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Usual blarney” (120). The air of gentility which he seeks to

belie in “Two Gallants” has disappeared in


. Kershner

argues that Lenehan’s “active and intrusive presence” in the

newspaper office suggests that it is “a place where spongers

and ne’er-do-wells congregate and are tolerated for their

entertainment value” (2010: 84). A sports reporter, Lenehan is

not an intruder in the office, but is unquestionably a sponger

and ne’er-do-well barely tolerated for his entertainment value.

As mentioned earlier, the Irish press has long played a

crucial part in the formation of national spirit; intellectuals

such as the Young Irelanders used the press as a channel for

advocating their ideals and directing popular aspirations of the

people. With the massive expansion of the newspaper industry

in the second half of the nineteenth century, the influence of

the press grew tremendously: Donovan observes that in


“people live and breathe newspaper typography” (2003: 533).

Exercising greater influence, one expects that the pressmen

would bear even greater responsibility for informing the

people. Nevertheless, the rapid expansion of journalism

resulted in a reduction in entry requirements to the field,

leading to a situation in which “any untrained scribbler calls

himself a journalist” (Dwan, 2008: 171). More alarming is the


indeed loss

of the professional ethics of the

pressmen who work for personal gain, not in the service of the

public; also, as Joyce’s representations reveal, they were often

alcoholic, nostalgic, incompetent, vulgar, arrogant, and


in a word, corrupt. Terence Killeen notes the

irony apparent in the

Evening Telegraph


people existing in a cut-off world of their own,

unaware of anything outside the confines of their own


and this despite ostensibly being the people

with their fingers on the pulse of public opinion.

(2004: 72)