Sunday Business Post


30/05/04 00:00
By Paul T Colgan

At least three newspaper groups have laid claim to the ownership of the business name Ireland Today, the title of the new national daily paper launched by a Belfast media group last week.

Rupert Murdoch's News International is embroiled in a row with the Andersonstown News Group in Belfast, as the British media giant has registered the title at the patents office in Dublin.

Records at the Companies Registration Office in Dublin show that the name is also registered to a company called Title Media, the parent company of Ireland on Sunday, which was bought by Associated Newspapers three years ago.

Ireland Today's business plan was launched last Thursday by the Andersonstown News Group. The new paper is being backed by former GAA president Peter Quinn and Fianna Fail senator Mary White, both of whom plan to sit on its board.

The company is registered in Belfast.

Pressure by News International could scupper plans for the paper's print launch, which has been provisionally scheduled for later this year.

News International claims it informed the west Belfast news group the week before its launch that it owned the rights to the title.

A spokeswoman for News International said the organisation was ``seeking a speedy and amicable resolution'' to the dispute.

It is thought that the organisation threatened to injunct the new paper on Wednesday.

Andersonstown News group publisher Mairtin O Muilleoir confirmed that the group was in talks with News International, and that it was confident it would be able to use the title.

``It's a fiercely competitive market and we expected a lot of knocks and bumps along the road,'' said O Muilleoir.

``But we will vigorously defend our right to use the title.''

Speaking at the launch on Thursday, Peter Quinn said the new paper would not be ``intimidated'' by News International.

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