The Message - An Open Letter from Niall Stokes to Adrienne Murphy

Over the past fortnight, a Facebook post by long-time Hot Press contributor Adrienne Murphy highlighted in the most heart-rending way the difficulties of living with a young man with severe autism...

Dear Adrienne.

It is hard to know where to start. This, of course, is a feeling with which you and I are both familiar: staring at a blank page before finally figuring out how to get the engine turning over, the writing juices flowing, the words swirling out of the inner mind’s eye and onto the screen or the page. But this is different. This is very different.

We have known one another for over 20 years. From the first time we met, I knew that you were – that you are – a very special person. It wasn’t just that you were beautiful: there was something special in your spirit; in the light that shone in your eyes; in the laughter that came so easily to you, in what might have seemed then like a kind of innocence; and in the blood-quickening conviction that powered everything you thought, said and did, from inside.

I hope that doesn’t give a false impression. You were never a zealot. There was always an open-ness about you, a willingness to listen and learn, and a fine sense of adventure, which reflected a deep-rooted and wonderfully attractive lust for life, and for its best, most exciting possibilities. But there was also a maverick, unconventional, devil-may-care aspect to your approach to the business of being human that I loved then – and still love.

Among all of the great people I have been privileged to know – writers, musicians, actors, film directors, comedians, activists, broadcasters, intellectuals, teachers, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, visionaries, runners, footballers and even the occasional politician among them – you have always stood out as a genuinely free and generous spirit, with, at once, a beautifully fierce and joyous way of looking at the world and everything that inhabits it.

As an editor, I always knew that if I asked you to do a job, I would get integrity, whole-heartedness, great kindness, and a wonderful sense of decency in the way you went about it. But I could also rely on freshness, vitality, an underlying compassion; a facility with language; a desire to write and in doing so to talk to humankind; and an original, unique and powerfully compelling way of looking at things – and at people.

We are very different. I am much more naturally cautious. But beneath the surface, there was and is, I think, much in common. A hatred of patriarchy. An instinctive hostility to the crude and self-serving moralising of the Roman Catholic Church. A complete lack of interest in the institutions around which so many people organise their lives and those of their families: marriage, religious-run schools and chasing down a career or job. Your philosophy was based on a rejection of institutions. I had been on that flight for a long time.

I remember now, the piece that you wrote from your great adventure in South America, with your partner Dara and your first son, Fiach. There were beautiful pictures from that journey: I was struck back then by the happiness they captured. But what I recall even more vividly is the story of three people venturing out into the great unknown, and living life to the full in a different time zone, because that seemed to be the very best way to live it. And almost certainly it was.


In the cruel, daily grind of what we do, there was never enough time to hear all of the stories as your life took different twists and turns. The birth of your second child, Caoimh. The split with Dara. The growing awareness that Caoimh was different. The diagnosis of autism. The struggle against an unsympathetic State machine. The demand for the kind of support, and in particular the education, for Caoimh, which makes all the difference to those who are struggling with this extraordinary, terribly debilitating condition.

It was incredibly tough for you, for Fiach and for Dara – but in so many respects you in particular gave your life to Caoimh. And experiencing first hand how ill-prepared the State was, and is, to deal with a condition that few understand, you became an activist on his behalf. You could not have done more for him.

Throughout all of this you wrote for Hot Press. Along the way, we worked particularly closely on a series of articles about the fluoridation of the water supply in Ireland. Collaborating on those articles – which must have run to well in excess of 100,000 words – I saw you in greater close-up and my admiration grew. You were passionate, intense, questioning. You cared deeply and worked hard, late and long, around the onerous commitments that you had to Caoimh, to get the pieces finished against the odds. As a fellow worker, I couldn’t have asked for more from you.

From some storms, however, shelter is especially hard to find. I know that, over the past few years, Caoimh has absorbed more and more of your time. There was good news. You secured a therapy dog for him – a huge and comforting presence but one that you had to take care of too. It was a help, but not a solution.

