The Scottish Catholic Observer began life in the 19th century as the Glasgow Observer, with its first edition printed on April 18, 1885, by the Glasgow Publishing Company at 58 Renfield Street, Glasgow.

The newspaper was shortly afterwards purchased by Irishman and future member of parliament Charles Diamond, a prolific newspaper owner who would later create The Catholic Herald. By 1886, the Observer carried the imprint: “Printed and published for the Irish Press of Gt. Britain, 3 Antigua Court, Glasgow, by C. Diamond.”

After moving to England, where he oversaw the new Catholic Herald title, Charles Diamond recruited Gorbals-born David John Mitchell Quin from the Catholic Times as managing editor of the newspaper that would go on to serve the Catholic community of Scotland for the next century and beyond.

The newspaper was first published under the Scottish Catholic Observer name on November 1, 1968, with the sub-title: “incorporating Glasgow Observer & Scottish Catholic Herald.”

Scotland’s only national Catholic newspaper covers all the news of interest to Catholics in the UK and features local, national, and international reports. The SCO regularly breaks news that is followed up by the secular press – read it first by picking up a copy of the newspaper in church after Mass or taking out a subscription.

Weekly editions contain features, columns, opinion pages, letters, education news and reviews in addition to regular reader competitions. The paper also lists births, deaths and marriages across Scotland.

The newspaper carries regular features on Scottish Catholic life and resources for the Catholic community including a weekly Children’s Liturgy and lay readers’ guide and a monthly Gaelic column.


Daniel Harkins (2018-present)
Ian Dunn (2016-2018)
Liz Leydon (2008-2016)
Harry Conroy (2000-2007)
Eddie Barnes (1999-2000)
Hugh Farmer (1993-1999)
John MacLean (1990-1993)
Jim Coffey (1977-1990)
Vincent Hastie
Bill Heaney (1970-1972)
John Porter
Rennie McOwan
Hugh Kay
William Murphy


Donald Attwater
Rev Dr Flood
William Murphy

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Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • Second Fort Augustus monk to be extradited for trial
  • Conference affirms work of independent Catholic schools
  • Catholics to be trained to identify victims of human trafficking
  • Glasgow pupils prove St Mungo’s bairns have plenty to sing about
  • East Ayrshire headteacher praised for progress

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.