Just over 3 million Irish people, equivalent to 84% of adults in the country, read a newspaper either in print or online form.

But fewer people are buying copies of the newspapers and the rise in digital subscriptions is not making up for the fall in circulation - a familiar refrain for the industry.

The latest ABC Island of Ireland Report shows newspaper sales fell by just over 6% in the second half of last year. 

Most of the daily and Sunday titles lost readers across the board, with the exception of the Irish Daily Mail which added 24 copies to just over 49,000 daily sales during that period.

Separate readership figures provided a more encouraging message. Daily online readership for the titles within the National Newspapers of Ireland rose by 9% over the second half of 2013, an increase of 40,000 readers.

The ABC figures show that sales of The Irish Times fell 7.1% in the six months from July to December compared with the same period in 2012. Print circulation stood at 82,059, a drop of 6,297 copies.

The Irish Independent's circulation fell 5.3% to 117,361, down 6,620 copies year-on-year, while Herald sales fell 4.6% to 56,119.

The Irish Examiner saw a 6.4% decline in readership figures to 37,009 copies, while the Cork-based Evening Echo saw its circulation decline to 14,157. 

The Irish Daily Star had a circulation figure of 58,863, down 9.2%, for the second half of last year while the Irish Daily Mirror fell 8% to 52,165 and the Irish Sun dropped 8.6% to 63,535. But the Irish Daily Mail added 24 copies to report circulation figures of 49,007.

Independent News and Media's Sunday Independent , which is the biggest-selling newspaper in the Sunday market, sold 229,382 copies in the six month period, down 3.3% compared to the same time the previous year. 

The Sunday World, which is also part of the INM group, saw its figures fall by 4.1% to 208,281, while the Sunday Times figures slumped 8% to 92,643.

Sales of the Sunday Business Post came to 34,322 in the second half of the year, a decrease of 12.9%. 

Meanwhile, the Irish Mail on Sunday's figures fell by 5.6% to 95,945, while the Irish Sun on Sunday sold 57,304 copies - down 11.6% - and the Sunday Mirror fell 6.4% to 38,104.

The RTÉ Guide had a circulation of 57,062 in the six month period under review, down 7.8%.