An Irish regional paper is set to launch later in the year and has begun recruiting for journalists.
As yet unnamed, it will be located in Athlone which has become a strong base for commuters to Dublin.
Editor Liam Horan is a former Irish Independent and Evening Echo journalist and among staff now being recruited are a news editor, sports editor and both news and sports reporters.
The paper is being portrayed as a “colourful and slickly designed” alternative to the Westmeath Independent. Last year the Independent enticed Irish Star news editor Dave O’Connell to take on the editor’s job and it’s said the proposed new paper will face resistance.
Among the backers of the paper is former RTE newsroom business correspondent Conall O’Morain and a leading Irish bank is reported to have agreed to help finance the venture.
Chief executive of the newspaper is Deirdre Hughes who has been advertising manager of the Sunday Business Post, which she joined 10 years ago.