Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Dispute over Firing Ends in Closure of Three Irish Papers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Dispute over Firing Ends in Closure of Three Irish Papers

Article excerpt

A DISPUTE OVER the firing of a reporter has led to the suspension of three newspapers published by money-strapped Irish Press Newspapers Ltd. (IPN), which said the company would go into liquidation with the loss of 600 jobs.

The 39,000-circulation morning Irish Press, 53,000-circulation Evening Press and 154,000-circulation Sunday Press have not published since May 26, when group business editor Colm Rapple was fired after writing an article for the rival Irish Times critical of Irish Press management.

The group's 150 reporters refused to work until Rapple was reinstated, and IPN responded by laying off 450 nonjournalism staffers and then editorial staffers.

IPN said it was prepared to close the company and a general meeting of shareholders would be called to appoint a liquidator.

In a later development, the liquidation was put on hold for three weeks pending a court-appointed examiner's search for investors who would put up $31 million to satisfy creditors.

IPN said the dispute with the journalists had exacerbated its already tenuous situation. The company was reported to be $24 million in debt and losing $480,000 a month.

It said a decision by the government's Competition Authority to order Independent Newspapers to divest its 24. …

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