Since 1975, The Raheny News has brought the community of Dublin 5 together.
The newsletter began in the home of Fr. Con O’Keefe on St. Assam’s Road, Raheny in February of that year. The small group of volunteers were led by Liam Flynn, the editor at the time as they wrote, produced and distributed the first newsletter in the area.
After the success of the first issue of “The Raheny News”, or “The Green Paper” as it is known now to many of the older residents in the area, the group of local volunteers continued to sacrifice their Saturday afternoons in exchange for sitting down to produce what is now a staple in the community.
Despite being in production for the last forty years, the Raheny News hasn’t changed too much from the original issue. While the content may vary, the design is still very much the same – as is the green paper the newsletter is printed on. In fact, the very printing of the Raheny News hasn’t changed.
Each week, volunteers would meet in Fr. O’Keefe’s house to discuss the local goings-on, write news articles, type them up on their typewriters, print the issues manually and then distribute them to all the local shops.
Now the editor Peter Harper then decides what is newsworthy and the group begin to type it up. Heather Kavanagh and Theresa Kelly type up their pages on the same typewriters they had in the 70’s. However, Peter has slowly brought in some technology with the use of his laptop to help with the typing and news gathering process.
Once the typing is done, the pages are handed over to Linda Spellman to proof read, and then onto Maire Ni Bhraoin to print. Each of the four pages of the newsletter is printed 780 times, and then manually stapled together later in the evening by Catriona Harper, Kay Harper and the rest of the volunteers.
The newsletters are then put into groups and are ready to be distributed to the local shops where they are sold for 20 cent per issue. These costs, along with advertising fees cover the cost of ink, paper and of course tea for the staff.
One of the highlights for many of the volunteers, is the chance to sit down at the end of the evening with their fellow volunteers for a good catch up and to discuss their plans for the upcoming days.
At 21 years of age, Catriona Harper is the youngest volunteer in the group, but wasn’t at all surprised when she found out that the group haven’t moved along with the times in terms of the technology they use.
Regardless of whether the newsletter moves further into the digital age, it will always be a staple in the local community – technologically advanced or not.
By Michelle Dardis, Niamh Haskins and Stephen Larkin