A former editor of lefty tabloid The Mirror has confessed to holding extreme pro-IRA views during his long career on Fleet Street, describing himself as “utterly convinced by the merit of the republican cause”, which he admits to aiding directly.
Writing in the British Journalism Review Roy Greenslade says that during his journalistic career, which included 28 years at the Guardian, he was “in complete agreement about the right of the Irish people to engage in armed struggle”.
In a shockingly frank account, Greenslade explains how his warped beliefs came about, which he does not apologise for, saying: “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 is now a professor at City University in London, where he grew up. His disclosure is tilted towards a thoughtful reflection, but his violent association with the evil IRA has stirred a powerful response from those who suffered at the hands of the terrorist group.
“Professor Greenslade can’t see that a true man of peace cannot also be an unapologetic murderer,” told the Times Mark Tipper, whose brother Simon was one of four soldiers killed in Hyde Park in 1982 by an IRA bomb. Greenslade guaranteed bail for the man accused of the atrocity, John Downey, a member of the IRA.
Tipper added: “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.”
Lord Tebbit, whose wife was paralysed by the Brighton Bomb said: “I presume that the extension of his argument is that those who disagree with him are entitled to kill him.”
But like so many lefty evangelists, Greenslade only seems to see the suffering from one side. He says Margaret Thatcher’s robust reaction to hunger strikes by imprisoned IRA terrorists, including Bobby Sands who perished was the turning point. “Now I was utterly convinced by the merit of the Irish republican cause,” he writes.
But while Greenslade insists his views did not influence his work as a journalist, his pro-Republican views were far from passive. He wrote for the Sinn Féin newspaper, An Phoblacht under a pseudonym and in his article for the Review, he describes his devotion to the cause like a member of the blood-bonded Italian mafia.
“In every way, the job was to prove an excruciatingly difficult test of my political omerta, not least because that year was another turning point in my support for republicanism,” says Greenslade of his time at the Sun in 1981, the year terrorist Sands died.
Greenslade is married to Irish journalist Noreen Taylor and owns a home in Donegal Ireland. His neighbour, a close friend is former IRA member and Sinn Fein activist, Patrick Doherty.
This lefty journalist was deluded enough to think it was OK to come out as a terrorist sympathiser, makes you wonder how many radical activists are roaming the corridors of the Guardian and The Mirror and will remain silent about their obscene views for the rest of their days. Utterly chilling.