Philip Gray - The Tribune

Gray returned to Dublin, and secured a clerkship at an office in Smithfield, and afterwards held a position in the office of The Tribune, which was established by John Edward Pigot, the son of David Richard Pigot, the Roman Catholic Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer Rev. John Kenyon, Prof. Sullivan, Thomas Mason Jones, Denny Lane, John O'Donnell, Ryan of Bruree, and others, with Thomas Wallis and John Fisher Murray as contributors, with Thomas Clarke Luby as sub-editor. This account is somewhat contradicted by Robert Kee, who suggests that the paper belonged to Philip Gray.

James Stephens returned to Ireland in 1856, an Ireland in which, suggests Robert Kee, virtually the only nationalist thinking was in the new newspaper, The Tribune. The paper was the only one which was analysing the demand for Tenant Rights, and maintained that the real demand was for something much more fundamental than that. The paper, Kee writes, “that a landlord had a right to do what he would with his own but asked whether the land really was the landlord’s own.” Quoting from the paper he continues "The truth is" (it declared in italics), "that all the land of Ireland belongs to the people of Ireland, in the aggregate, to be distributed and made use of just so as best may serve the happiness, prosperity, peace and security of the People of Ireland."

It published another leader headed "No True Idea of Nationality in Ireland". In this it deplored "Irishmen’s existing incapability of comprehending the large idea of an Irish Nation. It is true they talk of their country very plausibly, and in the most high flown terms; but behind all this there is no clear and comprehensive idea of the universal Irish nation, taking in the entire population. All notions of country in the popular mind are vague and confused . . ." The paper ceased publication in 1856.

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