The Irish Independent

The Irish independent (colloquially known as The Independent or The Indo) is Ireland’s top selling daily newspaper with an average daily print circulation of just over 60,000 copies (2020). The Irish Independent covers a diverse range of areas, including news, politics, business, entertainment, sports and culture, as well as opinion pieces and content related to lifestyle and travel. It is the flagship publication of Mediahuis Ireland (formerly Independent News and Media or INM), Ireland’s largest media conglomerate, and a subsidiary of Mediahuis N.V.

The Irish Independent was formed in 1905 by William Martin Murphy, a controversial Irish nationalist businessman. It was Ireland’s first modern mass market newspaper, was half the price of its competitors, and contained novel “populist features” such as sports coverage and a women’s page. In the early 20th century The Irish independent established itself as a conservative voice, siding with business owners during the 1913 lockout and calling for the execution of the leaders of the 1916 rising. The independent was run through Murphy’s company Independent Newspapers Limited, which would later become Independent News and Media (INM)

In 1973 control of INM left the Murphy family for the first time, when Kerrygold founder Tony O’Reilly bought a 28% stake in the company, and became CEO and Chairperson. O’Reilly, a former international Rugby Union player often considered to be Ireland’s first billionaire, who would later become chairman of the H.J Heinz Company. Under his leadership, the paper’s politics became more market liberal and economically right of centre.

Ownership was transferred again in May 2012 when Communicorp founder and billionaire Denis O’Brien became the majority shareholder of Independent News and Media (INM), and once more in 2019 when INM was acquired by current owners Mediahuis NV, and became Mediahuis Ireland. Mediahuis NV’s shareholders comprise Mediahuis Partners NV (50.6%), Concentra (32.7%) and VP Exploitatie (16.7%).

Key facts

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Content Type

Paid content

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

2 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

Mediahuis Ltd.


Ownership Structure

The Irish Independent is owned by Mediahuis Ireland (Formerly Independent News and Media), a subsidiary of Mediahuis. Mediahuis' largest shareholders include the Belgian Baert Family (29.5%) via their 90% ownership Concentra, the Dutch van Puijenbroek family (16.7%) via their 100% ownership of VP Exploitatie, and the Belgian Thmoas Leysen (13.25%) via his 26.5.% ownership of Mediahuis Partners NV.

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General Information

Founding Year


Affiliated Interests Founder

William Martin Murphy

Is the founder of Independent Newspapers Limited, which would become Independent News and Media in 1973. He is arguably Ireland’s first „Press Baron“, having bought the Irish Daily Independent in 1900 and merging it with the Daily Nation 1905. This new publication was launched as The Irish Independent, an affordable, mass circulation newspaper.
William Martin Murphy also served as a Member of Parliament representing Dublin as a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party from 1885 to 1892. A leading promoter of tram development in Ireland, he led Dublin business owners' opposition to the Dublin Transport and General Workers Union 1913 Lockout, for which he earned the nickname William „Murder Murphy“ in the Union Presses.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Peter Vandersmeersch

Former editor of Flemish daily newspaper De Standaard from 1999 to 2010. Subsequently the editor-in-chief and director of Amsterdam-based daily NRC Handlesblad from 2010 to 2019.
A well-known commentator on Belgian and Dutch radio and television, has authored books on the French president François Mitterrand and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. His wife, Francine Cunningham, works in Brussels as a regulatory and public affairs director for international law firm Bird & Bird, advising companies on EU regulation in the technology, content and media sectors.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Cormac Bourke

Editor of The Irish Independent and since September 2022. Former Editor of The Sunday Independent (2015 – 2019). Previously worked for Ireland on Sunday, Dublin Daily and the Irish Daily Star.


Independent House

27 - 32 Talbot Street

Dublin 1

Ireland D01 X2E1


Telephone: +353 (0)1 705 5333



Financial Information

Revenue (in Mill. $)

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Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

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Advertising (in % of total funding)

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Market Share

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Further Information

Meta Data

Audience share total taken from publisher statement, which looked at average daily sales from January to June 2020.

Audience share percentage (2.4%) calculated by taking this number as a percentage of total audience of 2,580,000 (65% of 16+ Population).

No information about voting rights of Shareholders available.

Revenue, operating Profit and Advertising not available at level of Publication.

Within the media industry in Ireland reporting on income levels are generally at group level rather than individual title level. On top of this, overall revenue details for the market as a whole are unavailable. Due to these factors it is not possible to report accurately on market share for individual titles or groups.

There is currently no standard audience measurement available for print and online news titles in Ireland. Individual titles publish data on readership or users but measurement parameters and sources vary between organisations, therefore it is not possible to report an accurate audience share for the purposes of this project.

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