Sunday 23 April 2017

UK papers take a different view to their Irish editions on McGuinness coverage

The Irish edition of the 'Daily Mail' following the death of Martin McGuinness
The Irish edition of the 'Daily Mail' following the death of Martin McGuinness
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Two British tabloids took very different editorial lines on their coverage of Martin McGuinness's death in their UK and Irish editions yesterday.

In Ireland, the 'Daily Mail' ran a simple black and white photograph of the former IRA commander on its front page without a headline.

However, in the UK the newspaper ran bloody images of injured adults and children fleeing the Guildford and Enniskillen bombings.

A comment piece said he "bore heavy responsibility for tearing Northern Ireland apart, setting back by decades any hope of understanding between the province's two communities".

"Nicknamed the 'Butcher of Bogside', he never expressed a word of remorse for ordering knee-cappings, ruthless murders of police and soldiers and the random slaughter of civilian men, women and children," it said.

Similarly, 'The Sun' offered Irish readers a sympathetic perspective on Mr McGuinness's life by using a headline based on a quote from Ian Paisley Junior.

"It's not how you begin… it's how you end," the Irish edition said. But in the UK the headline was simply "Unforgiven" with a secondary headline quoting families saying the Sinn Féin politician "can go to hell".

In general, Irish publications focused primarily on Mr McGuinness's journey from gunman to statesman.

How the ‘Daily Mail’ treated the news in its UK
How the ‘Daily Mail’ treated the news in its UK

But in the UK, the 'Daily Telegraph' led with a story stating that senior police officers decided not to pursue the former deputy first minister over his alleged role in an IRA atrocity because it was too "politically sensitive".

Meanwhile, the BBC has been criticised for allegedly 'fawning' over Mr McGuinness in its coverage.

Irish Independent

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