LONG-standing co-director and founder of the National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) Frank Cullen has stepped down.
Mr Cullen - father of former Leinster star Leo - spearheaded the foundation of the organisation 30 years ago. It represents 16 national and 25 local and regional newspapers in Ireland.
The NNI was founded to represent member newspapers on a wide range of industry issues and support the creation of legal frameworks to ensure fair competition in the media.
A dinner was hosted by the organisation last night to mark Mr Cullen's retirement and his contribution to the industry.
Paying tribute to Mr Cullen, the chairman of NNI, Vincent Crowley, said that he has led it through periods of significant change in the industry.
"He has been central to all key developments in the industry during his 30 years, including the reform of the defamation laws and the establishment of the Office of Press Ombudsman and Press Council of Ireland," he said.
Mr Crowley said that Mr Cullen had promoted the value and importance of newspapers with skill, dedication and enthusiasm.
"The NNI publishers are enormously grateful to him. We wish him a long and happy retirement," he said.
The NNI is committed to the principle that the newspaper industry plays a vital role in Irish society.
More than 5.2 million newspapers are sold every week in Ireland and a further 1.5 million newspapers are distributed free.