Ireland of the Welcomes
About ‘Ireland of the Welcomes’
‘Ireland of the Welcomes’ is an Irish Interest magazine first published by Bórd Fáilte, the Irish Tourist Board in 1952. The aim of the magazine was to market Ireland as a desirable tourist destination to overseas visitors.
This magazine; however, can be viewed as more than mere tourism promotional material. Some of the most respected people wrote for ‘Ireland of the Welcomes’ including historian John de Courcy Ireland, poet and writer Frank O’Connor, radio broadcaster Micheal O hAodha, folklorist Kevin Danaher and geographer Professor Frank Mitchell. Highly acclaimed artists such as Paul Hogarth and Arklow artist George Campbell were regular contributors also.
Each issue contains an eclectic mix of articles covering all facets of modern and historic Ireland. It captures many milestones in Irish social history from the launch of the Tidy Towns Scheme in 1958 to Ronal Reagans’ visit to Ireland in 1984. In parallel, the magazine provides an insight into the many less reported facets of Irish culture with articles on the shell houses of Wexford, Irish clock making, the origins of handball and street bowling in Ireland, traveller history, foodways and 19th century traditional music amongst others.
Wicklow is well represented and includes, not only coverage of beauty spots and holiday resorts, but topics as diverse as the work of young woodcarvers Ian and Imogene Stuart at their Glendalough Studios in 1953, the opening of Russborough House to the public in 1978 and the experience of famine emigration from Wicklow during the mid 19thcentury by Arklow’s very own Historian Jim Rees. At the same time, interviews with Wicklow residents such as science fiction author Anne McCaffrey and Tinahely sheep farmer Michael Owen Fogerty provides a view of the less publicised aspects of the Wicklow landscape.
Each issue contains pages of small ads for shops and hotels, many which have since disappeared, while the regular fashion spreads provide an entertaining look at evolving Irish fashion trends over fifty five years.
The ‘Ireland of the Welcomes’ magazine collection offers a unique insight into the social and cultural events of life in Ireland and Wicklow over five and a half decades. Furthermore, each article is highly illustrated containing often previously unseen photographs.
The ‘Ireland of the Welcome’ Collection is available to read in the Local Studies Library on Salthouse Lane, Wicklow town.