|Former editors||Rev. Matthew Russell, S.J.|
|Categories||Literature, social issues, popular culture, religion|
The magazine was founded by Rev. Matthew Russell, S.J., (1834-1912), who was the editor for almost forty years from 1873. The first two years of the magazine were difficult, but in 1875 Rosa Mulholland arrived to help out, followed shortly by friends of Father Russell, including Aubrey de Vere, John O'Hagan and Sarah Atkinson, which helped put the magazine on a firm footing.
Among the early contributors to the magazine were Denis Florence MacCarthy, Lady Fullerton, Charles Gavan Duffy, Stephen Brown, Emily Hickey, Dora Sigerson, Rev. T. A. Finlay, Archbishop Healy, Rev. D. Bearne, Rose Kavanagh, John O'Leary and his sister Ellen. These were members of the Irish cultural and nationalistic circles of the time, which included the likes of W. B. Yeats and George Sigerson, and many young writers flocked to the magazine as an outlet for their talents.
From the beginning there were many Protestant contributors, among them Mary Fagan and Frances Wynne. Matthew Russell was impressed by the poems of Miss Wynne, and offered to pay for the publication of some of her poems; a collection, called Whisper!, was published in 1891. Shortly after her marriage she moved with her husband to London, but died there after giving birth to their first child in 1893.
Among the writers "discovered" by the Irish Monthly are: Oscar Wilde, M. E. Francis, Katharine Tynan, Hilaire Belloc, Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, and Alice Furlong.Gabriel Fallon was theatre critic from 1926 to 1954.
The Irish Monthly ceased publication in 1954.