I realised, by now, that Caoimh couldn’t speak; and that he could be gripped by feelings of rage and frustration, spilling over into aggression. And that this was becoming more and more difficult to manage, the older he got. So when you told me that he had developed the ability to communicate via finger-pointing letters, using the Rapid Prompting Method, it seemed like a whole new avenue of hope was opening up for him, and for you.

It was a vindication of every ounce of belief you had invested in your campaign for him, and for every child who shows signs of autism. The working assumption had always been that people with autism are of sub-standard intelligence. You showed me what Caoimh had written and it was stunningly impressive. Here was a boy who couldn’t speak, who displayed the heart of a poet. I was overjoyed that you had been proven right.


It feels like that was only a matter of weeks ago, Adrienne, though maybe in truth it was many months. Days and weeks race by and all the things we want to get done pile up as the business of life drags us remorselessly into the future.

And then the damn broke. You posted a video on Facebook appealing, pleading, for support from the HSE and from the State. It was one thing dealing with the explosions that are part of autism when Caoimh was a young boy. Now, at the age of 14, he is almost a man: big, strong and capable of hurting people badly. And, as you have explained publicly, it has happened, and threatens to happen again at any time. You – and Caoimh – are always just one explosion away from mayhem and danger.

It is a terrible predicament and it was clear from the crushingly sad video the extent to which it has taken its toll on you and on your own health. Throughout, you have shown what anyone who knew you well was always aware that you had: a huge capacity for love. At the heart of the message that you put on Facebook was your love for Caoimh.

It is a brutal burden, the extent to which the condition – with which Caoimh himself has had to live – has imposed itself so mercilessly on you and on Fiach. As a family, you are forced to exist in a state of constant fear, apprehension, anxiety and vigilance. And what support do you get? What is clear from your video is that the response of the State in situations like this is totally, irresponsibly, shamefully inadequate.

Historically, the treatment of people with mental illnesses, and conditions like autism, in Ireland, was callous and wrong. So many were dumped in what amounted to psychiatric prisons, and the keys were effectively thrown away.

When people to whom I was very close became ill, I sided with them, and with the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing’s contention that it was society that was crazy and that psychosis was a valid response to it. There are differences, of course, between conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism and the other major mental illnesses. But they have in common that living with severely affected people has the potential to shatter and ultimately to destroy the lives of family members.

It is, as your video eloquently demonstrates, vital that we acknowledge this and try to address it. Seeing schizophrenia at work in dramatic close-up over an extended period, I came to the conclusion that R. D. Laing was wrong – that, triggered by who knows what, there was a chemical explanation for it. And I suspect that this is true, to an extent, of most forms of mental illness. Which is not to imply that they cannot be addressed. Nor that people cannot themselves take on particular mental health challenges. They can.

The astonishing thing is that the brain works so well so much of the time. Things go awry in humans that manifest themselves as life-threatening physical illnesses, like diabetes or motor neuron disease.

They surely go wrong on occasion in the brain, or the mind, too, in a way that affects our ability to live comfortably in society and to communicate.

The effect of the shift that occurred in the approach to mental illness, starting in the 1960s was a good one: people should never have been dumped wholesale into hospitals, drugged to their eyeballs and left to rot. That is what happened.


The idea of community care, of re-integrating people with mental health issues, of washing away both the guilt and the stigma associated with illnesses of the mind, was and remains a huge institutional step in the right direction.

But what it means in practice – and I know this from personal experience – is sadly that the burden is, to an impossible extent, thrown almost entirely back on the family and on those who live with boys, girls, men and women, who are bipolar, schizophrenic or suffer from severe autism, anorexia or depression.

This is so profoundly wrong, and unfair, that it beggars belief that, as a society, we allow it to happen. But we do. You could see, Adrienne, the years of accumulated emotional wear and tear written across your face on the Facebook video. You have been twisted, turned, stretched and nearly broken by being the one who above all has had to carry the burden of a condition that the son you love has been misfortunate enough to experience.

Though no one can really know the true depth of it, the pain you feel, the sense of being abandoned by the system, and the anger that all of this must induce, are understandable. What you have been through is life at its cruelest.

