A look at the tradition of newspaper selling on the streets of Cork.

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A look at the tradition of newspaper selling on the streets of Cork.

This report by Maire Ni Mhurchu was broadcast on 19 January 1977 as part of the ‘Next Stop’ series. The filming took place from 13th to 17th of December, 1976.

‘Next Stop’ was a weekly series from and about the Provinces, highlighting items of general interest or concern. ‘Next Stop’ was presented by John O’Donoghue, Aine O’Connor and Nicholas Coffey. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

The Echo Boys on the streets of Cork where each day they sell ‘The Evening Echo’. This image from back in 1976.

The Echo Boys on the streets of Cork where each day they sell ‘The Evening Echo’. This image from back in 1976.

Echo Boys are dotted around the streets of Cork where each day they sell ‘The Evening Echo’ accompanied by the distinctive sound of their sales pitch.

The Evening Echo has been around since 14 July 1892 when it was sold for a ha’penny a copy. Since its inception, the Echo Boys have been involved in selling the paper. c meets some of these Echo Boys who talk about their experiences.

Some of the boys featured in this programme include Jarlath Daly (Robot), Kevin Lynch, Jimmy Mac and Finbar O’Connell. Each of these boys talks about their work and the family connection and tradition of Echo Boys. They also talk about the best spots to sell the paper around the city.

These boys are part of a community with a sense of loyalty to each other. They are part of the ‘Echo Boys Club’ on Fr. Matthew Quay, where they meet to socialise and sing songs. The report includes a clip of Cathal Dunne playing the keyboard as the boys sing along to the song ‘The Boys of Fairhill’.

Also featured in this report is Declan Hassett, Editor of the Evening Echo who describes the process of putting the Evening Echo together. Richard (Dick) Caverly, Circulation Manager at the Evening Echo, describes the Echo Boys as vital to the distribution of the paper.

The Echo Boys are responsible for selling about 12,000 copies of the newspaper each day.

Donal O’Mahony, newspaper dealer, talks about the process of hiring Echo Boys, their age and reliability.

John Kelleher, an adult paper seller, has been selling the Echo since the 1930’s. Kelleher talks about his work and about setting up the Newsvendors Association to protect newspaper sellers and the Echo Boys.

The report also features an interview with one of the only female newspaper vendors, Katherine Heaphey, who started selling papers at the age of four.

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