Northern Ireland news

Irish News says farewell to Donegall Street, home for nearly 120 years

The Irish News building on Donegall Street in Belfast

Irish News staff said farewell to Donegall Street on Thursday, exiting the paper’s home for close to 120 years.

All the newspaper’s staff are moving to the Fountain Centre in College Street, also the offices of Q Radio.

The move, staggered over some months, follows the sale of the 0.65 acre site to Ulster University. The three-storey building, the front of which is Grade B2 listed, was on the market for £3.5m.
Irish News editor Noel Doran said: “''Our office has served us magnificently for almost 120 years and the place is steeped in newspaper folklore across all  its departments.

“It has unfortunately become too big and too old for our needs, and progress dictates that we reinvent ourselves in a state of the art complex only a short distance away in College Street.

“However, our last day in Donegall Street is still a poignant one for the present staff and everyone who has ever worked there.”

The Irish News, established in 1891, has the second largest ABC print circulation of all regional newspapers in the UK, according to the latest figures.

But the company is currently involved in a major drive to increase its digital footprint both locally, across Ireland and globally.

The Irish News moved to its now former site in 1906 from a premises a couple of doors away on Donegall Street.

It is the last newspaper to leave what was often described as

A giant squirrel painted on the side of the Irish News building in Donegall Street, created by Belgian artist R.O.A. Picture by Hugh Russell

the Fleet Street of Belfast. The famous signage at the front of the building will remain following the takeover by Ulster University.

The university, which opened its Belfast campus at the corner of Donegall Street and York Street in September, has not yet revealed what it plans to do with the site.

Northern Ireland news