It is no consolation to know that you are not alone. All over Ireland, there are other parents and families whose lives have spun into complete, disastrous turmoil, caused by mental and psychiatric illnesses that are too often simply impossible for anyone to manage over the long term. No individual or family is wrong here. But the response of society and of State services clearly is. This is not to say that knowing where to go is straightforward: dealing with serious mental illness represents a desperately difficult challenge, on every level. But we must, as a people and as a society, act urgently to take the hellish burden of managing these illnesses off the shoulders of individuals and families, and find a way of sharing it across the many.

This will cost. It has to. And solutions are not easy. How can they be? But your experience with Caoimh highlights something deeply wrong with the way we think and operate as a society.

Your individual case demands an immediate response. But the wider issue of how we treat individuals, who are struggling with conditions that are capable of destroying their own lives, and those of the people around them, has to be addressed.

How we respond to it is a measure of our civilization – and so far it is a test we have failed. To allow it to continue in this vein is an abnegation of our responsibilities to one another.

So much of all of this occurs behind closed doors that it is a hidden crisis. You have brought it out into the open. And as anyone who has ever lived through an experience like yours knows, in all justice it cannot, should not, must not, be permitted to continue.

If we want to be the best in the world at anything, let it be this: caring for those who are grappling with the most serious and debilitating mental health problems.

In the meantime, I fervently hope that there is light at the end of the long dark tunnel into which you have been facing for so long, Adrienne. No one deserves peace and respite more than you.

– Niall


Related Articles

Repeal The 8th: We Must Keep Battling Until The Polls Close

Opponents of the 8th Amendment have been battling for over 34 years to remove from the constitution a deeply insulting and paternalistic clause that equates the rights of a woman with those of an embryo. The hope is that honesty, reason and gentle persuasion can win the day. Oh, and a soupçon of home truths...

Read More

The Message: The Heat Is On and The No Campaign Have Been Unscrupulous

As the Repeal referendum comes into view, the No campaign's unscrupulous tactics have become apparent; Facebook still haven't addressed the abuse of their platform; Maser's Project mural has been removed; and the Catholic Church have reverted to their utterly predictable conservatism. You could say it's been an eventful fortnight.

Read More

Facebook: We Are Still Waiting For Answers

In Hot Press, a fortnight ago, we asked a series of questions of Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Since then, things have unravelled even further for the Social Media Monopoly. So here’s another one: how can the anti-competitive status, free of any form of regulation, which has been claimed by Facebook, possibly be justified when advertising lies flourish there?

Read More

What Is Facebook's Policy On Advertising In Relation To The 8th Amendment?

Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes gives the background to the Cambridge Analytica scandal – and writes an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking what Facebook intends to do about advertising and micro-targeting in the upcoming referendum in Ireland.

Read More

Niall Stokes Pays Tribute To Thom Moore

The Irish-American singer Thom Moore, formerly of Pumpkinhead and Midnight Well – has died. Here, Hot Press editor Niall Stokes pays tribute...

Read More

Rory Gallagher at 70 - Niall Stokes' speech at a special commemoration service held in London

It was Wednesday June 14th, 1995, when the terrible news of Rory Gallagher’s death was first phoned through to the Hot Press office. In more ways than one, it was the end of an era. On Wednesday November 8th that year, a commemoration service was held at Brompton Oratory in London. The ceremony ended with a tribute, which was delivered by Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press. As a special remembrance of Rory, on what would have been his 70th birthday, we reproduce here the full text of that tribute.

Read More

The Abortion Debate: An Open Letter To Simon Coveney

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney has intervened in the abortion debate, taking a conservative position which opposes the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly and the Oireachtas Committee. Niall Stokes explains why he should reconsider.

Read More

In the current Hot Press: An open letter to Simon Coveney on Repealing the 8th

In the latest issue of Hot Press, editor Niall Stokes asks Simon Coveney to reconsider his position on abortion.

Read More

Dolores O’Riordan: Remembering An Irish Icon

A message from Hot Press editor, Niall Stokes, from our special Dolores O'Riordan tribute issue.

