Magazine was pulped after chairman ‘went ballistic’, but a copy has emerged for sale
The year is 1981. The month is August. On the cover of what is meant to be the precursor to The Irish Times’ now-familiar Saturday colour supplement are two bare bottoms. They belong to two people shopping in a supermarket in Cap d’Agde, a naturist resort in France, which was then the largest such resort in Europe. The name of the magazine is The Irish Times Colour Supplement. The cover story, about the “naturist movement”, which features said unclothed posteriors, was by journalist Jeananne Crowley, with photographs by Tom Lawlor.
That magazine, of which about 82,000 copies were printed to be included with the newspaper one Saturday in August 1981, was never distributed. The entire run was ordered pulped once it was seen by Maj Thomas Blakeney McDowell, the then chairman of the Irish Times Trust. As the paper did not have the facility to design or print colour at the time, the magazine had been printed off-site, by Litho Universal in Bray, Co Wicklow. It was not seen by anyone until it arrived back to D’Olier Street, where the paper was then located, as was its printing press.
“The Major went ballistic when he saw it,” recalls Seamus O’Neill, who was then advertising manager. “He took one look at the nudes on the cover, and he said the magazine had to be shredded. As far as I know, they were all put in skips in Bray and were supposed to be destroyed.”
However, at least one copy survived, and has now emerged for sale. At the end of this month, Adam’s auctioneers is putting the 56-page magazine for sale as a single lot. The estimate is between €3,000 and €5,000. “It’s difficult to price items like this,” explains Niamh Corcoran of Adam’s. “It’s a rarity; a single edition.”
As for the provenance of the magazine, it came to Adam’s via Maj McDowell, who, it appears, despite his incandescence at the time, had in fact kept one copy for himself. He is now deceased. The magazine had since been passed on to a friend, who has now brought it to Adam’s and wishes to remain anonymous.
Source: Irish Times
Original publication 25 July, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 5th August 2020
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