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Regional reporter turned agency editor retires

A former regional reporter turned editor who has reported on the Troubles in Northern Ireland since 1968 is retiring after 33 years with the Press Association.

Deric Henderson, left, began his career on the Tyrone Constitution in Omagh 45 years ago and went onto become Northern Ireland editor for the Press Association news agency.

He has reported on nearly every major terror-related incident and political development in the country since the late 1960s including the jailing of the Shankill Butchers in the mid 1970s, the Republican hunger strikes at the Maze Prison in 1980 and 1981.

He also covered Margaret Thatcher and the Republic’s Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985.

Deric was also in the room at Stormont for the announcement of the Good Friday peace accord in 1998 following a marathon political process which had him filing extensively from London, Dublin and Washington.

“I’ve had an unbelievable time with PA and worked with the finest news editor, Teilo Colley, in London,” said Deric.

“I’ve had a front row seat for all these years. It hasn’t been easy at times, but I’m leaving with some wonderful memories, and maybe this is an appropriate time for me to move on and change direction.”

Deric, who was named journalist of the year at the 2010 CIPR Northern Ireland press and broadacasting awards, is planning to set up a media consultancy business when he steps down on 31 March.

PA editor Jonathan Grun said Deric has had a brilliant career at the Press Association, covering massive stories for more than three decades.

“He has had many scoops, has won awards and has earned the respect of colleagues and customers alike,” he said.

“He is a legend in his own newsroom and in many others served by the Press Association.

“I think I can speak on behalf of everyone at PA when I say it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with him.”