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Irish Daily Star Sunday paper folds

The Irish Daily Star Sunday newspaper is to shut down with the loss of 17 jobs, it was announced today.

The newspaper had made no money since it was set up in 2003 and lost more than €1m last year.

Paul Cooke, managing director of owners Independent Star, said it was expecting to make even more losses on the venture in the year ahead.

Staff called to a meeting at the group's new offices in Dundrum Town Centre this morning were shocked at the decision to close the newspaper.

Some had been expecting an internal merger with its sister paper, the Irish Daily Star.

Mr Cooke told workers a recent High Court case against Independent Star had not helped their financial woes.

The group was fined €40,000 for contempt of court and would have faced significant legal costs after the Sunday paper was found to have defamed a convicted child porn user.

Mr Cooke said the closure will have no impact on the Irish Daily Star, which he said has always generated a profit and was expected to make almost €6m for last year.

He blamed the economic downturn and below-cost selling by UK-based Sunday titles in Ireland for the Sunday newspaper's demise.

"This has been a difficult decision and I want to pay tribute to the professionalism and hard work of all the staff of Irish Daily Star Sunday," he said.

"I also want to acknowledge and thank the advertising and marketing industry in Ireland for their support for the paper.

"Unfortunately the deterioration in market conditions particularly over the last two years has left the company with no option but to cease publication of the Sunday paper."

PA Media