The Blanket

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Anthony McIntyre • 29 August 2004

For long enough RTE hitched its news wagon to Section 31 – the Republic’s Broadcasting ban. While its main objective was to ensure that representatives of republican bodies were neither seen nor heard, the section acted as a pit bull patrolling pathways and conduits where more informed accounts of the Northern conflict might travel. Quite often the bearers of the sharpest fangs were those RTE staff associated with the Worker’s Party, which was the political wing of the Official IRA. Anything other than the ‘Official’ account was snapped and snarled at. Those journalists who did not joyously and slavishly celebrate their own censorship were often labelled ‘Provo supporters.’ The former Northern Editor of the Sunday Tribune, Ed Moloney, once opined that the pervasive censorship in Southern society prevented the conflict in the North reaching its denouement much sooner.


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