The Vindicator was established by Belfast Catholics in 1839 in support of Daniel O’Connell’s Repeal movement. It was the second attempt to produce a catholic newspaper in Belfast, in the face of a burgeoning Protestant press.
The paper was published twice a week and cost 4d. It was edited by Charles Gavan Duffy, and the content reflected his staunchly nationalist views. Duffy was prosecuted in 1842 for libellous comments made in the Vindicator towards members of the judiciary following the hanging of a man in Belfast. He left the paper that year and established the Nation in Dublin. He was tried for sedition and acquitted, founded the Irish Tenant League in 1850 and became an M.P. in 1852. He moved to Australia and became Prime Minister of Victoria in 1871.
Kilkenny born Kevin T. Buggy took over from Duffy as editor of the Vindicator in 1842. He had previously written for Freeman’s Journal and Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine. Buggy died very soon after and was succeeded by C.D. Fitzgerald until 1846.
The death of O’Connell in 1847 and the splintering of the Young Ireland movement mirrored a downturn in the fortunes of the Vindicator. The paper went weekly in 1852, but ceased publication that year.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1839–48 The Vindicator
This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Dec 29, 2014 . The latest issues were added in Jan 23, 2015.