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Niall Stokes

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Latest Articles by Niall Stokes

Message: The Message: The Catholic Church needs to be seriously confronted about its attitude towards homosexuality

2018-07-06 15:39:00

The glorious colours of the rainbow which shone all over Dublin last weekend, may be about to give way to the Papal yellow. But before anyone gets too excited, the Pope and the Bishops should answer a simple, yet fundamental question: is it, or is it not, a sin, or even wrong, for two men or two women to have sex together? The time for hypocrisy and evasion is over...

Message: Repeal the 8th: What A Long, Hard Trip It's Been for Women In Ireland

2018-06-11 11:50:00

When Hot Press was launched in 1977, Ireland was a poor home to anyone who deviated from the Roman Catholic hegemony which controlled every aspect of Irish life. It would get worse before it would get better. But with the result of the Referendum to Repeal the 8th, we have finally come of age as a Republic.

Message: Repeal the 8th: What A Long, Hard Trip It's Been for Women In Ireland

2018-06-11 11:50:00

When Hot Press was launched in 1977, Ireland was a poor home to anyone who deviated from the Roman Catholic hegemony which controlled every aspect of Irish life. It would get worse before it would get better. But with the result of the Referendum to Repeal the 8th, we have finally come of age as a Republic.

News: Exit Polls say It’s A Yessssssss In Referendum to Repeal The 8th

2018-05-26 01:55:00

A joyous mood was beginning to build all over Ireland, especially among young people, as exit polls commissioned by the Irish Times and RTE indicate a resounding victory for the campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment

Message: A Vote For 'Yes' Is A Vote For Freedom

2018-05-24 10:31:00

The referendum on the 8th Amendment seems to be finely balanced – to the extent that every possible ‘Yes’ vote counts. So let’s go out there – and collectively win it. Whichever way the result goes, we need to examine the performance of a variety of State agencies, on the run-in to the vote…

Report: Saying No To The Rolling Stones

2018-05-16 16:56:00

Sometimes, it is the art of compromise that makes all the difference. That’s what Paul Charles learned when he had a chance to promote The Rolling Stones – who play Croke Park today! – in Ireland back at the start of the 1980s. Here, one of the leading agents in the music business reflects on one that got away – and how!

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

2018-05-15 16:42:00

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...

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

2018-04-26 11:58:00

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.

Message: Facebook: We Are Still Waiting For Answers

2018-04-17 15:43:00

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?

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

2018-03-29 11:38:00

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.

News: Niall Stokes Pays Tribute To Thom Moore

2018-03-21 17:47:00

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

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

2018-03-02 17:42:00

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.

Interview: FROM THE ARCHIVES: Rory Gallagher In Conversation with Niall Stokes

2018-03-02 16:59:00

An archive interview with Rory Gallagher, on XXX

Message: The Abortion Debate: An Open Letter To Simon Coveney

2018-02-19 16:26:00

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.

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

2018-02-12 13:08:00

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

News: Dolores O’Riordan: Remembering An Irish Icon

2018-02-12 11:20:00

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

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

2017-11-15 00:19:00

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?

News: Ireland Draw With Denmark: Player Ratings

2017-11-12 11:27:00

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?

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

2017-10-27 13:03:00

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?

Message: The Message - Women Must Decide Their Fate

2017-10-13 10:59:00

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

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

2017-10-10 12:24:00

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.

News: Ireland Progress To World Cup Qualifier After Victory Over Wales

2017-10-10 01:16:00

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.

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

2017-10-02 16:52:00

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...

News: Rob Kearney Supports Repealing The 8th Amendment

2017-09-15 14:16:00

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

Message: George Hook and the Roots of Neanderthal Views About Sex

2017-09-14 11:50:00

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

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

2017-09-05 14:44:00

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…


2017-09-05 14:37:00

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…

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

2017-09-05 11:38:00

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…

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

2017-08-15 11:22:00

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

Report: The Message - 1987: It Was A Very Good Year

2017-07-21 16:37:00

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...

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

2017-07-18 12:54:00

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.

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

2017-07-18 12:08:00

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

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

2017-07-17 16:07:00

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.

Message: The Message - Will Ireland become a Brexit bargaining chip?

2017-07-10 16:26:00

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.

News: IMRO Confirms Appointment of Eleanor McEvoy as Chairperson

2017-06-01 12:00:00

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

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

2017-05-29 12:48:00

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

Message: The Message - Tech Monopolies and Surveillance Capitalism Undermine Our Democracy

2017-05-26 14:36:00

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...

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

2017-05-18 11:19:00

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...

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

2017-05-12 15:06:00

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.

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

2017-04-28 15:53:00

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.

Message: The Message - Things Are Going To Get Dirty

2017-04-17 16:39:00

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.

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

2017-04-03 15:42:00

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…

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

2017-03-08 14:22:00

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.

Message: The Message - The Enduring Legacy of The Joshua Tree

2017-03-06 13:27:00

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?

Message: The Message - Madness in the Garda Siochana

2017-02-17 15:18:00

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...

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

2017-02-13 11:00:00

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...

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

2017-01-25 10:13:00

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?

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

2017-01-09 10:09:00

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.

News: U2 Joshua Tree Tour: It Will Be Confirmed This Morning

2017-01-09 08:09:00

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...

News: Frank Murray: A Final Farewell

2017-01-04 14:43:00

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.

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

2016-12-02 12:53:00

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...

News: Glen Hansard To Receive Oscar Wilde Award 2017

2016-11-10 22:04:00

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...

Message: Men, Violence – and The Rise of Donald Trump

2016-11-10 12:16:00

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…

Book News: Mike McCormack Wins Goldsmiths Prize

2016-11-10 00:46:00

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...

Reports: Bob Dylan and The Nobel Prize

2016-10-27 16:20:00

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.

News: Packed House For Wild Goose Lodge Premiere

2016-10-21 12:39:00

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

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

2016-10-13 17:05:00

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

Food: JP McMahon’s Aniar Retains Michelin Star

2016-10-04 11:02:00

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.

Message: The Message: And Then There Were Four

2016-09-29 15:19:00

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...

Message: The New Proclamation – Repeal The Eighth

2016-09-16 13:57:00

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

News: Jackie Hayden and Peter Murphy For Wexford Lit Fest

2016-09-14 11:48:00

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

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

2016-08-18 16:12:00

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.


2016-08-04 13:05:00

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.

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

2016-07-31 23:16:00

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

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

2016-07-27 16:24:00

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..

Message: 4003 The Message

2016-07-25 11:42:00

News: HMV Not Aiming To Take On Netflix!

2016-07-12 12:22:00

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.

News: Virgin Media Secures Coronation Street and Emmerdale For 10 Years

2016-07-12 10:52:00

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


2016-07-07 17:35:00

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.

News: Brady, Hendrick and McCarthy Star As France Beat Ireland

2016-06-27 15:08:00

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.

News: Wes Hoolahan The Hero As Ireland Draw With Sweden

2016-06-14 01:12:00

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.

Message: Stop everything, Euro 2016 is upon us!

2016-06-09 17:11:00

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...

Live: From The Archives: Bruce Springsteen Live At Slane Castle 1985

2016-05-26 18:34:00

Perfect weather, a huge, peaceful crowd, and of course, the peerless Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street band. A memor­able day is reconstructed by Hot Press observers Niall Stokes, Liam Mackey, Declan Lynch, Dermot Stokes, Bill Graham, and Damian Corless, with the final word going to Fiona Looney.

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

2016-05-20 10:48:00

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

Message: The Message: It Is Time to Educate Together

2016-05-18 11:01:00

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.

News: Guy Clark: After David Bowie and Prince Another Genius Departs

2016-05-17 19:25:00

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

Message: The Message: Farewell to a Legend

2016-04-28 13:49:00

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...

Message: The Message: Our Patience is Running Out

2016-04-15 10:21:00

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

Message: The Message: 1916: History In The making

2016-04-01 09:30:00

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...

News: The Message: The Party's Over

2016-03-03 16:59:00

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

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

2016-02-19 11:57:00

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

Interview: An Interview With Enya: She Moves In Mysterious Ways

2016-01-25 14:36:00

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.

Message: The Message: There Went the Bad Times

2015-12-17 15:31:00

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...

Message: The Message: From the Miami Showband to Le Bataclan

2015-11-26 11:12:00

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?

Message: The Message: The U2 Boys Are Back In Town

2015-11-13 09:59:00

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.

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

2015-10-30 10:20:00

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.

Message: The Message: It's Not Easy Being Green

2015-10-16 10:20:00

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...

Message: The Message: Why Mental Health Needs a Re-Evaluation

2015-10-02 11:16:00

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.

Message: The Message: Shelter From The Storm

2015-09-17 11:11:00

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...

Message: The Message: Johnny Lyons: An Appreciation

2015-09-03 10:35:00

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...

Message: The Message: No Homes To Go To

2015-08-20 13:26:00

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...

Message: The Message: The Dope Show

2015-08-06 13:15:00

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...

Message: The Message: Rockin' All Over the World

2015-07-23 15:13:00

...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.

Message: Berkeley: A Cosmic Injustice

2015-07-09 13:24:00

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...


1995-07-11 16:03:00

NIALL STOKES takes a very personal journey back through the music and memories of a friendship with a man he was proud to have known.

Message: The Message: When I Was A Cowboy...

2015-06-11 10:41:00

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...

News: The Last Of The Independents

1995-12-19 17:43:00

A Tribute To Rory Gallagher by Niall Stokes

Message: The Message: The Systematic Oppresson of Gays is Over

2015-06-03 10:41:00

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...

Interview: Patti Smith Interview

2015-05-26 10:50:00

"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]

Message: Let There Be Light

2015-05-14 15:20:00

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...

News: Five Irish Albums in Top 10

2015-05-01 13:52:00

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?

Message: The Message: We Need To Talk About Charlie

2015-01-22 10:44:00

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

Message: The Message: This Nation's Saving Grace

2014-11-27 10:31:00

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...

News: Glen Hansard Unveils New Songs At Film Fundraiser

2014-11-21 17:12:00

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.

Message: The Message: I Don’t Want To Be A Clock Watcher

2014-11-13 10:42:00

Like paying to have your rubbish collected, Irish Water is another stealth charge, the genesis of which goes back to the decision to abolish household rates...

News: This One I Discovered Today: Imelda May covers Blondie

2014-11-12 13:47:00

Check out her take on 'Dreaming'...

Message: U2 - An Outstanding Artistic Force

2014-10-30 11:45:00

When U2 released their latest album Songs of Innocence, it was the subject of heated controversy. While the arguments aren't over yet, the attention is gradually turning to the music...

Message: The Message: Grace Under Fire

2014-10-16 11:09:00

The hacking of Jennifer Lawrence's phone, and the leaking of her private photos, was a criminal action – and much of the subsequent reaction was downright nasty.

Message: The Stigma Of Suicide

2014-10-02 11:18:00

If we want to end the stigma associated with suicide, we first have to acknowledge the right to die. Far from being a threat, it is empowering to know that our future is in our own hands.

Album: U2 'Songs of Innocence' - Album Review

2014-09-22 13:49:00

Well known Dublin band are back with a crash, bang and wallop...

Message: The Message: Ireland's Racism Problem

2014-09-18 10:55:00

Ours is an increasingly multi-cultural society. However, our vast State bureaucracy has refused to move with the times. Fundamental changes are needed if asylum seekers coming to Ireland are to receive justice.

Message: The Message: School Of Life

2014-09-04 10:26:00

Your student years are a wonderful prospect, offering the possibilities of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll – but there is far more to them than that...

Message: The Message: Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre...And Sadly Not Without Precedent

2014-08-21 14:56:00

The bare facts of a new case which surfaced last week are utterly shocking. Will this be the final straw that shames Ireland’s legislators into adopting a sensible abortion policy?

Message: The Message: Slaughter Of The Innocents

2014-07-24 12:28:00

Israel’s indiscriminate massacring of Palestinian men, women and children is an outrage, and they appear to have total impunity to carry on doing it. So how do we go about putting a stop to the slaughter?

Message: Garth Brooks: Victim of the Game

2014-07-10 11:11:00

When Garth Brooks decided to launch his return to the live arena with a series of shows here, it was a huge statement of faith in Ireland and in his Irish fans.

Interview: Bill Whelan Interview - Whelan In The Years

2014-06-23 11:00:00

On the 20th anniversary of Riverdance, composer Bill Whelan looks back at the phenomenon he gave birth to, recalls the fateful decision to sack Michael Flatley, discusses the Limerick City Of Culture controversy and shares his thoughts on the future of music in an era when fewer and fewer people pay for records.

Message: The Message: Treated Like So Much Human Debris

2014-06-11 17:21:00

The terrible truth is that there is nothing surprising about the revelations emerging about the treatment of young women and their children in mother and baby homes.

Message: The Message – A Dark Day For Labour

2014-05-28 17:22:00

The results of the local and European elections suggest that Labour is in deep trouble. With Sinn Féin beginning to leave the legacy of violence in the North behind, anything, it seems, can happen...

Message: The Message: Something's Rotten In The State of Ireland

2014-05-20 15:44:00

The head of the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, may have been duly delivered on a plate – but the rot in the administration of justice runs far deeper than any one individual...

Message: The Message: Living on the faultline

2014-05-01 11:15:00

The shocking story of a young family, forced to sleep in a car on the south side of Dublin, says it all about Ireland in 2014. The Government has to act decisively now or forever be shamed...

Message: The Message: Why do so many people take illegal drugs?

2014-04-17 11:04:00

And what impact does it have on their lives? These and other fascinating questions are tackled in the Global Drugs Survey, the Irish results of which we publish the issue...

Message: Prostitution: Let us apply a bit of logic

2014-04-04 17:13:00

All sex workers are trafficked, slaves of a cruel exploitative patriarchy, working against their free will? Spare us the stereotypes...

Message: Message: We need to reform our own immigration laws

2014-03-20 16:04:00

In Washington for St. Patrick's Day, an Taoiseach Enda Kenny pleaded for relief for Ireland's 50,000 US illegals. But what about those immigrants who are facing similar difficulties here in Ireland?

Message: The Message: See no evil, hear no evil

2014-03-06 12:16:00

On the one hand, hostilities in Crimea escalate to terrifying proportions. On the other, evidence mounts on a daily basis that the machinery of State here views its own citizens with deep contempt.

Message: The Message: We too can play our part

2014-02-21 10:46:00

Grief at the passing of Mary Stokes; and gratitude for her vision – and the richness that she brought to our lives...

Message: The Message: Fight the bigots

2014-02-06 11:45:00

Have the Irish people put theocratic Catholic rule well and truly in the past? Are we witnessing the last dying kick of the reactionary religious bigots? Not if we let them win this important battle...

Message: The Message: 2014, here we come

2014-01-27 17:42:00

We cannot predict the future. But we can play a part in shaping it. The time to get active is now.

Message: The Message: Have a happy Holiday

2013-12-09 12:02:00

It's hard to muster up that Christmas feeling when every new week seems to bring another scandal into the foreground. But we’ll try!

Message: Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane can do it

2013-11-25 16:12:00

You could tell immediately that the new Irish management team had lifted spirits and fostered confidence. But they said the right things too...

Message: Lou Reed crosses the Finish Line

2013-11-11 11:16:00

Lou Reed was one of the greatest and most distinctive voices in modern music. His death is a major loss...

Message: Why Are We Discriminating Against The Young?

2013-10-29 11:58:00

The cut to the job seekers allowance seems designed to force young Irish men and women to emigrate. That way, the official view seems to be, they will cost the State nothing...

