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Hot Press

Continuing their involvement with U2, Hot Press released a double cover edition featuring Bono in July 2009 just before the U2 360° Tour shows at Croke Park, Dublin.
Editor Niall Stokes
Categories Music, current affairs
Frequency 26 per year
First issue 1977
Country  Ireland
Language English

Hot Press is a fortnightly music and political magazine based in Dublin, Ireland founded in 1977. The magazine has been edited since its inception by Niall Stokes. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it had a circulation of 19,215 during 2007. It has won a number of PPAI Awards, including Website of the Year (2003 & 2007), Magazine of the Year (2002) and Publisher of the Year (2004) and has been cited by independent sources such as The Irish Times[1 ] and the British based NME.[2] Rory Gallagher featured on the cover of the first issue.[3] The magazine title is a play on the term "hot press", a common Irish term referring to a domestic airing cupboard.

The magazine has featured interviews with politicians, breaking stories that are later covered by national and international news agencies. [4] It is also known for having conducted one of the last interviews with the model Katy French before her death in 2007. Other issues discussed during its existence include abuses within the Catholic Church.[5]

In 2005, the Irish Examiner said: "Hot Press still gives a platform to Irish music" and is "a vital outlet for up and coming Irish music and music writers, having given starts to Declan Lynch, Liam Mackey and Liam Fay". [6] The newspaper included Hot Press editor Niall Stokes in its top fifty list of "most important and influential people in Irish music during 2005". [6]



Early history

Hot Press was founded in 1977. It is edited by Niall Stokes. [7] Since then, the magazine has featured some significant stories in the music world, both in Ireland and internationally. Hot Press has covered the career of U2 since the late 1970s. Sinéad O'Connor first talked to Hot Press about her lesbianism. Hot Press writer Stuart Clark was present on the day that Oasis came closest to splitting up. He gained an insight into the life of band member Noel Gallagher, including an interruption to the interview during which the Oasis songwriter was told that his brother Liam would not be gigging with the band that night.

"Fuck, no way man," he (Noel Gallagher) insists. "I'll probably get away with it tonight but I'm not as good a singer as he is. I'd much rather be stood in front of me amplifier doing the odd backing-vocal. The cunt! I tell you what I'm tempted to do - go on stage and tell the crowd his room number so they can go round the hotel and get their money back off him."[8]

Hot Press arranged a meeting between Bono and Bob Dylan where they asked the U2 singer to interview the latter for the magazine and he agreed. Reporter Steve Cummins boarded the Babyshambles tour bus and wrote about the chaotic life of Pete Doherty and his band.


In 2004, a radio advertisement for the magazine, which referenced Ann Sexton's newly established column and used the word "masturbation", was banned by RTÉ but carried by independent stations such as FM104 and Today FM. [9] Also that year, Olaf Tyaransen handed into Dáil Éireann an anti-war petition in the name of Hot Press.[10 ] In October 2006 Hot Press experienced a rivalry with the Irish version of NME, edited by former Hot Press writer Steve Cummins.[11 ] In 2008, Hot Press obtained a new rival in the form of State.[12 ]

The Hot Press Annual 2007 (published in 2006) featured interviews with the Scissor Sisters and others. The first issue of 2007 was a Simpsons special where there is an exclusive interview with the show's executive producer Mike Scully. It included musicians such as Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and other celebrities talking about their favourite Simpsons shows/moments. 2007 was also the year that Hot Press announced a war against ticket touts following a number of high profile incidents, such as the Arcade Fire ticket fiasco.[13][14] In 2008, Hot Press reported on the controversy surrounding non-Irish artists being counted as Irish on radio.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

In an interview with Hot Press's Jason O'Toole[22] model Katy French revealed that she would consider having an abortion if she got pregnant during the peak of her career and that she loved fur despite being a "massive animal lover". She also aired her religious beliefs (she was a Protestant but also practised Catholicism) and spoke highly of Islam and her Muslim friends saying,

"When you read the Koran, you realise that Islam is a beautiful religion".

In the same interview she was asked if she had ever used cocaine and denied ever having done so.[23] Yet in November 2007, French confessed to an Irish tabloid that she had previously been a regular abuser of cocaine in the past only to be come disillusioned with this. In the early hours of Sunday December 2, Katy collapsed at a friend's house in Ashbourne, County Meath. She died at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan on the evening of December 6 just six weeks after her Hot Press interview was published. The interview became a regular source of information for newspaper reports in the aftermath, and was revisited in the Hot Press Annual 2008 which went to press just as she died.

