An Phoblacht follows in a long line of republican journals over the past 200 years since the first republican paper, the United Irishmen’s Northern Star, edited by Samuel Neilson in the 1790s; the Young Irelanders’ Nation of the 1840s, edited by Thomas Davis; the Fenian paper, The Irish People
1863-’65, edited by Thomas Clarke Luby, John O’Leary and Charles J
Kickham; and the numerous republican papers each decade of the present
Although relaunched in 1970, the title An Phoblacht has a long and historic association with the Republican Movement and was used first used in its English form, The Republic,
by the Dungannon Clubs in Belfast in 1906. The clubs were founded by
Denis McCullough and Bulmer Hobson and their first task was to start a
weekly paper. They managed to scrape together £60 and the first issue of
The Republic appeared on December 13th, 1906.
Its aim, as set out in the first issue in a short article written by
Hobson, was the establishment of an independent Irish republic. In a
concise article he outlined the paper’s separatist policy. ‘‘Ireland
today claims her place among the free peoples of the earth. She has
never surrendered that claim, nor will ever surrender it, and today
forces are working in Ireland that will not be still until her claim is
acknowledged and her voice heard in the councils of the nations.’’
Editor, manager and contributors were, of course, unpaid. The paper
was mainly written by James J Good, Robert Lynd, PS O’Hegarty and
Hobson. Lynd and O’Hegarty were based in London, where they carried out
an active propaganda campaign through the Dungannon Club there.
Good acted as editor for about half of the brief life-span of the paper, as Hobson was in America to raise funds for The Republic.
In the early issues PS O’Hegarty wrote a series of articles called
‘Fenianism in Practice’ which was a definite and important contribution
to the philosophy of the Sinn Féin Movement.
After three months in America, Hobson was anxious to return to Ireland to prevent The Republic
from collapsing. It was always in financial difficulty and was financed
by the shillings and pence of members of the Dungannon Clubs, by a few
pounds from Roger Casement and by several large sums which were
presented to Hobson in various cities in America.
In June 1907 however, after only six months of publication, The Republic was overwhelmed by financial difficulties and was merged with The Peasant in Dublin.
Of the numerous papers produced by republican organisations during
the years 1908 to 1921 when the establishment of a republic was an
aspiration, not once was the title An Phoblacht used. Yet,
during the years following the disestablishment of the Irish republic in
1922, on five different occasions papers with the title An Phoblacht appeared as the official organs of the Republican Movement.
During the decade prior to the Easter Rising in 1916, many militant papers appeared. These included Irish Freedom, (1910-1915), the paper of the IRB, edited by Patrick McCartan, and The Irish Volunteer, founded in December 1913 as the official newspaper of the newly-formed Irish Volunteers and edited by Eoin MacNeill until 1916.
From 1916, when the Republic was proclaimed in arms to the end of the
Tan War in 1921, during which the Republic was established, many
underground newspapers appeared. Among these were: Nationality (1917-1919), edited by Arthur Griffith and Seamus O’Kelly; An tOglach (1918-1921), edited by Piaras Béaslaí; and the Irish Bulletin (1919-’21), the paper of the Dáil Publicity Department, edited by Erskine Childers and Frank Gallagher.
In January 1922, following the signing of the Treaty in December 1921 and the betrayal of the Republic, the title Poblacht was chosen as the title for a new republican newspaper.
On January 3rd, four days before the Dáil vote on the Treaty,
anticipating what lay ahead, three republicans opposed to the Treaty,
Liam Mellows, Frank Gallagher and Erskine Childers, founded a newspaper,
Poblacht na hÉireann (Republic of Ireland). The editorial
committee included such republicans as Cathal Brugha, killed later in
the year following the beginning of the Civil War, and Máire Mac Swiney,
sister of Terence Mac Swiney who died on hunger-strike in Brixton
Prison in October 1920.
Poblacht na hÉireann, under the editorship of Gallagher, was issued at a time when all the national daily papers — except the Connaughtman
of Sligo — were in favour of the Treaty. It reflected the ideals of the
republican leadership which was soon to be in arms against the Free
In the paper, Childers put a strong case for the republican side,
including cold, analytical facts on dominion status in theory and the
hard facts of the Treaty’s Defence Clauses in reality.