Message: What's Wrong With A Festival Sponsored By A Drinks Company?

2013-10-14 11:25:00

As the debate over Arthur’s Day pushed even the Seanad referendum down the news agenda, you had to ask: where else in the western world would it happen?

Message: Vote 'No' To The Abolition Of The Seanad

2013-09-30 16:51:00

The referendum proposal is a cheap exercise in market research-driven politics that should be decisively rejected. What we need is properly thought-out reform, not political strokes.

Message: To Hall And Back

2013-09-12 00:00:00

The suicide of Priory Hall resident Fiachra Daly shines a light on the squalid and incompetent nature of public life in Ireland and the myriad of ways in which the system leaves us, the citizens, to fend for ourselves.

Frontlines: The Message: Slane Girl

2013-08-29 00:00:00

Slane girl was not a once off, but her treatment opens up several disturbing questions about the new technological age in which we live, where privacy is a concept under severe threat and the all-seeing eye of the State has a power the Stasi could only have dreamed of...

Message: Michaella Connolly and the 'War On Drugs'

2013-08-15 00:00:00

The detention of a young Irish woman on substance trafficking charges is a grim reminder of the absurdity of our drugs laws and how they can potentially turn naive kids into criminals...

Message: The War On Porn

2013-07-31 00:00:00

British PM David Cameron’s pledge to crack down on online pornography will do nothing to help anybody. He may be playing to the gallery, but his entreaties should be resisted in the name of freedom...

Message: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

2013-07-18 00:00:00

The heatwave may have obscured the possibility that drastic climate changes are afoot...

Message: What Happens When the Heart Just Stops?

2013-07-04 00:00:00

Reflections on the extraordinary life and times of Peggy Stokes (pictured with Dermot Stokes), 1919-2013...

Message: It Doesn't Make Sense

2013-06-20 00:00:00

Increasingly, people are realising that there is no rational explanation for the policy of mass medication by fluoridation of the water supply. We need to act fast before the damage to our reputation gathers momentum...

Message: The Message: It is what we do that counts...

2013-06-06 00:00:00

No country is inherently special. Ireland will be judged rather by the kind of society we create – and by what our citizens can achieve…

Message: The Message: Cannabis Prohibition

2013-05-23 00:00:00

The ban on cannabis is narrow-minded, medically unjustified and helps line the pockets of criminals. Which is why Hot Press is spearheading a new campaign to reform the law...

Message: The Message: When Public Policy Goes Wrong

2013-05-09 00:00:00

Junior Health Minister Alex White has answered the 27 Questions on fluoride, put to him by Hot Press. Will he want to stand over the answers in 10 years’ time?

Message: The Message: Stop The Bullying Now

2013-04-25 00:00:00

The government’s proposals to subject suicidal pregnant females to a panel of six doctors who will sit in judgement on their fate is impractical, morally reprehensible — and must not be allowed to become enshrined in law...

Message: The Message: The Eighth Amendment Is An Insult To Women

2013-04-11 00:00:00

As the facts about the death of Savita Halappanavar become clearer, it is time to remove from the constitution the spurious claim of an “equal” right to life for the foetus…

Message: Panic On The Streets Of Nicosia

2013-03-28 00:00:00

The Euro crisis has hit a small island on the fringes of Europe and ordinary citizens are being forced to shoulder the burden. Little wonder the meltdown in Cyprus has struck a chord with so many in Ireland...

Message: They Blunder, You Pay

2013-03-14 00:00:00

They helped plunge us into the economic abyss but it seems humble pie is not on the menu for Ireland’s ruling elite, as recent remarks about the need for a higher rate of home repossessions demonstrates...

Message: Onwards And Upwards

2013-03-01 00:00:00

Hot Press continues to evolve, to inspire, to provoke debate, to ruffle feathers and to entertain. Here’s to an exciting new departure...

Message: A job half-done again

2013-02-15 00:00:00

While the Magdalene Laundries report confirms State collusion in their running, it has left numerous questions about these Irish gulags unanswered


2013-02-01 00:00:00

We need to put policies in place that will enable us to reduce the number of people in jail. The truth is that everyone would benefit…

Message: The Debate About Suicide Is Only Starting

2013-01-17 00:00:00

Last week, the High Court in Dublin refused Marie Fleming the right to assisted suicide. But the case offered a different context in which to consider what is a very sensitive issue...

Message: When Dreams Turn To Nightmares

2012-11-28 00:00:00

The salaries and pensions being paid to Ireland’s banking elite are an ongoing scandal that the Government should have addressed long ago.

Frontlines: Poetry in motion

2012-11-13 00:00:00

The two latest entries to Today FM’s Poetic Champions Compose series arrived a decade apart and certainly made their mark. We plunder the Hot Press vaults once more to reflect on two of the greatest offerings from Van Morrison and The Boomtown Rats.

Message: The Sick Legacy of Jimmy Savile

2012-11-02 00:00:00

Revelations that the BBC DJ was a serial sex abuser are consistent with the twisted egotism of his image. So how did he get away with it for so long?

Message: Hot Press tackle Irish Football Crisis

2012-10-04 00:00:00

The crucial questions that Giovanni Trapattoni declined to answer.

Message: It Is Time To Decriminalise Cannabis

2012-09-21 00:00:00

A court case in which a judge did the right thing by avoiding a custodial sentence is a good starting point for marijuana reform. Let’s start by making medical cannabis legal now.

Message: I Sing The Body Electric

2012-09-14 00:00:00

The stars were aligned and and the sun shone at Electric Picnic. It was the least we deserved at the end of a long, wet summer...

Message: Don't Stop The Music

2012-08-29 00:00:00

The recent tragic events in the Phoenix Park should not be used to prevent music lovers from attending and enjoying gigs to the max.

Message: It is Time For a New Dispensation

2012-07-31 00:00:00

Sex is life’s greatest pleasure. So why have people been so hung up about it for so long? Introducing our focus on Sex In Ireland 2012.

Message: Is Trap The Man To Lead Us On?

2012-06-28 00:00:00

The future of football in Ireland depends on the performances of the national team. So where do we go after the humiliation of Euro 2012?

Interview: Brady's Bunch

2012-06-25 00:00:00

He’s one of the outstanding Irish songwriters of the modern era. Now Paul Brady is taking fans and newcomers alike on an intimate journey, with an album chronicling some of his favourite career moments. Here, he looks back over his extraordinary 45 years in the business, argues that the emerging generation has shot itself in the foot and, controversially, takes the Government to task in relation to copyright

Message: We Must Take Responsibility For What We Believe

2012-06-15 00:00:00

With the return of the Eucharistic Congress to Dublin, it seems timely to look afresh at the nature of religious faith – and to stop pretending to be what we are not.

Message: Let’s Go Out There And Slay ‘Em

2012-05-31 00:00:00

History beckons for the Irish players at Euro 2012. Better still, we seem to be going there in pretty good shape. Let the games commence!

Message: Was there a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice?

2012-05-28 00:00:00

There are very strong grounds for an investigation by the Gardaí into the cover-up of the sexual abuse crimes of Fr. Brendan Smyth.

Message: Beware of the drift to Populist Nationalism

2012-05-22 00:00:00

The French presidential election saw the National Front candidate Marine Le Pen almost double her vote. It signals a further threat to the European project.

Message: Food For Thought

2012-04-19 00:00:00

Plans to tackle the prevalence of junk-food and increasing obesity in Irish society should be welcomed. But focusing purely on the calorie count is the wrong way to go about it.

Message: The Excesses In Banking Need To Be Tackled Now

2012-03-22 00:00:00

With a referendum on the Treaty on European Stability looming, the Government has to show that it is capable of taking on the fat cats... and winning.

Message: The Message

2012-03-08 00:00:00

There were so many highs at The Music Show that it was often hard to keep up! But we tried..

Message: Ireland Is On Fire With Great Music

2012-02-23 00:00:00

The Music Show brings the potential of Irish music into sharp focus. We are, as the man said, all in this together...

Message: The Message

2012-02-09 00:00:00

It promises to be one of the most fascinating weekends of music activity in years. Get ready to rock into the RDS...

Message: The Threat Posed By A Wild-West Internet

2012-01-26 00:00:00

Opponents of a crackdown on internet piracy wave the banner of freedom of expression – but the issue of online piracy is a critical one for artists, no matter what powerful vested interests in the tech industry would have you believe.

Message: its Time To Get Stroppy

2012-01-12 00:00:00

For too long, Ireland has been pushed around by the international vested interests represented by the EU, the ECB and the IMF. With the dawn of a new year, it is time for us to start fighting back...

Message: The Vision Thing

2012-01-04 00:00:00

However things go in the markets, it is the key to future prosperity.

Message: Let's Stick Together

2011-12-01 00:00:00

The death of the footballer and manager of the Wales national team, Gary Speed, as a result of suicide, is a shocking reminder of the vulnerabilities that afflict so many people at this time of the year...

Message: We Are Entitled To Dream

2011-11-17 00:00:00

We may not look like contenders for the Euro 2012 title just yet – but there is time for the Irish team to improve between now and June of next year...

Message: Sometimes The Good Guys Win In The End

2011-11-07 00:00:00

There is no one better qualified to be President of Ireland than Michael D. Higgins. And now he is...

Message: Michael D. Higgins is the right choice for President

2011-10-24 00:00:00

It’s still all to play for a week before the Presidential election. But Michael D. Higgins is clearly the right man for the job.

Message: The Race Is On

2011-10-11 00:00:00

With just three weeks to go and seven candidates in the field, the Presidential election is a fascinating one.

Message: It Is Time To End Mandatory Sentencing

2011-10-03 00:00:00

For a very long time the emphasis has been on making prison sentences tougher in Ireland. But the new Minister for Justice Alan Shatter signalled a different approach last week...

Message: Prostitution: it’s time for honesty

2011-08-29 00:00:00

Propaganda about sex trafficking is challenged in a revealing new analysis of prostitution in Ireland.

Message: A terrible beauty is born

2011-08-24 00:00:00

The rioting on the streets of London is a reflection of a society which has lost its way. With unemployment soaring, there is no reason to feel that anyone in Europe is immunised from the virus...

Message: Leave Darren Clarke alone!

2011-08-22 00:00:00

The winner of the British Open is entitled to do it his way – including the celebrations afterwards. Plus: the illusion of the Confessional comes under close scrutiny.

Message: Bonfire Of The Vanities

2011-07-26 00:00:00

Revelations of a collapse in journalistic standards at the News of the World are just the tip of the iceberg. We could be set to enter uncharted waters…

Message: People are entitled to the presumption of innocence

2011-07-01 00:00:00

The case of the Irish nurse accused of rape in Brisbane highlights the importance of the presumption of innocence. Plus: why the Gardai have been grossly unfair to Louis Walsh

Message: The vilification of David Norris

2011-06-16 00:00:00

For once it seemed that there might be two good candidates running for President. Now, however, a campaign of vilification may have scuppered David Norris’ chances.

Message: There Is Something Wrong In The Camp Of Ireland

2011-06-03 00:00:00

What it means to be Irish was on the agenda over the past fortnight in all sorts of different ways

Message: The Queen's visit has underlines how petty bureaucracy rules

2011-05-19 00:00:00

How come a three-day visit cast a shadow over the city of Dublin for a whole week? Because it is the way the authorities here work...

Message: Thank You, Mr. President

2011-05-05 00:00:00

An extraordinary document – an open letter to the President of the United States of America – was hand-delivered to Hot Press on Monday last.

Message: Why It's Time To Stop Treating Sexually Active Teens As Criminals

2011-04-21 00:00:00

For much of the history of this state children were beaten, abused and forgotten. We’ve since come a long way – but the laws regarding sex between ‘minors’ remain mired in another era

Message: Hope It's Not The Enda The Line

2011-04-07 00:00:00

Barely a month into the new government and we have been forced to eat humble pie – again

Message: Sometimes I Have To Pinch Myself

2011-03-24 00:00:00

With Killing Bono arriving in town, My Boy hitting the bestsellers and the Minister for the Arts, Jimmy Deenihan visiting the Philip Lynott Exhibition it’s been a curious fourteen dayst indeed...

Message: The Old Order Is Crumbling

2011-03-10 00:00:00

Sorry, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. What we can say now, is that the events of the past two months in North Africa have the potential to transform the world order. But it is still all to play for...

Message: Still In Love With You

2011-02-24 00:00:00

We hadn’t anticipated the extraordinary odyssey that awaited us, when the idea crystallised for an exhibition to celebrate the life and work of Philip Lynott.

Interview: Death Is Not The End

2011-02-23 00:00:00

In the second part of a major interview, conducted at The Music Show in the RDS, Bob Geldof talks about Band Aid, Live Aid, Paula Yates, the death of his father Bob Snr. and his new solo album, How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell.

Message: No One Escpaes The Grim Reaper

2011-02-11 00:00:00

The great Irish guitar hero Gary Moore has gone. Perhaps the Fianna Fáil party will be next...

Interview: Bob Geldof - Years Of The Rat

2011-02-09 00:00:00

In the first part of a major interview conducted at last year’s Music Show in the RDS, BOB GELDOF talks candidly about life as an illegal immigrant in Canada, how the Boomtown Rats took on official Ireland and then went on to duke it out with the Pistols and The Clash, and what triggered his involvement in Live Aid. Plus, a look back at Bob and the Rats on the cover of Hot Press.

Message: It's Been A Wonderful Journey

2011-01-27 00:00:00

The first issue of Hot Press coincided with the beginning of an election campaign. It was the one that precipitated the disastrous elevation of the Jack Lynch-led Fianna Fáil government in 1977, which resulted in the virtual bankruptcy of Ireland.

Interview: THE KILDARE BOY:The Christy Moore Story

2011-01-24 00:00:00

Selected as the Best Irish Male singer at the Meteor Awards 2010, CHRISTY MOORE first emerged as a performer towards the end of the 1960s. Since then, he has become one of the most distinctive and influential voices in Irish music. A magnetic performer, his work variously with Planxty, Moving Hearts and as a solo artist, has been widely acclaimed and he is regarded among his international peers as one of the pre-eminent folk singers.

Message: The Future Starts Here

2011-01-13 00:00:00

It is impossible to escape the signs of economic peril currently on display all over Ireland. But with vision, our present difficulties can spark the beginning of a new and more expansively Irish era…

Interview: Searchlight On The Future

1978-07-20 00:00:00

On the surface, it might seem that Thin Lizzy have their eyes and hearts and minds on only one thing- the present.

Live: Thin Lizzy: Live at the RDS, Dublin

1983-04-15 00:00:00

An occasion, a night to remember, an unrepeatable experience.

Message: We Are In Uncharted Territory

2010-12-02 00:00:00

With an €85 billion ‘rescue package’ being foisted on us by the IMF and the EU, the avenues of escape are fewer than ever before. But there may just be another twist in the scéal yet…

Message: The Message - There Was No Need For Violence

2010-11-19 00:00:00

When students demonstrated in Dublin, elements within the Gardai used excessive force against them. The people to blame are at the top... words Niall Stokes

Message: The Message - Always Someone Looking At You

2010-11-04 00:00:00

It’s an oldie but still a goodie. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not right. Especially where the abuse of modern technology is concerned...

Message: Illegal Downloading: Legislation Is Needed Now

2010-11-03 00:00:00

The arguments in favour of file sharing are intellectually sloppy and thoroughly unconvincing. It is time for the Government to act...

Message: Thank You. Now I Need Some Sleep!

