UK

Roy Greenslade boasted how he put on Irish accent to pass details on to a reporter on his own paper

How former editor Roy Greenslade boasted how he did ‘my little bit to get at the truth’ by putting on Irish accent to pass details from a Republican contact to a reporter on his own paper

  • Ex-Fleet Street editor Roy Greenslade phoned one of his reporters in Irish accent
  • He described the phone call to colleague on The Sunday Times as ‘very amusing’
  • Mr Greenslade’s support for the IRA and its bombing campaign caused furore 
  • Liam Clarke’s widow said she was ‘shocked to the core’ by the ‘chilling’ recording

A former Fleet Street editor boasted how he did ‘my little bit to get at the truth’ by putting on an Irish accent to pass information from a Republican contact to a reporter on his own paper.

Roy Greenslade described the phone call to a colleague on The Sunday Times as ‘very amusing’ in a 2007 British Library recording on the history of the British Press that surfaced yesterday.

Greenslade, whose support for the IRA and its bombing campaign has caused a furore, made the call to Peter Hounam, who was investigating the SAS killing of three IRA terrorists in Gibraltar in 1988.

Greenslade was also honorary visiting professor of journalism at City University of London before quitting this month amid outrage over his admission of support for the IRA

Yesterday Kathryn Johnston, the widow of Liam Clarke, another former colleague at The Sunday Times, said she was ‘shocked to the core’ by the ‘chilling’ recording.

When he was a media commentator for The Guardian in 1995, Greenslade accused Mr Clarke of colluding with the security forces to publish false stories about the IRA’s commitment to a ceasefire.

Greenslade was also honorary visiting professor of journalism at City University of London before quitting this month amid outrage over his admission of support for the IRA.

Miss Johnston said: ‘It’s about time Mr Greenslade came forward and gave some answers.’ 

She was speaking on BBC Radio Ulster, which played excerpts from the recording yesterday.

Greenslade, whose support for the IRA and its bombing campaign has caused a furore, made the call to Peter Hounam, who was investigating the SAS killing of three IRA terrorists in Gibraltar in 1988. The aftermath of an IRA terror attack in London is seen above

Greenslade, whose support for the IRA and its bombing campaign has caused a furore, made the call to Peter Hounam, who was investigating the SAS killing of three IRA terrorists in Gibraltar in 1988. The aftermath of an IRA terror attack in London is seen above

Greenslade, editor of the Daily Mirror from 1990 to 1991, was an executive on The Sunday Times at the time of the Gibraltar incident, which had led to questions about whether the terrorists could have been arrested rather than killed.

He said in the recording: ‘When I felt the investigation wasn’t going as I wanted it to, I even made a fake phone call in an Irish accent to give him [Mr Hounam] a bit of evidence [from a Republican contact] to push him further to investigate further.’ 

He added: ‘Nothing really came of it… But I did my little bit to try and get at the truth anyway.’

Last night Miss Johnston, whose husband died of cancer six years ago aged 61, said that while the fake Irish accent phone call has been reported previously, she had not heard the recording. 

‘It leaves a nasty taste in my mouth,’ she added.

Mr Greenslade declined to comment last night.

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