, and they would genuinely be very happy and proud that one of their own did well. ‘You were on the Echo boy, fair play to ya, you did us proud, one of our own’, these would be comments made to you and to me gave the greatest sense of pride.

On February 19, 2010, I was on the front cover of the Cork Sports World, a supplement of the Evening Echo, and there is a full page picture of me as I had just won a gold medal at the World Bird Show in Portugal — not bad for a fella originally from Gurrane.

As part of the 11-member Irish team and a first-time exhibitor at the 60th World Bird Show, I had struck gold. I was in total shock, more than 3,000 exhibitors from 22 countries exhibited and here was I, living in Fairhill now, and I winning a gold medal. Total disbelief, shock, feelings of ‘is it really true or a dream?’, but it was true. I had been exhibiting since 1983 and this was unreal.

“I had climbed Everest in my chosen sport, I had already won the Irish National Bird Show in 1997 in Dublin and won in every other bird show around the country but this was me now, a world champion birdbreeder/exhibitor from the northside of Cork.

“I was interviewed by Conor George from the Echo in detail which is all contained in that sports supplement, interview, pictures, etc. which was another great honour, I have a copy of the front page framed forever and it’s now a family heirloom.

“I had become a world champion, winning a gold medal, and had my picture on the cover of Sports World in the Echo. I had made history and how I loved it and still do and it’s one of my most treasured possessions.

“Since then I have won a total of four gold, six silver and three bronze medals at World Bird Shows in Portugal, France, Spain, Belgium and Italy, but nothing will ever compare to the day I made the headlines on the Evening Echo Sports World. This memory and the pride that it still gives me today will stay with me forever.

“My very best regards and congratulations on your 125th anniversary to the Echo, a Cork institution. Here’s to the next 125 years when the next generation of my family will continue our family tradition of reading the Echo — De only Paper.”

A regular contributor to the Evening Echo down the years, Maeve O’Keeffe, also paid tribute to the newspaper.

She said: “The Evening Echo has played a very important part in my life as it not only provided me with a freelance job for 10 years, but I got a chance to do what I really love — to draw and write. Best of all, I got to chronicle memories of those precious early years of motherhood, which tied in with doing the school run and coping with the everyday dramas of family life.

“It started back in 2004 when I submitted a written piece with an accompanying black and white cartoon of a frazzled mammy (me) trying to sort my then small kids for St Patrick’s Day.

“The article was printed and I followed up with another illustrated story — that of a parents’ worst nightmare when their small child goes missing (my three year-old went AWOL in the Douglas Shopping Centre, with me nearly having a nervous breakdown trying to find him!)

“Those two submissions developed into ten glorious years of doing a weekly column with colour cartoon in the WOW! section of the Echo. I covered the years from the youngest being a toddler, of starting schools (Primary and Secondary), First Communions and Confirmations to facing state exams. I wrote about head lice, bad haircuts, wobbly teeth, acne and putting on weight (me). The nit shampoo was for me, too, unfortunately!

“I spoke of miscarriage, bereavement, growing old and the highs and lows of motherhood. But mostly highs. I cherish the joy and privilege of being a mum, which provided inspiration for so many columns.

“Thanks to my experience with the Echo, I developed the confidence and self-belief to create a blog and website www.frazzledmammy.com based on those family stories.

“I still write the occasional ‘Frazzled Mammy’ article for the Echo about the trials and tribulations of motherhood, this time with teenagers. And I get the same thrill from seeing my work in print — like the one I did on the left for the Echo’s anniversary — as I did, with boisterous small kids by the kitchen table back in the day!

BACK in 1970, one Evening Echo reader was so delighted to have her story published in it, she waived the fee due to her!

Essie Farr penned the work of fiction about buying a table whose knob kept falling off and her neice Eithne Farr, of Passage West, shared her story with us.

“My aunt, Essie Farr, had a story published in the Evening Echo of Wednesday, December 30, 1970, called The Knob,” explained Eithne. “She owned a newsagents, so had more than one copy.

“She passed away many years ago but her brother, my uncle, kept them. When he passed away in 2010 I was tasked with clearing out his house. I came across them and held on to them. She was so proud of the story (pictured right), she even kept the cheque she received for writing it!

The edition that day, costing sixpence, splashed on a story about General Franco deciding on whether to execute six Basque nationalist guerrillas, and also reported that the new Parnell Bridge in Cork city now completely spanned the Lee — it opened the following year.

Another reader with a fond memory of the Echo was Liam Cleary, of Earlwood Estate, The Lough.

He said: “I have the Evening Echo from Wednesday, February 29, 1984, in my possession.

“The reason for this is because I donated a cup to be competed annually in a debate between the girls of St Aloysius and the boys of North Monastery — my alma mater.

“I am on the front page, presenting the Cleary Perpetual Cup to Mary O’Sullivan, Catherine Rice and Linda Moloney of St Al’s, who were the winners of the competition.”

The splash that Leap Year day was an article by Maurice Gubbins, the present editor, on s plan by the Lord Mayor of Cork to provide jobs for construction workers.

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