2010-11-01 00:00:00

There was a fantastic level of energy and excitement at this year’s Music Show, confirming Ireland’s place at the heart of the action in international music. Now for 2011

Message: The Future of Music

2010-11-01 00:00:00

With the music industry in crisis, the gathering of leading Irish & international names at the RDS will put the focus firmly on the question: where will the revenue come from to sustain the work of artists into the future?

Message: The Message

2010-10-11 00:00:00

The vexed issue of prostitution — and the various moral conundrums it opens up — continues to divide opinion. So how’s about a massage?

Travel: End this senseless farce

2010-09-06 00:00:00

The Leaving Cert is so systematically weighted against 50% of its participants – the male ones – that it is now completely discredited. So when will it be reformed?

Message: Sympathy for the Devil

2010-08-12 00:00:00

When ACC bank impounded a BMW driven by property developer Paddy Kelly, possibly in direct response to an Irish Times interview with Fintan O'Toole, it seemed like an unnecessary and vindictive action…

Message: The Nation's Great Disgrace

2010-07-27 00:00:00

Immigration officials are maintaining 'Fortress Ireland' with great enthusiasm, turfing refugees out at a phenomenal rate, and systematically attacking the dignity of those who apply for refugee status. Why is there no outcry about this?

Message: The Message: World in Motion

2010-07-01 00:00:00

The global extravaganza has been a joy to behold. There is also plenty of evidence to suggest that the tournament is none the poorer for Ireland's absence...

Message: Irish Heartbeat

2010-06-28 00:00:00

A documentary on Rory Gallagher brought back the extent to which Irish artists were marginalised by Irish media. The sad truth, however, is that the new generation still struggle to receive their fair share of air-time on Irish radio. Why?

Message: Heroin: The Inconvenient Truth

2010-06-15 00:00:00

The case for legally regulating the supply of heroin is overwhelming. It would cut the crime rate dramatically. Criminalisation isn’t working and never will work. And yet we persist...

Message: Making The Same Mistakes Over And Over

2010-05-20 00:00:00

The Government’s insistence on bowing to tabloid hysteria by outlawing ‘head shops’ has handed complete control of Ireland’s drug trade back to ruthless criminal gangs. Well done, to all concerned....

Message: Mad About The Boy

2010-05-06 00:00:00

One of Ireland’s greatest broadcasters, in many ways Gerry Ryan was still a boy at heart, with an extraordinary love for the great adventure of life.

Interview: Bringing It All Back Home

1984-07-27 00:00:00

Bob Dylan at Slane - The music, the magic, the mayhem and so much more...

Message: Everyone Is To Blame Except Us

2010-04-23 00:00:00

Swamped in allegations of sex abuse of minors and mired in a culture of cover-ups, the Catholic Church is looking around for others to blame - starting with gays.

Message: The Arts Are Crucial To The Economy

2010-04-13 00:00:00

When Mary Hanafin was appointed Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport it was widely depicted as a demotion. But these are areas of vital strategic importance.

Album: 800 Voices

2010-03-31 00:00:00

Timely rerelease of almost-lost Irish classic.

Message: Suffer Little Children

2010-03-25 00:00:00

How the Primate of All Ireland facilitated the crimes of a paedophile and perverted (it's the only word) the course of justice.

Message: What happens when the heart just stops?

2010-03-11 00:00:00

When the news broke that Paul Clancy – who had just released his debut album – had died, it came like a bolt from the blue. Sadly, his death was not the only tragedy of the past fortnight to affect people close to Hot Press...

Interview: The Kildare Boy; The Christy Moore Story

2010-03-10 00:00:00

Selected as the Best Irish Male singer at the Meteor Awards 2010, CHRISTY MOORE first emerged as a performer towards the end of the 1960s. Since then, he has become one of the most distinctive and influential voices in Irish music. A magnetic performer, his work variously with Planxty, Moving Hearts and as a solo artist, has been widely acclaimed and he is regarded among his international peers as one of the pre-eminent folk singers.

Album: Hooba Dooba

2010-03-09 00:00:00

Folk veteran returns with career-best album

Message: Something is rotten in the State of the Vatican

2010-02-25 00:00:00

The meeting between the Pope and the Irish bishops in Rome was another insult to the victims of clerical abuse here.

Message: All the President’s Men

2010-02-12 00:00:00

Why is President McAleese endorsing the involvement of the scandalised Catholic Church in our educational system? And should the – admittedly beleagured – Jean Treacy have received special Garda treatment?

Reports: 12 Step Planet: Berlin

2010-02-11 00:00:00

You don’t go to Berlin for the weather. You go for the history, the culture, the atmosphere, the vibe.

Message: Some people are more equal than others

2010-01-14 00:00:00

Why are people under the age of 25 being treated like half citizens? It is a further example of the condescending attitude of the authorities to the younger generation.

Frontlines: Live Music Venue of the Year Winners Announced

2009-12-11 00:00:00

After an online poll of its 6,000 members, the Irish Music Rights Organisation doled out their live Music Venue of the Year Awards 2009 on Tuesday December 1 in Copyright House.

Message: It was the Worst of Times

2009-12-07 00:00:00 was the worst of times. In fact – the pleasures of rock’n’roll aside – there was virtually nothing to celebrate on this small island in 2009. And to seal our misery, we had to deal with the bishops ducking and diving again.

Message: It is Time to Take on the Big Boys

2009-11-20 00:00:00

The Minister for Health is proposing to impose a charge on every drug prescribed under the Medical Card scheme. Already the IMO and the IPU have put forward better and fairer schemes that would not target the vulnerable…

Message: Celebrate good times, come on!

2009-11-06 00:00:00

It may not have made the front pages but the news emerged recently that our prison population had exceeded the magic 4,000 for the first time. What a remarkable achievement for such a small country, eh?

Message: Respect Is The Key

2009-10-23 00:00:00

The life and work of Stephen Gately was brilliantly remembered at his funeral service by the members of Boyzone. There is a lesson in this for all of us.

Message: Let The Music Keep Your Spirits High

2009-10-15 00:00:00

The Music Show was a huge success, with people from all aspects of the music industry coming together to participate in an event which, as well as showcasing all the latest instruments and equipment, was rich in ideas, information and, above all, great music


2009-09-25 00:00:00

Tommy Tiernan has become engulfed in a nasty controversy over remarks made in the context of a comedic performance. The furore raises the question: are there meaningful boundaries to ‘acceptable’ humour?


2009-09-14 00:00:00

The Electric Picnic couldn’t have been any more inspiring (weather excepted). Now, roll on the Music Show.... Electric Picnic. It marks the end of the summer, and the beginning of the academic year when people start to trudge back to schools and college. It is a moment when you start to anticipate the darkness falling down around us, the days getting shorter and then shorter again, till the watershed weekend arrives when the clocks go back, and the winter comes stealing in.

Message: A Little Respect When I Come Home

2009-08-28 00:00:00

Those who carp and crib about Irish athletes ‘failing’ on the world stage ought to study the facts a little more carefully...

Message: An Bord Snip Would Decimate the Arts

2009-08-13 00:00:00

But only if we let them. Draconian changes in the arts infrastructure have been proposed, the damaging effects of which will be felt for generations to come. Now is the time to shout: STOP!

Message: The heavyweight champions of the world

2009-07-30 00:00:00

In rock terms, that's what U2 are, having successfully defended their crown against all-comers since The Joshua Tree crashed to No.1 in the US in 1987.

Message: Fun-Lovin' Criminals

2009-07-16 00:00:00

And that’s just the politicians we spoke to... The publication of a major new anthology of Hot Press interviews by Jason O’Toole, focused primarily on the Irish criminal underworld, gives cause for reflection on what it takes to ‘get good interview’.

Reports: The Message: Michael Jackson 1958-2009

2009-07-03 00:00:00

Why the musical legacy bequeathed by Michael Jackson will ultimately outlive and overshadow the huge morass of questions surrounding his life and death...

Message: Is racism on the way back?

2009-04-21 00:00:00

On the streets perhaps, and on football pitches. But in official circles it never went away. Which is why we treat asylum seekers as badly as we do

Message: The Pope is wrong about condoms

2009-03-26 00:00:00

When the Pope claimed that condoms increase the problem of AIDS, he was putting the ideological and doctrinal interests of the Catholic Church ahead of the health of people.

Album: Imeall

2009-02-27 00:00:00

Impressive debut solo offering from altan co-founder

Message: Hard time killin' floor blues

2009-02-27 00:00:00

The party’s over, and the less well-off are expected to pick up the tab for the excesses of avaricious millionaires. But there are constructive things that can be done to turn the tide...

Interview: Yes Minister!

2009-02-12 00:00:00

A special interview from the Hot Press archives, first published in 1985: Minister for Women's Affairs Nuala Fennell talks feminism, sex and contraception with HP editor Niall Stokes.

Message: It's broke now can we fix it

2009-02-03 00:00:00

As Ireland’s economy hits the skids at breakneck speed, the Government – and the Opposition – seem utterly bereft of ideas on how to turn the tide. But we need to get on with it quickly...

Message: The crimes of freedom

2009-01-29 00:00:00

It has taken a long time but the dream of equality and freedom that Martin Luther King evoked so eloquently in Washington in 1963 may finally be realised under the Presidency of Barack Obama. w

Interview: In Bob We Trust

1978-03-16 00:00:00

Niall Stokes' classic 1978 conversation with Bob Marley...


2008-12-11 00:00:00

Opening this month with a volley of gigs from such rock 'n' roll A-Listers as Kings Of Leon, and Coldplay, the 14,500-capacity Dublin O2 looks like being one of the best venues in the world.

Message: Stampede of the Selfish and the Stingy

2008-12-04 00:00:00

Hordes of penny-pinching citizens of the Republic have fled to the North in search of, at best, a 4% saving on their Christmas shopping. Are their brains functioning properly?

Message: Andy: If the Cap Fits

2008-11-20 00:00:00

Giovanni Trapattoni's cold shouldering of Andy Reid is a mistake, but what does it say about his management style?

Album: Between the Bars

2008-11-19 00:00:00

A short and sweet album that hits the ground running with a sexy sound that's sure to produce a few chart-toppers.

Message: How Strange the Change

2008-11-06 00:00:00

A reflection on the US Presidential campaigns before the votes were tallied.

Message: Helping Irish Musicians to Help Themselves

2008-10-29 00:00:00

There is a huge wealth of music talent in Ireland today. In this economic meltdown, the government should help the industry live up to its potential through the introduction of initiatives that would make Ireland a better environment for musicians.

Message: Got live if you want it!

2008-09-12 00:00:00

Despite the best efforts of the legislators, the Irish live music scene is fighting back. It's a very good time for the inaugural Irish Live Music Venue of the Year Awards.

Album: Poor Man's Moon

2008-09-09 00:00:00

Where has he been all these years? You might well ask. Henry McCullough is one of the unsung heroes of Irish music.

Message: Blind bureaucracy keeps Ireland in the slow lane

2008-07-17 00:00:00

Despite routine speed limit violations, Dublin's Port Tunnel is one of the country's safest stretches of road. So why install cameras to police a speed restriction that is too low?

Message: Negative Equity? Who gives a damn?

2008-07-03 00:00:00

The pundits have been out in force, predicting the end of civilisation as we know it. But the only thing that really matters is employment.

Message: Slipping Into Darkness

2008-06-19 00:00:00

Might the 'No' vote to the Lisbon Treaty have been rooted in narrow xenophobia and influenced by a poisonous anti-immigrant feeling?

Interview: The Loneliness of the Longdistance Nighthawk

2008-06-17 00:00:00

Niall Stokes shares a barstool with Tom Waits

Message: Are Irish Concert-Goers Being Ripped Off?

2008-06-05 00:00:00

When the Tom Waits shows were announced, there was the by now almost compulsory hue and cry about the ticket prices. So why do we pay more for tickets in Ireland than in the US?

Message: Why 'culture' is the dirty word in the corridors of power

2008-05-22 00:00:00

The new Broadcasting Bill has much to recommend it. If it goes ahead in its current form, however, it has the potential to become a hugely retrograde step for Irish radio and television.


2008-04-25 00:00:00

Faced with the knowledge that she is dying, Nuala O Faolain addressed issues of life and death with characteristic honesty and integrity

Message: This is the long goodbye

2008-04-11 00:00:00

It was far from edifying, watching Bertie Ahern attempt to slug it out with the Mahon Tribunal. Now that it's all over, maybe we can get down to some real politics...

Album: Keep it Simple

2008-04-07 00:00:00

The Belfast cowboy keeps on making quality records

Message: Forget the behaviouralist bollox

2008-03-27 00:00:00

The installation of a skatepark in Bushy Park in Dublin is just a small example of the kind of positive thinking that should be at the heart of the national agenda.

Message: Is Irish radio fair to Irish music?

2008-03-13 00:00:00

It was a hot topic at the Hot Press-run Music Ireland event at the RDS last year and again at the recent IBI conference.

Message: I'm as tolerant as the next guy, but...

2008-02-28 00:00:00

Of course Cathal O Searcaigh should be whipped off the Leaving Cert. And every other degenerate writer from the past and the present, along with him...

Message: Has Niall gone mad? Again?

2008-02-14 00:00:00

It's been a hell of a ride at Hot Press central over the past few weeks, what with a controversial drugs issue to defend, and a whole new look to usher in.

Message: Bring it on!

2008-01-17 00:00:00

The first Hot Press of 2008 focuses on the many weird and wonderful things that are in prospect, in music, movies, comedy, fashion – oh, and life in bloody general! It promises to be a fascinating year.

Message: Why we must resist pressure for an armed police force

2007-11-29 00:00:00

We should do everything in our power to ensure the police force stays true to its unarmed traditions.

Message: Have you passed your travel quota yet?

2007-11-15 00:00:00

The routine surveillance of the travel movements of Irish citizens represents a fundamental threat to civil liberties. So why has there been so little resistance to these Government proposals?

Message: Scapegoating young motorists for road carnage is lazy and wrong

2007-11-02 00:00:00

By threatening to tighten the rules for provisional drivers, the government is implicitly holding young motorists responsible for rising levels of death on the road.

Message: It's time for more Irish music on Irish radio

2007-10-18 00:00:00

A simmering dissatisfaction with the amount of Irish music being played on Irish radio bubbled over at Music Ireland, with a debate that was, by turns, lively and illuminating.

Message: The government is neglecting Irish musicians

2007-10-04 00:00:00

There has been precious little appreciation in official circles of the cultural and economic importance of Irish music.

Message: Time to end the church’s hold on education

2007-09-21 00:00:00

The shameful prospect of an ‘all black’ school in Dublin is a reminder of the control which the Catholic Church exerts over the Irish education system.

Message: To ban or not turban? That is the question

2007-09-06 00:00:00

When a Sikh gentleman decided that he’d like to join the Garda Reserve, he unintentionally threw the cat among the pigeons.

Message: The System Is Shaped By Dunces

2007-08-23 00:00:00

The Leaving Cert results are out, and college offers have been made. But is it not time to reform a system that rewards rote learning over critical thinking?

Message: Two become one

2007-08-09 00:00:00

Two of Ireland’s finest bands, with apparently nothing in common, have come together to demonstrate the endless possibilities music has to offer.

Message: It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy

2007-07-26 00:00:00

And we're not talking about Joe O'Reilly.

Message: The battle remains the same

2007-06-29 00:00:00

To mark the 30th Anniversary of the launch of Hot Press, this issue comes with a free reprint of selected material taken from the magazine's first six months in 1977. It offers a unique insight into what was a seminal moment for Irish music and culture.

Message: Do you remember the first time?

2007-06-14 00:00:00

30th Anniversary Retrospective: 30 years ago Hot Press wasn’t exactly the, ahem, smoothly oiled media machine it is today.

