i’m surprised they don’t accuse greenslade of treason, being as they are utter nazi bigots

Fleet Street editor Roy Greenslade reveals his secret support for the IRA and refuses to apologise
Tony Allen-Mills, The Sunday Times, Feb 27 2021

Greenslade outside his home in Co Donegal. Photo: Arthur Edwards

A former Fleet Street editor who secretly supported Irish republicanism has “come out of hiding” to explain why he believes the IRA bombing campaigns of the 1970s to 1990s were justified. Roy Greenslade, a former editor of the Daily Mirror, wrote a media column for The Guardian and is now emeritus professor of journalism at City University, London. He reveals today that he was “in complete agreement about the right of the Irish people to engage in armed struggle,” even as the newspapers he worked for denounced the IRA’s terror campaigns. Greenslade writes in an article for the March issue of the British Journalism Review, a quarterly academic journal:

I came to accept that the fight between the forces of the state and a group of insurgents was unequal and therefore could not be fought on conventional terms. In other words I supported the use of physical force.

Greenslade offers no apology for his views. He once guaranteed bail for John Downey, an IRA member accused of participating in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing of the Queen’s Household Cavalry, killing four soldiers and seven horses. His defence of what he describes as Downey’s “dedication to peace” infuriated Mark Tipper, brother of Trooper Simon Tipper, one of the soldiers killed. Tipper said:

Professor Greenslade can’t see that a true man of peace cannot also be an unapologetic murderer. Downey spent 37 years fighting to evade and escape justice, never disavowing violence, while Greenslade continues to prove himself both a coward and a fraud.

Norman Tebbit, whose wife Margaret was left paralysed after the IRA’s Brighton bomb, condemned Greenslade’s remarks, adding:

I presume that the extension of his argument is that those who disagree with him are entitled to kill him.

Greenslade’s activities as a republican first emerged in 2008, when a book by one of his colleagues at The Guardian claimed he had secretly written columns for the Sinn Féin newspaper An Phoblacht while working in London in the late 1980s. Greenslade, 74, has confirmed that he did write pro-republican columns under the pseudonym “George King,” a play on King George V, who presided over the partition of Ireland in 1922. In his article he explains that as he rose through Fleet Street’s ranks, he married an Irish journalist, Noreen Taylor, and bought a home in Donegal. One of his neighbours was Patrick Doherty, a prominent Sinn Féin activist once named as a member of the IRA army council. They became close friends, but Greenslade decided back in England to keep his views on Ireland to himself. he writes:

I needed a wage because I was on the verge of taking a mortgage. Better, then, to button my lip and carry on … to own up to supporting Irish republicans would result in my losing my job. However much I believed their tactics to be valid, I could not hope to convince colleagues that the killing of civilians, albeit by accident, was justifiable.

When he became editor of the Daily Mirror in 1990, he did not feel compromised “because it was the only mainstream newspaper to have consistently urged the removal of British troops from the north of Ireland.” He was previously a news executive at the Sunday Times under the editorship of Andrew Neil, who claimed last week he had once appeared “on an IRA hit list” because of his newspaper’s ”very robust” stance against the IRA. Neil said he was at a loss to understand what Greenslade had been up to. He said:

I had no idea of Roy’s Irish sympathies. I always got on quite well with him but he had no influence on our Irish coverage. Was he a spy? What possible purpose could he serve the IRA? Everything we knew about the IRA we published. They didn’t need a spy, they just needed to buy the paper on Sunday.

Asked those questions last week, Greenslade insisted that he had “not engaged in any nefarious or illegal activities.” He was never approached by security agencies and claims to have no idea if anyone ever tried to identify the real “George King.” Greenslade added:

Even if they did catch on, I was far too lowly a person to worry about.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.