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Irish Sun ditches topless shots for Page Three citing ‘cultural differences’ between UK and Ireland

By Louise Ashwell

The Irish Sun has stopped featuring topless models on Page Three.

Since Tuesday, bare breasts have been replaced with models wearing swimwear, with the title’s editor citing “cultural differences” in Ireland as the reason for the change.

According to the Irish Times, the Irish edition of the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid has received some phone calls asking about the change, but only one reader is understood to have formally requested the reinstatement of topless shots.

Editor of the Irish Sun, Paul Clarkson, told the Irish Times: “Page Three is a hugely popular pillar of the Sun in the UK and part of a package of great journalism which engages, entertains and informs in equal measure.

“In the Irish Sun we strive to share the qualities that make the newspaper great in print and digital, but we also strive to cater for our own readers’ needs and reflect the cultural differences in Ireland.”

David Dinsmore, editor of The Sun in the UK, has insisted topless pictures will remain because they are a “good way of selling newspapers”.

This is despite pressure by campaign group No More Page 3, whose online petition for the Sun to drop Page Three has been signed by more than 110,000 people.

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Dinsmore’s response has been to describe the petition signatories as people who “have never read the Sun”. He told Press Gazette in July that Page Three was “one of the pillars of the paper” and that campaigners calling for it to be scrapped were “a vocal minority”.

The Irish edition of the Sun, which is based in Dublin, shares some content with the British edition but features mainly Irish news, sport and advertising. The title was subject to an “extensive review” last year when former Sun editor Dominic Mohan told staff he sought to bring British ‘DNA’ to the paper. Current Editor Paul Clarkson has been at the helm since January 2013 after seven years as Deputy Editor. 

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