The Irish Times is Ireland's "newspaper of record", launched in the early 1850s. The current editor is Geraldine Kennedy, who succeeded Conor Brady in 2002. Its main daily rival is the Irish Independent newspaper, Ireland's best-selling broadsheet newspaper.
The paper is generally perceived as liberal and social democratic, in contrast to the Irish Independent, which is perceived as populist and economically right wing. For example, The Irish Times was seen as supportive of Mary Robinson's campaign for the presidency of Ireland, and of legal changes in Ireland to Ireland's divorce, contraception and abortion laws.
Historically, The Irish Times was formed to be the voice of Irish protestants and unionists and to support the maintenance of Ireland's membership of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In the mid twentieth century, as the Republic of Ireland exited not just the United Kingdom but the British Commonwealth, the paper changed its identity, becoming a more radical voice in the Irish media.
Its most prominent columnists include controversial former Sunday Tribune editor, Vincent Browne, left wing writer and arts commentator Fintan O'Toole and former taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Garret FitzGerald. Senior international figures, including Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and others have written for its 'Op-Ed' (Opinion and Editorial) page. Its most prominent columns include Drapier (an anonymous column produced weekly by a politician, giving the 'insider' view of politics) and Rite and Reason, its weekly religious column, edited by Patsy McGarry, its Religious Affairs Editor.
The Times is in considerable financial difficulty over a disastrous decision to invest its reserves in the building of a new printing plant; it has recently laid off a large number of its journalists and is undergoing major restructuring. Some of its external bureaux were closed, while it also ceased publishing 'colour' pages specifically devoted to covering local Irish regions, with regional coverage now merged with news.
The Irish Times publishes its residential property supplement every Thursday, being the main printed residential property listing for the Dublin area.
Fridays in the the Irish Times traditionally has the job advertisements.
There are two crosswords in The Irish Times. Finishing the "hard" crossword is generally acknowledged to be fairly difficult.
The Irish Times controversially obtained the .com internet domain ireland.com.