“Hanna, Belfast”

Brian noted the death of respected journalist Trevor Hanna in February. But Roy Greenslade, who was away at the time, spotted an “unbeatable anecdote” in the belated Irish Times’ obit this weekend.

TREVOR HANNA: ONE EVENING in 1971, the newspaper reporter strolled into a dockside bar in Belfast with a large wad of News of the World petty cash intended as a buy-up for some exclusive piece of tittle-tattle.

The first Bushmills had just reached his lips when the door burst open and a masked gang lurched in with pistols aloft. They ripped out the phone and cleaned out the till before turning on the customers, relieving them of wallets and other items of value.

The robbers retreated with the dire warning: “Anyone who leaves in the next 10 minutes will be shot.”

The long, grim silence of the crime scene was broken by Hanna. He reached into his sock and produced Rupert Murdoch’s wad, before uttering: “I suppose I’ll have to buy the next round.”


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