It's arrived!

The 2019 Holly Bough is now on the streets. Make sure you pick up your copy in shopping outlets across Cork or via this website. This year, the annual Cork publication is 122 years old – and as popular as ever in Cork households during the festive season!
Editor John Dolon and his team of helpers have excelled themselves this year in delivering an extra-large bundle of Yuletide joy for your delectation: A rattling good read, with some of the best writing and photographs you will find anywhere. They have unearthed some amazing stories to grip, move, shock, and entertain you.

The 2019 Holly Bough also celebrates and commemorates the people of Cork who were involved in the conflicts that racked this island a century ago, and salute locals who were involved in the world wars.
And, of course, who can forget the joys of getting your teeth into our famous Diffney Quiz and prize crossword…
The wonderful cover art was designed by Kinsale illustrator Don Carey, and depicts a Christmassy scene based on an actual photo of Patrick Street taken more than a century ago.

It’s all here, and so much more besides. Happy reading!

Solutions and winners for Holly Bough crossword and Diffney Quiz 2019

Holly Bough Crossword

THE winner of the €250 prize for the 2019 Holly Bough crossword was Pat Doolan, of Killarney, Co Kerry.

Solutions below
Across 1. Bucks Fizz 6. Waldorf salad 10. Sew 12. Eye 13. Laura 14. Tau 15. Ret 16. Secret Santa 17. Antihero 20. Ovum 21. Bathrobe 22. Howler 28. Halal 30. Elphin 31. Twilight 32. Crypt 33. Resin 35. Bought up 37. Kilkee 38. Exact 41. Ninth 45. Tivoli 46. Stagnant 47. Roof 48. Uncle Sam 52. Hit the shops 55. Two 56. Ear 57. Crown 58. Kin 59. Pie 60. Display. 61. Team-mates
Down 1. Ballaghaderreen 2. Courtown 3. Smash 4. Inter 5. Zeus 6. Webcam 7. Luge 8. Obesity 9. Far North 10. Stradbally 11. With all the trimmings 18. Err 19. Oola 21. Box 23. Ensign 26. Law 27. Dolphin 29. Shop 31. Took 32. Chilli 34. Smartphone 36. Urn 39. Tight end 40. Kit 42. Tofu 43. Ross-port 44. Cashews 45. Tic 47. Roosky 49. Norma 50. Locum 51. Stop 53. Seal 54. Sent

Diffney Quiz

THE winner of the €500 prize for the 2019 Diffney Quiz was Martin Gleeson, of Kilkee, Co. Clare.

Solutions below
1. 100 Cent in a Euro
2. Around the World in 80 Days
3. the River Nore is 140 Kilometres Long
4. a Row of 40 Medals on his Chest, Big Chest
5. 16/09/1990,Cork Win All Ireland Double
6. Number 10 Downing Street
7. 15 Players on a Rugby Union Team
8. a 3 Point Turn
9. John Wick:Chapter 3 — Parabellum
10. a 3 Card Trick
11. the 6 o’Clock Show
12. 13 Stripes on the American Flag
13. 021 Cork Area Dialling Code
14. at Close 1/4’s
15. Catherine the Great Ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796
16. Apollo 11
17. Dog Man 7: for Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey
18. Pearl Harbour Attacked 7/12/1941
19. 6 Counties in Northern Ireland
20. 2019 Europe Win the Solheim Cup
21. Éirí Amach na Casca 1916
22. the 1st Noel the Angels Did Say
23. 1/2 Moon Street,Cork
24. Rip Van Winkle, slept for 20 Years
25. 2019 Chinese Year of the Pig
26. the 2nd Coming by W. B.Yeats
27. the River Amazon is 6,400 Kilometres Long

28. in the 1st Flush of Youth
29. the Déise Greenway is 46 Kilometres Long
30. 2 Strings to your Bow
31. from 1 Day to the Next
32. 2019, Japan Host the Rugby World Cup
33. 1/2 an Eye Open
34. Corcadorca Theatre Company, 50 Popes Quay
35. a Figure of 8
36. Stand on Your Own 2 Feet
37. There’s 1 for Everyone in the Audience
38. No 2 Ways about It
39. Máire ní Chéileachair, Buaiteoir Chorn uí Riada 2018
40. the 2nd Vatican Council,1962-1965
41. Dressed Up to the 9’s
42. 29 Days in February in a Leap Year
43. 7 Rings by Ariana Grande
44. All Ireland Minor Football Final, Cork, 3-20, Galway, 3-14
45. Mweelrea,814 Metres High
46. 1 Man Went to Mow
47. na 3 Ríthe ón Oirthear
48. a 1 Hit Wonder
49. Bus Route 226, Cork Railway Station to Kinsale
50. the 12 Days of Christmas
51. 3 Nights by Dominic Fike
52. 6 Foot 6 he Stood on the Ground
53. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, the 4 Seasons
54. Scorpio (October 23rd-November 21st)
55. Just 1 of those Things
56. Toy Story 4
57. Double Concerto for 2 Violins in d Minor by j s Bach
58. the 24 Hour Clock
59. 122 Years of the Holly Bough
60. na 3 Cairde is Fearr agus na 3 Naimhde is Measa:Tine, Gaoth agus Uisce