Read More

Ireland Stuffed By Denmark. O'Neill In The Firing Line

Ireland were humiliated by Denmark, in the worst defeat suffered by an Irish team at home in years. The question now is: can Martin O'Neill stay on as manager?

Read More

Ireland Draw With Denmark: Player Ratings

Darren Randolph was Man of the Match. But how did our other players fare last night? And what team will Martin O'Neill pick for the crunch World Cup tie on Tuesday?

Read More

Message From The Editor - It's Time To Harvest The Wind

Storms have been afoot, with devastating consequences in parts of Ireland. Step back, however, and they illustrate the extraordinary power of the wind. So why is Ireland not a world leader in wind-generated power?

Read More

The Message - Women Must Decide Their Fate

Women in Ireland should be allowed to control their own fertility.

Read More

#MentalHealthWeek: An Open Letter to Adrienne Murphy, On The Struggles of Coping with Autism in the Family

The emphasis in Mental Health Week is on the well being of everyone who has to grapple with any of a variety of Mental Health issues. Indeed, at some point, that probably includes almost everyone in Irish society.

Read More

Ireland Progress To World Cup Qualifier After Victory Over Wales

It was a tough and gruelling encounter - but Ireland deserved to win the crunch World Cup tie against Wales, and to progress to the play-off stage.

Read More

Rob Kearney Supports Repealing The 8th Amendment

The Ireland and Leinster rugby star tells Hot Press that it is time for change.

Read More

The Message - George Hook and the Culture of Rape

Read More

George Hook and the Roots of Neanderthal Views About Sex

As the controversy about the Newstalk presenter refuses to die, the question needs to be asked: where does this poisonous stuff come from?

Read More

The Message - The problem with introducing an ID Card by stealth

When you are told that you need a Public Services Card to avail of social welfare or to renew a driving licence, it is mere semantics to claim that the cards are not compulsory…

Read More

When you are told that you need a Public Services Card to avail of social welfare or to renew a driving licence, it is mere semantics to claim that the cards are not compulsory…

Read More

Ireland vs Serbia: Is this the game that will get Martin O'Neill sacked?

Ireland’s World Cup hopes hinge on tonight’s do-or-die encounter with Serbia in Dublin. But as Niall Stokes writes, the paucity of tactical ideas on Saturday against Georgia – a recurring theme of O’Neill’s tenure – suggests the omens aren’t good. And if the result doesn’t go our way, it might just signal the end of his time in charge…

Read More

The Message - Why is North Korea being excluded from the nuclear club?

Read More

'You Raise Me Up' Makes Chinese TV Blockbuster Charlie Soong

Already one of the songs of the new century, Brendan Graham’s ‘You Raise Me Up’ has been selected as the end title track in a 30-episode epic on the man who is credited – along with his daughters – as a founding figure, in the People’s Republic of China

Read More

The Message - 1987: It Was A Very Good Year

The time for hiding from the lights was over. In so many respects modern Ireland was born in 1987. And central to that was the huge artistic and commercial success of The Joshua Tree...

Read More

The U2 Covers - No. 34: 'U2: The Stories Behind Their Greatest Songs'

Niall Stokes draws on his best-selling book Into The Heart: The Stories Behind The Songs Of U2 to offer a unique insight into the way in which some of the greatest songs in the history of popular music came into being.

Read More

The U2 Covers - No. 30: 'Bono: The Year That Shook My World'

From Hot Press' 2002 Annual, Bono spoke to Niall Stokes about all matters personal and political.

Read More

The U2 Covers - No. 23: 'U2 Goes Pop'

20 years ago, U2 came out with one of their most highly-anticipated albums, Pop. Niall Stokes met the band following its release for an in-depth interview.

Read More

The Message - Will Ireland become a Brexit bargaining chip?

With the damaging impact of Brexit on the UK becoming clearer by the week, the threat of a hard border in Northern Ireland is likely to be used as a bargaining chip in Britain’s increasingly threadbare negotiating strategy.

