The paper’s founder, Charles Connolly, was far from being alone in feeling angry about the partition of Ireland just a few years before the Echo’s arrival. Connolly’s sobriquet, “smash the border” was a fair reflection of his personal view and the paper’s stance. The Echo during those Connolly years lost little opportunity when it came to challenging an historical blunder that remains with us to this very day.
As it often seems to go in the news business there is a chronological coincidence between the passing of the Connolly era and the arrival of the Echo on the threshold of its four score landmark year.
The Echo had already passed into the hands of the Grimes family when Connolly died on the cusp of the years 1957 and ’58.
“Charles F. Connolly, 85-years-old, founder, publisher and editorial chief of the Irish Echo for nearly 30 years, died after a few months illness at his home, 3202 Kossuth Avenue, Bronx, on Monday night, December 30, a few hours after the “Echo”, had gone to “Press” earlier than usual because of the New Year holiday.”
Thus the Echo reported Connolly’s death exactly fifty years ago this week. That issue was the precise equivalent of this one, which also went to press early because of the New Year.
That year of ’58 was a decade marker for the Echo just as this new one is. So much has changed of course, but some things have not. Those of us who steer the Echo’s course today believe, as those who went before us most assuredly did, that the story of the Irish in America is a tale well worth the telling, and then some.
The telling ranges from focusing on stories that might be considered purely local and of lesser interest by readers at a geographic distance, to absolutely pertinent reports to those in closest proximity to them.
The telling might involve a story that is of profound interest to the most far flung readership, one spread across a continent, back across an ocean to Ireland itself and lately, by virtue of the internet and the paper’s new digital version, anyone anywhere in the world with an interest in Ireland and the epic that is the progress of the Irish Diaspora.
The newspaper industry has been in considerable flux in recent years and few are able to predict with any certainty where the next twist and turn will take it.
But we feel confident in our particular product and its prospects and we look forward to sharing with you, our readers and advertisers, the further unfolding of the great Irish story in the months of our 80th birthday year. Many happy returns – to all of us!