Sunday 25 June 2017

Irish news outlet launches investigation into 'Kildare ISIS attack' prank

Picture: Kildare Now
Picture: Kildare Now

Sasha Brady

An Irish news outlet has launched an investigation after an "extremely insensitive" article claiming ISIS had attacked a Kildare landmark was posted to its website.

The April Fool's Day prank caused outrage on social media when it appeared on Kildare Now's website.

The satirical article stated that ISIS had targeted local landmark the Hill of Allen.

However, Kildare Now soon removed the piece and claimed that the article had not been authorised. They described the article as "extremely insensitive".

In a statement it said: ""An article and a photoshopped photograph was posted on KildareNow this morning purporting to be an April Fools Day-type story.

"KildareNow would like to immediately distance ourselves from this posting and point out that the story was completely unauthorised and was not posted by a member of the editorial team.

"The article and photograph have both been completely removed from the Kildare Now website and our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

"But we understand 'screen grabs' of the offending post is appearing on social media which is causing upset but unfortunately we have no control over this.

"KildareNow would like to apologise unreservedly to everybody who was rightly offended by the article which was extremely insensitive especially in light of recent tragic events in Brussels and elsewhere.

"A full internal investigation is now underway into how the KildareNow site was accessed by an unauthorised person in this way."

Many viewers assumed it was a April Fool's prank from the site itself and it was not well received on social media.

The article claimed that "Irish security forces have placed a ring of steel around the Allen area and road diversions are in place until further notice after a male calling himself Paddy Jihaddy said he had rigged the area with explosives and that he was renaming the locality the Hill of Allah."

The website posted a picture of a local landmark with an ISIS flag photoshopped on top of the building.

The Huffington Post and BBC News are among the international news outlets who picked up on the story.

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