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Eason in apparent U-turn over 'Charlie Hebdo'

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People queue up to buy the new issue of Charlie Hebdo newspaper at a newsstand in Paris Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

People queue up to buy the new issue of Charlie Hebdo newspaper at a newsstand in Paris Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

AP

People queue up to buy the new issue of Charlie Hebdo newspaper at a newsstand in Paris Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

This week's edition of French satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' will not be available in Eason stores.

An announcement marked an apparent U-turn after the retailer had confirmed to the Irish Independent that it would be selling the magazine.

In an announcement yesterday, an Eason spokesman said: "Eason has never stocked the French magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' and has no plans to in the future."

Earlier, the retailer said it expected the magazine to be available to purchase on Friday.

A spokesperson did not respond when questioned about the apparent change of mind last night.

Irish distributors EM News Distribution also confirmed that the magazine would be sold in Ireland.

However they said it would be an English language version, and that the number of copies would be "limited".

Up to five million copies of the magazine are being printed and sold around the world following the massacre of 17 people in France last week, including the 'Charlie Hebdo' editor and several contributors to the magazine.

Three million copies of the satirical magazine went on sale yesterday morning in France, but shops reported them selling out within minutes.

Ordered

Distributors have said almost 1,900 copies of the latest edition have been ordered by 120 retailers in Ireland.

The association that represents newsagents, the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association, said there was a very substantial level of interest in the magazine.

Last week's series of attacks in Paris are believed to have been sparked by the magazine's cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.

This issue's cover appears to show the prophet Mohammed holding a sign reading 'Je suis Charlie'.

This translates as 'I am Charlie', a phrase which has become synonymous with ideals of press freedom and unity.

The headline reads 'Tout est pardonné' or 'All is forgiven'.

Irish Independent