TRIBUTES were paid to the Evening Echo at a civic reception in City Hall last night, where it was described as ‘a reliable and trustworthy friend to the people of Cork’.
Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald welcomed staff of the paper and civic leaders for a celebration of the newspaper’s 125th anniversary and made a presentation on behalf of the people of Cork to proprietor Tom Crosbie.
“Buying the Evening Echo is part of daily life in Cork - we all pick up a copy to catch up with local and national news and find out what is going on in the city,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
The Cork Evening Echo was first published in Tuesday, June 14, 1892, and is the oldest evening newspaper in the country. It first cost a halfpenny and in the opening weeks, its coverage was of the split in the Irish Parliamentary Party caused by Charles Stewart Parnell’s relationship with the married Katharine O’Shea.
Since then it covered the Irish revolutionary struggle, both world wars and more than a century of social change.
“It is no secret to anyone how important the Evening Echo is for politicians, but the same is equally true for local community organizations, for sporting clubs and organizations, for business and commerce in the city, and indeed for the city as a whole,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“To take just one example, the coverage given by the Echo to the boundary revision for the city over many months was vital in bringing the importance of this topic to the people of Cork, the people who after all are going to be most affected by it.”
He also paid tribute to the paper’s renowned sports coverage: “I know that for people involved in training and managing sports teams the coverage they get in the Evening Echo is so important, so much so that if they don’t get coverage they wonder if the game took place at all.
"From the Titanic to the Burning of Cork, from the Civil War to the Cold War and beyond, from Christy Ring to Danno O'Mahony to Roy Keane and Sonia O’Sullivan, from the O’Donovans of Skibbereen to the Frank & Walters - the Evening Echo has become a reliable and trustworthy friend to the people of Cork, like a true friend telling it like it is, reporting, informing, entertaining, a voice that demands to be heard.”
Mr Crosbie of the Crosbie family, long synonymous with publishing in Cork, thanked the Lord Mayor and City Council on behalf of all the staff at the newspaper.
“The Echo has been part of the life of this city since the late nineteenth century, and the cry of Echo, Evening Echo, on our streets is just one of those things that sets our city apart.
“The relationship with City Hall is very important - it is vital for democracy that the public is kept informed of Council business, without papers like the Echo there would be a vacuum which I don’t think the current version of social media if fit to fill as yet.”
Mr Crosbie also paid tribute to the newspaper’s staff: “We have wonderful reporters, journalists and other staff whose work I am very proud of.”
Current editor Maurice Gubbins was unable to attend but Mr Crosbie relayed his thoughts on the occasion.
“Maurice says it is a privilege for him to be the Editor of the Echo and he sees huge similarities between the issues faced by the founding fathers of our papers and what is happening today.
"The world is a very different place with the internet, mobile phones and digital communications but there are resonances of our history in the issues facing Cork and society - educations, prosperity, jobs, housing and social issues like homelessness, drink and drug abuse and crime. And every day the Echo highlights these issues both in print and online.”