It seemed mighty unusual for a St Patrick's Day to come and go without any big Irish record collection being released, but that's how it looked from this eastern side of the Atlantic.
Until this morning, when news was carried over the waves of a partnership between Ancestry.com and the Dublin-based IrishNewsArchives which has resulted in a new standalone site: IrishNewspapers.com.
There's an explanation for why the news took 48 hours to reach these shores. The new site, IrishNewspapers.com, is available only in the USA. When I visit it, I'm re-directed to IrishNewsArchive.com, so I can't comment on how it functions, although I did manage to catch a screengrab of the home page before the redirect kicked in:
Phillip Martin of Irish News Archives spoke to Irish Genealogy News this morning to reveal more about this exciting development for the family-owned company.
"IrishNewspapers.com is derived from the current Irish News Archives but will be overseen in the US by Ancestry's Newspapers.com," he explained. "Partnering with Newspapers.com offers Irish News Archives a pathway to the expansive US market.
"The new US site has launched with a first tranche of Irish historical newspapers from across the island. More titles will be added in due course."
Subscriptions to the US site cost $19.99 monthly and $99.99 annually (Ireland site is €30 per month or €178 per year).
A marked difference between the two sites is that IrishNewspapers.com will offer editions up to 1980, while the Irish market, via the existing IrishNewsArchive.com, will continue to offer a growing range of Irish newspaper titles up to the current year.
Phillip also told me of a new subscription feature available via IrishNewsArchive. New members can avail of a 3-day free trial before signing up for longer term subscriptions. Researchers sign up, with credit card details, for a month's subscription, but they aren't charged until the three days is up. They can cancel the subscription at anytime during the three-day trial.
Details of the free trial are now published on the IrishNewsArchive.com website.
UPDATE 26 March 2015: Kilkenny-raised genealogist Joe Buggy has access to the IrishNewspapers.com because he's now based in Washington DC; he's written a thorough review of the new website, providing a list of all the papers in the database, on his Townland of Origin blog.