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NUJ brand closure of Irish Daily Star “a callous and crude attempt by Northern & Shell to protect their UK commercial interests”

The National Union of Journalists has published a response to Northern & Shell, the co-owners of the Irish Daily Star, with a call to reconsider the threat of the paper’s closure following its publication of the Kate Middleton photographs.

Richard Desmond co-owner Irish Daily Star

Séamus Dooley, the NUJ Irish secretary further described Northern & Shell chairman, Richard Desmond’s announcement to close the paper as a “callous and crude attempt to protect their UK commercial interests with no regard for the livelihood of 80 Irish workers.”

Dooley went on to say that the Irish title has in the past been free from UK interference: “The editor took a controversial decision on this issue just as he and his predecessors have done in the past, without reference to the newspaper owners. I do not understand why this particular decision is being treated any differently.”

The Union’s general secretary Michelle Stanistreet echoed Dooley’s reaction by stating the decision was “an over the top reaction which should be reconsidered calmly and with consideration of the full implications for Irish journalism and for editorial diversity.

"The Irish Daily Star is a joint venture between Independent News & Media and Northern and Shell. The future of the newspaper is linked to the financial and editorial support of both investors.

"Editorial management of the newspaper rests with the editorial team in Dublin and it is difficult to see why the UK shareholder has chosen this issue as the grounds for withdrawing from a long-standing contract. The Irish Daily Star is a successful newspaper and any threat to the survival of the title is a threat to editorial diversity."

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