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Irish edition of The Sun drops page 3 topless models

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish edition of The Sun, part of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, has dropped photos of topless women from its infamous page 3, the newspaper's editor said on Thursday.

The Sun, whose British edition is the country's top-selling paper, has featured a large picture of a bare-breasted models on page three since 1970 but Murdoch indicated earlier this year that it may be time for a change.

This week, the Irish edition has featured celebrities on page 3 including former Miss World Rosanna Davison and Dutch model Sylvie van der Vaart in swimwear rather than the usual photos.

"Page 3 is a hugely popular pillar of the Sun in the U.K.," editor Paul Clarkson said in a statement.

"In The Irish Sun we strive to share the qualities that make the newspaper great in print and digital, but we also strive to cater for our own readers' needs and reflect the cultural differences in Ireland."

There have been perennial campaigns against Page 3, with women's groups criticizing The Sun's pictures as degrading since they were introduced and in return regularly being vilified by the paper as dour and bitter.

The Irish Times reported The Sun's Dublin office received a few phone calls inquiring about the change, but only one reader had demanded its return.

(Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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