It seems the Down Democrat is no more, presumably a casualty of tightening belts down at Thomas Crosbie Holdings.
Started by Terry McLaughlin the Democrat always seems to have had a bumpy ride, but despite the mayhem, it was never dull, and great friendships were forged there.
I joined the Democrat back in 2000, just as TCH had bought it and the Newry Democrat, and we were still in the tiny, cramped offices in Market Street. No internet, 3 iMacs and a couple of old powermacs to do the production on. We still printed out stories and headlines, and Johnny McCoubrey pasted it all up onto sheets of paper, ready to go to the printers. Late nights on a monday were norm, but the camaraderie was class.
As the TCH influence was brought to bear we moved down the road and on halloween 2001 the new offices were opened, and we were let loose on our shiny new kit. No more cut and paste, but a bigger paper, and a new look. Exciting times. Oh and we won weekly newspaper of the year.
My abiding memory of the Down Democrat offices was that I had never laughed so much, never been so stressed, and witnessed arguments of epic proportions. Who can forget Traolach pretenting to pass out in the face of being disciplined for some mad caper, or John photographing an entire match with no film in the camera but being too scared to tell Terry the editor.
The gossip and the plotting were rife, but it was a fantastic place to work, and one of the last of its kind. Good luck to everyone who worked there, doesn’t look like the last 12 got a lot of notice.