The Limerick Leader is part of the Johnston Press group and was originally founded by Jeremiah Buckley. It first hit the streets of Limerick on Friday August 9, 1889.
It was sold by the Buckley family to the Leinster Leader group led by well known businessman John McStay in 2002 for close to €23 million. They, in turn, sold it on to Johnston Press when they purchased the Leinster Leader group.
The newspaper’s pre-press section, located in the Limerick Leader offices in O’Connell St, Limerick, sets all the ads for newspapers owned by the Johnston Press group in the Republic. Staff were called to a meeting yesterday where the managing director of the Limerick Leader, Irene Hamilton, informed the pre-press staff members that their work was being moved to the North of Ireland from the end of next month.
The workers affected are members of the Amicus trade union.
Their spokesman, Rory O’Donovan, said he did not want to comment at this point in time.
One of the affected workers said: “It hit us like a hammer.”
It is believed that the affected printing staff members are very dissatisfied at the proposed redundancy package set out at yesterday’s meeting.
One of those who will lost his job is Sean Curtin, the longest serving member of the Limerick Leader staff.
He said: “I have been with the Leader for 43 years. All my cousins worked at the Leader before me and during my time with the company. I started out as an apprentice compositor.”
He said when they were told of the decision it was one of the most emotional moments of his life.
Mr Curtin, the author of nine books on Limerick, said: “You see and hear it on the news every day, people losing their jobs. The emotion just hit home. I loved working in the Leader. I loved going to work every day.
“I loved the Limerick Leader, it has been such a huge part of my life, my working life, my social life, my family life.”