The issue of January 5th contained, side by side, the Treaty and
Document Number Two, de Valera’s alternative to the Treaty, showing how
important were the differences between them. The counter-proposal,
Childers wrote, was ‘‘neither a dead negative to the English claims nor a
humiliating sacrifice of Irish rights. It is an earnest effort to go to
the utmost lengths possible in meeting England’s fears and prejudices
without sacrificing any essential rights on the sovereign status of
After February, and the acceptance of the Treaty by the Dáil by 64 votes to 57, the small journal, Poblacht na hÉireann,
was edited by Childers. A fine propagandist with a natural flair for
journalism, he had been Dáil Éireann’s Director of Publicity and one of
the editors of the Irish Bulletin during the Tan War.
In the work of explaining the worst features of the Treaty and
counteracting misrepresentations, Childers, through the columns of Poblacht na hÉireann, which he brought out once or twice a week, played a major part.
Following the failure of the Collins/de Valera Pact of June 1922, and
the outbreak of the Civil War later in the month, Childers joined the
IRA as a Staff-Captain but confined himself to the important work of
Moving along with the brigade on the Cork-Kerry borders, he ran a
mobile printing press with the assistance of Roibeard O Longphuirt of
the Lee Press. He produced 20,000 copies weekly of Poblacht na hÉireann,
sending it to embassies, newspapers, all organisations in Britain and
also into jails and among the flying columns, lifting their hearts as he
put their case so cogently.
In November 1922, while on his way to Dublin to meet senior IRA
leaders, Childers was arrested and was executed by a Free State firing
squad in Beggar’s Bush Barracks on November 24th.
With the death of Childers, the IRA lost one of its most effective propagandists and it meant the end of Poblacht na hÉireann.
During the following months, until the end of the Civil War in May 1923, a small paper, Eire, produced
in Scotland, in order to avoid censorship, and edited by Countess
Markievicz, published the republican position and in particular
highlighted the appalling conditions being endured by over 11,000
political prisoners in jails and internment camps throughout Ireland.
In 1924, following the end of the Civil War and the release of the
last political prisoners, the Republican Movement was at its lowest ebb
for years. In that year two republican papers, Eire, and The Irish Nation, were in financial difficulty and finally merged, forming a new weekly, Sinn Féin. Soon afterwards it ceased publication and was subsequently replaced by An Phoblacht.
By the mid-1920s, the IRA had become suspicious of all political parties and began to distance itself from Sinn Féin.
An Phoblacht, as the official paper of the IRA, first
appeared on June 20th, 1925, under the editorship of Patrick Little.
Among the contributors were Peadar O’Donnell, Frank Gallagher, Frank
Ryan, Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington and Fr Michael O’Flanagan.
Within a short time, the weekly An Phoblacht had an
estimated circulation of 18,000 copies. It maintained a constant
criticism of the Cosgrave administration in the Free State. In early
1926 Peadar O’Donnell, author, trade union organiser and socialist,
succeeded Little as editor of An Phoblacht and was assisted by
Frank Ryan and Diarmuid Mac Giolla Pádraig. The paper soon had about
30,000 to 40,000 subscribers and a readership of many times that number.
It was the organiser, the educator and the policy-maker of the IRA and
Under O’Donnell’s editorship an immediate change became apparent.
While it still maintained a strident campaign against the appalling
conditions in Free State jails, it began to emphasise social and
economic issues which received extensive coverage, in particular the
huge number of people emigrating from the 32 Counties.
Almost by chance, an issue presented itself which dramatically
offered the possibility of linking political agitation for the
betterment of the poor with the national struggle against British
imperialism and which was to dominate the columns of An Phoblacht during 1928 and ‘29. This was the campaign for withholding payment of the land annuities in the 26 Counties.
The payment of land annuities was fiercely opposed by O’Donnell and by 1928 An Phoblacht
was carrying almost weekly headlines stressing some aspect of the
problem. Yet despite the oppostion of some IRA leaders to the paper
being used by O’Donnell to spearhead the annuities campaign, clearly the
agitation was too popular with rank-and-file IRA Volunteers to be
cold-shouldered and the issue dominated the pages during the remainder
of O’Donnell’s period as editor.
In 1930, O’Donnell was succeeded as editor by Frank Ryan who brought
Terry Ward of Derry to assist him. O’Donnell, however, continued to
contribute to the paper. Geoffrey Coulter, who had been assistant editor
of An Phoblacht since 1929, felt aggrieved when Ryan took over as editor. Of Ryan he later wrote:
‘‘I had to admit he taught me a great deal, besides turning An Phoblacht
from a quiet political weekly review with organisation notes into as
lively a political newspaper as I’ve seen. Circulation grew from a few
thousand a week to more than 40,000.’’