Message: The ordinary man has his day

2007-05-31 00:00:00

That was the ultimate theme in a general election that saw the voters reject the arrogance of Michael McDowell, overlook the controversy of Bertie Ahern’s past and ensure that nothing’s really going to change. It was certainly a very Irish affair

Frontlines: Lynott memorabilia sold under false pretences

2007-05-21 00:00:00

Phil Lynott fans beware – supposedly ‘rare’ Thin Lizzy artefacts being sold by an English dealer are not what they seem.

Message: Now is the time to have your say

2007-05-17 00:00:00

The 2007 general election is set to be a close-run thing. Which makes it all the more important for people to get to the polls. Because if you don’t vote, you don’t count…

Message: There has been an attempt to disenfranchise young people

2007-05-03 00:00:00

By holding the general election on a Thursday, the Government parties have – one assumes knowingly – made it more difficult for young people in general, and students in particular, to vote.

Message: The shit hits the fan in Galway

2007-04-19 00:00:00

And other ways in which the Government have been caught out in a big lie, in their campaign to promote the idea of ‘active citizenship’.

Message: Hell is back and it makes me happy

2007-04-05 00:00:00

There seems to be a remarkable unwillingness among modern priests, and indeed Catholics generally, to nail their colours to the mast. What’s good about Pope Benedict and his recently announced views on hell, is that he makes it clear: you’re either on the bus or you’re not…

Message: Ireland expects

2007-03-22 00:00:00

Our rugby and cricket players have given us plenty to cheer about, now it’s the footballers’ turn.

Message: Jackboot justice

2007-03-08 00:00:00

“Guilty until proved innocent” seems to be the unthinking philosophy behind the recent introduction of ASBOs, providing just one more opportunity for the authorities to abuse their powers.

Message: He hears the ticking of the clock

2007-02-22 00:00:00

The last thing we want to see is a forlorn Steve Staunton walking along with a parrot that talks on his shoulder, wondering if John Delaney will pick him out again.

Message: Let's talk about sex

2007-02-08 00:00:00

We’ve come a long way since the Censorship of Publications Board banned an Irish Family Planning booklet in 1976. But we still have a lot to learn about sex, love and respect.

Message: Are you registered to vote?

2007-01-25 00:00:00

With election year fun and games already underway, the fear persists that a large number of people have been disenfranchised by the redrafting of the electoral register. However, no one need be left out of the party.

Message: The good, the bad and the Simpsons

2007-01-11 00:00:00

At the beginning of Hot Press 30th Anniversary year, our esteemed editor is determined to strike a positive note. All together now...

Report: Edge, this song doesn't have a chorus...

2006-11-23 00:00:00

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.

Message: Rumsfeld for the Nobel Prize!

2006-11-22 00:00:00

He is a visionary, a poet – and an innovator in terms of interrogation techniques. Now that he has resigned as US Defence Secretary, the campaign to make him a Nobel Laureate starts. Right here...

Message: Rumsfeld for the Nobel Prize

2006-11-16 00:00:00

He is a visionary, a poet – and an innovator in terms of interrogation techniques. Now that he has resigned as US Defence Secretary, the campaign to make him a Nobel Laureate starts. Right here...

Interview: Music man

2006-11-15 00:00:00

He began working in music as a drummer, but Dave Pennefather's greatest success has been as MD of Universal Music. Hot Press looks back over the life and times of a man with a larger than life reputation.

Message: The age of living dangerously

2006-11-02 00:00:00

Tough new measures are being promised, to tackle the phenomenon of dangerous driving among young males. But the law is far more likely to work if it seen to be applied intelligently – and if there is a positive side to any new Government campaign.

Message: The best plan is to start wining now

2006-10-19 00:00:00

The defeat in Cyprus may have been shocking – but after the draw with the Czech Republic we should still be battling to qualify for the European Championship finals.

Message: Much ado about nothing

2006-10-05 00:00:00

Bertie Ahern has been swimming through a shitstorm over the past fortnight, with accusations regarding controversial payments making the headlines. But Michael McDowell looks like coming to his rescue. Or maybe it’s just William Shakespeare in disguise...

Message: The trouble with the Pope

2006-09-21 00:00:00

It may have been ill-advised for Pope Benedict to make a speech that seemed critical of Islam. But there's no need for everyone to get so hot and bothered...

Message: Isn’t it time the Irish Government got serious about the music industry?

2006-09-07 00:00:00

From U2 to The Frames and Sinead O’Connor to Damien Rice, music has helped put this country on the map. So why is the government so slow to back the music industry?

Message: Is the points race really over?

2006-08-24 00:00:00

With the Leaving Cert points system as its ultimate goal, education in Ireland has been in a bad place for a long time. Now with a drop in numbers doing the Leaving Cert and an increase in the quantum of college places available, the balance has shifted. Let’s make sure that we make the most of the opportunity.

Message: Why does Dublin airport resemble an overcrowded cattle pen?

2006-08-10 00:00:00

Arriving in Ireland for the first time, tourists can expect to face lengthy and unnecessary queues in cramped conditions because of short staffing at immigration desks. Between them, the gardai and the Department of Justice, are presenting us to visitors as a bunch of witless incompetents.

Message: The voices of the Jews of conscience need to be heard

2006-07-27 00:00:00

Hezbollah may be a significant part of the problem, but there is no justification whatsoever for the indiscriminate murder of civilians, of which the Israelis are guilty in Lebanon.

Message: The greatest show on earth

2006-06-29 00:00:00

World Cup 2006 has been a feast of high drama, human frailty and moments of madness. And that's just been from the referees.

Message: The war on youth

2006-06-15 00:00:00

In countless ways Irish society tries to make life hard for teenagers. What do we have against youth?

Message: Reform of our sex laws long overdue

2006-06-01 00:00:00

Last week a decision of the Supreme Court threw the spotlight on the outdated nature of Ireland’s sex laws. So where do we go from here?

Message: Remembering Bill

2006-05-18 00:00:00

It was ten years ago this issue that Hot Press and Ireland in general lost the great Bill Graham.

Message: Youth defense

2006-05-04 00:00:00

It’s time we started treating teenagers with a bit of respect.

Message: The stench of a police state

2006-04-20 00:00:00

Everywhich way you turn now, the extent of the intrusion of the State into the minutiae of Irish life is more keenly felt. It is unlikely that James Connolly would have approved.

Message: John McGahern: A reluctant hero

2006-04-06 00:00:00

He was one of the greatest Irish novelists of the 20th Century – a man with a singular vision and a commitment to the work that was at once bold and exemplary. He will be greatly missed.

News: Irish author John McGahern dies in Dublin

2006-03-30 00:00:00

The death has occurred of the great Irish writer John McGahern, at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. He was 71 years of age. Although his health had not been the best for some time, his death was sudden.

Message: Why the gardai are right to resist plans for a reserve force

2006-03-22 00:00:00

Establishing a Garda Reserve would be naive, short-sighed and foolhardy. Typically, the Minister for Justice refuses to be swayed by common sense.

Message: The riots could have been averted

2006-03-09 00:00:00

There was enough advance warning for the Minister for Justice to have put a plan in place, which would have prevented the riots that engulfed Dublin on the day of the Love Ulster parade. So why is no one blaming Michael McDowell?

Message: We stand for nothing

2006-02-23 00:00:00

President Mary McAleese recently travelled to Saudi Arabia and spoke at a conference at which apartheid against women was practised as a matter of routine. In doing so, she unwittingly promoted the mercenary strain that seems to dominate every Irish stance on international affairs right now.

Interview: The spirit of independence

2006-02-17 00:00:00

Irish labels, bands and artists often face an uphill struggle to garner recognition, even on their home turf. Which is why hotpress and HMV have undertaken their own combined initiative, to coincide with the announcement of the shortlist for the first Choice Irish music prize. As a product of this initiative, all ten albums will be specially stocked and displayed in HMV stores all over Ireland on the run-in to the announcement of the winning album later this month. Here, we take a look at the list – and reflect on those that have been omitted.

Message: Where does the right to free speech end?

2006-02-09 00:00:00

The violence sparked by cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed forces us to ask serious questions about the importance of free speech – and the responsibilities which that right entails.

Album: Stolen Moments

2006-01-30 00:00:00

The banjo has got some bad press over the years and not without some justification. However, prepare to have your prejudices on this score reduced to rubble: Alison Brown is a wizard and a true star and Stolen Moments is a cracker of an album from start to finish.

Message: What is 'mere' sex anyway?

2006-01-26 00:00:00

The Pope is about to issue an encyclical on erotic love. But, sure, what would he know about that?

Message: Let them fuck off and die

2006-01-12 00:00:00

That seems to be the official attitude to the homeless in Ireland. And the stark truth, as the winter cold bites, is that some of those living on the margins almost ceretainly will. How have we let it come to this, when homelessness is a problem that could be solved?

Message: It can be a cruel yule

2005-12-01 00:00:00

The festive season can intensify feelings of desolation as well as celebration.

Interview: Coming of age

2005-11-25 00:00:00

The idea for Home, an album of Irish songs, has been on the agenda for The Corrs for a number of years. But its release marks an important stage in the evolution not just of the band, but of lead singer Andrea Corr – who has been exploring new ways of expressing herself as an artist with increasing poise and confidence.

Message: I dissaprove in the strongest possible terms

2005-11-17 00:00:00

The illustration by David Rooney in the last issue of Hot Press, depicting a priest marturbating, was offensive not just to the clergy but also to women. At least that's what one caller to Joe Duffy claimed. It got us thinking as we prepared the Hot Press Women's Issue (though not, we have to say, for very long....)

Interview: Mr. Dylan Regrets

2005-11-11 00:00:00

An extraordinary letter, written by Bob Dylan, offers a remarkable insight into the greatest songwriter of his generation. It also offers a hugely challenging perspective on the role of the artist.

Message: The church must acknowledge that its teaching on sex is misguided and wrong

2005-11-03 00:00:00

Sex abuse by priests is just one reflection of a problem that is at the heart of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church-its defininition of sex outside the confines of marriage as a sin.

Message: Playing the Blame Game

2005-10-20 00:00:00

The glut of fingerpointing and speculation in the wake of our World Cup exit has generally been based on ignorance and a green-tinted view of the past. Niall Stokes asks the hard questions, and answers them.

Message: There is a light that never goes out

2005-10-06 00:00:00

Ireland’s ridiculously profligate traffic-light system is in urgent need of reform.

Message: Let's open our eyes to the obvious

2005-09-22 00:00:00

Why are we spending a fortune creating more prison spaces when we should be combating drug addiction – and thus criminality itself – at source?

Message: Lessons too late for the learning?

2005-09-08 00:00:00

These are trying times for Irish students, north and south, but life, or what's left of it, is even darker for the American South-East thanks to Bush and co.

Message: A Time To Keep Our Heads Up

2005-08-25 00:00:00

The return of Zidane, Thuram and Makelele may have given France a boost - but it is all to play for at Lansdowne Road. So let's make it hot for the visitors...

Message: State Sanctioned Murder

2005-07-28 00:00:00

The British police have admitted to adopting a shoot to kill policy in their pursuit of Islamic terrorists. But already, with the brutal slaying of Jean Charles de Manezes, they have claimed the life of one innocent victim. So who will be held accoutable?

Message: In The Name Of War

2005-07-15 00:00:00

In the wake of the London bombings, the British Prime Minister faces some agonising soul-searching words.

Interview: Flying Solo, Free As A Bird

2005-07-12 00:00:00

She learned her craft with the Wild Oscars and Kaydee, and more recently featured on the John Hughes album Wild Ocean. Now, Tara Blaise has taken flight with the release of her debut album Dancing On Tables Barefoot – a record that unveils an impressively free-spirit and a desire to live life to the full.

Message: Where To After Live 8?

2005-06-30 00:00:00

In order to Make Poverty History, two key issues need to be addressed: the theft of African oil and the sale of arms.

Album: Dancing On The Tables Barefoot

2005-06-24 00:00:00

The perfect pop record: it’s an elusive goal. Some people say Pet Sounds, others any one of a rake of great singles from the collected works of Abba. In either case, they wouldn’t be far wide of the mark. But the magic pop gene also disports itself in all sorts of musically diverse situations, from ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge, through ‘Perfect’ by Fairground Attraction, to ‘There She Goes’ by the Las.

Message: When Justice Comes

2005-06-16 00:00:00

Minister McDowell seems to be incapable of learning any lessons from the disgraceful treatment of the McBrearty family.

Interview: Rory: A Tribute

2005-06-03 00:00:00

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, 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 his70th birthday, we reproduce here the full text of that tribute.

Message: The Lusk Killings: Was A Decision Made To Shoot To Kill?

2005-06-02 00:00:00

When the Garda Emergency Response Unit went to confront a criminal gang in Lusk, they brought their most powerful hardware with them – leaving less lethal, but no less effective, weapons behind. With two men dead, we need to know why.

Message: Sign The Petition Now

2005-05-19 00:00:00

There is still time to persuade the government that the Criminal Justice Bill, under which Anti Social Behaviour Orders and On The Spot Fines are to be introduced to Ireland, should be amended.

Single: Paperback Cliché

2005-05-17 00:00:00

It’s been some time since Tara Blaise first came on like a potential star, fronting the EMI-signed Dublin band Kaydee. In the interim, she has worked quietly away, developing her craft as a songwriter and performer – and, last year, guesting as vocalist on John Hughes’ largely instrumental album Wild Ocean. Now, it’s her turn to grab the spotlight and she does it with impressive finesse, emerging as a vocalist to be reckoned with in the process.

Album: Magic Time

2005-05-05 00:00:00

It is one of the perverse facets of contemporary music that there is a constant demand that artists have to re-invent themselves. I’m all for it if it’s what a band or a performer either needs or wants to do, in order to give renewed sparkle to the muse. But it isn’t something that we ask of poets or writers. Would we want or expect John McGahern to produce a sci-fi thriller set in an imaginary bog landscape five hundred years into the future?

Message: Hot Press Joins Opposition To Criminal Justice Bill

2005-05-05 00:00:00

An online petition has been launched to oppose the introduction of On The Spot Fines and Anti Social Behaviour Orders in Ireland. [to sign petition go here ]

Message: Ulster Said No!

2005-04-21 00:00:00

Croke Park is to open its gates to "foreign" games, despite the intransigence of Ulster delegates. Meanwhile, new Criminal Justice legislation runs counter to Human Rights concerns.

Message: Suicide And The Right To Die

2005-04-07 00:00:00

With the death of Terri Schiavo in Florida and the news that an Irishman used the services of Dignitas to commit suicide last year, the issue of death has been in the news.

Message: Ireland's Secret Police

2005-03-24 00:00:00

Some aspects of Ireland have decidedly changed for the better, but the underhand deportation of immigrants is a national disgrace.

Message: Sinn Féin And The Virus Of Violence

2005-03-14 00:00:00

The brutal murder of Robert McCartney reflects a deeper malaise that has been poisoning the Republican movement for years.

Message: Of Gonzos, Bastards And Other Controversial Matters

2005-02-24 00:00:00

Kevin Myers' use of the word bastard may have been pernicious – but it was not the most offensive aspect of his attack on unmarried mothers. Plus: the death of the great Hunter S. Thompson.

Message: Equality Is A Two-Way Street

2005-02-10 00:00:00

Whilst women remain under-represented in all walks of public life, we have to ensure that men are given a fair hearing on the subject of Family Law.

News: World Exclusive: The Comeback Kid - Sinead O'Connor annonces her comeback

2005-02-10 00:00:00

It's almost two years since Sinead O'Connor announced her retirement from music. However, it was always on the cards that she would find her voice again. The good news is that she has. She explains all in an exclusive interview with Niall Stokes...

