THE owner-editor of Social & Personal magazine, Ireland’s most prestigious style and society glossy, Louisburgh-born PJ Gibbons was honoured last week at Dublin’s Mansion House as ‘Ireland’s Most Influential Magazine Editor’.
Gibbons also accepted the main award of the evening for his top-selling magazine as Social & Personal was later awarded the prestigious gong for ‘Ireland’s Overall Most Influential Fashion Magazine’.
“It’s a great endorsement for Social & Personal, which is always striving to push the boundaries in both the Irish fashion and magazine industries,” said Gibbons, who’s the son of John and Mary Gibbons of Furmoyle, Louisburgh.
At 31 years of age, the Mayo man was the youngest Irish person to take the helm at a national magazine when he purchased the landmark Social & Personal title from its previous publisher in 2004.
“It’s been an eventful seven years since and the magazine today is quite a different entity to the publication it was just a few short years ago. As these acknowledgments attest, I think we’re really holding our own,” Gibbons told The Mayo News.
Established by the well-known Irish horseracing family, the Kilmartins, back in 1934, Social & Personal’s founding editor was the late Cecil B McWeeney – the second son of Edmond Joseph McWeeney, the first Professor of Pathology in Ireland, whose father was a highly regarded journalist called Theophilus McWeeney, the chief reporter, then the equivalent of editor, of the popular and respected Freemans Journal. Theophilus McWeeney’s funeral procession was said to have been the longest Dublin had ever seen. In an interesting twist, Cecil’s son, the well-known food critic Myles McWeeney, is the current food and wine editor under Gibbons’ helm at the magazine.
At the glittering awards ceremon, scores of the best-known faces from across the Irish fashion and media industries turned up for the inaugural ‘Most Influential in Irish Fashion’ awards.
The brainchild of Donegal-born supermodel Faye Dinsmore, the awards were set up to act as a platform to showcase some of Ireland’s most influential, as well as up-and-coming, designers, photographers, editors, models, stylists and magazines.