Read More

IMRO Confirms Appointment of Eleanor McEvoy as Chairperson

The Irish Music Rights Organisation has confirmed the appointment of the multi-award winning Irish songwriter, singer and composer Eleanor McEvoy as its new Chairperson, in succession to Keith Donald

Read More

Transfer of Ownership of the National Maternity Hospital from Sisters of Charity to St. Vincents Changes Nothing

There was what might have seemed like a dramatic development in the controversy surrounding the proposed new ownership of the National Maternity Hospital. But if all that is involved is shifting ownership from one religious interest group to another, then the issue remains as fraught as ever. By Niall Stokes

Read More

Music Cork 2017: Hot Press meets Island Records president Darcus Beese

Read More

The Message - Tech Monopolies and Surveillance Capitalism Undermine Our Democracy

Once upon a time, there was a vision of a digital utopia. Instead, we now have global tech monopolies, surveillance capitalism and extraordinary levels of political manipulation. Welcome to the modern world...

Read More

Leo Varadkar v Simon Coveney: Past Interviews and Profiles as the Fine Gael Leadership Contest Begins

With the decision of Enda Kenny to step down – finally! – as leader of the party with the highest number of TDs in Leinster House, a new Taoiseach is on the way. Here’s an opportunity to check back over our Hot Press interviews with the leading candidates, to see what can be gleaned...

Read More

The Message - Abortion: The People Want The Government to Legislate

The recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly may not be as far ahead of the public as politicians are claiming. But we also need legislation to prevent the covert use, and abuse, of personal data in the context of a referendum.

Read More

The Message: The National Maternity Hospital Must Not Be Given To The Sisters Of Charity

The controversy about the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital has invited a new focus on the charitable status of Church institutions – and the extraordinary and unwarranted financial privileges which they have enjoyed since the foundation of the State.

Read More

The Message - Things Are Going To Get Dirty

And no, this is not another Hot Press article encouraging mass promiscuity. It is about Brexit, and the push from the far right to completely undermine democratic politics.

Read More

The Hot Press 40th Anniversary Cover Exhibition Goes On Display This Friday

The cover of Hot Press is a national institution, coveted by emerging musicians and established stars alike. Now, the historic covers of the magazine – signed by the cover stars, and beautifully printed on specially chosen art paper – have been gathered together for a free exhibition, in the National Photographic Archive, Dublin. Introduction by Niall Stokes…

Read More

We Cannot Exonerate The Catholic Church In Relation To The Tuam Babies

Confirmation of the fact that the remains of hundreds of babies were buried in a so called ‘Mother and Baby’ home in Tuam, Co. Galway is testament to just how sick the attitude to sexuality promulgated by the dominant Church in Ireland really was. In special edition of The Message, on International Women’s Day, Hot Press editor, Niall Stokes reflects on an issue that has provoked outrage and anger.

Read More

The Message - The Enduring Legacy of The Joshua Tree

On March 9, it will be 30 years since the release of The Joshua Tree, a record that transformed U2 into the biggest rock band in the world. In this issue of Hot Press, we look back to the genesis of the album, how it was put together and and what made it work. And ask: has it stood the test of time?

Read More

The Message - Madness in the Garda Siochana

Over the past week, astonishing revelations have emerged about Garda collusion in a campaign of vilification which painted the whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe, as a sex offender. With the ‘Child and Family Agency’ Tusla being dragged into it, this has become a real horror story...

Read More

How Far Is Donald Trump Prepared To Go? - The Message From The Editor

With Steve Bannon directing operations, and aided and abetted by a bunch of power-crazed loonies, the answer is probably very far indeed. Things could get extremely nasty...

Read More

From Ireland to the US, citizens and musicians alike are getting more politically engaged

There's a rocky road ahead. And we’re not talking about the one from Galway to Dublin. The good news is that Irish musicians have become far more politically involved than ever before. The bad news is that we are all facing into a particularly difficult and uncertain future. So how can we all – citizens, musicians and the media alike – deal with the political challenges ahead, from the Referendum to Repeal the 8th to the effects of Donald Trump’s presidency, knowing that we have entered the post-truth world – and that this is the backdrop against which fascism has been gaining momentum?

