Daily Ireland ABC paves way for Government ads

Daily Ireland has survived round one of the Belfast newspaper wars after posting a launch ABC figure of 10,467.

The
figure has surprised executives at rival newspapers in the city, who
had privately predicted sales of about 7,000 a day for the title.

And
it means the paper could now qualify for Government advertising – which
it has so far been denied because of the lack of an independently
audited circulation figure.

Daily Ireland was launched on 1
February as a pro-united Ireland morning newspaper published in Belfast
and sold mainly in Northern Ireland and the northern counties of the
Republic.

Since then, established evening title The Belfast
Telegraph has launched a morning edition. And in April, Local Press
launched a non-sectarian lifestyle-focused paper in Belfast, which
lasted just five weeks.

Daily Ireland also competes in Belfast
with Unionist morning paper the News Letter (owned by Local Press) and
the independently owned pro-nationalist morning Irish News.

Daily
Ireland managing director Mairtin O Muilleoir said: “Our daily sale of
10,467 is a monumental achievement when you consider the opposition
from unionists north and south to Daily Ireland and shows there is a
real thirst for a paper that wears its nationalist heart on its sleeve.”

West
Belfast MP Gerry Adams has been lobbying Secretary of State for
Northern Ireland Peter Hain over the issue of Government advertisements
being placed in Daily Ireland.

He said: “This is a vital project creating 30 jobs in the heart of West Belfast and it deserves to be treated fairly.

“Peter
Hain told me last week that Daily Ireland would be treated the same as
the other dailies once its audited figures were submitted. I trust he
will now deliver on that pledge.”

A spokesman for the Northern
Ireland Office confirmed it was considering whether to start placing
Government advertisements with Daily Ireland in the light of the
circulation figure.

Daily Ireland management blamed the
redundancies of several journalists at the paper earlier this month on
the lack of Government advertising.

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