By Dominic Ponsford
The Sun is the latest UK national to look to Ireland for greener
circulation pastures in response to falling sales in its core market.
The paper has appointed Daily Mirror deputy Ireland editor Michael
McNiffe as its first Dublin-based Irish edition editor. He joins former
Daily Mirror Ireland editor Craig MacKenzie who is already in Dublin as
consultant editor in charge of production.
The move follows news that the Daily Mail is to launch an Ireland edition early in the new year with a 20-strong editorial team.
Sun already has 12 reporters in Dublin covering Ireland. McNiffe is to
move the production operation overfrom Wapping to Dublin and is
expected to make around half a dozen senior editorial appointments.
McNiffe, 39, began his career as a reporter on the Sligo Champion in 1985 before joining the Limerick Post.
joined the Daily Star as a reporter in Dublin before working for the
same title in London and then joining Irish national the Sunday World
as an investigative reporter.
He rose to assistant editor of the Sunday World before spending five years as deputy editor of the Daily Mirror in Ireland.
said: “Ireland has the highest wages in Europe and the fastest-growing
economy in the world. There’s a huge advertising cake out there.
“The Sun already sells more than the Daily Mirror in Ireland just on the brand without ever really having a big push. With a proper Irish edition I think we can sell a lot more.”
said his strategy for the paper was a simple one: “We are going to
break more stories. The Sun hasn’t broken a story here in 10 years and
that’s got to change.”
The Sun is already the top-selling UK national in Ireland with 77,000 sales in the North and 123,000 in the Republic.
Daily Star launched an Irish edition in 1988 and the Daily Mirror did
so in 2000 with offices in Dublin and Belfast, and an editorial staff
of around 30.
The Sun currently produces up to a dozen slip pages
for its Irish edition and McNiffe said he hopes to increase this number
to “as many as we can get away with”.