Sunday 20 April 2014

Irish Examiner editor Tim Vaughan apologises for Nevin Spence crossword clue

Ulster Rugby undated handout photo of Nevin Spence who died along with his father and brother at their farm on the outskirts of Hillsborough Co Down when they fell into a slurry tank. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday September 16, 2012. Emergency services went to the family farm shortly after 6pm on Saturday following reports that four people had fallen into the slurry pit. See PA story ULSTER Tank. Photo credit should read: John Dickson/Ulster Rugby/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

THE editor of the ‘Irish Examiner’ has apologised to the family of tragic Ulster rugby player Nevin Spence for using his name in a crossword clue.

Spence (22) died along with his father Noel (58), and brother Graham (30) last Saturday after they were overcome by fumes while trying to rescue a dog from a slurry pit on their Down farm.

Yesterday’s ‘ Irish Examiner’ farming crossword featured a clue with the answer ‘Nevin’ which directly referred to the player’s death.

The newspaper’s editor Tim Vaughan has apologise via a radio interview for any insensitivity.

The apology came after complaints had been lodged to both to the newspaper and local radio stations, as well as comments on Twitter.

“It should not have been published under any circumstances. It has caused offence and for that I unreservedly apologise,” Mr Vaughan said.

“I am trying to find out how it got published in the crossword this morning in the FarmExam. It shouldn’t have.

“I, as editor, I take full responsibility for everything that is published in the newspaper.

“At the end of the day it should not have been published. It is insensitive in the extreme and I will be apologising to the Spence family and I apologise unreservedly to anyone else who has been offended by its publication.”

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