By Des Cryan and Colin Crummy
The ABC figures for the Republic of Ireland show the Irish Times with a circulation of 117,500 — the highest increase of any daily newspaper in the Republic in the six months to the end of December 2005.
The Irish Independent recorded a circulation of 163,600, which combined sales of its broadsheet of 74,370 while its tabloid version had a circulation of 89,300 (to the nearest round figure).
Daily Ireland, which began publishing in the second half of 2005, recorded circulation of 10,000 copies. In the evening market the Evening Herald in Dublin, with 85,000, showed a drop of 3.I per cent .
Both Ireland on Sunday and the Sunday Tribune dropped more than 10 per cent year-on-year, selling 127,399 and 71,808 copies respectively. The Sunday Independent comfortably held its position as the biggest Sunday title in Ireland with 286,613 copies sold, down 1.6 per cent year-on-year.
Sunday Tribune editor Noirin Hegarty, who ditched CD cover mounts and TV advertising from the paper when she took charge a year ago, said the figures were "a steadying of the ship" after a major reorganisation. The circulation figures fell by more than 8,000 in the first six months, but stabilised in the latter half of the year.
"We have gone back to basics — back to getting great stories and pictures," Hegarty said.
"We’re trying to foster a generation of news gatherers, which hasn’t been a hallmark of the Tribune in recent times.
"The next six months will be crucial. We need to show an increase in circulation. Being stable is not enough," she added.