Yesterday, UTV published a report of a suspected Real IRA man being arrested and held by Israeli forces in the West Bank.
The report drew reaction from DUP MLAs. Only problem was it was an incorrect news story from 2003! The real story (as it emerged) was an embarrassment at the time as Israeli security services had arrested a man who shared a surname with a ‘known’ man from south Armagh. In fact Séan O’Muireagain was a member of the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and was on a peaceful mission in Palestine, twinning schools with Ireland, at the time of his arrest.
“It’s preposterous, we believe this is mistaken identity, they’ve picked up an Irishman, he’s from Belfast, and maybe they’ve put two and two together and got 16,” Kathleen Connell, secretary of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Belfast, told Reuters in 2003.
What has prompted UTV to publish this as news, then to retract it without comment or apology? We’ll wait and see.
h/t Gary Spedding.