Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the Omagh bombing, one of the last and most bloody atrocities in the recent history of what is euphemistically called The Troubles. A Republican group opposed to the peace process, the Real IRA, had left a red Vauxhall Cavalier packed with explosives in the centre of Omagh. Telephone warnings had been confusing; the area had not been cleared. 29 died and 220 were injured.
We know who you are, thanks
It goes without saying that using such an horrific act for cheap humour is not merely tasteless, but the height of stupidity. So it will surprise no-one that self-promoting has-been Julia Hartley Brewer chose to do just that yesterday, as a means of smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over sympathies he does not hold.
Including in her Tweet a photo showing the aftermath of the explosion - just to show her sensitive side - Ms Hartley Dooda told “BREAKING: @jeremycorbyn makes statement on the 20th anniversary of the #Omagh bomb today, paying tribute to the many dead and injured, including the Real IRA bombers who may have snagged a nail while planting the explosives”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start.
This was disgraceful, even by her piss-poor standards. And Jim Devlin was not impressed. “Disgusting and inappropriate. Imagine politically point scoring with this horrific tragedy. Not an ounce of shame or decency in you”. It might have played well with the London media elite, but outside the sealed world of the Pundit Establishment, it fell flat.
The Irish media establishment was also unimpressed, as David Blevins of Sky News showed. “Julia, how long did you spend thinking about the dead and their incredibly dignified families before deciding that the 20th anniversary of Northern Ireland's worst single atrocity was the stuff of satire?” Ms Hartley Dooda wasn’t replying to that, thanks.
But Jim Devlin certainly was. “Well put David. Such an insensitive, crass and hugely insensitive tweet from her. She is using innocent victims for political point scoring and should apologise. Failing that her employer should take some action. Totally unacceptable”. Her employer is TalkRADIO, though, so they’ll probably give her a raise.
That would help with the upcoming tax bill, no doubt. Meanwhile, Ms Hartley Dooda decided to combine shrugging off her crassness with another smear of the Labour leader. “The fact that some people - even journos - can believe this tweet is true, and not satire, shows just how low our expectations of @jeremycorbyn are. He has repeatedly paid tribute to dead terrorists so why should today be any different?” she trilled.
Don’t think he has, Julia. And Matt Black was seriously unimpressed by her pitch. “The fact that many journalists are too thick to realise it’s bullshit, is Corbyn's fault? #HartleyBrewerLogic PS Using the Omagh bombing to (try and) score cheap points is pretty grim. Even for you”. And she won’t be saying sorry any time soon.
Julia Hartley Dooda is a disgrace to journalism. No change there, then.
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