Irish Daily Mirror editor apologises to Sharon Ní Bheoláin

Editor admits photographs of the newsreader were not the ‘newspaper’s finest hour’

The Irish Daily Mirror editor-in-chief John Kierans has apologised to newsreader Sharon Ní Bheoláin (above)  over photographs of her that were published in yesterday’s paper.

The Irish Daily Mirror editor-in-chief John Kierans has apologised to newsreader Sharon Ní Bheoláin (above) over photographs of her that were published in yesterday’s paper.

Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 20:28

The Irish Daily Mirror editor-in-chief John Kierans has apologised to newsreader Sharon Ní Bheoláin for over photographs of her that were published in yesterday’s paper.

Ms Ní Bheoláin said the pictures, which showed her out walking her dog on Saturday afternoon, upset her more than the actions of an alleged stalker who has been questioned by gardaí.

Ms Ní Bheoláin was photographed near her home wearing tartan pyjamas, a beige cardigan and a beanie hat.

She dismissed the newspapers that published the pictures as “rags” and said she had never sought publicity in her role as a newsreader.

The Six One newsreader said the pictures were a violation of her privacy and she was now considering a claim to the Press Ombudsman.

Mr Kierans said he believed the pictures which were taken by a freelance photographer at the weekend were “harmless enough” and he decided to publish them on page three of the newspaper along with a short editorial which said she looked like a “dog’s dinner”.

“In hindsight, certainly on my part we made a mistake and I’d like to apologise to Sharon,” he told Newstalk’s Breakfast programme.

“I have to make quick decisions. We work in a very competitive market. If the opposition has a set of pictures, sometimes you don’t want to be left out of the loop.”

He said Ms Ní Bheoláin was not “your usual run of the mill celebrity” who courts publicity for its own sake and uses the media to make money.

He admitted that the incident was not the paper’s “finest hour” but there was a demand for celebrity tittle-tattle.

“Sharon Ní Bheoláin can call us rags (and) so can Joe Duffy, but there is a massive audience for our products,” he said. “Half of the people in this country buy tabloid newspapers every day.”