Monday, August 20, 2007

Irish Catholic moves from its historic home

The Irish Catholic, Ireland’s oldest Catholic newspaper, has officially relocated from its historic location on Gardiner Street to the Agricultural Trust headquarters after being bought by the organisation for an undisclosed sum some months ago.

Deputy Editor Michael Kelly told Cinews that the move to the Irish Farm Centre in Bluebell on the Naas Road, Dublin, has been a positive experience, and predicts the move will be beneficial for the sustainability and growth of the popular Catholic weekly.

The Irish Catholic was bought by the Agricultural Trust, publishers of the Farmers' Journal and Irish Field, for an undisclosed sum some months ago.

It was the second buy out by the Agricultural Trust-owned Irish Farmers' Journal, which bought the Irish Field for around €2.5m in 2003.

Mr Kelly said he looked forward to working with other journalists at the Agricultural Trust headquarters, and said the paper would be covering wide-ranging and diverse stories in the future.

He also drew attention to the shared ability between the three publications in terms of circulation, noting that a large portion of the rural community is Catholic.

The Irish Catholic, Ireland’s largest selling newspaper, has a current circulation of 27,000.

“There are lots of people who should be readers and aren’t,” Mr Kelly said.

"Part of the reason is the marketing of the paper within parishes and competition with free weeklies," he said.

The staff is looking forward to extending the readership by building links with local communities and collaborating with other journalists as part of a bigger team, he said.

Already, the newspaper has been able to tap into the resources of the two other publications, including use of their photographers.

Mr Kelly said while people were slightly apprehensive about the move, everyone had been extremely welcoming and the new premises provided a good opportunity to grow and develop.

TD Sullivan, a former Lord Mayor of Dublin and Nationalist MP in Westminster, founded The Irish Catholic in 1888.

Currently it employs around a dozen staff, with three journalists - editor Garry O'Sullivan, and reporters, Michael Kelly and Paul Keenan.

The paper was owned by long term shareholders accountant Bill Horgan, Paddy McGrath Jnr and Olaf Herschan. Mr Horgan has been a Director of the company for over 20 years.

In spite of the recent scandals in the Church the circulation of the paper has grown by about 7,000.

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