Irish Independent owner Mediahuis has today joined the seven Irish publishers that have signed licensing agreements to take part in Google News Showcase.

Google News Showcase begins rolling out with national, regional and local publishers today in Ireland.

The Irish Independent and The Sunday World are among the titles being added to the 40 national and regional publications providing content for readers.

The titles also include The Irish Examiner, Connaught Telegraph, Leinster Express, Clare Echo, Donegal Daily, Derry Now, The Irish Times, Irish Mirror and The Journal.

Google will license high-quality news content from these publishers for News Showcase, its new product experience and licensing programme.

As part of the deals, Google will pay participating news organisations to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content, which will give readers the opportunity to read more of a publisher's articles than they would otherwise be able to access.

Anthony Nakache, Director of Online Partnerships, EMEA at Google, said the rollout of Google News Showcase in Ireland represents the next step for the company and publishers to create a sustainable model for news.

"We are committed to continuously supporting journalism, and investing in this support, and I'm pleased to see Google News Showcase launch in Ireland with such a high volume of high-calibre publications," he said.

"Over the coming months, we’ll be working closely with our news partners and taking on board their feedback while also bringing new publishers to the Showcase programme with more publications and content accessible to Irish readers," he added.

Iconic Media Group Editorial Director Brian Keyes said that as the largest local media group in Ireland, Iconic Media reaches audiences in local communities all over the country.

"We see Google News Showcase as an opportunity to engage our audience even further with the ease of access to our latest news and sports stories. We are looking forward to other communities being informed and satisfied by the content from Iconic Media websites, expanding our footprint even further," Mr Keyes added.

Mediahuis Ireland's Peter Vandermeersch said today's agreement with Google represents the culmination of months of detailed discussions to recognise the value of its content.

"As the largest newspaper publisher on the island of Ireland, our participation in News Showcase within the Irish market represents an experiment on behalf of the wider Mediahuis group to test the opportunity for further expansion of our content to reach a qualified engaged audience," he added.