Message: The China Syndrome

2005-01-27 00:00:00

Niall Stokes kicks off the second installment of Hot Press’ Asian themed issues by arguing that Michael McDowell’s proposed withdrawal of work provisions for Chinese nationals is misguided and reactionary.

Album: Ray

2005-01-20 00:00:00

It's the way that the movie business works. It took 15 years to raise the money to make the biopic of Ray Charles life. It got done in the end, as they say, but Ray himself couldn't wait around to see its release: he died at the age of 73, in June of last year.

Message: Apocalypse Now

2005-01-13 00:00:00

While the international community comes to the aid of the South East Asia tsunami victims, it’s worth remembering that an equivalent number of people die every week in Africa from disease and starvation.

Interview: It's the Music in Me

2005-01-10 00:00:00

He may be better known as manager of The Corrs – but John Hughes has been a musician for well over 30 years. Besides, with a US top 50 album to his credit in the 1980s, his new record – the remarkable Wild Ocean – is just the latest instalment in an extraordinary journey that has taken him close to the edge and back. interview: Niall Stokes

Message: No excuse for welching

2004-12-02 00:00:00

In 2000, Bertie Ahern condemned rich countries who contribute too little to Overseas Development Aid. Now, we have taken our place among the guilty parties.

Message: It’s A Bad Idea To Tiptoe Back To The Church

2004-11-19 00:00:00

George Bush’s victory in the US presidential election is likely to usher in a swing back to religious dominance. We shouldn’t let the same thing happen here.

News: Welcome to the epicentre

2004-11-17 00:00:00

Last night began a momentous chapter for the world’s biggest band. For U2, it was the first live airing and radio/internet broadcast of material from their eleventh studio album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. For those in attendance, it was an opportunity as rare as they come. The location: Dublin, Ireland. More specifically, at the album’s birthplace, in their Hanover Quay studios. Hot Press editor Niall Stokes was in attendance to feel the impact and capture the aftershock. [photos by John Dardis, courtesy of U2]

Message: The Results Are In...

2004-11-04 00:00:00

There was more than one election causing furrowed brows in HP central over the past fortnight.

Album: Wild Ocean

2004-11-10 00:00:00

The canvas of Wild Ocean is big and ambitious, the music almost symphonic in its sweep.

Interview: Matters of Life & Death

2002-12-16 00:00:00

At the end of an exciting, painful and earthshaking year, Bono reflects on the political and the personal – from drop the debt, September 11, Afghanistan and Genoa to the death of his father Bob, the birth of his son John and the enduring friendship which underpins U2’s music and career. Interview: Niall Stokes [this interview originally appeared in the spectacular Hot Press Annual 2002 - used in the pictures below - a very limited number of this unique collectors item will shortly be on sale - email [email protected] to reserve a copy]

Message: Teenage Murders – Who Takes The Rap?

2004-10-20 00:00:00

The conviction of two Irish teenagers for murder betrays a deeper malaise in Irish society. It isn’t really up to our government to deal with it.

Message: Clubbing under threat

2004-10-07 00:00:00

The latest restrictions in the opening hours of clubs reveal that Irish policy-makers are afraid to treat citizens as adults, capable of managing their own lives.

Message: Learning the hard way

2004-09-23 00:00:00

Being a student in 2004 is no easy ride. Plus: why not having a Presidential Election is bad news for the body politic.

Message: From Russia with hate

2004-09-09 00:00:00

The terrorist attack in Beslan has shown that Russia may yet emerge as a major battle ground in the conflict between radical Islam and the major world powers.

Album: Turbulence

2004-09-02 00:00:00

Turbulence, the debut album proper from Saucy Monky, is one of those records. It is at once rich, smart, sexy, thrilling, entertaining, diverse and hugely accomplished. It is a great, rock’n’roll record, both playful and deep, its sometimes dark indie heart-core spangled with enough sparks of pop magic to light up the western sky.

Message: It's an outrage!

2004-08-26 00:00:00

The Gardai have been busy in Galway, raiding Club Outstageous. have they nothing better to be doing with their time?

Message: An open letter to Cathal Lombard

2004-08-13 00:00:00

The Irish athlete who took EPO may be a lonely figure just now – but he is not alone.

Message: Life in the slow lane

2004-07-29 00:00:00

Isn’t it time the government wised up to the simplistic assumption that slow driving automatically means safe driving?

Message: Loose talk

2004-07-19 00:00:00

How the Republic got soulful at Oxegen.

Message: Remembering Mary Holland

2004-06-18 00:00:00

Even though the citizenship referendum produced a worrying result, the fight for justice and equality goes on – a fitting tribute to the memory of a great journalist.

Message: A vital stage in the war against the war

2004-06-03 00:00:00

In advance of the visit of George Bush, the Point Theatre on June 19 will provide a stirring focus for the anti-war movement in Ireland.

Interview: How many times can you hear the word 'free'?

2004-05-21 00:00:00

The answer is blowing in Iraq. And, back home, the immigration referendum is another ill-wind.

Message: Pictures that tell the real story

2004-05-07 00:00:00

The recently released photos of US soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners confirm that the American war effort was born out of entirely self-serving and hypocritical motives.

Message: Pop Goes The President

2004-04-23 00:00:00

The fact that he’s incapable of giving a simple answer to a simple question is the least of the many reasons to want George Bush out of the white house.

Message: The importance of practising safe text

2004-04-13 00:00:00

David Beckham has fallen foul of the intrusive media – and modern technology.

Message: A good kick in the butt

2004-03-25 00:00:00

March 29th is D-Day – the date on which the smoking ban becomes a reality in Ireland. The measure has been the source of considerable controversy and recrimination here over the past few months – and even as the day looms feelings still run high.

Message: A tragedy and a circus

2004-03-15 00:00:00

The Brian Murphy story started in violence and ended in media exploitation.

Message: Roy Keane is still the man

2004-02-26 00:00:00

A return to international football would finally banish the ghost of Saipan.

Album: Season of the Hurricane

2004-02-16 00:00:00

An Omagh girl of Methodist farming background, with an unassuming determination to match, Juliet Turner has already come some distance from the straightforward and endearingly earnest folk thrust of her roughly recorded debut, Let’s Hear It For Pizza.

Message: Beyond belief

2004-02-13 00:00:00

Whether it’s the suicide bomber, the pilgrimage stampede or a blood sacrifice closer to home, religion is at the core of a lot of the world’s worst thinking.

Message: The importance of being good sports

2004-01-29 00:00:00

The GAA would be doing the state a great service if they opened up Croke Park to soccer.

Message: The Fictional War

2004-01-23 00:00:00

Even those on the inside are now admitting that the war on Saddam was based on lies and deceit.

Message: No room in the estate

2003-12-05 00:00:00

It’s the classic Christmas parable, the story of the family who are left out in the cold. Except this is Ireland in 2003.

Message: A vice-like gripe

2003-12-01 00:00:00

The lesson of the last major clampdown on prostitution – as depicted in Paul Reynold’s Sex In The City – is that Michael McDowell would do well to get off the statute books laws which result in pointless and expensive exercises in policing.

Message: American Beauty

2003-11-10 00:00:00

Jim Sheridan’s wonderful In America forces us to think seriously about many things: family, children, immigration and the importance of making movies in Ireland.

Message: The Misuse Of Drug Statistics

2003-10-28 00:00:00

Can we believe the apocalyptic verdict on ecstasy and amphetamine use in Ireland?

Interview: What's Wrong With This Picture?

2003-10-28 00:00:00

It’s the title of his new album, his first on the legendary jazz label, Blue Note. it’s also an apt introduction to an interview in which Van Morrison talks freely about his work, his background in Belfast, his brushes with the music industry – and about what made him what he is.

Message: The Devil Of A Deal

2003-10-09 00:00:00

How church and state got us into another unholy mess.

Message: The Real Changing Face Of Ireland

2003-10-06 00:00:00

The much trumpeted youth poll tells us nothing new - but the next election will be a different story.

Message: George Bush Should Be Left To Stew In It

2003-09-16 00:00:00

With the cost of war escalating, and public opinion turning against him, George Bush and his administration are turning to the hated UN for help in subjugating Iraq. But they should be asked to withdraw or left to fend for themselves.

Commentary: Smoking Out The Killer Weed

2003-08-19 00:00:00

Smokers should see the ban in bars and restaurants as a chance for liberation from a terrible addiction.

Message: All smoke and mirrors

2003-08-06 00:00:00

As the number of homeless people increases, plans are unveiled to have smoke police in the pubs. Once again the government is getting its priorities badly wrong.

Message: The reconstruction of Africa

2003-07-23 00:00:00

Irrespective of what Bono hopes or Bob Geldof argues, U.S. aid for an embattled continent will extract too high a price.

Message: A voice that needs to be heard

2003-07-03 00:00:00

In an Ireland where recrimination and retribution are the norm, the generous, consoling words of Linda Ryan – whose son was one of those killed in a car crash – were like a light in the darkness.

Message: The Special Olympics – a triumph of commitment

2003-07-02 00:00:00

The ordinary people of Ireland have made the running of the Special Olympics here possible. The government must now do its bit for people with disabilities.

Message: Raising the bar

2003-06-12 00:00:00

The government’s proposed “tough new measures on alcohol” are kneejerk, discriminatory and counter-productive.

Message: Still time to do the right thing

2003-05-23 00:00:00

The ban on athletes from SARS affected countries travelling to Ireland for the Special Olympics is discriminatory and wrong – and the minister for health Micheál Martin should reverse it

Message: Yes in my back yard

2003-05-21 00:00:00

Whether it’s Clonmel or Lisdoonvarna, it’s time for the no-sayers to join in the fun!

Message: The end of the beginning

2003-05-07 00:00:00

The war in Iraq may be over but the problems unleashed by America’s new world order have only just begun.

Interview: The invaders will win the battle

2003-04-23 00:00:00

but who knows how long the struggle in Iraq will go on?

Message: Telling it like it isn’t

2003-04-09 00:00:00

Hypocricy and deceit have characterised the conduct of the war on Iraq so far.

Message: In the lap of the courts

2003-03-26 00:00:00

Have the Gardai really got nothing better to be doing than raiding lapdancing clubs?

Message: Pro america, anti the administration

2003-03-12 00:00:00

And, if you’re looking for weapons of mass destruction, you’ve come to the right place

Message: World police and thieves

2003-02-26 00:00:00

From the streets of Belfast and Limerick, to the streets of Baghdad, a bad situation is about to get a whole lot worse

Message: Cri de kerr

2003-01-30 00:00:00

Why all football fans should be delighted at the appointment of Brian Kerr as the new Ireland manager – and other probably unrelated matters concerning the demon drink!

Message: For Pete’s sake

2003-01-15 00:00:00

The Who’s leader’s action in accessing child porn may have been misguided rather than sinister

Message: The bunker mentality

2002-12-18 00:00:00

Why president Mary McAleese should cut her links with a segregationist golf club

Message: It’s an ill wind…

2002-12-04 00:00:00

Charlie McCreevy’s new spending cuts only serve to highlight the utter mess that is the nation’s health service

Commentary: Lonnie Donegan 1931–2002

2002-11-22 00:00:00

The death of a music legend and the enduring legacy he leaves behind.

Message: Collateral damage

2002-11-20 00:00:00

Parallels between military action against civilians on Bloody Sunday and President George Bush’s actions, and inaction on September 11 suggest that we’re still getting nothing but the same old story – so far

Message: Suffer the children

2002-11-06 00:00:00

Recent revelations concerning the Catholic Church’s complicity in the sexual abuse of children exposes that organisation’s inherent corruption

Message: Checkmate, it seems

2002-10-23 00:00:00

Has a series of raids by the PSNI on Sinn Fein offices allowed David Trimble to pass the buck?

Commentary: Student Guide Introduction

2002-10-11 00:00:00

This is the Hotpress Student Guide 2002. We know that the last thing you want is a load of worthy and boring tips on how to be a good boy or girl. So instead, we thought we’d give you a little bit of help in the much more important task of being baaaaad.

Message: There’s no great advertisement for God

2002-10-09 00:00:00

Why the evangelical Power To Change campaign deserves to fail

Message: War: an appalling memorial to September 11

2002-09-25 00:00:00

George Bush and Tony Blair are playing an appallingly dangerous game - and we may all suffer as a result

Message: After Soham – the blood-lust is wrong

2002-09-11 00:00:00

In pre-judging the guilt of those arrested in connection with the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, and fomenting a desire for vengeance, elements of the media have behaved abominably

Frontlines: Talking With Tom Robinson

1978-05-12 00:00:00

Shortly after the anti-Nazi gig, we sat down for a chat...

Message: HAVING passed through both the Dáil

1993-07-14 00:00:00

HAVING passed through both the Dáil and the Seanad, the new Sexual Offences Bill needs only the signature of the President Mary Robinson to become law.

Message: Bush war is about oil

2002-08-28 00:00:00

The U.S. is threatening Iraq - not the other way around

Message: A confederacy of dunces

2002-07-31 00:00:00

After the World Cup high, the Euro Championship low - why the FAI, the government and RTE are all to blame for the television rights fiasco

Message: The end of the world as we know it - and I feel fine

2002-07-17 00:00:00

It may have been Ronaldo & co. who ultimately covered themselves in glory, but Ireland did their bit to make Japan/Korea 2002 the greatest football show on earth

Message: No sleep 'til publication

2002-06-20 00:00:00

It was 25 years ago today that HP first had its say... a quarter century later, the song remains the same

Interview: Diversions 2002

2002-06-10 00:00:00

I’d always have said that Irish people were good at huddling. Our history and our climate, not to mention the controlling influence of the Roman Catholic Church, had tended to give us an inward-looking aspect. We had a thing about bars, matter a damn how dark or gloomy they might be. What we wanted, it seemed, was good place to whisper and to hide.

Album: Down The Road

2002-05-23 00:00:00

What we find is an artist on top of his game, treating us to a thoroughly competent and engaging exposition of what he can do

Message: The left-right march

2002-05-23 00:00:00

As the dust settles, we can say a couple of things for sure: the first is that the opinion polls generally got it spectacularly wrong; the second is that the pundits fared even worse, in terms of their attempts to call the result in advance

Message: Vote against apathy

2002-05-16 00:00:00

It's been described as the dullest election since the foundation of the State, and not without justification

Message: Tearing away the veil of secrecy

2002-04-22 00:00:00

It has taken a long time, but at last a really clear picture is beginning to form of the involvement of the Catholic Church in child abuse - specifically in covering up and colluding in the abuse perpetrated by its priests and brothers

Message: Tough justice

2002-04-08 00:00:00

2 weeks ago in Dublin, the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned the conviction of Paul Ward [pic left courtesty of The Star] for the murder of Veronica Guerin. It is no disrespect to the murdered journalist to say that this was a good day for justice in Ireland

McCann: The voice of the future

2002-03-25 00:00:00

The major political event in the Republic was the abortion referendum. Hotpress made its position clear in the run-up to that particular farce, but the polls were telling us that it was going to be a Yes vote

Message: The referendum: just vote no

2002-02-28 00:00:00

The right thing to do in the upcoming referendum on abortion is to Vote No

Message: The right to die

2002-02-25 00:00:00

At first, the death of Rosemary Toole Gilhooly must have seemed like any other tale of ordinary tragedy - one more sad suicide to add to the statistics, over which sociologists might in time pore and ponder 'why?' It entered another realm, however, with the revelation that Gardaí were investigating the possibility that this was Ireland's first case of assisted suicide

Interview: The man who put the cool into coolfin

1998-09-30 00:00:00

Having made his name in the folk arena with Emmet Spiceland, Planxty and The Bothy Band, DONAL LUNNY went electric with the ground-breaking Moving Hearts. In the second part of a wide-ranging interview reflecting on all of the major characters and plots in Irish music since the folk revival blossomed in the '60s, he talks about the demise of the Hearts, the impact of Riverdance, Shane MacGowan, Sharon Shannon, Altan, Coolfin – and what he'd like to do with Sheryl Crow. Tape: NIALL STOKES

Interview: From the hills of Gweedore to Top Of The Pops!

