Final edition of Lá Nua published

Friday 19 December 2008 11.00
Gerry Adams - Expressed sadness
Gerry Adams - Expressed sadness

The last edition of the Irish language daily newspaper Lá Nua is on sale today.

Eight staff, including four journalists, lost their jobs with the closure of the publication.

Managing Director of the Belfast Media Group Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said the move came after Foras na Gaeilge (the body responsible for promoting Irish) had decided to stop funding the daily title.

Foras also rejected a proposal to provide an online service at a reduced cost.

The publishers had a two-year contract worth £400,000 to run until the end of December 2008 from Foras na Gaeilge to produce a printed daily newspaper in Irish.

Foras Chief Executive Ferdia Mac an Fhailigh said in February that if Lá Nua continued to publish online only from March, it would be breaking the terms of its contract and Foras would not provide further funding.

Lá Nua began in January 2007 as a replacement for the previous daily, Lá, which was first produced in Belfast in 1984 in response to the growing interest in the Irish language in west Belfast.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP expressed his sadness at the final edition of Lá Nua but indicated his hopes for a daily Irish Language news service in the future.

Mr Adams said: ‘Lá Nua and its predecessors 'Lá' and 'Preas an Phobail' have made significant contributions to the progress made over recent decades of the Irish language movement here in west Belfast and indeed right across Ireland.

‘From humble beginnings they have provided Gaeilgeoirí with an invaluable news service. I purchase and read Lá Nua every day and on a personal level will miss its contribution to the community.

‘Since the closure of Lá Nua was announced Sinn Féin has lobbied for the provision of a daily printed and electronic news service in Irish. Sinn Féin will continue to press for such a service as quickly as is practical.

‘I want to commend everyone involved in Lá Nua, particularly the journalists and staff’.