The Tipperary Star newspaper celebrates 100 years in print.
Founded in 1909 by Edward Long in Thurles, the Tipperary Star has seen many changes, not least in newspaper production. Advances in technology mean that the printing process has speeded up, and the newspaper also has an online edition. The main challenge for the Tipperary Star is to,
Retain our sense of community, and to represent the community that we’re coming from.
The last century has seen just four editors at the helm of the Tipperary Star, and generations of families have worked at the paper.
The current editor Michael Dundon’s son Noel is a journalist there, and chief reporter Ann O’Grady’s father Gerry was editor in the 1970s and 1980s.
Reporters and news cameras from all over the world focused on Thurles in December 1988, when Ann O'Grady was the only journalist to interview the priest Father Patrick Ryan who was accused of being a member of the IRA.
When the story broke, the Tipperary Star office in Friar Street was inundated with requests from the international press but a decision was made to keep the story as an exclusive,
The fact that a local newspaper scooped it resulted in a lot of publicity for the Tipperary Star.
Edward Long’s house is now a nursing home, and 96 year old Josephine Semple, daughter in law of the famous Tom Semple, is a resident. She started work at the Tipperary Star in 1929 at sixteen years of age.
The Tipperary Star came out on Friday evenings, and the young people of the town would assemble at the paper’s offices for the first edition,
The hall used to be packed with scholars going home from school, but they wouldn’t want to go without the Star.
TJ Semple was a printer for over 46 years in the Tipperary Star. He laments the passing of the trade of printing, as the educational benefits were enormous,
You had to learn words, you had to learn spellings...you had to know how to locate things on paper.
The demise of the local newspaper was forecast at the advent of television, local radio, and then the internet, but their business remains healthy. According to Michael Dundon, this is because they,
Stay loyal to the product, time has proven that that’s what the people want.
This report for ‘Nationwide’ was broadcast on 6 November 2009. The reporter is Cathy Halloran.