The Phoenix

The Phoenix is a fortnightly political magazine founded by John Mulcahy in 1983, which covers current events, often through a satirical, irreverent lens. It is frequently likened to the UK’s Private Eye magazine. In contrast to Private Eye however, the Phoenix is printed on magazine stock rather than newsprint, and uses colour, including photography, quite extensively. As of 2018, the print magazine had a circulation of just under 12,000 copies.

The name Phoenix is a reference to its "emergence from the ashes" of Mulcahy's two previous publications - the republican political magazine Hibernia, which ceased publishing in 1980 after a libel action, and the Sunday Tribune newspaper, which collapsed financially in 1982.

Features in the magazine include a news column; detailed profiles ("Pillars of Society" and "The Young Bloods"); "Affairs of the Nation", which looks at political scandals; "Bog Cuttings" which consists of humorous and unusual events outside Dublin (often bizarre court cases), "Hush Hush" and "On the beat", which deals with security and intelligence matters; and a satirical section, "Craic and Codology". It also has an extensive financial column, "Moneybags".

The magazine is notable for its willingness to criticize those in power, with an edge rarely seen in the mainstream. Targets of these critiques range from individual business owners and politicians, to larger, more significant government policies and projects, both domestic and international.

Critics of the magazine, who often include politicians and prominent media figures, have dismissed the Phoenix for its “muckraking”, its juvenile humour, and described it as a “gossip rag”.


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Media Companies / Groups

Penfield Enterprises Ltd.


Ownership Structure

The Phoenix is owned by Penfield Enterprises, which in turn is owned by Aengus Mulcahy (99.9%) and Brigid Mulcahy (0.01%), whose father John Mulcahy founded the publication in 1983.

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General Information

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Affiliated Interests Founder

John Mulcahy

Born in Australia in 1932, Mulcahy worked in the financial sector before becoming a full-time journalist. He wrote for the catholic periodical Hibernia Magazine before becoming owner and editor in 1968. Under his leadership, the magazine became more left-wing and republican.
Following the closure of Hibernia in 1980, Mulcahy founded The Sunday Tribune which after financial turmoil closed down definitely in 2011. In 1983 he founded the political and current affairs magazine The Phoenix.
In 2002 he became the owner of The Irish Arts Review, and in 2007 gave up his role managing The Phoenix to edit the Irish Arts review full time. He also sat on the board of the National Gallery of Ireland from 2008 until his death in 2018.
His son Aengus is the current CEO of The Phoenix, while his daughter Brigid has been a Board member of the Irish Arts Review since 2011 and Editor of the Irish Arts Review since 2018.
His son Michael Mulcahy was a Councillor, TD and former Lord Mayor of Dublin.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Aengus Mulcahy

Son of The Phoenix founder John Mulcahy, has been the CEO of Penfield Enterprises Ltd. since his fathers resignation in March 2007. He is also the director of ABDEF Ltd., a management company who provides services to The Phoenix.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Paddy Prendiville

Born in Manchester but raised and schooled in Kerry, Paddy Prendiville describes himself as having been radicalised by working conditions in London in the 1970’s and 1980’s, where he worked in factories, petrol stations, offices, laundries, and building sites while living in a squat. Around this time he was a member of the Workers Power National Committee.
In the early 1980s he began working as a press officer for the UK-based Troops Out Movement, but returned to Dublin and got a job working for Hibernia, which had recently been purchased by John Mulcahy. In 1984 he was offered the role of Editor for Mulcahy’s recently launched The Phoenix. He has been editor ever since.
Prendiville has been involved in far-left and republican activism. In 2012 he published a book on the history of the Communist Party of Ireland.


44 Lower Baggot Street,

Dublin 2



Telephone: + 353 (0)1 661 1062


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Meta Data

Circulation figure taken from Medialive

No available information for revenue, operating profits, advertising profits, or market share.

Within the media industry in Ireland reporting on income levels are generally at group level rather than individual title level. On top of this, overall revenue details for the market as a whole are unavailable. Due to these factors it is not possible to report accurately on market share for individual titles or groups.

There is currently no standard audience measurement available for print and online news titles in Ireland. Individual titles publish data on readership or users but measurement parameters and sources vary between organisations, therefore it is not possible to report an accurate audience share for the purposes of this project.

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