Read More

From the archives: Hot Press met U2 back in 1987 following the release of The Joshua Tree

It took the combined force of Hot Press' Editor Niall Stokes and U2 journalist extraordinaire Bill Graham to thrash it out with the four members of U2 back in 1987 to uncover the method and the magic behind their seminal album THe Joshua Tree.

Read More

U2 Joshua Tree Tour: It Will Be Confirmed This Morning

Speculation has been mounting about a special U2 tour that would celebrate the release of their global smash hit album The Joshua Tree, 30 years on. Well, the announcement will be made this morning...

Read More

Frank Murray: A Final Farewell

The funeral took place yesterday of Frank Murray – the man who began his career as tour manager with Thin Lizzy, and worked with Elton John and The Specials, before managing The Pogues, as well as The Frames, The Lost Brothers and more, in what was a highly distinguished career.

Read More

The Message - Donald Trump: The Threat to the US is Real

Christmas may be coming - but in the wake of the most astonishing US Presidential election in living memory, the fear that a cadre of white supremacists may get their hands on the levers of power is growing. And it feels like uncharted territory...

Read More

Glen Hansard To Receive Oscar Wilde Award 2017

One of the leading lights of Irish music for the past 25 years, Glen Hansard has been chosen as the recipient of the Oscar Wilde Award for 2017 – which will be presented during Oscar week in the Los Angeles. No one is more deserving...

Read More

Men, Violence – and The Rise of Donald Trump

This is 2016 and very strange and deeply disquieting things have been happening in the US and here in Ireland. It might help if we stopped singing the praises of people guilty of butchering their families, Niall Stokes said in The Message, written in that pregnant pause between the opening of the polling booths and the calculation of the result in the US election. Clearly an afterword is required…

Read More

Mike McCormack Wins Goldsmiths Prize

There was an Irish winner tonight, as the novel Solar Bones found favour with the judges, in an award which aims to reward genuine innovation...

Read More

Bob Dylan and The Nobel Prize

The decision of the Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan had some culture snobs frothing at the mouth. Even Bob doesn’t seem to know what to make of it all.

Read More

Packed House For Wild Goose Lodge Premiere

It was an emotional occasion when the home-spun Irish epic was unvelied in Dublin’s Savoy Cinema last night.

Read More

The Message on Donald Trump: The Great Samuel J. Snort III Esq. Enters the Race

The World’s Greatest Rock Journalist has broken a decade-long silence to discuss his potential role in the Presidential stakes…

Read More

JP McMahon’s Aniar Retains Michelin Star

Considerable controversy has surrounded the trail-blazing Galway restaurant – but the Michelin judges say that it’s still right up there, at the top of the game.

Read More

The Message: And Then There Were Four

It is just over 40 years, since Larry Mullen put the note on the noticeboard in Mount Temple Comprehensive, which led to the formation of U2. As various contributions to this special issue of Hot Press confirm, that gesture changed the world for millions of people all over the globe. But that they are still together is perhaps the band’s greatest achievement...

Read More

The New Proclamation – Repeal The Eighth

The Hot Press Collective sends a message to the people of Ireland

Read More

Jackie Hayden and Peter Murphy For Wexford Lit Fest

Hot Press alumni are among the leading attractions at the upcoming Write By The Sea festival in Kilmore Quay

Read More

The Message: Niall Stokes - We Should Adopt The New Zealand Model

The Minister for Skills, Training and Innovation, John Halligan put his head above the parapet in relation to the laws on prostitution in Ireland. As it happens, he was right.

Read More


Irish people have moved on in a way that is genuinely impressive. Dr. Lara Kelly’s testimony on abortion is one example. But there is a new honesty among Irish politicians too that gives cause for optimism.

Read More

DJ Paul Claffey Features In Moving Video of Likely Murder Victim Sandra Collins

The family of the Mayo woman, who disappeared in December 2000, have called for an inquest into her death...

Read More

A Message to Nice: "Our hearts are with the bereft people of Nice in this terrible moment."

