The weekly publication The Tuam Herald celebrates bringing news to the west of Ireland for 150 years.

The Tuam Herald was founded by Jasper Kelly and was first published on the 13 May 1837, the same year in which Queen Victoria ascended the throne.  Editor of the Tuam Herald Jarlath Burke speaks to Jim Fahy about the paper and his first encounter with former editor John Anderson. 

The young Jarlath Burke mightn't have lived up to the chain-smoking, pint-swilling image of the hard-bitten journalist but he did become an outstanding editor of a newspaper whose roots are steeped in history.

The first publication of the weekly newspaper had an extraordinary international dimension far removed from the day to day affairs of the local area.  Deputy Editor David Burke describes the early days of the Tuam Herald years ago which featured news from America, France, Spain, Switzerland, New South Wales, Greece, and London, as well as items of local news including reports of the famine.  

The first thing you have to remember is that a hundred and fifty years ago When the Herald started is that most people couldn't read. There was a small upper class and probably an even smaller middle class of people who could read so the circulation of the Herald at that stage was three hundred and fifty copies.

To mark 150 years of the newspaper, The Tuam Herald has published a seventy page supplement with the latest issue looking back over the turbulent years of the last century including the Parnellite split and the burning of Tuam by the Black and Tans in 1920, events which Jarlath Burke's own family remembered. Many established journalists have also contributed a series of articles to the anniversary supplement. 

From its base in Tuam, the paper has extended its circulation throughout the west of Ireland and now has a circulation of over twelve thousand.  The people of Tuam talk about about the importance of the local newspaper to them. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 May 1988. The reporter is Jim Fahy.