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Former Guardian editor steps down from Irish media commission

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The former editor of The Guardian has stepped down from a commission considering the future of Ireland’s media industry.

Alan Rusbridger had faced calls to be removed from the role after disclosures that the newspaper’s former media editor, Roy Greenslade was supportive of the IRA

Mairia Cahill, who has alleged she was sexually abused by an IRA man at the age of 16, had called on the Taoiseach to consider Mr Rusbridger’s position on the body.

He said: “I was pleased to be invited by the Taoiseach to be part of the Future of the Media Commission.

The Commission is considering critical issues for Ireland and I don’t want my involvement to be a distraction from its work

“I was heartened by his backing for my continued involvement, along with the Culture and Media Minister, Catherine Martin.

“The unanimous support of my Commission colleagues was very important to me.

“The Commission is considering critical issues for Ireland and I don’t want my involvement to be a distraction from its work, so I have told its chair, Prof Brian MacCraith, that I will step down.”

A 2014 column written by Mr Greenslade called into question Ms Cahill’s claims that she was raped by an IRA member, and has prompted apologies from the newspaper.

Mr Greenslade claimed BBC reporters investigating the story “were too willing to accept Cahill’s story and did not point to countervailing evidence”.

Katherine Viner, who succeeded Mr Rusbridger as Guardian editor in 2015, has apologised to Ms Cahill.

A note has been added to the 2014 piece which reads: “The lack of disclosure was especially unfair to a vulnerable individual, and The Guardian has now apologised to Ms Cahill.”

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