Mirror boss apologises for Ni Bheolain pictures; defends use of celeb pictures in general
The editor in chief of the Irish Daily Mirror has apologised to broadcaster Sharon Ni Bheolain over photos of her published in his paper yesterday.
The newscaster was shown in her pyjama bottoms while out walking her dog on Sunday afternoon.
Afterwards, she said she was more upset by the photos than she has been over a Garda investigation into allegations that she has been the victim of harassment.
John Kierans from the Irish Daily Mirror said that under the circumstances, it was not the paper's finest hour.
"Rightly or wrongly, we thought they were harmless enough … we deliberately didn't use them on page one because I sort of felt she'd been through enough," he said.
"But in hindsight … I feel, certainly on my part, we made a mistake. And I would like to apologise to Sharon for that…We should not have used those pictures. We were wrong to use them"
However, he defended the practice of printing pictures of well-known people, because there is a demand for it.
"Sharon Ni Bheolain 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.
"Those pictures of Sharon were on our website yesterday morning, and there was very few people looking at them. But after Sharon went on Liveline, I'd say we had 20,000 people looking at them yesterday afternoon."
You can listen to Sharon's interview with Joe Duffy here.