Anyone who has experienced the manifest beauty and wonderful joie-de-vivre of Nice at its best will have been deeply moved at the shocking mass murder on the Promenade des Anglais July 18. But Europe must look into its own heart too, to find answers..

Read More

HMV Not Aiming To Take On Netflix!

Reports that HMV are to close down their four Irish stores have been confirmed – but news reports that the company’s new online platform will go head to head with streaming giant, Netflix, are not accurate.

Read More

Virgin Media Secures Coronation Street and Emmerdale For 10 Years

Details are emerging of the deal, concluded yesterday, which saw Virgin Media – owners of TV3 – buy UTV Ireland

Read More


The UK referendum was won by the Leave side on the promise that Britain would take back control of its borders. Their victory will stoke far right, anti-immigrant sentiment across the continent.

Read More

Brady, Hendrick and McCarthy Star As France Beat Ireland

For a wonderful 60 minutes, it seemed that Ireland might just oust the hosts France from Euro 2016. That dream may have died as a result of errors in Lyons yesterday – but the sense that Irish football is on the rise once more is a wonderfully encouraging one. By Niall Stokes.

Read More

Wes Hoolahan The Hero As Ireland Draw With Sweden

It was an enthralling day of football at Euro 2016, with Ireland getting off to a solid start in Group E – only to be trumped by a brilliant Italian win over Belgium.

Read More

Stop everything, Euro 2016 is upon us!

Irish Water and Repealing the 8th can take a back-seat as the Euros kick-off in France. Now all we need are a few Shane Long hat-tricks to seal the deal...

Read More

From The Archives: Let There Be Light On Same Sex Marriage

A year on from our historic and momentous 'Yes' vote on Ireland's same-sex marriage referendum, we look back at Niall Stokes' pre-vote message urging the citizens of Ireland to vote for freedom, equality and mutual respect

Read More

The Message: It Is Time to Educate Together

Religious control of schools promotes inequality, prejudice, division – and worse. It is also against the founding spirit of the Republic. It must be challenged now.

Read More

Guy Clark: After David Bowie and Prince Another Genius Departs

Guy Clark was one of the greatest songwriters of the modern era – and in Old No.1, he made one of the most extraordinary and enduring albums of all time. By Hot Press editor, Niall Stokes

Read More

The Message: Farewell to a Legend

Prince was the latest in a long line of black artists - from Sam Cooke and Otis Redding to Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye - to push the envelope, both musically and culturally...

Read More

The Message: Our Patience is Running Out

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil need to end the posturing and hammer out a deal, which will provide the country with a sustainable government.

Read More

The Message: 1916: History In The making

The Proclamation of 1916 was a powerful document. In recalling the momentous events of a hundred years ago, it is important not just to honour those who took part in the Rising, but- even more so- to see what we can learn in order to best shape our future...

Read More

The Message: The Party's Over

Where now for the Labour Party, after an electoral annihilation the scale of which outstripped all their worst fears?

Read More

The Message - Niall Stokes on the election's burning issues

As the nation heads to the polls, it’s vital to consider not just the candidates vying for our votes, but the type of country in which we want to live

Read More

An Interview With Enya: She Moves In Mysterious Ways

When Enya released Watermark in 1988, it WAS the beginning of one of the most remarkable chapters in the story of Irish music. With Nicky Ryan and Roma Ryan ever-present as collaborators, 80 million album sales and dozens of awards followed. Now, after a seven year hiatus, she is back with a new record, Dark Sky Island, and a determination to take the collective’s music to the world in a different way.

Read More

The Message: There Went the Bad Times

Darkness seemed to be everywhere in 2015. It is hard to maintain any sense of hope, when barbarism is so militantly on the rise. But if we don't, we surely will be lost...

Read More

The Message: From the Miami Showband to Le Bataclan

The orchestrated jihadist attacks on Paris were an abomination. And the worst of the atrocities took place at a rock gig in the Bataclan, where 89 people died. So where do we go from here?

Read More

The Message: The U2 Boys Are Back In Town

As the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour finally approaches Irish shores, it's time to once again celebrate U2 - not just the best of Irish, but the greatest rock band in the world.

