Nóirín Hegarty is stepping down as editor of The Sunday Times in Ireland, the newspaper’s owner has said.
Ms Hegarty will continue to serve in the role on an interim basis until she “embarks on a new career opportunity overseas in the new year”, a statement from News Ireland, which owns The Sunday Times, said on Wednesday.
“News Ireland would like to wish Nóirín the best of luck in her new role and thank her for her time at the publication,” the statement said.
“The Sunday Times Ireland is looking forward to continuing its growth with the appointment of a new editor in due course.”
Ms Hegarty was appointed editor of the Sunday Times newspaper in Ireland in October 2021.
She is a former editor of the Sunday Tribune and former vice-president of digital content for global travel publisher Lonely Planet.
Ms Hegarty succeeded Frank Fitzgibbon as editor who stepped down in late 2020 after 15 years at the helm of the newspaper, which is owned by News UK and Ireland, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Her return to newspaper editing almost two years ago followed more than seven years in editorial and executive roles at Lonely Planet, during which time she worked on its digital strategy. This followed a period as editor of Independent.ie.
Her editorship of the Sunday Tribune ran from 2005 until the newspaper closed in February 2011. She also previously served as deputy editor of the Evening Herald.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday with Miriam in October 2021, Ms Hegarty said key influences in her career to date were the late Sean MacConnell, the former Irish Times journalist, for his sense of fairness and ability to judge characters, and the late author Nuala O’Faolain who told her, after a radio appearance, that Hegarty had “sounded like an excited 11 year old”.
Ms Hegarty said she wanted to be a journalist since witnessing media working during the kidnapping of Dutch businessman Tiede Herrema, in 1975. She worked in provincial journalism in Tullamore which she said was an excellent training, before moving to the Independent group in Dublin. She was given her first management job with the Evening Herald, when just 25 years old.
Ms Hegarty told the RTÉ programme that she had endured a sometimes stressful time editing the Sunday Tribune. She said during Covid, in December 2020, her father had passed away, followed by her father-in-law in May 2021, while her husband also suffered serious illness around that time.
She said of the job with the Sunday Times that it was “fantastic to get an opportunity like this but you put it into perspective, your family, your friends, your kids, the people who are around you are the important people in your life and you want to make sure they are okay”.