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Aengus Fanning in his own words: ‘There are dozens of people who are better journalists than I am’

‘When I was a kid I spent three or four months a year in Birr (Co Offaly). I hung around the Midland Tribune, went out in the vans with the reporters and pestered them with questions’

‘My uncle Jimmy , who was a father figure to me in many ways always felt I should go into journalism. So when I left college he had a vacancy in the Midland Tribune. That’s how I started.’

‘I applied for a job in the Irish Independent. I wanted to get married. I had met my wife who lived five miles from Birr ...’

‘My first day in Middle Abbey St I was in awe. I thought that everybody there must be good.’

‘I don’t believe for one minute that serving the market conflicts with good journalism’

‘I believe if most people continue to produce the sort of newspapers they are now producing, it will fulfil the prophesy of slow decline.’

‘When I became editor of the Sunday Independent I found it a bit staid and stale.’

‘The first critical appointment I made was Anne Harris as features editor in 1985. A brilliant all round journalist with an instinctive sense of the market.’

‘I think women are better than I am at understanding and interpreting human behaviour.’

‘I went for Eamon Dunphy as soon as he left the Sunday Tribune in 1986 ... I asked him if he would write across a broad canvas.’

‘I regard myself as a liberal, but it all depends what you mean by liberal. I hope I use it in the classical sense.’

‘(The market) is not just this little incestuous coterie of media people who meet each other at dinner parties and in pubs, fortifying their own illusions and delusions.’’

‘Sure, sex helps sell newspapers. Normal healthy sex is part of life and what’s wrong with that.’

‘The IRA and their Loyalist counterparts have behaved like barbarians and put themselves outside the pale of Pale of civilised society.’

‘What the Sunday Independent is is a magazine wrapped up in a newspaper.’

‘Making money is a good thing ... we need to be healthy about these things’.

‘In Dublin alone there are dozens of people who are far better journalists that I am.’

From Talking to Ourselves by Dr.Ivor Kenny (published 1994)

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