Fate of 22 jobs here in doubt after shock decision
THE future of 22 jobs at the Irish 'News of the World' were in doubt last night after the decision to close its parent paper in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
Staff at the Irish edition of the UK paper first heard the news at the same time as their colleagues in London when an email from James Murdoch was sent to all reporters late yesterday afternoon as he appeared on television to announce the decision.
The Irish edition employs 22 editorial staff as well as columnists including money expert Karl Dieter, hurling legend D J Carey and former Irish soccer player Kevin Moran.
Mr Murdoch's email did not say what will happen to staff following the paper's closure this weekend but speaks of negotiations with staff.
Other services, such as circulation and advertising, are managed by News Corporation's Dublin office rather than 'News of the World'.
The Irish title, which is edited by Geoffrey Frazer, from Banbridge in Co Down, had a circulation of around 120,000 in recent months.
It is the third Sunday paper to disappear from the Irish market this year following the closure of the 'Sunday Tribune' and the 'Star on Sunday'.
Staff at the Irish edition of the 'News of the World' spoke of their shock yesterday, saying that there had been absolutely no indication that the 168-year-old paper was doomed.
"We were just getting on with the next edition," said one. "There was no advance notice. It came with a crashing suddenness."
Staff had talked about the problems linked to the hacking story but expected the scandal to blow over.
Some Irish companies had already said that they would not be advertising with the 'News of the World' amid widespread revulsion about the techniques used by some London-based reporters to hack into the phones of people who had been kidnapped or murdered by terrorists and child abusers.
Bulmers pulled advertising from the paper earlier this week, while Aer Lingus said it would not use the paper for a forthcoming campaign. SuperValu had also placed its advertising under review. The decisions followed similar moves from large UK and US companies.