The IoS graphic (top) with the Irish Independent’s illustration (above)
Ireland on Sunday has accused the Irish Independent of lifting an elaborate graphic of billionaire race horse owner JP McManus’s planned palatial new home in Limerick, and is demanding damages and an apology.
The colour illustration, by freelance Philip Argent and staffer CiarÃ¡n O’TÃºama, ran across a double page spread in Ireland on Sunday at the weekend.
On Monday, the Irish Independent ran what appeared to be a similar graphic with almost identical captions.
IoS editor-in-chief Ted Verity is understood to have been livid when he saw the Irish Independent, and immediately called in the lawyers.
Sources at Ireland on Sunday said the graphic was worked on for several days by the two graphic artists, and executives couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the Irish Independent.
They are claiming that the daily paper simply photocopied their complex graphic and put it into Monday’s edition.
One Ireland on Sunday executive told Press Gazette: “It is the most blatant and shocking theft I have ever seen perpetrated by a newspaper.
“It is incredibly flattering to Ireland on Sunday, but shoddy and third-rate of the Irish Independent.”
Ireland on Sunday’s lawyers have drawn up a list of demands, which were sent to the Irish Independent this week.
The lawyers have accused the Irish Independent of an “egregious breach of copyright” by photocopying the graphic and putting it into their own newspaper.
They want the Irish Independent to print an apology, explaining what it has done.
The lawyers are demanding damages and legal costs from the Irish Independent, and are seeking assurances that it never breaches the copyright of Ireland on Sunday in the future.
JP McManus was in the news following the dispute with Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson over how the stud fees for race horse the Rock of Gibraltar should be shared.
The Ireland on Sunday’s graphic noted in a caption to the guest wing “Alex Ferguson shouldn’t hold his breath.” The Irish Independent used the same phrase in its guest wing caption.
The Irish Independent declined to give any comment on the issues raised this week after being contacted by Press Gazette.
By Jon Slattery