O'Toole has also conducted other interviews for Hot Press. In 2009, he interviewed Jimbo Wales, the co-founder of online encyclopedia project Wikipedia, about his life and work. Wales spoke of various issues including his salary, his belief that marijuana and other illegal drugs ought to be legalised, the possibility of introducing advertising to Wikipedia, his addiction to the social networking website Facebook and the death threats he has received in the past, saying "there are crazy people in the world. People have all kinds of crazy agendas. They are angry… and then they’re mad at me and they send me death threats". [24] O'Toole also interviewed Ian Strachan [25] Hot Press blanked names in its UK edition to comply with court rulings. [25] O'Toole also conducted the first interview with Patrick "Dutchy" Holland, an institutionalised criminal, for more than twelve years, which also turned out to be his last.[26 ][27] [28]

Hot Press's Stuart Clark conducted a public interview with Pete Doherty at Trinity College, Dublin on 6 February 2009, hours before an interview on The Late Late Show with Pat Kenny.[1 ][29 ]

Hot Press was at the centre of a legal dispute over the copyright of the term De Dannan in 2009 after it featured an advertisement using the term to promote a new tour by the traditional group. [30] In September 2009, an interview conducted by Olaf Tyaransen with the comedian Tommy Tiernan at Electric Picnic 2009 proved controversial when Tiernan made some remarks which were later perceived as antisemitic. The comments were reported in the Irish and international media; [31] [32] however, both Tyaransen and Hot Press editor Niall Stokes, as well as Tiernan himself, defended them as being taken out of context. [33] [34] [35]


Past writers for Hot Press have included the authors of BAFTA award-winning Father Ted, Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, Sunday Times television reviewer Liam Fay, author and Daily Telegraph columnist Neil McCormick, the late Bill Graham,[36] The Sunday Business Post US correspondent Niall Stanage, Irish Examiner soccer correspondent Liam Mackey, The Irish Times columnist John Waters, food writer John McKenna, Sunday Independent journalist Declan Lynch and The Guardian football writer, Football Weekly regular Barry Glendenning and Daily Mail writer Jason O'Toole.

Current writers include Olaf Tyaransen. [37] As well as Peter Murphy, a nominee in the UK's Costa First Novel Award shortlist in 2009. [38]

Jackie Hayden.[39]


Hot Press mainly covers music and politics. However, it also deals with other topics such as books[40 ] and comedy.[41]


A large number of the most popular artists from the world of rock’n’roll and pop music have been interviewed by Hot Press, including those as diverse as David Bowie, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, R.E.M., Kate Bush, Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, The Smiths, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Oasis, Blur, New Order, 50 Cent, Green Day, Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Kylie Minogue, Westlife, Massive Attack, Alicia Keys, David Gray, PJ Harvey, Robbie Williams, Beyoncé, and many more.

In recent times, Hot Press has published interviews with the new breed of modern rock band, championing Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Editors, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Maxïmo Park, Muse, Razorlight, HARD-Fi and Keane among others. In 2006, Hot Press also interviewed some of the more popular emerging solo artists and songwriters of that year from James Blunt and Sandi Thom to Lily Allen and Nellie Furtado.

Well-known Irish artists from U2 and Enya through Van Morrison and Bob Geldorf, Sinéad O'Connor, The Cranberries, The Frames, Snow Patrol, Damien Rice and Ash to David Holmes, The Thrills and The Corrs have been interviewed extensively by the magazine, as well as the more recent or up-and-coming Irish artists such as Bell X1, Humanzi, Future Kings of Spain, Delorentos, Director, The Blizzards and Republic of Loose, as well as reviewing music from The Marshals, The Immediate, Ham Sandwich, The Flaws, Travega, The Aftermath and Vic.


Hot Press covers all the major international music events, as well as Irish festivals such as Oxegen, Electric Picnic, Live at the Marquee, Cois Fharraige and Heineken Green Energy. Sometimes the magazine has a free CD with music by artists playing at the festival in question.

It sponsors the Hot Press New Bands Stage at Oxegen.[42 ]


Hot Press has had a strong liberal left wing stance on politics and social issues. During the 2007 General Election it supported many smaller left wing parties such as the Green Party and Labour. It currently is critical of the Fianna Fáil government, pro Seanad reform and was opposed to the June 2007 decision of the Irish Film Censor's Office to ban the videogame Manhunt 2[43] This is the first time a video game has been refused certification by the IFCO.[44]

Hot Press has interviewed several politicians, including President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, DUP's Ian Paisley, Jr. MLA, leader of the Green Party, John Gormley and Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen.

