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Police investigate threats against Sunday newspaper journalist

Police are investigating after a city councillor’s brother threatened a Sunday newspaper journalist covering a loyalist march in Belfast.

Sunday Life reporter Christopher Woodhouse was confronted by Gerard McCusker, a member of the Irish republican residents’ group Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective.

Mr McCusker, brother of Belfast city councillor Paul McCusker, told Christopher he was “coming after” him, saying he had “better watch” himself, in a foul-mouthed rant which has been condemned by the National Union of Journalists.

The threats were caught on camera and the footage, which has since been passed to the police, can be viewed on the website of Sunday Life’s Independent News and Media sister daily the Belfast Telegraph.

Gerard McCusker, right, confronting Christopher

Gerard McCusker, right, confronting Christopher

Mr McCusker told Christopher: “I’m coming after you, I’m watching you. I’m coming after you, you scumbag c***.

“I’m f****** coming after you, you better watch yourself. See after having a wee drink you’ll have a bad fall one night.”

Christopher was covering the march, which took place after loyalist Orangemen were granted permission to march past Ardoyne following a deal ended a three-year dispute between the loyal orders and nationalist residents.

Sunday Life had recently exposed Mr McCusker’s mother for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally from an unregistered van shop in the front garden.

Seamus Dooley, the NUJ’s Irish general secretary, said: “It is unacceptable that journalists should face threats or intimidation from any quarter simply for doing their job.

“Sunday Life journalists will not be deterred from doing their work by these tactics. Independent News and Media journalists have faced down threats in the past and will continue to do so.”

2 comments

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  • October 4, 2016 at 12:58 pm
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    Not much to investigate, is there? Just watch the feckin’ tape.

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  • October 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm
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    “Sunday Life had recently exposed Mr McCusker’s mother for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally from an unregistered van shop in the front garden.”

    Wonderful stuff. Is that the most Irish news line ever?

    As for this brouhaha and ballyhoo, judging by the picture of the young lad, threatening him perhaps wasn’t the bravest thing in the world to do.

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