The circulation of An Phoblacht fluctuated dramatically
during these years, depending on the level of coercion. In 1930, when
Ryan took over as editor, it was down to 8,000 copies a week. Ryan
utilised his considerable knowledge of printing to revolutionise An Phoblacht.
‘‘He used pictures, cartoons and make-up as they had never been used
before in Ireland,’’ recalled Coulter, ‘‘with witty cartoons in Irish,
French and German as well as English on special occasions such as
During the years 1929-’31, when coercion by the Cumann na nGaedheal government against republicans was at its height, An Phoblacht and
its staff came in for particular attention from the ‘‘Broy Harriers’’,
Garda detectives, many of them ex-IRA men, who specialised in harassing
republicans. The new coercion legislation introduced in October 1931,
which proscribed 12 organisations including the IRA and Saor Eire,
forced many IRA Volunteers to go on the run. The military tribunal
suppressed four issues of An Phoblacht in a row and the paper
was forced to cease publication. It had ceased publication from March to
April 1929, when O’Donnell was editor, for the same reason.
Ryan brought out a new publication, Republican File, the
first issue of which appeared on November 28th. It expressed no
opinions, taking its news from other publications, but despite this
precaution, Ryan was arrested after two issues and lodged in Arbour Hill
military prison and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in
January 1932. Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington took over as editor.
During the general election campaign of February 1932 An Phoblacht
resumed publication with O’Donnell as editor. The paper, with the
approval of the IRA leadership, played a major part in the defeat of the
Cosgrave regime and the election of a Fianna Fáil government led by de
One of the first acts of the new government, two days after it came
into power on March 9th, was to release all political prisoners,
including Ryan. He resumed his position as editor of An Phoblacht
while Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington became assistant editor, following the
lifting of the ban on the paper. after Fianna Fáil’s second electoral
victory in 1933, relations between them and the IRA worsened.
There were also difficulties within the IRA over campaigning on
social issues. Ryan and O’Donnell were the main supporters of the
policy. An Phoblacht began advocating the division of large
ranches, nationalisation of the banks and a conference (or congress) of
all anti-imperialist forces. This sounded a great deal like Saor Eire,
which had been engulfed and suppressed in a ‘red scare’ orchestrated by
church and state.
As editor of An Phoblacht, Ryan publicised these policies
enthusiastically. The IRA Convention of 1933, while itself formulating a
programme of ‘‘national reconstruction and establishment of social
justice’’, passed a resolution forbidding Volunteers from writing or
speaking on social, political and economic issues. Following the
convention, a split was developing between right and left in the IRA and
Ryan was prohibited from writing anything for An Phoblacht without submitting a draft to the IRA leadership for vetting.
This went on until the spring of 1933 when, in protest at the
censorship imposed on him by the Army Executive, Ryan resigned as editor
of An Phoblacht. Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington, assistant editor,
also left. Terry Ward of Derry and Liam Mac Gabhann of Kerry were
appointed joint-editors and worked under the close supervision of Moss
Twomey, the IRA Chief-of-Staff. Both were replaced in 1934 and Donal
O’Donoghue, a member of the Army Executive, became editor.
The Army Convention of March 17th, 1934, split down the middle over
the question of developing a new social policy. O’Donnell, Ryan and
George Gilmore proposed the calling of a Republican Congress, which was
defeated by a majority of one vote. All three resigned from the IRA and,
on April 8th, 200 men and women met in Athlone and founded Republican
Congress. O’Donnell also resigned from An Phoblacht.
Following the split, An Phoblacht, under the editorship of
O’Donoghue, became less radical and throughout 1934 and early 1935 its
articles and editorials carried out a vigorous campaign against the
Blueshirts, a fascist organisation founded by Eoin O’Duffy in 1933,
urging republicans to mobilise against the Blueshirts and defeat
fascism. By 1935 the IRA was calling off its forces from the
anti-Blueshirt campaign. An Phoblacht, while denouncing the
Blueshirts, at the same time discouraged IRA Volunteers from being
actively involved in the campaign against them.
