ON June 14, 1892, the first edition of the Evening Echo hit the streets of Cork.
The objective of the new publication was to provide a credible local news service to the people of Cork, and 125 years later, the Evening Echo continues to fulfil this very important role.
As President of Local Ireland — the representative body for regional newspapers in Ireland which represents more than 40 regional newspapers nationwide — I wish to congratulate the Evening Echo on its milestone anniversary.
Local press has been serving communities in Ireland for more than 150 years. The role of local press hasn’t changed since the first regional title in Ireland, the Limerick Chronicle, was launched in 1766, that is to accurately and impartially record the news of the local community and to reflect the ethos, concerns and ambitions of the communities they serve.
But regional newspapers are about more than just news delivery. They lead their communities on issues of local importance. They invigorate and facilitate debate on important community issues.
They campaign, accurately reflect local feelings and concerns, and earnestly strive to impartially inform their respective communities.
A special bond exists between the newspaper and the community which is unrivalled by any other media. This unique bond provides an opportunity for local businesses to advertise their products and services within their market area in a cost-effective manner.
The media industry has undergone massive changes in the 125 years of the Evening Echo — from people waiting in the streets to get the latest edition for breaking news, to instant digital news updates on your mobile phone in your pocket.
Whilst the format and timelines have changed, what has remained is the need for local people and local businesses to have a local news organisation that provides a trustworthy, credible feed of local news in print and digital that keeps the community informed.
The Evening Echo performs that function today just as much as it did in 1892.
In the intervening 125 years of the Evening Echo, as this week-long series has demonstrated, Cork has seen world wars, a war of independence, a civil war, economic booms and hardships, the emergence of Cork sporting giants (individually and teams, locally, nationally and internationally) and massive changes to the political, cultural, economic and social fabric of Irish society.
The Evening Echo has been there for all of it, faithfully reporting on these matters, informing its readers and shaping public opinion.
While all this is important, the key and continuing role of the Evening Echo has been in forging community linkages, highlighting the good and bad in our neighbourhoods and building community spirit.
Every time I go to Cork, I love to see and hear “the Echo boys” on the streets of the city, they add colour, vibrancy and character, are a link to our past and a very important part of the newspaper and city — let’s continue to support them and the newspaper.
Congratulations on your 125th anniversary.