Mediahuis to close Newry plant with Irish Times Group to print Irish and Sunday Independent titles

Belgian-owned newspaper publisher will shut its last print site in Ireland and outsource printing to other companies

Mediahuis Ireland, the publisher of Independent newspapers, is to close its last remaining print site, located in Newry, Co Down.

Printing of the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent national titles, as well as a number of regional newspapers, will transfer to the Irish Times printing plant in Citywest, Dublin, from January under a new deal between the two companies.

All future printing requirements at Mediahuis will move to either The Irish Times Group or other third-party service providers under outsourced contract printing agreements.

“The intention to close the printing press is a direct consequence of escalating costs, including substantial distribution costs given our current location, as well as ongoing difficulties with securing the necessary skillsets and resources,” Mediahuis Ireland said in a statement.


It is expected that the Newry plant will be vacated by the beginning of 2023 and that the move will lead to job losses.

The company, previously known as Independent News & Media (INM), has been a subsidiary of Belgian group Mediahuis since July 2019. It announced plans to close its Dublin printing plant, also located in Citywest, in 2019 and consolidated its printing requirements in one centralised site in Newry, as well as through some sub-contracting arrangements with third-party printers. The Irish Times already prints two Mediahuis titles, the Herald and Sunday World.

“This transaction provides the opportunity to further enhance those successful relationships and transitions the group to a variable print operating model,” the company said.

Dublin is “a more favourable location in terms of optimising the distribution network” for the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent, it added, with the move to the Irish Times plant reducing transport costs and related carbon footprint.

From January, the Belfast Telegraph will be printed at Interpress, part of the Irish News group. Belfast-based Interpress already prints Mediahuis’s Sunday Life title.

In a separate development, Mediahuis Ireland also announced its intention to cease publication of its north Dublin weekly newspaper title the Fingal Independent, first published in 1983. It said a combination of a “very strong increase in costs” and a “structural decrease in revenues” had rendered the title unprofitable. The last edition will be published on October 26th.

“We appreciate the impact of both of these announcements on those employees directly involved, which includes a number of highly-qualified and experienced printing, mechanical and electrical specialists and members of our talented publishing team,” the company said.

“We will commence a period of consultation and engagement to ensure that these employees are fully supported throughout the process, and we will do our utmost to communicate transparently and to manage the transition as efficiently as possible.”

The company said it remained “fully committed” to delivering sustainable national and local journalism and that its priority was to protect the future of its business as it transitions to a digital-focused news organisation.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics