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Search launched to find mystery journalist on front cover of new book

A search has been launched to find a mystery reporter who features on the front cover of a new book.

HTFP reported last month how 68 journalists in Northern Ireland had shared their experiences of covering the region’s recent history for a new book called Reporting The Troubles.

The book’s front cover features a woman dressed in green interviewing someone in the Crumlin Road area of Belfast in 1972.

However, despite extensive searches, no-one involved with the book has been able to identify the journalist in question.

Former Belfast Telegraph journalist and Press Association Ireland editor Deric Henderson edited the book with Ivan Little, and the pair have now launched an appeal to find the mystery woman.

Deric told the Bel Tel: “It’s become a real talking point. We’d loved to know who the journalist is. And we’d be grateful if any readers can come up with an answer.”

As well as the reporter and her interviewee, the photo shows local people clearing up after a bomb attack not far from Crumlin Road’s junction with Century Street.

Said Deric: “The picture was accessed from a file from a major photographic agency by the publishers but there are no records of who’s in it. I certainly don’t recognise the reporter though I didn’t arrive in Belfast until a year after the explosion.”

Journalists to have been ruled out of the running include the BBC’s Maggie Taggart and UTV’s Roisin Walsh.

Retired journalist Eddie McIlwaine, who worked in Belfast throughout the Troubles, told the Bel Tel: “I’ve looked at that cover photograph many, many times but I just can’t come up with a name. Nowadays there are lots of women reporters in Northern Ireland, but in the ’70s it was a male-dominated profession.

“Maybe the girl’s a journalist who’d been sent to Belfast from England or farther afield to cover the Troubles.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact ivanlittle@live.com

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