What the papers say…

WHAT do you think of the front pages this morning? On days of such significance, newspapers often try that little bit harder to produce something memorable that catches the imagination. Mike Philpott takes a quick look at how the Press treated the IRA statement. Was the coverage good for you too?

  • circles

    Fairly good coverage in my daily (Die Tageszeitung – best described as Germany’s answer to the Guardian).
    Didn’t make the front page (due to the head of Daimler-Chrysler resigning unexpectedly yesterday, but was worh a full page (page 4) and an editorial http://www.taz.de/pt/2005/07/29/a0152.nf/text
    for those interested.
    I found Sorscheks analysis spot on (basically that the problem is still ther at a social level and no serious effort has been made to address this during the entire process)

  • circles

    Sotschek I mean (to give the man his due).

  • Gonzo

    I’d be interested to hear from international readers (like the Irish diaspora) how the story was covered in places like America, Australia, maybe Israel or Palestine, around Europe…

    Did any media outlet abroad take a cynical line? The mood is generally one of a welcome, but some have been more cautious than others.

  • Alan McDonald


    The local media here in New York state are talking about the reactions of NY politicians, like Pete King and Jim Walsh. All positive and hopeful.

    For another view, check out the editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • Vera

    NPR had a fair ammount of coverage last night (I’m always impressed/shocked when anything concerning Northern Ireland gets mentioned in our national mainstream media, but NPR is far and away the best on international news coverage of all types), including a short interview with Martin McGuinness. They seemed fairly skeptical, emphasizing the lack of disbandment more than anything else. They did an interesting little dance with McGuinness, where the interviewier kept trying to get him to say the word surrender. They also played a bit of Tony Blair’s statement. Overall reasonably balanced, but more skeptical than optimistic I would say, which is what you’d expect.

    My local paper didn’t mention it. They have a link to an AP story on their website, but I don’t think it was in the print edition.

  • Twaisi

    Vera hit the nail on the head regarding North American media coverage of the IRA’s statement. Normally, coverage of NI ranges from cursory to non-existent on this side of the pond. NPR did a fairly thorough job, but there were some other pleasant suprises as well.

    CNN (US) and CBC (Canada) not only gave the story top billing, albeit briefly, but included some decent background material which is normally absent. Most of the other major papers I glanced at (Washington Post, Boston Globe, LA Times, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Philadelphia Inquirer) gave the IRA statement some kind of front page coverage as well as an op-ed piece. The exception was the Montreal Gazette, the primary English language daily in PQ, which buried the story on page 16 of the ‘subscription only’ part of the website. The editorial in The Toronto Star was fairly negative but with a lower dose of vitriol than the SF Chronicle rant…er, piece.

    The two biggest disappointments were the NY Times and The News Hour (PBS). The Times had decent coverage but no editorial! Surprising, to say the least. The News Hour, normally THE best television news in the US, simply ran some BBC and ITV clips with no analysis or comment.

    Note: All of this drivel is based on on-line editions of the papers I mentioned. I’d welcome comments from those readers who can get their hands on the print editions of the aforementioned papers. Also, I don’t why my paragraphs disappeared as well as my links.

  • 6countyprod

    Le Monde, in France, ran four articles. One had a chronology of events from 1913, one was a very brief summary, one covered reaction by Blair, Ahern, Paisley, Spain, Fine Gael. In the main story, 50% was taken up with the IRA statement. The DUP response got about 25%, with the rest covered IRA criminality, the McCartney episode and Tony Blair’s comments. Little or no analysis. No longer on first page. (Friday)

    Le Figaro still has three stories on the first page, in the Europe section. One is ‘A Long Bloody List’ of IRA victims from 1973. Another gives a short perceptive account of some of the underlying causes and main events in ‘The 35 Year’s War’. The main article just covers the main statement with about 20% given to Blair and the DUP.


    The TV coverage in France was also pretty extensive, the impression given is that this is as significant an event as anything else in Irelands history.

  • Snapper

    I’m surprised that the unionist media hasn’t informed it’s readership that if it wasn’t for David Trimble and now Ian Paisely the IRA would still be a fully functioning army. Why won’t they claim that? If I were a unionist I would be shouting it from the roof tops! Personally I take no pleasure in saying it but it is true. From their perspective they should be mighty proud.

    To clarify – they did not defeat the IRA but they put them under enough pressure to leave the stage which they would not have done alone.

    Consequently Unionism should now be pragmatic enough to reciprocate. Peace making is a most difficult business and as far as I am concerned Republicans have jumped first this time in a most dramatic fashion.