1982-09-17 00:00:00

As Clannad storm the charts, Niall Stokes reports on perhaps the most outstanding success story of the year

Message: Who killed Zhao Liu Tao?

2002-02-11 00:00:00

It might now be appropriate for the Government to declare an amnesty for those asylum seekers who have come here, whether as refugees or as economic migrants

Message: Who killed Zhao Liu Tao?

2002-02-11 00:00:00

It might now be appropriate for the Government to declare an amnesty for those asylum seekers who have come here, whether as refugees or as economic migrants

Message: Who killed Zhao Liu Tao?

2002-02-05 00:00:00

Why, more than ever, the Irish government must lead the fight against racism from the front - by behaving in a manner that is absolutely "beyond reproach"

Message: Condemning women to the pits

2002-01-17 00:00:00

It isn't long since the Irish Minister for Justice, John O'Donoghue, signed a treaty with the government of Nigeria, which would facilitate the repatriation of asylum seekers from that country, whose applications had been turned down by the authorities here A comparison with Afghanistan is instructive

Interview: Esprit de Corr

2001-12-06 00:00:00

At the end of another eventful year, Andrea Corr takes time out to reflect on life, death, love, health, music and her role, off-stage and on, in the family that plays together. Interview: Niall Stokes

Interview: Esprit de Corr

2001-12-06 00:00:00

Soul-searching at the end of a poignant year with the girl from the north country. The Andrea Corr interview: Niall Stokes

Message: The pro-death movement

2001-12-06 00:00:00

As the war in Afghanistan grinds mercilessly on, it has become increasingly clear: the rules have long been forgotten, as much by the Americans and the British as by their Northern Alliance allies. Ireland's position in all of this is, frankly, shameful

Message: Time for the minister to butt out

2001-11-08 00:00:00

The Minister should Butt Out. For the good of all our mental health

Message: The war on terrorism is a lie

2001-10-25 00:00:00

There is no such thing as a War On Terrorism. It is not possible to wage war on an idea or an activity. War is waged against military forces or against people or even against States

Message: Abortion once again

2001-10-11 00:00:00

Once more the spectre of Ireland's illogical and hypocritical attitude to abortion surfaces.

Message: A deeper shade of blue

2001-09-27 00:00:00

IC'm looking over the Manhattan skyline,

And all I can think of is you,

The bright lights of Broadway mean nothing to me,

On my own I'd paint `em all blue...

Message: The evil of sectarianism

2001-09-13 00:00:00

There had been a working assumption that, in the thirty-plus years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, we had just about seen it all. But last week proved otherwise

Frontlines: The neighbours from hell

2001-09-13 00:00:00

In the same week that an Amnesty International report highlighted the alarming incidence of RACISM in Ireland, NIALL STOKES offers one eye-witness example of just how unwelcoming this country can be. Additional reporting: PHIL UDELL


1985-07-05 00:00:00

Carnival time at Croke Park with U2

Message: The big picture

2001-08-16 00:00:00

On 25 August 2001 - twenty years after first appearing there in support to Thin Lizzy - U2 play Slane Castle. NIALL STOKES reflects on the extraordinary journey that has led up to this historic, and beautiful, day

Message: Keeping their eyes on the prize

2001-08-02 00:00:00

At the time of writing, we are in a state of suspended animation. The new, so-called Blueprint for the North which has been hammered together over the past fortnight by the Irish and British governments is finished.

Message: A blind alley

2001-06-07 00:00:00

Following the discovery of Paul McQuaid’s corpse, Niall Stokes questions Ireland’s ability to find its missing people.

Message: What Is The Problem With Drugs?

2001-07-19 00:00:00

How should we tackle drug use.

Message: Driving for change

2001-07-05 00:00:00

How many times does this have to happen before we say STOP!

Message: Abortion: making waves

2001-06-21 00:00:00

The abortion debate took a number of interesting twists over the past fortnight.

News: Critics Roundup 1977

1977-12-15 00:00:00

Niall Stokes' Albums of 1977: Graham Parker, Stick To Me (Phonogram) and Bob Marley, Exodus (Island)

News: Critics Roundup 1977

1977-12-15 00:00:00

The Hothouse. That phrase has been used in this paper more than once since it’s inception, to describe the London scene.

News: Critics Roundup 1982

1982-12-15 00:00:00

? weighed the pleasure and the music itself was too often forced into the background by economic and business considerations.

News: Critics Roundup 1979

1979-12-15 00:00:00

Niall Stokes' 1979 My own album of the year was the Radiators ‘Ghostown’

News: Critics Roundup 1983

1983-12-15 00:00:00

Niall Stokes' 1983

Message: Cardinal sin

2000-05-25 00:00:00

A lot of people have expressed shock and outrage at the fact that the bishops and the clergy have been giving Bertie Ahern and his partner, Celia Larkin, a hard time of it recently

News: Critics Roundup 1988

1988-12-15 00:00:00

It was a year when all manner of ecological malaise seemed to come home to roost. In particular the Sudan was in turmoil, putting our own nasty little problems of smog, toxic waste and criminal fish kills into sharp relief –

News: Critics Roundup 1987

1987-12-31 00:00:00

The privilege of being given space in a newspaper to pontificate on the events of the past year is afforded to very few people. As such it is a privilege. The same applies to rock criticism in general.

News: Critics Roundup 1984

1984-12-14 00:00:00

In a mediocre year, there was one album which offered a complete vindication of our continuing belief in the power of rock’n’roll. Just one – but that one is enough.

Album: Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart

1983-03-18 00:00:00

It is because we’ve been force fed dogma all our lives that there is such a reaction against organised religion among young people in Ireland.

Album: Trouble In Paradise

1983-01-21 00:00:00

Too often the assumption remains that seriousness, that angst, comprises the central ingredient in great songwriting.

Message: Give us some truth

2001-05-10 00:00:00

It’ll be some time before the real significance of what’s been happening in Northern Ireland over the past week becomes clear.


1986-09-11 00:00:00

Amid rumours and press reports that his career could be at an end, Larry Mullen reveals the truth about the extent of an injury to his hand that is becoming a common problem for rock drummers. Interview: Niall Stokes


1987-03-26 00:00:00

On the release of "The Joshua Tree", Niall Stokes and Bill Graham talk to Bono, Larry, Adam and The Edge about the making of U2's tour de force.


1988-09-22 00:00:00

Nearly a decade after the release of their debut single, U2 are widely regarded as the No. 1 rock band in the world. But the album and the film "Rattle And Hum" depict another kind of reality entirely. Larry, Adam and The Edge talk to Niall Stokes.


1985-04-12 00:00:00

Niall Stokes sees U2 light up Madison Square Garden in New York.

Album: Centrefield

1985-02-01 00:00:00

It's hard to believe that it's so long since John Fogerty's last album. In the intervening time span, rumour and speculation flared intermittently about a new album in the marking - yet Fogerty, one of rock'n'roll's most tantalisingly enigmatic recluses remained silent.


1982-03-05 00:00:00

Niall Stokes talks to Bono and The Edge about their 1982 Hot Press Poll victory.


1985-04-12 00:00:00

Niall Stokes sees U2 light up Madison Square Garden in New York.

Message: A land fit for children

2001-04-26 00:00:00

Ireland is a far better place for children to grow up in now, than it was twenty or thirty years ago.


1998-08-05 00:00:00

HERE I am, at a distance of over a hundred miles from the scene of the crime, two days later, and even here, even now, I am finding it hard to speak.


1998-07-08 00:00:00

WAKE up. Look at yourself in the mirror, Ian Paisley. What do you see? There’s three children’s faces there. Tight cropped hair. Grins from ear to ear.

News: Going To The Countries

1995-02-22 00:00:00

Irish music is now better-placed than ever before to give the world what it wants to hear. Niall Stokes reports on the upbeat post-MIDEM mood.

Message: The sense of shock about what happened

1995-02-22 00:00:00

The sense of shock about what happened when football-related violence erupted at Lansdowne Road for the first time during the Ireland v. England game still lingers, almost a week on.

Message: IT is every journalist’s worst nightmare.

1995-02-08 00:00:00

IT is every journalist’s worst nightmare. It doesn’t often happen that a story is either important or sinister enough to lead a writer into direct conflict with dangerous forces.

Reports: Canne’d Heat

1995-02-08 00:00:00

Business and pleasure, bad vibes and lucky breaks – all music industry life is on show at MIDEM. NIALL STOKES brings back a first set of snapshots.

Message: It is very difficult to get any debate

1995-01-25 00:00:00

It is very difficult to get any debate going about the banning of Natural Born Killers. The reasons are obvious. Since the film has been banned, not many people in Ireland have seen it.

Message: IT would be churlish not to begin

1995-01-11 00:00:00

IT would be churlish not to begin the new year in a spirit of hope. 1994 saw the most remarkable changes take place in Northern Ireland and after 25 years of war, bloodshed and strife, the paramilitary guns were silenced on both sides of the sectarian divide.

Message: There are times when language

1994-12-14 00:00:00

There are times when language itself seems inadequate to the reality with which we are confronted. Over the past months, we have seen the most astonishing sequence of events unfold in Dáil Éireann.

Album: Nebraska

1982-08-06 00:00:00

The time has come when we can no longer pretend that we’re in control. An incipient sense of cosmic disorder, for the past year gnawing away at the fringes of our collective consciousness, has suddenly become devastatingly palpable.

Album: Jinx

1982-04-02 00:00:00

This is the point at which we finally jettison any attempt to lumpen Rory Gallagher with the HM crew, new or old.

Album: Searching For The Young Soul Rebels

1980-07-19 00:00:00

Somebody is onto something, that's for certain. To begin with the name has a touch of magic. Dexy's Midnight Runners suggests something illicit, even apart from the drug reference. It's both strong and open, pointed and evocative. And in the end it's accurate because it registers the desired connection – Dexy's Midnight Runners are a soul band.

Album: Supertrouper

1980-11-22 00:00:00

ABBA have seldom been acknowledged by those who arbitrate or presume to arbitrate on matters of rock taste. Apart from a brief flirtation about five years ago, rock culture – in as much as the phrase actually signifies anything concrete – has continued to stick them with the legacy of their Eurovision success.

Album: Kings Of The Wild Frontier

1980-12-20 00:00:00

There's a new star in the charts tonight, and throughout the land there is much rejoicing (especially in some of the more fashionable areas of London). One of punks more pathetic jokes, Adam Ant, forsakes his past of seedy night clubs.


1994-11-30 00:00:00

WITHOUT A shadow of doubt, the figures revealed in the Hot Press/Classic Hits 98FM survey will give politicians, priests, lawyers, legislators, educators and gardai pause for thought.

Message: When Hot Press and 98FM

1994-11-16 00:00:00

When Hot Press and 98FM decided to ‘go to the country’ some time ago, it was with a view to ascertaining how young people in Ireland were thinking on a range of the burning issues of the day.

Message: The GAA says no – again

2001-04-12 00:00:00

There still isn't going to be any soccer played at Croke Park.

Message: The Establishment of an Independent Irish Music Rights Organisation

1994-11-16 00:00:00

The Establishment of an Independent Irish Music Rights Organisation A Hot Press Editorial Statement

Message: The more I think about it,

1994-11-02 00:00:00

The more I think about it, the more angry I feel. What is this bullshit the bishops have been peddling, about not understanding fully the seriousness of child sexual abuse?

Message: WHAT I want to know is this

1994-10-19 00:00:00

WHAT I want to know is this: how do so many intelligent people still give their allegiance to the Catholic Church? Now I know that nobody is perfect and that there are flaws in every institution.

Message: When the news came through

1994-09-21 00:00:00

When the news came through it was well after midnight. The Hot Press production crew were doing their usual crazy stint trying to pin the beast down, and put it to bed. In the middle of the mayhem and the pressure, it still came as a terrible shock.

Message: I know that in certain areas

1994-09-07 00:00:00

I know that in certain areas of Belfast and of Derry there was jubilation when the IRA finally announced a complete cessation of violence last week.

Message: It’s over six months since the historic legislation

1994-02-09 00:00:00

It’s over six months since the historic legislation was passed which decriminalised homosexual relations between consenting adults above the age of 17 in Ireland.


1994-02-09 00:00:00

The Irish were out in force at MIDEM, the annual music industry bash held in Cannes, in the south of France last week. With Irish music’s international stock running high and the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Michael D. Higgins on hand to lend his support, it proved to be a very interesting year. Report: Niall Stokes.

Message: The conflict in the North

1994-08-24 00:00:00

THE conflict in the North has nothing to do with religion. That is the startling argument put forward by Peter Robinson in an interview in this issue of Hot Press.

Album: Ride On

1984-06-15 00:00:00

After his divorce from Moving Hearts, dejection must have seemed almost like a friend to Christy Moore.

Message: At the time of going to press, all the

1994-03-09 00:00:00

At the time of going to press, all the appearances are that the story concerning the involvement of what the media are describing as a senior Coalition politician with ‘rent boys’ is about to be told. Hot Press has been aware of the facts of the case for some time.


1994-02-23 00:00:00

Niall Stokes and Eoghan Harris – the article the Sunday Times refused to print

Message: IT’S BEEN a strange month.

1994-02-23 00:00:00

IT’S BEEN a strange month. Hot Press has been at the centre of controversies before – but never quite like this! Elsewhere in this issue, we cross swords with Eoghan Harris and the Sunday Times regarding an issue of defamation.

Message: At the time of writing it is nearly

1994-01-26 00:00:00

At the time of writing it is nearly a week since the order prohibiting interviews with members of Sinn Féin and Republican Sinn Féin, as well as various proscribed paramilitary organisations, under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act, was allowed to lapse.

Message: If I’d known then what I

1993-12-15 00:00:00

If I’d known then what I know now I’d never have allowed myself to be sucked into it. You think it was my idea – but it wasn’t.


1993-12-15 00:00:00

The end of the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign was deeply unimpressive, not so much for the poverty of the results as for the manner in which they were achieved. And just when everyone was breathing a collective sigh of relief at the whisker-fine nature of our qualification, worse was to follow with the news of Niall Quinn’s critical knee injury. So what is the best way forward for Jack Charlton’s embattled troops? Analysis: Niall Stokes

Message: The Joint Declaration by the Irish

1994-01-12 00:00:00

The Joint Declaration by the Irish and British governments on the future of Northern Ireland may or may not be a thing of substance.

Message: There are moments when it seems

1993-12-01 00:00:00

There are moments when it seems that something is really going on in the North, that deserves to be described as ‘the peace process’.

Frontlines: Saturday Night Live!

1993-10-20 00:00:00

When Pat Kenny steps before the cameras every Saturday, he attracts an audience-rating which is increasingly likely to threaten the long-standing supremacy of The Late Late Show in Irish broadcasting. But despite his popularity, the host of Kenny Live remains something of an enigma. In the first part of a wide-ranging interview he talks about everything from his first kiss to, well, the meaning of life. Interview: Niall Stokes

Message: A lot has changed in Ireland

1993-11-17 00:00:00

A lot has changed in Ireland since World AIDS Day in 1992. At long last, restrictive legislation in relation to the availability of condoms has been dumped.


