Irish Sun signs up three star columnists

The Sun‘s sportsdesk, which has recently seen at least three senior figures depart its Wapping offices, has signed three former Ireland international footballers to write columns for its Irish edition.

David O’Leary, Tony Cascarino and Joe Kinnear have all been signed up by Ireland’s best selling daily tabloid paper – though clearly they will not be replacing senior sportsdesk figures such as Ted Chadwick or long-serving rugby writer Tony Roche.

O’Leary, who has not managed a football club since he had his contract terminated at Aston Villa in July 2006, will preview the weekend’s football action every Saturday.

Every Monday, former Ireland striker Tony Cascarino will offer analysis on the weekend’s matches. Cascarino – who admitted in his autobiography that he was “a fake Irishman” – has presented on TalkSport radio and has written well-received columns for the Monday football supplement in The Times.

A column by Joe Kinnear – who was out of football management for four years until his brief tenure last season at Newcastle, who were nonetheless relegated – will, according to Sun publicists, “speak out on the latest controversies, big winners and losers” each Wednesday.

The appointment is something of a turnaround for Kinnear’s relationship with the national press. The “highlight” of his brief and unsuccessful spell at Newcastle was his spat with Daily Mirror sports report Simon Bird, whom he called “a cunt”, in what The Sun would usually describe as “a foul-mouthed tirade” at a press conference, where he uttered 52 swearwords in quick order, and pledged never to deal with the national press again.

In a press release, Michael McNiffe, the Editor of The Irish Sun, was quoted as saying: “We are delighted to welcome David O’Leary, Tony Cascarino and Joe Kinnear to The Irish Sun. It is obvious that these three will have a lot to say on Ireland’s stars in the Premiership and Ireland’s road to the World Cup next summer… these latest additions are a match made in heaven for the new Premiership season.”

More on sports desk job cuts:

Nine Midlands papers to close

Sports editor job may go in Edinburgh merger

Lovejoy job “at risk” at Sunday Times

Redundancy round “complete” at Herald group

Job cuts begin to bite aat Wapping sports desks

Express to cut more than 70 jobs

Click here to see a timeline of journalism job losses

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