  • "The sort of smug know-all commentator... I suppose if anything annoys me, that annoys me... I could instance a load of fuckers whose throat I'd cut, and push over the nearest cliff, but there's no percentage in that." – Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey speaking to Hot Press writer John Waters in 1984. [45]

In his May 2007 interview with Jason O'Toole, former Minister for Health Cowen admitted to smoking marijuana, saying,

"Anyone who went to the UCD bar in the ‘70s that didn’t get a whiff of marijuana would be telling you a lie. I would say there were a couple of occasions when it was passed around – and, unlike President Clinton, I did inhale! There wasn’t a whole lot in it really – (it was like) a Sweet Afton, as a 10-year-old, under a railway bridge on a rainy day, in small town Ireland in the late ‘60s. I certainly got more enjoyment out of a few pints."

This confession later provoked much criticism from opposition parties in the Dáil.[46] Ministers Willie O'Dea and Brian Lenihan, Jnr played down the controversy, denying Cowen was "setting a bad example".[47] Mr. Cowen later became Taoiseach following the resignation of Bertie Ahern.

In June 2007, DUP's Ian Paisley, Jr. MLA caused uproar in an interview with Jason O'Toole by publicly denouncing acts associated with homosexuality. This was the year before Iris Robinson, wife of First Minister, Peter Robinson made her thoughts on the issue.[48]

A December 2008 interview with Irish European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy was the subject of news stories and other commentary in a number of Irish based newspapers, including the Irish Independent, [49] the Irish Star, the Irish Mirror, The Sun, the Irish Mail, the Mail On Sunday and The Irish Times and was covered extensively on radio, on RTÉ News and in other television including TV3's The Political Party. Internationally the interview was covered by the Wall Street Journal and The Morning Star, and the main news in Denmark featured it, as well as Das Journal in Austria, Diário Digital in Portugal and France's leading daily paper, Le Monde. The interview, conducted once again by Jason O'Toole (on this occasion in Brussels), had McCreevy say that Ireland's decision to reject the Lisbon Treaty had to be respected by the rest of Europe. McCreevy also revealed that he was pro-choice when it came to matters of abortion. [4]

In May 2009, Patricia McKenna confirmed in a Hot Press interview with Jason O'Toole her intention to run as an independent candidate in the European elections. [50]

Cover notes

Kings of Leon used a February 2003 edition of the magazine featuring the band on the cover as part of the artwork for their 2004 single "California Waiting".[51 ]

A 1985 cover featuring Bruce Springsteen was selected as one of the favourite fifty of his 750 magazine covers in a Friends Of Bruce Springsteen Special Collection poll in 2005. [52] is a website operated by Hot Press. It was launched in 2002, initially promising a free archive with 25 years of content.[53] As well as music, it has sections dedicated to other topics such as comedy,[54] fashion,[55] films[56] and sex.[57] On 30 July 2009, it hosted a live transmission from Arctic Monkeys who performed tracks from their album Humbug. [58] [59]

Hot Press Yearbook

The Hot Press Yearbook is released annually. Promoted as a "Who's Who list of everyone worth knowing in the music and entertainment business" in Ireland, it is anticpated by those who may or may not feature on it. [7] The launch party features live musical performances and is attended by musicians, journalists, publicists and others associated with the industry.[60 ]


Hot Press has published several books:

  • A Man In A Woman's World by Jackie Hayden, general manager of Hot Press (co-published in Nov 2007 with Killynon House Books.)
  • Diary Of A Man, by Dermod Moore, 2005. A collection of essays by the magazine's columnist aka Bootboy.
  • The Rooms, by Declan Lynch, 2005. The third novel from Declan Lynch.
  • The Palace of Wisdom (Sex Lines & The Story of O), by Olaf Tyaransen (2004, 2002, 2000) (all of Olaf Tyaransen's books have covers featuring paintings by Irish Artist Graham Knuttel
  • McCann: War & Peace in Northern Ireland, by Eamonn McCann, 1998.
  • My Boy, by Philomena Lynott with Jackie Hayden, 1996 Synopsis: The story of Phil Lynott as told by his mother. It is also her story, from the days as a single mother bringing up a young black child in Manchester and Dublin, through the heady success of Thin Lizzy, to the tragic chain of events which ended her son's life and plunged her into depression.
  • Crime Ink, by Jason O'Toole, 2009 (a collection of O'Toole's Hot Press pieces published by Merlin Publishing). Top ten in the Irish Bestsellers Chart.[61 ] [28]


Hot Press issues free CDs on an irregular basis. These have included:
  • Phil Lynott: The Lost Recordings which was re-released with an issue in August 2006 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Phil Lynott's death. The CD featured five recordings which had never been released, including two tracks that had never been heard before.


