|Owner(s)||Independent News & Media|
(replaced Daily Irish Independent)
|Headquarters||Talbot Street, Dublin, Ireland|
The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest-selling daily newspaper, published by Independent News & Media (INM). It often includes glossy magazines. While most of the paper's content in English, it also publishes a weekly supplement in Irish called Seachtain. ("Seachtain" is the Irish word for "week".)
Since May 2012, the Irish Independent has been controlled by billionaire Denis O'Brien since he acquired 29.9% of the paper's parent company. In January 2008, at the same time as completing the purchase Today FM (Ireland's last national radio station independent of O'Brien and state broadcaster RTÉ), O'Brien increased his INM shareholding to become that company's second-biggest shareholder behind Tony O'Reilly, whom he ousted just over four years later. Traditionally a broadsheet newspaper, it introduced an additional compact size in 2004 and in December 2012 (following O'Brien's takeover) it was announced that the newspaper would become compact only.
The Irish Independent was formed in 1905 as the direct successor to the Daily Irish Independent, an 1890s pro-Parnellite newspaper, and was launched by William Martin Murphy, a controversial Irish nationalist businessman, staunch anti-Parnellite and fellow townsman of Parnell's most venomous opponent, Bantry's Timothy Michael Healy.
During the 1913 Lockout of workers, in which Murphy was the leading figure among the employers, the Irish Independent vigorously sided with its owner's interests, publishing news reports and opinion pieces hostile to the strikers, expressing confidence in the unions' defeat and launching personal attacks on the leader of the strikers, James Larkin. The Irish Independent described the 1916 Easter Rising as "insane and criminal" and famously called for the shooting of its leaders. In December 1919, during the Irish War of Independence, a group of twenty IRA men destroyed the printing works of the paper, angered at its criticism of the Irish Republican Army's attacks on members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and British government officials. In 1924, the traditional nationalist newspaper, the Freeman's Journal, merged with the Irish Independent. Until October 1986 the paper's masthead over the editorial contained the words "incorporating the Freeman's Journal".
For most of its history, the Irish Independent (also called simply the Independent or, more colloquially, the Indo) was seen as a nationalist, Catholic, anti-Communist, newspaper, which gave its political allegiance to the Pro-Treaty party Cumann na nGaedheal and later its successor party, Fine Gael. During the Spanish Civil War, the Irish Independent's coverage was strongly pro-Franco; the paper criticized the De Valera government for not intervening on behalf of the Spanish Nationalists.
In 1961 the Harp became a symbol to the Irish Independent originally appeared in black but was changed to green in 1972.
In the 1970s, it was taken over by former Heinz chairman Tony O'Reilly. Under his leadership, it became a more populist, market liberal newspaper—populist on social issues, but economically right-wing. By the mid-nineties its allegiance to Fine Gael had ended. In the 1997 general election, it endorsed Fianna Fáil under a front-page editorial, entitled "It's Payback Time". While it suggested its headline referred to the fact that the election offered a chance to "pay back" politicians for their failings, its opponents suggested that the "payback" actually referred to its chance to get revenge for the refusal of the Rainbow Coalition to award the company a mobile phone licence.
In late 2004, Independent Newspapers moved from their traditional home in Middle Abbey Street to a new office, "Independent House" in Talbot Street, with the printing facilities already relocated to the Citywest business park near Tallaght.
On 27 September 2005, a fortnight after the paper published its centenary edition, it was announced that editor Vinnie Doyle would step down after 24 years in the position. He was replaced by Gerry O'Regan, who had until then been editor of the Irish Independent's sister paper, the Evening Herald. The newspaper's previous editor Stephen Rae was also formerly editor of the Evening Herald and was appointed editor in September 2012. Fionnan Sheahan was appointed editor in January 2015.
Denis O'Brien successfully acquired a majority shareholding the newspaper parent company INM in May 2012.
Since 2011, the Irish Independent has been the home of New Irish Writing (and its associated Hennessy Award), which was originally established by David Marcus in 1969 in the Irish Press and appeared in the Sunday Tribune from 1988 to 2011. The New Irish Writing Page is "the longest-running creative writing feature of its kind in any Irish or British newspaper".
The Irish Independent, in cooperation with the Institute of Education, produces Exam Brief, a yearly six-part supplement dedicated to preparation for Leaving and Junior Certificate exams. This supplement is published in February, March and April each year.
Excluding The Sun and the Daily Mirror, most of the content of which are produced in the United Kingdom, the Independent Group owns just over 67% of Irish daily newspapers. INM-owned or partly owned titles have 58% of the newspaper market on Sunday. With the closure of the Evening Press, the Independent's Evening Herald is now the only Irish national evening newspaper. Another sister paper is the Sunday Independent.
The Independent News & Media Group has been accused of holding an "unhealthy dominance" of the Irish newspaper market, all the more so since the demise of the Irish Press, Evening Press and Sunday Press newspapers published by the Irish Press Group in 1995.
The Independent News and Media Group also owns online business directory site Your Local that provides local business information on approximately 100,000 Irish businesses.
Adverts on television of the Irish Independent since 1986 are available on YouTube but ones as far back as 1961 will be brought back to the television screens in 2018.
The Legends is the third glossy magazine and iMag produced by the Irish Independent in just over a week after ‘The Gathering’ publication and our ‘Mistletoe’ Christmas special.
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