On the face of it, the Irish print media landscape appears to be rather in a good state, with over 16 daily and Sunday national newspapers and approximately 70 local newspapers. In 2023, 65% of Irish people aged 16+ say they read a print newspaper title once per week or more - 2.58 Million people. UK titles have been available in the Irish market since the 19th century. However in 1988, the Independent News and Media partnered with the British owners of the Daily Star tabloid to launch an “Irish Edition” blending UK and Irish content. This model was subsequently adopted by other UK papers seeking to expand their circulation in the Irish market.

Although circulation expanded for all titles during the Celtic Tiger era (1995 - 2008, there has been a stark and sustained decline in readership since the financial collapse of 2008. The same holds true for newspaper advertising revenue which fell from €367m in 2007, to €92m in 2020.

With this challenge to financial viability, publishers were forced to seek new business models. Though not compensating for losses in printing advertising revenues, digital advertising has come to account for about a third of total advertising revenues and is expected to become even more valuable in the coming decade. In a similar vein, Irish titles has sought to sustain their viability by courting takeovers from larger (often overseas-based foreign) 

In the absence of directly comparable circulation/readership figures for the main print media in Ireland since 2018, it has become increasingly difficult to ascribe audience/revenue share figures to different print groups.
Nonetheless, based on older circulation patterns we can identify the following groups as particularly significant*: 

  • Mediahuis Ireland - Irish Independent, The Herald, Sunday Independent, Sunday World
  • The Irish Times Group - Irish Times, Irish Examiner, The Echo,,, IrishExaminerOnline, Beat FM, WLR FM
  • News Corporation - Irish Sun, Sunday Times Irish, FM 104, Cork's 96
  • Reach PLC - Irish Daily Star, Irish Daily Mirror
  • Daily Mail and General Trust - Irish Daily Mail, Irish Mail on Sunday
  • Mediaforce - 15 newspapers in the Republic of Ireland, 7 local free newspapers and 13 locally-targeted news websites associated with print titles

(*The list of publications is not exhaustive.)

In recent years national newspaper printing in Ireland has contracted with the majority of newspapers, both local and national, moving printing out of house. Most recently Mediahuis Ireland shut their last printing plant in Newry (Northern Ireland) outsourcing all of their printing to The Irish Times. And in 2021 News Corp closed their facility in Kells, Meath.

Celtic Media maintain their printing plant in Meath focusing on local newspapers and tabloid format. Webprint Ireland, an independent printer bought the former Mediahuis plant in Citywest, Dublin and now prints national titles including The Business Post, Irish Daily Mail, The Irish Sun, The Sunday Times.

The Newspapers
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