The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest selling daily newspaper that is published in both compact and broadsheet formats. It is the flagship publication of Independent News and Media.
The Irish Independent was formed in 1905 as the direct successor to the Daily Irish Independent, an 1890s pro-Parnellite newspaper, and was launched by William Martin Murphy, a controversial Irish nationalist businessman, staunch anti-Parnellite and fellow townsman of Parnell's most venomous opponent, Bantry's Timothy Michael Healy.
During the 1913 Lockout of workers, in which Murphy was the leading figure among the employers, the Irish Independent vigorously sided with its owner's interests, publishing news reports and opinion pieces hostile to the strikers, expressing confidence in the unions' defeat and launching personal attacks on the leader of the strikers, James Larkin. The Irish Independent described the 1916 Easter Rising as "insane and criminal" and famously called for the shooting of its leaders. In December 1919, during the Irish War of Independence, a group of twenty IRA men destroyed the printing works of the paper, angered at its criticism of the Irish Republican Army and largely pro-British and Unionist stance. In 1924, the traditional nationalist newspaper, the Freeman's Journal, merged with the Irish Independent.
For most of its history, the Irish Independent (also called simply the Independent or, more colloquially, the Indo) was seen as a nationalist, Catholic newspaper, which gave its political allegiance to Cumann na nGaedhael and later its successor party, Fine Gael.
In the 1970s, it was taken over by former Heinz chairman Tony O'Reilly. Under his leadership, it became a more populist, libertarian newspaper-populist on social issues, but economically conservative. By the mid-nineties its allegiance to Fine Gael had ended. In the 1997 general election, it endorsed Fianna Fáil under a front page editorial, entitled "It's Payback Time". While it suggested its headline referred to the fact that the election offered a chance to "pay back" politicians for their failings, its opponents suggested that the "payback" actually referred to its chance to get revenge for the refusal of the Rainbow Coalition to award the company a mobile phone licence. Tony O'Reilly disputes this claim.
In late 2004, Independent Newspapers moved from their traditional home in Middle Abbey Street to a new office, "Independent House" in Talbot Street, with the printing facilities already relocated to the Citywest business park near Tallaght.
On 27 September 2005, a fortnight after the paper published its centenary edition, it was announced that editor Vinnie Doyle would step down after 24 years in the position. He was replaced by Gerry O'Regan, who had until then been editor of the Irish Independent's sister paper, the Evening Herald.
Foinse: Irish-language supplement:
As of Wednesday 18 November 2009, the Irish Independent has published Foinse, an Irish-language supplement free of charge every Wednesday with a circulation of 150,000.
Related papers, market share and concerns:
Excluding The Sun and the Daily Mirror, most of the content of which are produced in the United Kingdom, the Independent Group owns just over 67% of Irish daily newspapers. INM-owned or partly-owned titles have 58% of the newspaper market on Sunday. With the closure of the Evening Press, the Independent's Evening Herald is now the only Irish national evening newspaper. Another sister paper is the Sunday Independent.
Other newspapers in the Independent News & Media group include the Daily Star (Irish edition), the Sunday World, many local Irish newspapers, as well as The Independent, a London-based newspaper, and newspapers in Australia and South Africa.
The Independent News and Media Group has a major share in the Sunday Tribune, a Sunday broadsheet.
The Independent News & Media Group has been accused of holding an "unhealthy dominance" of the Irish newspaper market, all the more so since the demise of the Irish Press, Evening Press and Sunday Press newspapers published by the Irish Press Group in 1995.