1993-12-01 00:00:00

Since 1914, the PRS has administered the rights accruing to Irish songwriters, composers and publishers from the use of their music in public places throughout the world. However, the campaign to establish Ireland as a separate territory, with its own independent music rights organisation, has been gathering momentum. Now in a controversial move the PRS have declared that this change can only take place with the approval of two-thirds of the Society’s members in Ireland. Niall Stokes – himself a member of the PRS – examines the issues and concludes that subsidiary status is no longer enough for IMRO.

Message: BY THE time this issue

1993-10-20 00:00:00

BY THE time this issue of Hot Press hits the newstands, Black Wind, White Land will have been screened by RTE.

Message: I was quite taken by remarks

1993-09-22 00:00:00

I was quite taken by remarks made during the week by Bishop Comiskey concerning the rights of parents.


1998-06-10 00:00:00

If you're under 25 and out of work for six months, watch your back. That's the message from the Tánaiste Mary Harney, who announced plans last week to cut people off the dole after six months


1998-06-10 00:00:00

If you're under 25 and out of work for six months, watch your back. That's the message from the Tánaiste Mary Harney, who announced plans last week to cut people off the dole after six months

Message: Heavy Weather

1998-06-24 00:00:00

WE need to be very careful. During the 1970s, under the Fine Gael-Labour coalition, a violent and nasty culture developed within sections of the Gardaí Síochana.

Message: I was quite taken by remarks

1993-09-22 00:00:00

I was quite taken by remarks made during the week by Bishop Comiskey concerning the rights of parents.

Frontlines: Sex and Sex & Rock 'n' Roll

1993-09-22 00:00:00

They go together like a horse and carriage. You can't have one without the other - or words to that effect. In fact, however, even rock 'n' roll has yet to invent an erotic language that does justice to the breadth and complexity of human desire. In pushing out the boundaries, madonna has taken on the role of sexual pioneer, and done it with courage and no little success. Niall Stokes weighs up the evidence . . .

Message: The time has come for radical action.

1993-09-08 00:00:00

The time has come for radical action. It's been building inexorably - as things always seem to build - towards this inevitable climax for a long time now. Well, there can, I fear, be no further room for delay no matter how painful the process itself may ultimately be. Because I have finally, and after careful consideration, decided to denounce everything.

Message: In the last edition of Hot Press

1993-08-25 00:00:00

In the last edition of Hot Press, we printed the first part of an interview with the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Michael D. Higgins.

Message: The Union of Students in Ireland is under imminent threat of closure.

1993-08-11 00:00:00

The Union of Students in Ireland is under imminent threat of closure. As many will be aware, the Union has been involved in a long drawn out legal battle with SPUC, following their decision to continue to publish information regarding abortion after SPUC had successfully taken Open Door Counselling and the Wellwoman Centre to court on the same issue.

Message: 'Crime' And Punishment

2001-03-29 00:00:00

Cannibus use is popular, prevalent and not in the least bit harmful; so why was John Gilligan sentanced to 28 years in jail.


2001-03-01 00:00:00

I've kept schtum about religion for a while now. It's not a subject that does my blood pressure any good, and so I don't like to dwell on it.

Message: Back To The Chain Gang

2001-02-01 00:00:00

It was another spectacular own goal by Immigration Control. Nineteen Moldovan workers arrived in Dublin Airport last week. They had valid visas and work permits. Despite that fact, however, they were questioned for between two and four hours by immigration officials at the airport - and then refused entry.

Album: Achtung Baby

1991-11-14 00:00:00

There is no question about it. He may look as if he's been dipped in a bottle of red ink but it is Adam who stands there bollock naked before the camera and the world on the back sleeve of the latest, long playing opus from the band whose name begins with U and ends with 2. And is that Eve who hovers topless behind Bono on the front?

Message: U2: A Second Slane Is Needed

2001-03-15 00:00:00

Have you got a ticket? The way things are looking, that's going to be the question of the year. U2 played Slane Castle as one of the support acts when Thin Lizzy topped the bill there in 1981. Since then they have gone on to become the biggest band in the world.


1998-04-15 00:00:00

The Republic of Ireland's pallid 2-0 defeat by Argentina in last week's international friendly showed that MICK McCARTHY's time and resources are becoming increasingly limited, as Yugoslavia and Croatia loom over the horizon in the Euro 2000 qualifiers. NIALL STOKES asks: "What is to be done?"


1998-05-27 00:00:00

It isn't very long since New Zealand was being promoted as the ultimate model for the Irish economy.


1998-04-29 00:00:00

THE first reports were unequivocal. There had been a shoot-out between the Garda Early Response Unit and a gang of armed robbers on the main Dublin- Wexford road, near Ashford. One of the raiders had been killed. There were no garda casualties. The substance of these reports appeared


1998-05-13 00:00:00

The war is over. There are many messages that can be read into the overwhelming endorsement of the Good Friday Agreement on both sides of the Irish border - but that is the most conclusive, and the most welcome.


1998-04-15 00:00:00

THERE are times when you wonder if this is the right line of work to be in. Maybe it's the fact that it's a small country and we all think that we know each other well. Whatever the reason, there are few things more unseemly than the spectacle of journalists squabbling, and there's been a hell of a lot of it going on in recent years. The mud-slinging which has surrounded the impending publication of Emily O'Reilly's book about Veronica Guerin is just the latest and most intense example of a malaise which is rapidly coming to characterise the Irish journalistic milieu.

Interview: Rory Gallagher - Pressing Ever Onwards

1978-06-09 00:00:00

When Rory Gallagher hits the stage at this year's Macroom festival gig, it'll be his last appearance in Ireland, a year that has seen him forgo some of the spotlight he's enjoyed over the previous ten years in Britain and Ireland in particular.

Interview: Paul And The Road To Damascus

1981-05-23 00:00:00

The story of how Paul Brady was transformed from a superlative folk artist into a superlative rock artist in a blinding flash of light (well, fifteen years actually). Today's reading is by Niall Stokes.

Interview: Live And Dangerous

1978-07-21 00:00:00

Searchlight On The Future. View From The Rear: Brian Downey. Occasional Angles: Phil Lynott. In the middle: Niall Stokes

Interview: Wrangling Among Vagabonds

1979-10-04 00:00:00

The last year has been one of ups and downs for Thin Lizzy. Brian Downey elaborates for Niall Stokes

Album: The Skiffle Sessions, Live in Belfast

2000-01-20 00:00:00

You look up 'skiffle' in the Chambers 20th Century Dictionary and it says "a strongly accented jazz type of folk music, played by guitar, drums and often unconventional instruments etc. popular about 1957".

Interview: Steering A Steady Corrs

2000-12-15 00:00:00

The glitz and glamour is but the tip of the iceberg a lot of blood, sweat and tears has also gone into making THE CORRS the huge success they are. And it s not just about the music either the tricky business they call show has to be negotiated too. NIALL STOKES gets the inside story from the captain of the ship, manager JOHN HUGHES, with supporting testimony from some of the crew.

Interview: Don t Cry For Me

1992-11-19 00:00:00

When Siniad O Connor tore up a picture of the pope on the Saturday Night Live television show in the US recently, she unleashed a storm which has been swirling around her ever since, causing her at one point to announce her premature retirement from the music industry. One month on, bruised and weary she may be but Siniad is neither downhearted nor repentant. Having declared war on the Roman Catholic Church she is determined to keep taking the battle to the real enemy. Interview: Niall Stokes.

Interview: The First Irish Rock Star

1995-06-28 00:00:00

The news of Rory Gallagher s tragic death has sent seismic shock waves through the music world. Here was a man who managed to combine the gift of being an authentic creative genius with the even rarer gift of being a genuinely decent, honourable human being. Over the next six pages, Hot Press pays tribute to both the legend and the person, with contributions from the stars, friends, fans and colleagues who were touched by the Gallagher magic, and takes a trip through the backpages of an extraordinary career.

Interview: Jim Corr

2000-12-07 00:00:00

Niall Stokes: With this record you took on responsibilities as a group which were significantly greater than had been the case before, in terms of shaping the record, being involved in production. How did that affect the process?

Interview: Andrea Corr

2000-12-07 00:00:00

Niall Stokes: As a band you took more responsibility with In Blue you have a greater level of input into the production and so on. Was that a strain when you were doing it?

Interview: Sharon Corr

2000-12-07 00:00:00

Niall Stokes: People would make an assumption that since The Corrs have sold millions of records, you ve already got it made. Does it feel like that to you?

Interview: Caroline Corr

2000-12-07 00:00:00

Niall Stokes: As the drummer in a band, you re occupying a seat that s normally occupied by men. Caroline Corr: It s a natural thing for boys to go for instead of girls. But I think there should be a lot more females playing. I don t know why they don t.

Interview: Four Corrs

2000-12-07 00:00:00

By any standards, The Corrs are an extraordinary phenomenon. It won't be long before the combined global sales of their albums to date top the 20 million mark. In Ireland alone, by the end of the year, they will have sold over a million records - at which point they may well have established themselves as the biggest-selling Irish act of all time on home turf.

Interview: Going with the flow

1988-09-22 00:00:00

Having already achieved a degree of acclaim with her soundtracks for The Frog Prince and The Celts -- with the release of her first fully-fledged solo album, Watermark , Enya seems set for the type of accolades reserved for major-league artists. Niall Stokes unveils the creative trinity behind the finished meisterwerk, talks to Enya and her collaborators Roma and Nicky Ryan, and ponders the question:what will commerce do to this thing of beauty?

Interview: Down All The Days

1995-05-31 00:00:00

NIALL STOKES takes a very personal journey back through the music and memories of a friendship with a man he was proud to have known THE DRIVE to Cork was a lonely one. Ry Cooder on the deck, that sweet slide guitar shooting off tracers: the memories, stacked up like a vast rack of on-line CDs, kept slipping in and out of the engagement slot. No need ever to press the play button. Now and then I had to hold back the tears as the music of past friendship flooded the car and, with it, a terrible awareness of all the things that might have, but hadn't, been done.

Interview: Growing with the flow

1988-11-17 00:00:00

From a darkened studio in Artane to the bright lights of Top Of The Pops and beyond that 'Orinoco Flow' has taken Enya and all who sail with her on an unprecedented voyage of discovery. Niall Stokes joins the key figures as the flow swells into a torrent of success and is pleased to report that nobody on board is in danger of losing their bearings.

Message: Peace Comes Dropping Slow

1999-11-24 00:00:00

ANYTHING can happen. It's what you have to constantly bear in mind in relation to Northern Ireland:

Message: Putting The Boot In

2001-01-17 00:00:00

I read during the week that there's a move afoot to tax referees on the income they earn from officiating at sporting fixtures.

Message: Inching Forward

1999-09-29 00:00:00

IT was in many ways a good week in Irish political life. Within two days, two major reports were published and in both cases you d have to say that their authors did well.

Commentary: Trial And error

1999-12-08 00:00:00

NIALL STOKES on the tactical and personnel blunders that left MICK McCARTHY with few legitimate excuses for Ireland's failure to qualify for Euro 2000.

Message: Time To Throw Out FF

1999-12-08 00:00:00

IT was amusing to hear the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern calling for a reasoned debate on the asylum issue last week

Message: Spineless Tap

2000-12-07 00:00:00

The front page of the Observer carried a very interesting lead story last Sunday. Apparently Britain's intelligence services are seeking powers to seize all records of telephone calls, emails and internet connections made by every person living in the UK. Already a confidential document has been sent to the Home Office, in which the argument in favour of wide-ranging new powers of data control is made, on behalf of MI5, MI6 and the British police.

Message: 13 AND PREGNANT

1997-11-26 00:00:00

ANYONE who had a heart would have to weep at the terrible, tragic squalor and degradation of it all. Did our politicians really imagine that the abortion issue had gone away? Did they think that, miraculously, no other cases would emerge which would end up before the courts that the so-called right to travel would be enough to deal with every eventuality?


1998-04-01 00:00:00

What a strange warp we were in. On Good Friday, I walked through an almost deserted BBC building in Ormeau Avenue with Mike Edgar, the producer of the Heineken Hot Press Awards show, as well as one of the presenters. Deeper into the bowels we went, along claustrophobic corridors, until we finally came to Edit Suite No.5.

Message: Mo And The Moral Maze

1999-09-15 00:00:00

WHO would want the job? Mo Mowlam was riding high in the wake of the Good Friday agreement last year; at that stage, she was entitled to feel that she had actually contributed something substantial to bringing about a peaceful solution to the awful conflict that has disfigured life in Northern Ireland for so long.

Message: A Planner in the Works

2000-11-23 00:00:00

What are Dublin Corporation up to? I know that not everyone in Ireland cares about the answer to this question: if you live in Cork or Sligo or Derry, why should you? Well, I'll give you one good reason: where public policy is concerned, if something is introduced in Dublin and it sticks, then almost inevitably, it's only a matter of time before the other significant cities and towns around the country at least south of the border follow suit. Think parking fines. Now think clamping. As the old town planner's song goes first we'll take Dublin city, then we'll take Athlone.


1998-03-04 00:00:00

Dear John, I read this week with interest about the deportations you re organising at the moment. A whole eight of them in just nine days? God, you must be a very busy man. Well done!

Message: Fighting For A Woman s Right To Choose

2000-11-09 00:00:00

The Dail all-party committee on abortion issued its report last week. If it wasn't such an important and emotive issue, it might have been enough to make you laugh. The report was surprise, surprise, completely and utterly predictable. In fact, there was no agreed response, with each of the major parties drawing completely different conclusions from the information and evidence that had been furnished to them.

Message: Nothing But The Same Old Story

1998-03-18 00:00:00

WE RE heading for some kind of watershed, I m told. And yet, no matter how hard I try, there s nothing happening in the Northern peace talks that I can become even the remotest bit enthused about.

Message: A Girl Alone

2000-10-26 00:00:00

There's a girl who, over the past few months, has taken to sleeping in the doorway of our offices here in Trinity St. It's hard to tell what age she is she looks all of fourteen years, though she claims to be older. In the morning on the way in, when she's there, you step over her sleeping body. It's a moment that's always fraught with a feeling of dread. It seems somehow heartless, walking past and literally over her prone body as if she wasn't there. And yet there is also a genuine sense that you feel that you should tiptoe by, in case you might waken her before she is ready to face the world. Let her rest, you

Message: The State Of The Union

1998-01-21 00:00:00

I M looking again now at a picture taken at the funeral of the West Belfast taxi driver John McColgan, who was murdered by the LVF. In the centre is Lorraine McColgan, John s wife, her face contorted with crying, her body doubled over in grief.


1998-01-07 00:00:00

At long last, a real debate seems to be beginning in Ireland about our treatment of immigrants. It may get nasty and unpleasant at times over the coming months. Already, the foul stench of prejudice and bigotry is in the air, with the attempted launching of the Immigration Control Platform by the Clonakilty schoolteacher (the mind boggles) Aine Nm Chonaill. This pathetic creature s ideology stinks but, in a perverse way, in launching her campaign she may be doing us all an unintended favour. Because what she espouses is little more than an extreme version of what passes for official policy on immigration in this country.

Message: The Unholy Land

2000-10-12 00:00:00

One of the problems of working for a fortnightly publication is that events can so easily overtake you. Right now, on Monday 9th October, the stark reality is that the Middle East is on the brink of all-out war. By the time you read this, Israel may have forced the region over that brink, potentially plunging Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Libya and the Lebanon, as well as Palestine, into a full-scale conflict.

Message: A Hard Station

2000-09-28 00:00:00

IT came as a bit of a surprise when the Minister for the Arts (not her full title!) Smle de Valera, hit the headlines last week. Smle delivered a speech in Boston, in which she suggested that further European integration would not be in Ireland s interests. She observed that directives and regulations agreed in Brussels can often seriously impinge on our identity, culture and traditions. And she insisted that the EU is not the cornerstone of what our nation is and should be.

Message: Return Of The Censors

1999-09-01 00:00:00

The word had been out on the industry grapevine for the previous week at least. It still came as a shock, however, when the official confirmation came through that In Dublin had been banned.

Message: Violence: The Drink Link

2000-09-14 00:00:00

There s no point in being coy about it. There s been a lot of nastiness on the streets of Dublin in recent weeks.


1997-12-10 00:00:00

I HOPE John O Donoghue has a happy Christmas. The last time I saw our Minister for Justice on television, he looked and sounded like a deeply troubled man.

Message: War And Peace

2000-08-31 00:00:00

Every day another outrage. Every day another act of vengefulness and malice. Intimidation. Violence. Shootings. Then murder. The North has seen some desperate times lots of them even more full of doom than this, for sure. But seldom has there been a week of more intense clandestine viciousness than the one we have just been through.

Message: Dublin: Building For The Future

1999-08-04 00:00:00

Dublin should look to Barcelona for inspiration and innovation.

Message: Compassion And The Courts

1999-08-18 00:00:00

STOP the world, I wanna get off. I don t like where we re going. And I don t like how we re getting there.

Message: Murder Most Foul

1999-05-26 00:00:00

SO the IRA are at it again. I know nothing about Brendan Speedy Fegan except what I ve been reading in the newspapers over the past couple of days.

Message: Running To Stand Still

1999-05-12 00:00:00

IT S more than curious. Every day in the national newspapers, you read the stories. The gardam have seized another shipment of heroin, with an estimated street value of #5 million.

Reports: Got To Admit Its Getting Better

1999-02-17 00:00:00

But not all the time! The Irish presence at the music industry s biggest convention MIDEM was an impressive one. But as ever, a split was on the agenda. Report: NIALL STOKES.


1997-07-23 00:00:00

WHERE S the emotion? Where s the elation? Where s the celebration? It s an odd sensation indeed. There s a feeling that the words of acclamation should come pouring out but they don t. They don t and they won t.

Message: Outdoor rock'n'roll Legislation is now required

1997-08-06 00:00:00

There were times when it seemed that the final outcome was a mere formality, and that U2 would not be playing Dublin on their PopMart tour.

Message: Psychopaths and Bullies

1999-02-17 00:00:00

I KNOW that there are more important things going on in the world than car clamping like, for example, the grotesque murder of the former IRA man Eamon Collins. But what can we say about that monstrous deed that adds to the sum of human insight, knowledge or happiness?

Message: In Defence of Celia And Bertie

1999-02-03 00:00:00

STUDENTS of religion will no doubt have been struck by the recent spate of articles concerning the relationship between the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern and his partner Celia Larkin.

Message: Why Are We Neglecting Victims of Abuse?

2000-08-17 00:00:00

How long must we sing this song? We ve known for what seems like aeons that Ireland in the first two thirds of the 20th century was a cesspit, in which children were routinely and systematically abused, physically and sometimes sexually, by people in whose care they were placed in sports clubs, schools, orphanages, reform schools and so on.

Interview: The HISTORY Of POP

1997-03-19 00:00:00

The initial rumours were that it was going to be a rock n roll record . Then subsequent whispers hinted at everything from trip-hop to techno to ambient. But U2 s eighth studio album, Pop, is all of these things and more. It s the first album since 1983 that they ve made without the assistance of Brian Eno, it s been a long time in the making roughly a full year, all told and it s selling like the proverbial warm buns. Here, NIALL STOKES talks to BONO and ADAM CLAYTON, as well as co-producers FLOOD, HOWIE B and THE EDGE, about its lengthy genesis and what the band hoped to accomplish in creating it. Pix: STEPHANE SEDNAOUI .


1998-09-16 00:00:00

It s been a long, long way from there to here and DONAL LUNNY has been at the centre of things every step of the journey. He has achieved enormous acclaim and considerable success with Planxty, The Bothy Band and Moving Hearts. Now with the launch of his latest band and their eponymously titled album COOLFIN, he takes time out to reflect on all of the major figures who have contributed to the extraordinary revival of folk and traditional music that has taken place over the past 30 years. He also recalls the highs and the lows the heartbreak, the good times and the great music that he himself has enjoyed as one of Ireland s finest and most influential musicians. Interview: Niall Stokes. Pics: Colm Henry

Interview: The Secret History Of The Corrs

1999-03-03 00:00:00

The Corrs Talk On Corners was the biggest-selling album of 1998 in the UK. So far it s shifted 6 million copies worldwide and rising. And now the band are set to embark on their American campaign, with who knows what ultimate destination at journey s end. So they ve had it easy, eh? It s all a big marketing scam, masterminded by the moguls in the American record company that signed them? We thought you d like to know so we put these and other accusations to someone who should know, their manager of nine years, john hughes. And got some interesting answers too. Interview: niall stokes.

Interview: Natural Woman

2000-05-25 00:00:00

SINEAD O'CONNOR has been many things - bona fide pop star, tabloid target, controversial activist, mother and priest. But, above all, she is one of Ireland's most compelling musicians. With a new album due for release, she talks to NIALL STOKES about love, sex, the Church, fame, racism and why "it's important to make it soul music." Pictures: MYLES CLAFFEY

Interview: Astral Years

2000-03-02 00:00:00

He scored his first hit single as lead singer with Them in 1965, with Baby Please Don t Go . In 1968, he released his debut solo album Astral Weeks, which is widely regarded among critics as one of the most important and complete records of the past 50 years. But these are just two early landmarks in a remarkable career which finds Van Morrison still on top of his game 40 years since he made his debut with his own skiffle group, The Sputkniks, at a school concert in Orangefield in Belfast. In an exclusive interview, carried out for the RTE television series From A Whisper To A Scream, and published in the run-up to Van s latest Irish dates, he talks to Niall Stokes.

Message: Holding The Aces

2000-07-20 00:00:00

IT is all highly entertaining. In men s athletics, the traditional dominance of white athletes was overturned a long time ago. At first it was the Kenyans and the Ethiopians displaying a prowess in long-distance running that required the wholesale rewriting of the record books. Then black American, British, Canadian and Jamaican athletes began to come through in the sprints. Then gradually a bunch of middle-distance runners followed on, to fill in the gaps.


2000-07-06 00:00:00

DON'T stand still. You should never stand still. Because if you do, you'll look up and find that in truth you've been drifting backwards. Gotta keep movin'. Gotta keep movin' on.

Message: Tony Blair: soon to be settling in comfortably at 10 Downing Street

1997-04-30 00:00:00

AT long last, it seems that the wretched grip in which the Tories have held British society is about to be undone. For 18 years they have ruled. And for 18 years the poor, the underprivileged and the unemployed in Britain have suffered as a direct consequence. During that period, the Tory party have waged a relentless campaign against the underclass. In a time of plenty, poverty has intensified, and with it the sense of hopelessness and despair which takes root among the disadvantaged on the margins of an affluent society.

Message: Mary Robinson: a hard act to follow

1997-03-19 00:00:00

I don t know about you but I d been hoping that Mary Robinson would do another stint up in the Aras. I d spent a bit of time contemplating the alternatives recently and some of the possibilities were positively scarifying. I m not going to mention any names here for fear it might encourage them, but forced to choose between Albert Reynolds and Peter Sutherland I think I d go for Bart Simpson if only for his photogenic qualities.

Message: Giving good headline: Anna Cox, Piers and Helen Merchant

1997-04-02 00:00:00

It may be hard to resist taking a certain twisted pleasure in the current predicament of the Tory MP Piers Merchant, but I think we should. The Sun newspaper has publicly declared its support for Tony Blair s so-called New Labour and as a result has been digging its leprous teeth into the unsavoury rump of the Conservative party with some relish in recent weeks. The Merchant dunce is their latest victim.

Message: Playboy: putting the rot into erotic

1997-02-05 00:00:00

PLAYBOY magazine has just celebrated the first anniversary of its launch in Ireland.

Message: Spice Girls: sending out the wrong signals to children?

1997-01-22 00:00:00

I VE been in Vivienne Westwood s shop in the King s Road in London a few times. There s a very striking architectural feature to the place. It s a simple idea but genuinely original and somewhat startling. The floor is pitched at an angle, as if you re on board a ship that s about to go down, or the building you re in is beginning to implode. The shop is called World s End.

Message: Minister for Finance, Ruairi Quinn: look, he s in a good mood too

1997-01-08 00:00:00

Let s begin 1997 on a positive note. This is, after all, the first issue of the year in which we will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Hot Press and so, despite the fact that we have every right to feel knackered and bollixed and fucked, having had just four days to produce the issue you are now reading, we are in a good humour. Aren t we, team? (No, we aren t. Now fuck off The Staff).

Message: Typical twelve year olds ripe for electronic tagging

1996-12-02 00:00:00

AS you all know, I have always been of the view that popular culture is useless. Rock music is a tuneless, repetitive irritant, recorded by people who can t play and listened to by people who can t hear. Cinema is a playground for perverts and fools. And as for cartoons? Nothing could be more puerile and irrelevant.

Frontlines: Connell's Horseshit

1999-03-31 00:00:00

Well done, Desmond! Most people in Ireland will be well aware of the controversy which has erupted following the speech which Archbishop Desmond Connell of Dublin gave recently concerning the church s teaching on contraception

Message: John Major: in the name of God, go!

1997-02-19 00:00:00

SOME people s spirits may have been lifted by the news that a British general election is likely to take place on May 1st, but not mine. Is there no way that anyone can engineer the termination of John Major s appalling government sooner than that?

Message: No Blacks Need Apply

1999-03-17 00:00:00

DID Omaniyi Joseph Ekundoyo assault a garda at Dublin airport while he was being deported? It is a very interesting question.

Message: The Naked Truth

1999-03-03 00:00:00

TO fashion a figleaf. At first it may not seem like the hardest thing to do.

Message: Well, tickle me orange!

1997-07-09 00:00:00

DID we really imagine that it might be any different? What was it that created the expectation that Drumcree would not become another celebration of Orange supremacism in 1997? Looking back now over the events of the past few weeks, it s hard to believe that we were naive enough to hold out any hope of a compromise. It s hard to believe that we did not see the writing on the wall.

Message: Facing The Heroin Plague

2000-06-08 00:00:00

Let s talk about heroin addicts. Yeah, they re the ones who ghost around town looking like death warmed up. Glazed eyes, sunken cheeks, rotting teeth. Hopeless cases, most of them, good for nothing except bag-snatching. They rob, they cheat, they lie. And when they ve done with that, they rob, they cheat and they lie again. They steal off their mothers. They steal off their lovers. And they steal off their children. If there s something that can be hocked, they ll hock it. If there s something that can be moved, they ll lift it.

Message: Something Rotten In The State

2000-06-22 00:00:00

I find it hard to know where to begin, so deep is the sense of disillusionment I feel. Every few days now, it seems, we are confronted by some new racially-motivated abomination in Ireland. Last week the Richardson family from England were the victims a mixed race group of father (white), mother (black) and son (student at Trinity College), they were on a night out in Dublin, celebrating a family occasion. Walking back, along Pearse Street, to the apartment in which they were staying, they were attacked by a bunch of yobs shouting racial insults. The father, David Richardson, was stabbed brutally and almost died. Rushed to hospital, he remained in intensive care for days. Who knows what scars he will carry with him, physically and psychologically, for the rest of his days as a result?


2000-05-11 00:00:00

THREE men are murdered in horrific circumstances in the seaside town of Scheveningen in Holland. The descriptions of the torture inflicted on them, and of the final brutal manner of their murder, are harrowing in the extreme. Putty or plaster of some kind, it is reported, had been rammed into the orifices of at least one of them. All three were dowsed in inflammable material and set alight. The bodies are so badly disfigured that they are unidentifiable. To contemplate it, even in the abstract, is enough to stop you in your tracks, to render you speechless at people s unbelievable capacity for evil.

Message: The Schools Are Owned By The People

2000-05-25 00:00:00

THE Bishop of Meath is a very helpful fellow. Sometimes, it can be difficult to even begin a debate about the way in which education is structured and run in Ireland. Traditionally there s been a kind of cosy collusion involved. The State, to a very large extent, abdicated its responsibilities, especially in the area of primary education, handing over the running of the schools to religious orders and local clergy. The Catholic Church and indeed the smaller religious denominations have been only too happy to step into the breach.


2000-04-27 00:00:00

There is a grim fascination, watching events unfold at the Flood Tribunal. For a long time it seemed that this official inquiry into corruption in the planning process in Dublin might remain mired in a kind of parochial squabbling and bitterness. Last week, however, the whole circus switched into another gear and, at last, what has been a grindingly long and often tedious process began to take on a real sense of scale.

Message: The Not-So-Beautiful Game

2000-04-13 00:00:00

I stopped playing football at the age of eighteen and stayed away from it for twelve years. By then I had a son, and it was kicking ball with him, and witnessing his unselfconscious enthusiasm for the game that first re-awakened the sense of magic that football had held for me during my own childhood and teenage years.


2000-03-02 00:00:00

IT S been a bad week for the Minister for the Arts, Smle de Valera. First, the Arts Council, appointed by her amid the usual fanfare 18 months ago, began to unravel with the resignation of the Chairman, Professor Brian Farrell. Then a report in the Irish Independent revealed that the Minister had brought before Cabinet a proposal to sell RTE s transmission network to the highest bidder a controversial move which could herald a period of intense conflict between the Minister and the national broadcaster. And finally, at the weekend, The Sunday Times revealed that the Minister was close to making an announcement about the formation of a Music Board.


2000-03-16 00:00:00

SOMEONE in the Department of Justice is convinced that we re being swamped. Or is it John O Donoghue himself who is responsible for the current scare-mongering about the issue of housing immigrants?

Message: Love In The Time Of Intolerance

2000-03-30 00:00:00

ORANGEMEN last marched in Dublin in 1937. Apparently feelings ran high at the time, and there were running battles and scuffles the length of Talbot Street, as the banner-bedecked brigade made its way towards Amiens Street station, some of them, at least, to board the Belfast train there. Sixty-three years on, another march is being planned for the capital this time to mark the bicentenary of the first meeting of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, which took place in what is now the Norwich Union building on Dawson Street.

Message: Abortion: Time For Honesty

2000-01-20 00:00:00

If you didn t know beforehand, you certainly do now: abortions are currently being carried out in Dublin hospitals.

Message: Roll Your Eoin

2000-02-03 00:00:00

IT was one of those newsflashes that immediately registers, with a rare piquancy. Eoin Ryan was being promoted to the cabinet, as a junior minister. With responsibility for drugs.

Commentary: Why is Everyone Down on Kenny?

2000-02-03 00:00:00

NIALL STOKES on the controversy surrounding Pat Kenny s Late Late Show.


2000-02-17 00:00:00

JUST when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the jetty collapses. On Friday afternoon last, it was hard to escape an awful, mournful sense of dij` vu, as the word came in on the mojo wire that the new devolved institutions of governance in Northern Ireland had been suspended, and direct rule from Britain reimposed.

Message: The Beast Within

1999-04-14 00:00:00

LOOK now at what is happening in the Balkans and weep.

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