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Postscript for Irish Post

There is life after death - even in the newspaper business.

The Irish Post, the main Irish newspaper serving the Irish community in Britain, was apparently heading for history's waste basket but has been purchased by the publisher Elgin Loane for an undisclosed sum.

RTE reported that the liquidator for the newspaper is understood to have been considering up to five bids for the purchase of the title.

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the paper, for over 40 years the leading flag flyer for the Irish in Britain, went to press for the last time in August. It had a full time staff of 12 and was selling between 17,000 and 20,000 copies per week at the time of closing. the paper had an additional web presence.

the Post was established in 1970 by Clare-born journalist Breandán Mac Lua and accountant Tony Beatty. In recent years the paper was owned by Thomas Crosbie Holdings, publisher of the Irish Examiner, one of Ireland's national dailies.

According to an Irish Times report, the Post, which battled for readers with the Irish World, was acquired by TCH in 2003 for £1.7 million sterling from Jefferson Smurfit.

The closure of the Post, however, was greeted with angst and uproar by the Irish community in Britain. Not surprisingly, the miraculous return of the paper was being widely welcomed.

Fiona Audley, chair of the "Save the Irish Post Campaign," said: "We look forward to a new and exciting future for The Irish Post and thank all the readers and friends of the paper who showed their support over the last six weeks.

"We hope they will continue to support us now as we bring this valuable paper back to the newsstands. The voice of the Irish in Britain is back!"

according to RTE, London-based Irish businessman Elgin Loane owns a number of print and media-based businesses with offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

In a statement, the new owners of the Post said the paper had a long tradition of serving the Irish community in Britain which must be continued.

The company added that while it was too early to set out detailed plans, the paper would be back on the newsstands very soon and that its website - www.irishpost.co.uk - would be improved as a priority.

The news of a return to printing was greet by Irish presidential candidate Michael D Higgins.

"The Irish Post has been a part of the community fabric in Britain, and has been integral to Irish life in Britain for more than 40 years. I was saddened in August when the future of the publication looked bleak, so today's development certainly represents more positive news," he said

"The Irish Post has always taken a strong interest in the welfare of the Irish in Britain, particularly the most vulnerable. Since 1999, it has helped to fund and promote the Aisling Project, which has provided an excellent service for the homeless Irish in London, helping to reconnect them with the land of their birth and to assist them in times of difficulty."