Belfast Telegraph

Lord Kilclooney's Alpha firm selling two Republic of Ireland papers

Lord Kilclooney
Lord Kilclooney
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Regional newspaper group Alpha, led by Lord Kilclooney, has announced it is selling two publications in the Republic.

The company, which is based in Dungannon, said it was offloading the Offaly-based Tullamore and Midland Tribunes to Formpress Publishing, which is a subsidiary of Iconic Newspapers.

Alpha's titles include the Coleraine Chronicle, the Tyrone Courier and the Armagh Gazette.

Lord Kilclooney told the Belfast Telegraph the deal had been made "in principle" but had yet to be completed.

The 81-year-old said his advancing age had been part of the reason to sell.

"I'm in my 82nd year now and it's not as hard travelling to Dungannon and Cookstown as it is to Birr and Tullamore," he added.

The deal, which is subject to approval by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission watchdog in the Republic, leaves Alpha with 13 titles here.

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Iconic Newspapers also owns the Dundalk Democrat and Echo and Leitrim Observer.

The business acquired seven titles from River Media, which was based in Donegal, last year. Scotland-based Johnston Press sold its Irish titles to the company in 2014.

Belfast Telegraph