Greenslade pours oil on Troubles waters

Greenslade pours oil on Troubles waters
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After resigning as a visiting professor at City University in March after admitting to supporting IRA terrorists in the 1970s, Roy Greenslade has now popped up again in the institute's student magazine XCITY. In an interview with budding hacks, published this month, the former Guardian media commentator claims that 'given that it was more than 20 years since the end of the IRA's military campaign, it didn't strike me as being unduly controversial.'

Greenslade's original confession was revealed in February in an article for the British Journalism Review (BJR) in which he said he was 'in complete agreement about the right of the Irish people to engage in armed struggle' and 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... I supported the use of physical force.' He provided bail surety for an IRA man accused of involvement in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing and also admitted engaging in 'subterfuge' while he was a senior executive on The Sunday Times to try to influence its coverage of the 'murders of three IRA volunteers' who were shot by the SAS in Gibraltar in 1988.

Greenslade's confession forced the resignation of his former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger from a commission into the future of the Irish media industry. 

Not content with that, Greenslade has now gone after those at the British Journalism Review, claiming: 'The BJR editor said he found the article 'fascinating.' Two colleagues he showed it to in advance of publication took a similar viewpoint, as they expressed to me in emails.' That editor, of course, is Kim Fletcher, a former Independent on Sunday editor and husband of former BBC Today controller Sarah Sands, who did not respond when Steerpike asked him for comment.

Somewhat embarrassingly, it also appears that it took three days for anyone in City's management or press office teams to learn of Greenslade's BJR confession, published on Thursday 25 February. XCity quote a university spokesman as saying: 'We saw the coverage when the story was first published in The Sunday Times'  which appeared on Sunday 28 February.

Not a great look for the supposed 'Oxbridge of journalism.'

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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