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Scottish newspaper boss dies aged 60

The chief executive of newspaper group Dunfermline Press has died aged 60 after a long battle with cancer.

Deidre Romanes ran the family-owned business which also included Clyde and Forth Press and a number of Irish newspaper titles.

A statement issued by the company yesterday said simply: “Deirdre Romanes, chief executive of The Dunfermline Press Ltd, died this morning after a long and courageous battle with illness.”

Dunfermline Press chairman Donald McDonald added: “Deirdre was an outstanding businesswoman who over the last 25 years built the business to where it is today.”

Ms Romanes, who lived in Edinburgh, joined the firm after marrying into the family which has owned it since 1859, eventually becoming its chief executive.

Born in Wicklow, in the Republic of Ireland, she grew up in Meath but emigrated to Britain in her 20s and originally trained as a midwife before moving into the newspaper business.

As chief executive of Dunfermline Press, Ms Romanes led its expansion into the Irish regional newspaper market over the past eight years.

In 2002, it bought the Meath Chronicle for €30 million. The following year it paid €15 million for the Anglo-Celt in Cavan. In 2004 it added the Westmeath Examiner, Westmeath Independent and Offaly Independent for about €15 million.

She also oversaw the purchase of Berkshire Regional Newspapers and its 14 titles from Trinity Mirror in 2008.

The Dunfermline Press Group includes the Dunfermline Press and the Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser among its titles. It also owns the Clyde & Forth Press, whose titles includes the Greenock Telegraph and the Clydebank Post.