Read More

The Message: The Church's Control Of Education Must End

As recently highlighted by Roopesh Panicker, it is outrageous that, in 2015, educational discrimination on the basis of religion is still the norm in Ireland.

Read More

The Message: It's Not Easy Being Green

After the high of beating the World Champions, neanderthal tactics and selections by Martin O'Neill ensured that The Boys In Green could not match the Sunday heroics of our rugby team...

Read More

The Message: Why Mental Health Needs a Re-Evaluation

We've come a long way since the '60s, with music, literature, movies, TV and journalism all playing their part to reduce the stigma of mental illness. But reason must still prevail if we are to continue to make strides.

Read More

The Message: Shelter From The Storm

With Europe's response to the refugee crisis lacking in effectiveness and empathy, the threat of ISIS suggests WB Yeats' most chilling words are now perfectly fitting for these times...

Read More

The Message: Johnny Lyons: An Appreciation

Amidst the shock and grief of Johnny Lyons' premature passing, we pause to give thanks to a truly unique character for the countless laughs and many golden memories he gave us. Shine on, sir...

Read More

The Message: No Homes To Go To

As rental prices of houses and apartments skyrocket, especially in Dublin, thousands of Irish men, women and – unforgivably – children find themselves at grave risk of homelessness. Between them, local politicians and the Government must find a solution – and fast...

Read More

The Message: The Dope Show

It is easy to vilify those who take banned substances in the pursuit of sporting glory, but some of those who would be named and shamed are far more sympathetic figures than we would like to admit...

Read More

The Message: Rockin' All Over the World

...Or Ireland at least. Blazing rows erupted and staff members had to be pried apart, but the votes are in and the 50 best Irish gigs since Hot Press's inception have been settled on.

Read More

Berkeley: A Cosmic Injustice

The response to the tragedy in Berkeley was powerful and moving. But it is hard to listen to celebrities claiming a special relationship with God, when there are so many victims of tragedy – and of oppression– to think about...

Read More

The Message: When I Was A Cowboy...

Sunday June 14 marks the 20th anniversary of the legendary Rory Gallagher's tragic death. While the world has changed in many ways, the trail-blazing guitarist's impact is still keenly felt...

Read More

The Message: The Systematic Oppresson of Gays is Over

It was a joy to be alive in Dublin on the day the result of the referendum was announced. But there is still some way to go in the campaign for the separation of Church and State...

Read More

Patti Smith Interview

"We're uncompromising. We're uncompromising to a fault I think. Because sometimes we're wrong. Sometimes we wind-up up blind alleys. You know. Maybe Radio Ethiopia sucks. I Don't know. Me and Patti are the only ones that like it in the world. But I don't care 'cos when we put that on we feel great." - Lenny Kaye [First Published in Hot Press Volume 2 No 7, September 1978]

Read More

Let There Be Light

The referendum on same sex marriage is an opportunity for the citizens of Ireland to vote for freedom, equality and mutual respect – and in doing so to show the rest of the world what these words can really mean...

Read More

Five Irish Albums in Top 10

With Hozier, HamsandwicH, Paul Brady, Le Galaxie and Kodaline all doing well, we are witnessing a small boom in Irish music. So how can we ensure that it lifts an even greater number of Ireland’s finest into the charts?

Read More

The Message: We Need To Talk About Charlie

Irish people who genuinely believe in free speech need to support the scrapping of our blasphemy laws.

Read More

The Message: This Nation's Saving Grace

These are turbulent times, as Sinn Fein and socialist Independents find themselves in the unprecedented situation of topping the opinion polls. However you view this, pause to be thankful that there is no hard-Right movement of significance in Ireland, and no apparent appetite for one...

Read More

Glen Hansard Unveils New Songs At Film Fundraiser

It was one of those special Dublin nights. The occasion was a fund-raiser for a new short film, entitled Descend, directed by Hedi Rose, and written by Irish-based Texan screenwriter Margaret Miller. The location was upstairs in The 51 Bar on Haddington Road.

Read More

Advertise With Us

For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below


Find us elsewhere