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01.12.01.

The oldest campaigning journal of the Irish in Britain enters a new era on the world-wide web

THE IRISH DEMOCRAT, the bi-monthly journal of the Connolly Association, today announced the launch of its website at www.irishdemocrat.co.uk

The Irish Democrat, which has been published continually since 1939, is supportive of the current peace process and continues to campaign for a united and independent Ireland and for the rights of the Irish in Britain. In addition to including all the major news, feature and most of the regular columns found in the printed version of the paper, the website edition will also feature:

  • background information and brief histories of the Irish Democrat and the Connolly Association
  • book and music catalogues of material stocked by the Four Provinces Bookshop in London
  • full texts of pamphlets published by Connolly publications and others
  • links to other relevant websites

The website will be regularly maintained and, from time to time, include articles unavailable in the printed version.

The site has been created using MKDoc software developed by Webarchitects, the Sheffield-based web-design company. The company has gained a well-deserved reputation for designing accessible and easily maintainable web sites. MKDoc software enables sites to be constructed and maintained using any web browser and only a small range of technical skills. For the more technically-minded, websites produced with MKDoc also comply with the British government’s e-Gif standards for interpretability — mandatory for public-sector bodies.

Until the launch of the Irish Post in 1970 the Irish Democrat was the only newspaper published in Britain to address the needs and concerns of the Irish community — albeit from a left-wing perspective. Since then, changing political circumstances, the publication of commercial Irish newspapers in Britain and the ready availability in many parts of the country of newspapers published in Ireland, have taken their toll on sales of the printed version -- although, in recent years, the paper has again begun to attract a steady flow of new readers from around the world.

This new website venture is the culmination of work carried out on the paper since 1996, when the printed version was relaunched following a thorough redesigned by the internationally-respected graphic designer Ian Denning, a long-standing friend of the current editor David Granville.

"Unlike some websites with all-singing all-dancing graphics which take ages to download and which cause problems for many less-sophisticated web browsers, our site is content led, attractive, easy to navigate and highly accessible - including to people with disabilities. We even have a facility for translating material into Irish" said David Granville.

"The website should not be seen as a piece of modish techno frippery but as an essential tool for researchers, historians and all those interested in continuing to campaign for a just and lasting settlement in Ireland. By launching on the web we are aiming to ensure that a wider range of people have access to the material and analysis to be found in the paper, which in some ways, largely due to the prohibitive cost of commercial advertising for voluntary operations such as ours, remains one of the best-kept secrets in the field of progressive political journalism."

For further details contact: David Granville (editor) on tel 0114 2676156

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This document was last modified by Mick Carty on 2001-11-30 15:28:40.
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