In 1935, the Fianna Fáil government, having come to power three years
earlier in the 26 Counties with the help of the IRA, now sought to
crush the Republican Movement. The Military Tribunals, originally
reactivated to deal with the Blueshirts, now began to imprison IRA
O’Donoghue, editor of An Phoblacht, was arrested and imprisoned. (By April 1936 there were 104 republican prisoners in Arbour Hill.) An Phoblacht faced a crisis every week. Its printing plant at the premises of the Longford Leader
was usually surrounded by armed Free State troops. Sometimes they
smashed the type, and other times they seized the entire issue of the
paper. No paper could publish under such conditions and after weeks of
being censored, the paper was finally suppressed at the end of June
1935. The last typed issue entitled The Republic came out on
July 6th. By June of the following year the IRA was proscribed and
hundreds of republicans, including Moss Twomey, the IRA Chief-of-Staff,
were imprisoned on both sides of the border.
While the new Free State constitution was being debated during the
summer of 1937, de Valera’s Fianna Fáil government lifted the ban on An Phoblacht.
Tadhg Lynch, a close associate of Seán MacBride, who had replaced Tom
Barry as IRA Chief-of-Staff, became editor of the new series of An Phoblacht.
Ryan, who had returned to Dublin to convalesce, having been wounded
at the Battle of Jarama the previous February while fighting with the
International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, moved close to the IRA
again. Ryan and Lynch worked together in editing An Phoblacht, which
was printed by Ralahine Press. It was to run for six months only, until
July 1st, 1937, 26-County election-cum-referendum on the new
constitution, after which it was immediately suppressed.
Within months of the final suppression of An Phoblacht in July 1937, another republican paper, The Wolfe Tone Weekly,
appeared in September, edited and largely written by Brian O’Higgins,
assisted by Joe Clarke, the veteran of the Battle of Mount Street Bridge
Between 1937 and 1939, when Fianna Fáil coercion against the Republican Movement was increasing, The Wolfe Tone Weekly appeared every week. O’Higgins’ paper, though not as popular or as controversial as An Phoblacht,
was a journal of some influence until its suppression in September
1939. His writing lacked the social content of Peadar O’Donnell’s,
tending more towards Gaelic revivalism than socialism. The Wolfe Tone Weekly was, however, well edited and laid out.
During the two years of its existence and faced with suppression at any time, The Wolfe Tone Weekly
endeavoured to promote the policies of the Republican Movement and,
through contributors such as Jimmy Steele, at the time serving seven
years in Crumlin Road Prison, Belfast, and Brendan Behan, it did much to
educate republicans in the history of Irish republicanism. After the
beginning of the IRA bombing campaign in English cities in January 1939,
The Wolfe Tone Weekly continued to appear, but was finally
suppressed in September, following the introduction of internment
without trial in the 26 Counties. (Internment had been in operation in
the North since December 1938.)
During the years of internment (1939 to 1945) when hundreds of
republicans were detained in both the North and the South, no republican
paper appeared. Two underground news-sheets — the weekly War News, produced by Charlie McGlade, Seán MacNeela and Seán MacCaughey from 1939 to 1943 and the monthly Republican News,
edited by John Graham and later Tarlach O hUid, from 1942 to 1943 —
appeared sporadically during these years. Of necessity their circulation
By the summer of 1943, with the IRA North and South virtually
decimated by arrests, with most republicans either interned or
imprisoned, both War News and Republican News had ceased publication.
With the ending of internment in 1945 and the release of the last
political prisoners in December 1946, republicans set about rebuilding
the Republican Movement and reorganising the IRA.
One of the more important developments for republicans came in May 1948 with the appearance of a small monthly paper, the United Irishman, edited by Seamus G O’Kelly.
The small, blurred United Irishman was a long way from the militant An Phoblacht
edited by O’Donnell and Ryan in the ‘20s and ‘30s, but it was a
beginning and a sign that Sinn Féin was not dead. It carried accounts of
commemorations and through its many historical articles it told a new
generation about the indignities suffered by Irish patriots at the hands
of the British and Irish authorities in the past and blended Fenianism
and commentary on the political situation in the North with attacks on
the Fianna Fáil and Coalition regimes in the South.
The United Irishman
played an important part in developing sympathies with and support for
the Republican Movement during the early ‘50s and eventually from the
1956 to 1962 IRA border campaign.
