Hot Press

Hot Press is a fortnightly music and politics magazine based in Dublin, Ireland, founded in June 1977. The magazine has been edited since its inception by Niall Stokes. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it had a circulation of 17,084 during 2014.

Hot Press
Continuing its 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.
EditorNiall Stokes
CategoriesMusic, current affairs
Frequency26 per year
First issueJune 1977


Hot Press was founded in June 1977 by Niall Stokes, who continues to be its editor to the present day.[1][2] Since then, the magazine has featured stories in the music world, both in Ireland and internationally.[3]

The first issue of Hot Press featured Irish blues rock musician Rory Gallagher ahead of his headlining performance at Ireland's first open air rock festival, The Macroom Mountain Dew Festival, in 1977. The magazine has covered the career of U2 since the late 1970s. Sinéad O'Connor first talked to Hot Press about her lesbianism.

The magazine has been at the centre of several controversies: for example, Hot Press writer Stuart Clark was interviewing Oasis band member and songwriter Noel Gallagher when Gallagher found out that his brother Liam would not take the stage for that evening's performance, and the band came close to splitting up.

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.[4]

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;[5][6] however, both Tyaransen and Hot Press editor Niall Stokes, as well as Tiernan himself, defended them as being taken out of context.[7]


Past writers for Hot Press have included ninth President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins,[8] 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, Bill Graham, The Sunday Business Post US correspondent Niall Stanage, Irish Examiner soccer correspondent Liam Mackey, author Damian Corless, 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, Peter Murphy,[9] Jackie Hayden,[10] and Pat Carty.[11]


Hot Press has had a centrist 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 was critical of the then 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[12] This is the first time a video game has been refused certification by the IFCO.[13]

The magazine 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.[14]

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. Ministers Willie O'Dea and Brian Lenihan Jnr played down the controversy, denying Cowen was "setting a bad example".[15] 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.

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,[16] 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. is a website operated by Hot Press. It was launched in 2002, initially promising a free archive with 25 years of content.[17]

Hot Press Yearbook

The Hot Press Yearbook is released annually.[1]


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.[18]


  1. "Rockers out in force for Hot Press launch". Evening Herald. 17 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  2. R. Douglas Geivett; James S. Spiegel (20 September 2009). Faith, Film and Philosophy: Big Ideas on the Big Screen. InterVarsity Press. pp. 301–. ISBN 978-0-8308-7518-4.
  3. Max Wallace; Ian Halperin (20 March 2014). Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain. Allison & Busby. pp. 41–. ISBN 978-0-7490-1610-4.
  4. "Oxegen Trad legends jig about with a legendary name". Sunday Independent. 26 July 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  5. Sweeney, Ken (20 September 2009). "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. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  6. Blondy, Brian (24 September 2009). "Irish comic: 'Six million? I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that'". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  7. Tyaransen, Olaf (25 September 2009). "How could reporter take my interview with Tommy out of context?". Evening Herald. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  8. Cullen, Paul; Siggins, Lorna (11 November 2011). "A thinker unafraid to speak his mind". The Irish Times. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  9. "Tóibín shortlisted for UK book award". The Irish Times. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
  10. John Meagher (8 February 2008). "Loaded: Festival films for music fans". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  11. Carty, Pat. "Live Report: Saving Grace featuring Robert Plant and The 4 Of Us at The Helix, Dublin". Hotpress. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  12. "MANHUNT 2 VIDEO GAME PROHIBITED". IFCO. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  13. "RTÉ News". RTÉ News. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
  14. "Biffo takes his place in pantheon of the gaffers". The Irish Times. 24 May 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
  15. "Election 2007: Fianna Fáil's crime strategy". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  16. "Ganley won Lisbon debate, says McCreevy". Irish Independent. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  17. John Meagher (8 February 2002). "SOUNDBITE". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  18. "'Wronged criminal' had regrets but little remorse". Irish Independent. 20 June 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2008.

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