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Editor of Irish Sun to leave amid 'significant changes'

Mick McNiffe, who has edited the paper since 2005, will be replaced – for now – by an assistant editor from the British edition.

Today's Irish Sun. Editor Mick McNiffe is to leave the paper with immediate effect.
Today's Irish Sun. Editor Mick McNiffe is to leave the paper with immediate effect.
Image: The Irish Sun via Facebook

THE EDITOR of the Irish Sun is to leave the paper as part of “significant changes” in the management of the title.

Mick NcNiffe, who has been at the helm of the paper since 2005, will leave with immediate effect. He will be replaced on an interim basis by an assistant editor of the paper’s British parent title, Paul Hudson.

In an email to staff at the paper today, seen by the Guardian, Sun editor Dominic Mohan told employees that there had been “an extensive review” of the Irish title to ensure it survived the current economic challenges.

“Our guiding principle is to bring more of the DNA that lies at the heart of the Sun into the Irish edition without compromising the paper’s Irish identity,” Mohan told employees.

The Irish Sun – as with most newspapers – has struggled in recent times. The most recent circulation figures, from the first half of 2012, showed its daily circulation had fallen by 9.3 per cent in a year to an average of 72,499 copies. The Sun on Sunday had an average circulation of 82,329.

The Irish title has also faced legal battles: in August the High Court ordered the newspaper to hand over documents relating to false allegations the paper made against pop music manager Louis Walsh.

Walsh is currently seeking to sue the paper for defamation arising out of a story published in June 2011, detailing allegations that Walsh had sexually assaulted a 24-year-old in a Dublin nightclub.

Walsh argues that the paper paid Leonard Watters to make the allegations; the newspaper says its has qualified privilege as to the source of the story, which also included a full statement from the X Factor judge denying the allegations.

Watters was sentenced to six months in jail earlier this year after admitting the allegations were false.

Read: Latest figures show continued fall in Irish newspaper sales

More: Sun newspaper ordered to give documents to Louis Walsh

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Gavan Reilly

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