Shortly after the official ending of the campaign in February 1962, Denis Foley took over as editor of a United Irishman
increasingly concerned with economic and social issues in Ireland. The
space given to historical articles declined and the analytical articles
became more contemporary.
Throughout the early ‘60s the columns of the United Irishman
reflected the policies of the leadership of the Republican Movement,
placed less emphasis on the armed struggle and directed the Movement
towards social agitation. In 1965 Foley resigned as editor of the paper
and was replaced by Tony Meade. Under Meade’s, and after 1967 Seamus O
Tuathail’s editorship, the United Irishman increasingly
agitated against the appalling housing situation, ground rents, fishing
rights and other social issues. Many republicans were gravely disturbed
by the running down of the IRA. While many republicans were expelled or
ousted during this period and many more drifted away, some stood their
ground and were determined to do something to stop this betrayal of the
In early 1966 a small group of Cork republicans, who fiercely
disagreed with the trend of the Movement, secretly published a paper, An Phoblacht,
which was extremely critical of the IRA for refusing to take action in
the North and scathing in its attacks on the leadership of the
Republican Movement for concentrating solely on social issues and
ignoring the question of British occupation in the Six Counties.
An Phoblacht, published and widely distributed in Cork,
continued for about two years, but ceased publication long before the
campaign for civil rights gained momentum in the North in August 1968.
It was not until July 1969, on the occasion of the repatriation of
the bodies of Barnes and McCormack at Mullingar, County Westmeath, that
the republican leadership was publicly denounced. Jimmy Steele, the
veteran Belfast republican, in a fiery oration, severely criticised the
policies being pursued by the leadership of the Movement, the attitude
of the leadership that the struggle for civil rights was a process by
which the Six-County state could be reformed and finally, the running
down of the IRA.
Steele received tremendous support for his stand, especially from
veterans of the 1939 campaign. His speech and, more urgently, the
pogroms in Belfast, the arrival of British troops in the North in August
and the need to reorganise the IRA to defend the nationalist
population, was a turning point for the Republican Movement. Within six
months the inevitable split in the Movement had occurred and the
elements so severely criticised by Steele became known as Official Sinn
Féin — now the Workers’ Party and the Democratic Left following a
Following the split in the Republican Movement in January 1970, one
of the tasks of the leadership was the publication of a new republican
paper as soon as possible. The first issue of the new monthly paper, An Phoblacht , under the editorship of Seán O Brádaigh, appeared on January 31st.
An Phoblacht, with a circulation of 20,000 copies per month
(which was to rise steadily over the next two years) carried in-depth
analysis of the new policies being formulated by the reorganised
Movement, articles on various historical topics, organisation notes and
reports of events in the North.
In the summer of 1972, Coleman Moynihan succeeded O Brádaigh as editor and in August An Phoblacht moved from its offices at 2A Lower Kevin Street, Dublin, to Kevin Barry House, 44 Parnell Square. On October 1st, An Phoblacht
became a fortnightly paper. Eamonn Mac Thomais, the Dublin historian
and author, took over as editor from Moynihan, following the latter’s
arrest in November and within a few months, made major changes to the
paper, with improved lay-out and more news reports. It eventually became
a weekly paper on March 4th, 1973, with a circulation of 40,000 copies
By this time An Phoblacht had become a target for increased
harassment from the Garda Special Branch. In July 1973, Mac Thomais was
arrested and charged with IRA membership at the Special Court in Dublin
and the following month was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment. He was
succeeded as editor by the Dublin journalist Deasún Breatnach.
Having completed his sentence in July 1974, Mac Thomais once more became editor of An Phoblacht,
but within two months he was arrested during a raid on the paper’s
offices and again sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment. During the
following years, when the establishment, through Section 31, attempted
to stifle news from the republican viewpoint, An Phoblacht,
edited at different times by a number of people including Gerry Danaher
(1974-’75), Gerry O’Hare (1975-’77) and Deasún Breatnach (1977-’79),
performed a vital role in publicising the republican position in the 26
While An Phoblacht was mainly distributed in the 26 Counties during the 1970s, the republican paper most widely read in the North was Republican News, which was founded in Belfast in July 1970 by the veteran republican, Jimmy Steele.
The four-page monthly, Republican News, edited and almost
exclusively written by Steele, soon had a circulation of 15,000 copies a
month. Steele died in August, and was succeeded by Proinsias Mac Airt.
Production and distribution of Republican News increased
after the introduction of internment in the North in August 1971, even
though some members of the paper’s editorial board were arrested. The
two remaining board members started printing the paper weekly from the
end of September.
Between 1971 and 1975, a number of Belfast republicans edited Republican News, including Proinsias Mac Airt (1970-’72), Leo Martin assisted by Henry Kane, (1973-’74) and Seán McCaughey (1974-’75).
The mid-1970s saw significant developments for Republican News.
In 1974 it changed to newspaper format, with eight large pages and at
the end of the summer the paper moved to its first permanent offices at
170 Falls Road. In mid-1975 McCaughey was replaced as editor by Danny
Morrison, one of the recently-released internees, who had a natural
flair for publicity. Under the editorship of Morrison the paper was
reorganised. Layout was made more attractive, the content was vastly
improved and the paper became more professional and more relevant to the
In 1978, following his imprisonment in the H-Blocks at Long Kesh, the
late Bobby Sands, using the pen-name ‘Marcella’, became a contributor
to the paper, describing in detail the appalling conditions in the
Throughout 1978, the staff of Republican News came in for
increased harassment by the RUC and British Army and the offices on the
Falls Road were regularly raided and issues of the paper seized. The
paper, which by then had a circulation of 30,000 copies weekly, managed
to overcome these raids, and had emergency editions on the streets
In the autumn of 1978, following years of debate, it was announced that both republican papers, An Phoblacht and Republican News, would amalgamate under the title of An Phoblacht/Republican News. The essential thinking behind the merger, according to an editorial in Republican News of January 20th, 1979, was:
‘‘To improve on both our reporting and analysis of the war in the
North and of popular economic and social struggles in the South… the
absolute necessity of one single united paper providing a clear line of
republican leadership… [and] the need to overcome any partitionist
thinking which results from the British-enforced division of this
country and of the Irish people.’’
The first issue of the new paper, An Phoblacht/Republican News (AP/RN), edited by Danny Morrison, appeared on January 27th, 1979.
During the early ‘80s, AP/RN was to the fore in reporting
many issues, including the appalling conditions in the H-Blocks of Long
Kesh, the torture of prisoners in the interrogation centres of
Castlereagh and Gough Barracks, the H-Block/Armagh Prison hunger strike
of 1980, the seven-month hunger-strike in Long Kesh from March to
October 1981, during which ten republican prisoners died, and numerous
other political, social and economic issues throughout the 32 Counties.
In October 1982, Mick Timothy, who had been Southern political correspondent of the paper since 1980 and author of AP/RN’s most popular column, ‘Burke at the Back’, succeeded Morrison as editor.
The improvements in the style, lay-out and journalistic content of
the paper which had continued steadily since the amalgamation were even
more marked under Timothy’s editorship. One of the most significant
changes was the expansion of the paper from 12 to 16 pages, which
allowed for greater coverage of social, economic and political issues
throughout the 32 Counties.
Following Mick Timothy’s sudden death on January 26th, 1985, he was
succeeded by Rita O’Hare, who had worked as a journalist on the paper
since her release from Limerick Prison in 1979, having completed a
In January 1990 Rita O’Hare left AP/RN, having been one of
the longest-serving editors ever, to work full-time as Sinn Féin
Director of Publicity. She was replaced by Mícheál MacDonncha from
Dublin and then by Brian Campbell.
Mícheál was succeeded by Armagh man Brian Campbell in 1996. He went
on to work in Leinster House with Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
Brian Campbell left the paper in 1999 to concentrate on his writing and
to work with Newry Armagh Assembly member Conor Murphy.
In 1999, Martin Spain, a Dubliner, stepped into the breach. Martin
began work for the paper in 1989 as a staff reporter, just weeks before
the first computers arrived in the Parnell Square headquarters. Martin
stepped down in July 2005. He was succeeded by Seán
Seán Mac Brádaigh had previously worked as a journalist with An Phoblacht for
ten years in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. A leading Sinn
Féin activist in Dublin, Seán assumed the editorship in the centenary
year of Sinn Féin, overseeing the latest relaunch of the republican
paper in September 2005.
An Phoblacht was the first paper in Ireland to go online and in August 2003 launched a revamped new website, at www.anphoblacht.com.
In 2010, faced with a fast-changing media world, An Phoblacht also
changed and moved to a monthly publication schedule with a new look,
more pages and a more modern website under new editor John Hedges, who has been associated with the paper since 1981.