As part of their thirtieth birthday celebrations in 2007, Hot Press ran a competition in association with Vodafone Ireland with a top prize of winning an internship at Hot Press. They asked sixth year and third-level students to submit no more than four hundred words about any music subject of their choice and the competition closed on 29 January 2007.

Four students won an internship at Hot Press, which took place in the summer or autumn of 2007 at the winner's discretion, as well as other prizes.

The panel of judges included writers and musicians, such as Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy; best-selling author Alex Barclay; Paul Howard of Ross O'Carroll-Kelly fame; Hot Press editor Niall Stokes and deputy editor Stuart Clark.[62]


AIB Photojournalism Awards

Photographer Graham Keogh won an AIB Photojournalism Award for a Bruce Springsteen photo in 2009. [63]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2009 Bruce Springsteen photo Arts category of the AIB Photojournalism Awards 3rd

Illustrator's Ireland Awards

At the 2006 Illustrator's Ireland Awards, David Rooney won the Best Editorial Illustration Award and the Best Overall Illustration Award for his Liberation illustration which showed a Bhurka-wearing woman with her toe in water as oil fields burn in the background. [64]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2006 Liberation Best Editorial Illustration Award Won
2006 Liberation Best Overall Illustration Award Won

PPAI Magazine of the Year Awards

Editor Niall Stokes won Editor of the Year at the 2008 PPAI Magazine of the Year Awards.[65 ]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2008 Niall Stokes Editor of the Year Won


