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Ex-Guardian boss hits out at IRA editor Roy Greenslade who 'should have been frank about beliefs'

Ex-Fleet Street editor Roy Greenslade should have been more honest over his 'obnoxious' lifelong support for the IRA, the former editor of the Guardian said yesterday.

Alan Rusbridger said Mr Greenslade, 74, who worked for him at the newspaper, ought to have been 'frank about his own political beliefs and attachments' when writing about Northern Ireland matters.

He urged his former newspaper to include disclaimers on articles which remain online.

Ex-Fleet Street editor Roy Greenslade (right) should have been more honest over his 'obnoxious' lifelong support for the IRA, the former editor of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger (left) said yesterday.

Mairia Cahill (pictured), who has waived her right to anonymity, said that after she was interviewed for a BBC Northern Ireland investigation, Mr Greenslade wrote an article in The Guardian attacking 'the lack of political balance' in the report

The Guardian is investigating a complaint made by Mairia Cahill, who was attacked in a 2014 article by Mr Greenslade after disclosing an alleged rape by an IRA member.

Mr Greenslade said the former Sinn Fein member should have disclosed that she was by then a 'member of a dissident republican organisation with an anti-Sinn Fein agenda' and accused a BBC documentary outlining her claims as 'lacking political balance' – while hiding his own support for the IRA and Sinn Fein.

In an article for the British Journalism Review, which emerged at the weekend, Mr Greenslade, a former editor of the Daily Mirror and journalism lecturer, described how he was a supporter of IRA violence and wrote for the republican newsletter An Phoblacht under a pseudonym.

While doing so, Mr Greenslade worked for newspapers which vociferously opposed IRA terrorism. He later became the Guardian's long-standing media columnist, but occasionally wrote about Ulster, before retiring last year.

The former professor of journalism at City, University of London, was a friend of suspected Hyde Park bomber (pictured: The scene after the 1982 attack) John Downey and from the 1980s wrote for the republican newsletter An Phoblacht

Last night Mr Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian from 1995 to 2015, said: 'All editors must wish he had been transparent at the time rather than leaving this until after he retired.

'The best route to trust is transparency and I suspect all the editors that Roy worked for, not to mention the readers, wish Roy had been more transparent about his own political beliefs.'

Referring to the piece attacking Miss Cahill, he added: 'I think it would have been better for Roy to have been frank about his own political beliefs and attachments.

'I think it would serve readers well to append ... the articles that remain online, noting what he has now made public about his beliefs and attachments.'

Mr Rusbridger stressed that Mr Greenslade had 'no input into any Guardian editorial line on Northern Ireland', adding: 'I find support for the IRA obnoxious.'

A Guardian spokesman said its independent readers' editor was investigating. Mr Greenslade could not be reached for comment.

'Totally reprehensible and a slight on our industry': Outrage as Roy Greenslade claims he 'did nothing more than scores of journalists who keep political views to themselves' after revealing support for IRA

By Jack Elsom and James Robinson for MailOnline 

The erstwhile Guardian columnist today claimed he did 'nothing more than scores of journalists who keep political views to themselves' in sympathising with atrocities committed by paramilitary forces. 

It comes after the former Daily Mirror editor resigned as an honorary visiting professor of journalism at City, University of London, yesterday following a backlash from much of the industry and families of the victims of the IRA.

Toby Granville, the editorial director of local news publisher, Newsquest, said the remarks were 'totally reprehensible'.

In a post on Twitter, he said: 'Roy Greenslade's claims that 'scores of journalists' secretly support terrorism just like him is totally reprehensible and a slight on our industry.'  

Roy Greenslade previous articles must now be 'treated with suspicion' and viewed through the lens of his long-standing support for the IRA, critics urged today 

The erstwhile Guardian columnist today claimed he 'did nothing more than scores of journalists who keep political views to themselves' in sympathising with atrocities committed by paramilitary forces. Pictured: The scene of an IRA bombing in Downing Street in 1991

The journalism industry news website spoke to Mr Greenslade after he earlier this week revealed his support for the IRA in the British Journalism Review.   

Asked whether his views on terrorism disqualified him from teaching ethics, Mr Greenslade said: 'The furore underlines the main point of my article: to have come clean in the 1970s with my beliefs would have rendered me unemployable.

'I did nothing more than the scores of journalists who keep their political views to themselves.

'My opinions did not affect my journalistic work, nor did they affect my university teaching.' 

Colin Parry's son was killed in the 1993 Warrington bombing - which saw the IRA plant bombs inside two high street bins. Tim, and three-year-old Johnathan Ball, died as a result of the blasts.

Colin Parry's son Tim was killed in the 1993 Warrington bombing, when the IRA planted bombs inside high street bins. Tim and three-year-old Johnathan Ball died as a result

In a post on Twitter, he said: 'Supporting Irish Republicanism is a political choice but his support for the IRA's campaign of violence leading to the murder of many non combatants like my 12 yr old son Tim.

'I find it inexcusable and contemptible.'

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