Readers worldwide


Years a Cork tradition


Pages bursting with great stories and photos


Christmas publication in Cork


About the Holly Bough

The Holly Bough has been an annual tradition in Cork since 1897.
In that time, it has become a staple of the Christmas season in city and county, and among the diaspora around the world.
It has appeared in all 122 years since it began, apart from a few years during the world wars, and in 1948, when there was a paper shortage. The oldest copy in Cork City Library is from 1924.
The Holly Bough contains a plethora of historical stories and photographs about Cork and its people, as well as festive articles, a food & drink section, a junior section including puzzles, fictional short stories and poems by local people, and a sports section.

The magazine is now larger than it has ever been in its history – 164 pages.
Editors down the years have included Stephen Coughlan and Walter McGrath, and the current editor, John Dolan, has been at the helm since 2002.
He attributes its continued success to hard work by generations of people, from writers to in-house journalists, editors and photographers, from printers to distributors, advertisers to contributors. The latter are the backbone of the Holly Bough. “The Holly Bough is written by Cork people, for Cork people” he says.

Holly Bough editor is Cork Person of the Month

JOHN DOLAN, the editor of the annual Holly Bough newspaper, has been named January Cork Person of the Month.
The Holly Bough, published by the Evening Echo, a famous Cork tradition since 1897, tells the stories that delve into the memory banks of all Corkonians and is as much a part of Christmas as Santa and Christmas turkey.
John Dolan, assistant editor and features editor of the Evening Echo, said it was a great honour to take over as Editor of the Holly Bough back in 2002. The Holly Bough, even though it has input from professional writers and historians, contains, in essence, stories that are written by ordinary Cork people who have extraordinary stories to tell, it is written by the people for the people. said John at the award presentation.
Circulation of the Holly Bough has bucked all trends in print journalism by tripling its circulation and expanding its size from 60 pages to a 164-page full-colour publication. It is indeed a 122 year Cork institution that is part of all our lives in Cork and even follows us abroad when necessary, said awards founder and organiser Manus ‘Callaghan.

There is a great tradition of sending the Holly Bough abroad to the Cork diaspora, and locals also bring it abroad on summer holidays for a selfie and then get their holiday snaps published in the Holly Bough at Christmas.
John Dolan, born in Cheshire, now lives in Carrigadrohid near Macroom. He spent many years in print journalism in England, working on such newspapers as the Lancashire Evening Post and the London Metro. He moved to Cork in 2001, and with the backing of Evening Echo chief executive Dan Linehan and Echo editor Maurice Gubbins was appointed the editor of the Holly Bough a year later.
His name now goes forward, with the other Persons of the Month chosen this year, for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at a gala awards lunch in January 2020.


Holly Bough Gallery

Every year, we publish photos of Holly Bough readers posing with the publication all around the world. Here are some of our editor’s favourites down the years. Email your photo to [email protected] or follow the steps below where it says Submit story or photo’.



Minister receives
Holly Bough

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, has been presented with the 2018 Holly Bough by Ireland’s Counsel General to New York and native of Bishopstown, Ciará¡n Madden.

Minister Zappone was in the city in December for meetings with the Irish community. She said: “I know the reach of the Holly Bough is far and wide, connecting many who cannot make it home to loved ones in Cork during this special time of year. I congratulate all behind it and wish it every success for many years to come. Being part of this festive Cork tradition is a privilege.”


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Evening Echo Photosales

Purchase photos from the Holly Bough here – or you can purchase them at our counter sales office at Irish Examiner, 80, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork: Tel 021 4802393.

Photo Archive

Have a look at our brilliant photographic project which compares pictures of Cork in the past and the present’.

Irish Examiner Photosales

Purchase photos from the Holly Bough here – or you can purchase them at our counter sales office at Irish Examiner, 80, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork: Tel 021 4802393


Submit Story or Photo

If you have a story
to submit to the
Holly Bough, or
a photo for the
Holly Bough
Picture Gallery,
you can do it here

Submit Story

Submit Photo


Please contact us by email

Email: [email protected]
Postal: Holly Bough, The Echo, Linn Dubh, Assumption Road, Blackpool, Cork