  • bertie

    As a unionist how should I feel I have to reciprocate? Am I really suposed to be grateful for the IRA saying that they are going to stop doing something that they had no right to do in the first place and as they consider it was all justified, they can restart it as soon they consider it is justified again, which is probably arround the time that they decide that they will not be handed any more consessions.

  • Snapper

    Simple question – peace or war? Not a threat. Either you want to help to sort this mess out or you don’t. We could talk all night about who is to blame and who did what but will that ensure no more killing?

    I feared the very response you gave me Bertie. I wasn’t trying to justify the previous 35 years just trying to do my tiny bit to make sure it stays at 35 years.

  • Snapper

    Anyway – got to go – Feile an Phobail beckons!

  • bertie


    I wasn’t thinking that you were trying to justify it. I was thinking that the IRA still do. Pointing out the absurity of the idea that murderers should be rewarded for saying that they will stop is part of sorting it out. Appeasing terrorism is not the answer and ultimitly results in increasing the level of human misery.

  • micktv

    Some of the coverage here in Australia by the ABC (BBC eqivalent) has been in-depth and pretty balanced. The ABC have a London based reporter, Raphael Epstein, who gives the main perspective. His approach is that it is a watershed decision- but he gives airtime to some unionist skepticism. I haven’t seen the papers yet (just out). The national broadsheet is a very right wing Murdoch paper which uses London Times reporting on much of its international news.

    I personally thought the words about ‘volunteers engaging in no other activities whatsoever’ have been downplayed a little. I think they are significant

  • George

    As I am currently lording it up in lovely Canada, the Globe and Mail had it on page one and an editorial.

    Basic gist of the editorial was that this proves terrorism can be beaten if a country stays resolute for long enough, uses SAS etc. and also removes the root causes of the conflict.

    It mentioned measures to end discrimination, creation of impartial police, investigation into collusion, state-sanctioned killings etc.

    Bit contradictory, advocating extra-judicial assassination and then praising the investigation of them, but hey, this is Canada.

    Ian Paisley was simply the unionist leader, no mention of his party, quotes from Adams and Blair but there was not a single mention of the Irish Republic or poor Bertie.

  • 6countyprod

    The New York Times (Saturday) has a scathing and sceptical article on the IRA statement.

  • Gonzo

    Newshound has quite a few international editorials linked.

    Anyone seen any German TV coverage? German TV seems to do NI-related stuff reasonably regularly when there’s big news.

  • George

    Le Monde says in its editorial that it hopes that this will be a sign to ETA and Corsican nationalists that they can only achieve their goals through political negotiations.

    The Italian Corriere della Sera» said (my translation from the German translation):

    “It is totally obvious that there are radical differences between Catholic terrorism in Ireland and terrorism of Islamic fundamentalists.

    However, the capitutlation of the IRA contains within it, above and beyond the historical and geographical differences, a lesson in political strategy in how to tackle and win this asymmetrical low-intensity conflict, which is the war against terrorism.

    The first lesson is that this type of conflict always lasts longer, over 3 decades with the IRA.

    But the Islamic Jihand is at the moment going about bringing this tragic game, which the IRA forced the British into at the time of the Beatles, onto a global level.”

  • Gonzo

    “…which the IRA forced the British into at the time of the Beatles…”


  • martin

    Has Anne Mc Cabe been on yet to make another”last” statement that her husbands manslaughterers will not be part of negotiations/deals even though they have publicly stated they dont want to be.

    I guess she’s on one of her numerous trips to Spain–well she can afford it with the 500,000 euro compensation she received-the RUC widows didnt fare as well.

  • bertie

    Yeah I’m sure she thinks that 500,000 euro more than makes up for the loss of her husband.

    She has a perfect right to make her statements. She has been made promises and her government threatened to renege on them.

  • martin

    they hadnt been getting on in years and he was killed because he dipped his ink quill into anothers pot,and got numerous threats to stop doing that along with kicking in republicans and others doors in the early hours of the morning,Kevin Walsh was dragged by his hair out of his home at 2am in the morning in front of his wife and infant children and beaten to a pulp by MC Cabe.
    Their second eldest son is a well known troublemaker in Limerick pubs and plays on the fact of —DO you know who your messing with—and also interestingly their sons best friend is none other than a brother of an IRA man convicted recently for possession of firearms and information useful to terrorists.

    The truth will eventually come out about Mc Cabe and it is not a pretty picture-his time spent harrassing Republicans while stationed in Rosscommon has a mac Brearty ring to it.

    In the words of David Ervine regarding paramilitary politics if you play you pay

    Jerry mc Cabe played–and he paid.