Belfast Telegraph

No delivery of Charlie Hebdo copies

Hundreds of readers have been left disappointed after the first edition of Charlie Hebdo since the Paris massacre was not delivered to newsagents as expected.

Doubt has now been cast over whether the "Survivors issue" of the controversial French weekly will go on sale at all in shops on both sides of the Irish border.

Thousands of copies had been ordered and were expected to be among regular deliveries this morning.

But sole distributors EM News Distribution said it was now a matter of "if and not when" the magazine would arrive on Irish news stands.

"If the Charlie Hebdo magazine is to be distributed to retailers in Ireland, it will be distributed by EM News," a spokesman said.

"At this time, we have not received any stock of the magazine, and we have not received any confirmation of any future allocation.

"But we have been advised that any future allocation is likely to be extremely limited."

The first cover of the magazine since Islamist gunmen murdered 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo offices and five others in linked attacks features a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed crying while holding a sign saying I Am Charlie below the headline All Is Forgiven.

Although it is not usually distributed in Ireland, around 2,000 copies of the latest issue were ordered from 120 retailers in the Republic. In Northern Ireland, 40 retailers requested 700 copies.

Orders came mainly from smaller, independent newsagents. One of the country's major newsagent and bookstore chains Eason said it has never stocked the magazine and had no plans to do so in the future.

The EM news spokesman said: "The reality is at the minute that we have no copies at all and we've no idea when they are coming in, or if they are coming in."

More than 1,000 copies of the magazine are thought to have been made available in the UK.

A reported five million are being printed, its largest-ever run, with translations into English, Spanish and Arabic, and versions available in the UK, Italy and Turkey.

Several copies have appeared on online auction site eBay attracting four-figure bids, well in excess of the modest three-euro cover price.

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