Newspaper sales in Ireland, as elsewhere, continue to slide. But it would appear from the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) statistics that decline has slowed just a little in the Republic while, north of the border, the downward trend is more marked.
In the six months of 2015, overall daily sales in the Republic fell by 5.4% compared with the same period in 2014. But when compared to the second half of 2014 the decline was just 1.8%.
The best-selling title, the Irish Independent, sold an average of 109,524 print copies in January to June this year, down just 2.5% year-on-year, and with a further 801 digital edition sales, recorded a total of 110,325.
In the same period, the Irish Times sold an average of 76,194 print copies – down 5.2% year-on-year but off by only 0.9% on the second half of 2014. With its digital edition having a daily total of 4,853, the combined sale was 81,047.
The Irish Examiner, sold an average of 33,198 copies, down 5.2%, while the Irish Daily Star’s circulation of 52,343 was down 6.2%.
Evening paper sales in Ireland’s two main cities suffered greater falls. Cork’s Evening Echo slumped by 10.9% to 12,278 while the Herald in Dublin saw its sales slip by 6.7% to 48,133.
As for the UK-based titles, the Irish Sun dropped by 5% to 57,702; the Irish Daily Mirror plunged 14% to 43,250; and the Irish Daily Mail held relatively steady at 48,516.
The Republic’s Sunday titles had mixed fortunes. The country’s biggest-selling title, the Sunday Independent, lost 3.2% of sale to register a total of 213,549 copies. By contrast, the Sunday World fell 9.8% to 178,867; the Irish edition of the Sunday Times dropped by 9.9% to 82,748; and the Irish Mail on Sunday suffered a 10% fall to 84,242.
The UK-based Irish Sunday red-tops had a bad six months, with the Sun on Sunday down 4.3% to 53,047 copies; the Sunday Mirror down 13.8% to 30,586; and the Sunday People down by 17.6% to 11,340 copies.
In Northern Ireland, the three Belfast-based daily titles recorded falls. The circulation of the Irish News dropped by 5.7% year-on-year to 37,666.
The Belfast Telegraph suffered an 8.1% fall to 44,141 while the News Letter did even worse, falling by 9.3% to 17,511.