  1. ^ a b "What Pete didn't tell Pat". The Irish Times. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-13.  
  2. ^ "Kings Of Leon, Killers, Snow Patrol for Oxegen 2009". NME. 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2009-01-28.  
  3. ^ "HOT PRESS - WHO WE ARE…". The Music Show. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  4. ^ a b "Wall Street Journal and Le Monde among newspapers covering Hot Press story". Retrieved 2008-12-10.  
  5. ^ "THE CHURCH AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE". Hot Press. 1994-12-14. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  6. ^ a b "Those who called the tune in Irish music during 2005". Irish Examiner. 2006-01-04. Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  7. ^ a b "Rockers out in force for Hot Press launch". Evening Herald. 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  8. ^ The First Noel
  9. ^ "Hot Press in sex scandal! Radio ad censored by RTÉ". Hot Press. 2004-03-02. Retrieved 2009-07-26.  
  10. ^ "Anti-war petition submitted". Irish Examiner. 2004-06-25. Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  11. ^ Anne-Marie Walsh (October 20, 2006). "The next big thing in music". Irish Independent. Retrieved January 6, 2010.  
  12. ^ John Meagher (2008-04-25). "Loaded: Apr 26th - May 2nd". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009-08-16.  
  13. ^ Hot Press Launches 'OUT A TOUT' Campaign, Hot Press, 26 January 2007, retrieved 23 February 2009
  14. ^ Tout of order, Hot Press, 26 January 2007, retrieved 23 February 2009
  15. ^ "REM help industry to redefine Irish music…". Irish Independent. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-14.  
  16. ^ "BCI defends Irish music rules…". Phantom FM. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-16.  
  17. ^ "REM qualifies as Irish music for airplay…". Hot Press. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-13.  
  18. ^ "'Shame on them': Musicians react to BCI airplay clarification…". Hot Press. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-14.  
  19. ^ "'This is crazy': Louis Walsh…". Hot Press. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-14.  
  20. ^ "Radio directors say they’re behind Irish acts…". Hot Press. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-15.  
  21. ^ "Is Irish radio fair to Irish music?…". Hot Press. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-04-27.  
  22. ^ "This year's model" - Hot Press Oct 26 2007
  23. ^ "Blessing of troubled teenage years" - Irish Independent WEEKEND REVIEW - Sat. Dec 8 2007, p.5
  24. ^ "Hot Press scoops interview with Wikipedia Guru". Hot Press. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2009-03-26.  
  25. ^ a b "Royal blackmailer spills the beans to Hot Press". Hot Press. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2009-04-28.  
  26. ^ "The Dutchy Holland I knew". 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  27. ^ "Radio directors say they’re behind Irish acts…". Hot Press. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-15.  
  28. ^ a b "'Wronged criminal' had regrets but little remorse". Irish Independent. 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2008-08-01.  
  29. ^ "Doherty, Elbow and Cave for Oxegen". The Irish Times. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-13.  
  30. ^ "Oxegen Trad legends jig about with a legendary name". Sunday Independent. 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2009-08-03.  
  31. ^ Ken Sweeney (2009-09-20). ""Six million? I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that. No f**kng problem! F**k them. Two at a time, they would have gone. Hold hands, get in there! Leave us your teeth and your glasses"". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2009-09-25.  
  32. ^ Brian Blondy (2009-09-24). "Irish comic: 'Six million? I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-09-26.  
  33. ^ "A statement from Tommy Tiernan concerning accusations of anti-Semitism". Hot Press. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2009-09-26.  
  34. ^ "Tommy Tiernan responds to accusations of Anti-Semitism". Hot Press. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2009-09-26.  
  35. ^ Olaf Tyaransen (2009-09-25). "How could reporter take my interview with Tommy out of context?". Evening Herald. Retrieved 2009-09-26.  
  36. ^ "Funeral of Denis Keeley takes place today". Hot Press. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-04. "Denis was best known in Irish music circles as the long-term partner of Philomena Lynott, whose "My Boy" was published by Hot Press and went to No.2 in the Irish best sellers. The Church of the Assumption is the church at which both Philip Lynott and Bill Graham of Hot Press were mourned."  
  37. ^ "Hot Press writer Olaf Tyaransen speaks to Irvine Welsh". Hot Press. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-29.  
  38. ^ "Tóibín shortlisted for UK book award". The Irish Times. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2009-11-24. "A second Irish nominee, Hot Press writer Peter Murphy, has been nominated in the Costa First Novel Award shortlist for his book John the Revelator, which the judges described as a “dark and gripping story” which powerfully merges fact and fiction."  
  39. ^ John Meagher (2008-02-08). "Loaded: Festival films for music fans". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2010-01-02.  
  40. ^ "Three Irish authors on Booker long-list". Hot Press. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2009-07-29.  
  41. ^ "Comedy gigs galore". Hot Press. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2009-07-29.  
  42. ^ "Oxegen 09: Oxegen line-up". Irish Independent. 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  43. ^ "MANHUNT 2 VIDEO GAME PROHIBITED". IFCO. 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2007-06-19. "A prohibition order has been made by IFCO in relation to the video game Manhunt 2. The Order was made on 18 June 2007 under Sec 7 (1) (b) of the Video Recordings Act 1989 which refers to ‘acts of gross violence or cruelty (including mutilation and torture) ’."  
  44. ^ "RTE News". Retrieved 2007-06-20.  
  45. ^ "Biffo takes his place in pantheon of the gaffers". The Irish Times. 2008-05-24. Retrieved 2009-02-24.  
  46. ^ "The man who would be king". Retrieved 2007-12-14.  
  47. ^ "Election 2007: Fianna Fáil's crime strategy". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2009.  
  48. ^ "The Junior Minister has his say about gays". Retrieved 2008-07-30.  
  49. ^ "Ganley won Lisbon debate, says McCreevy". Irish Independent. 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2009-07-04.  
  50. ^ "McKenna to contest Euro elections as independent". Irish Independent. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  51. ^ "Kings of Leon for Oxegen 2009". Hot Press. 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2009-01-28.  
  52. ^ "Hot Press nominated for Bruce Springsteen cover - so vote for us!". Hot Press. 2005-12-02. Retrieved 2009-07-26.  
  53. ^ John Meagher (2002-02-08). "SOUNDBITE". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2010-01-02.  
  54. ^ "Comedy". Hot Press. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  55. ^ "Fashion". Hot Press. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  56. ^ "Film reviews". Hot Press. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  57. ^ "Sex articles". Hot Press. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  58. ^ " hosts live Arctic Monkeys web gig". Hot Press. 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  59. ^ "Arctic Monkeys LIVE HERE @ 9 PM Tonight". Hot Press. 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-07-30.  
  60. ^ "Sweat, sweat, sweat at HP bash". Irish Independent. 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  61. ^ "Hot Press based book hits Top Ten". Hot Press. 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2009-07-18.  
  62. ^ "Budding writers tune up for Hot Press gig". Retrieved 2007-12-14.  
  63. ^ "Hot Press snapper wins AIB Photojournalism award". Hot Press. 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  
  64. ^ "Hot Press illustrator wins top award (free content)". Hot Press. 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2009-07-26.  
  65. ^ "Hot Press Wins Editor of the Year". Hot Press. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2009-07-26.  

External links

Simple English

Hot Press is a music and political magazine. It was founded in 1977. The magazine is based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. It is different from other similar magazines by its anti-establishment opinion and the amount of focus on Irish music, most notably early U2. It is currently edited by Niall Stokes.

Other websites

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