Over 20 staff to lose their jobs as the plug is pulled on News of the World's Dublin office
Up to 22 jobs could could be axed at the Irish News of the World after the newspaper's owners revealed its parent paper will close this weekend in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.
It is understood staff at the paper's Dublin offices learned the news in an email sent by James Murdoch as he appeared on television to announce the decision.
The Irish title, which is edited by Geoffrey Frazer from Banbridge, had a circulation of around 120,000 in recent months.
The Irish edition employs 22 editorial staff as well as columnists including money expert Karl Dieter, hurling legend DJ Carey and former Irish soccer player Kevin Moran.
Staff at the Irish edition spoke of their shock last night, saying that there had been absolutely no indication that the 168-year-old paper was doomed.
"We were just getting on with the next edition," said one. "There was no advance notice. It came with a crashing suddenness."
It is understood staff had talked about the problems linked to the hacking story but expected the scandal to just blow over.
Some Irish companies had already said they would not be advertising with the News of the World amid widespread revulsion about the techniques used by some London-based reporters after allegations they hacked into the phones of kidnap and murder victims as well as relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Tipperary-based cider-maker Bulmers pulled advertising from the paper earlier this week while Aer Lingus said it would not use the paper for an ad campaign.
SuperValu had also placed its advertising under review. The decisions followed similar moves from companies such as Ford, Cadbury, Halifax, Virgin Holidays, Aldi and Vauxhall.