Original story / Outrage as Stephen Gately attacked by British journalist / Click here
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Glad to see that the Irish Daily Mail has put some considerable distance between itself and British parent, the Daily Mail, over a column about the late Stephen Gately which generated some 25,000 complaints.
Jan Moir's column, headlined "Why there was nothing 'natural' about Stephen Gately's death." had posited that Gately's death, at his home in Mallorca, had struck "another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships."
The column which ran in the online edition of Friday's newspaper sparked a firestorm of protest.
The furious reaction was driven by Twitterati including actor Stephen Fry who tweeted his 800,000 followers to complain to the British press watchdog.
His Twitter campaign was so successful that the torrent of complaints crashed the Web site belonging to the Press Complaints Commission.
Major advertisers had demanded that their advertising be removed from the page which featured Moir's column.
In the meantime, the Irish Daily Mail (which does not have a Web site) was furiously scrambling to make sure people were aware that they had not carried the column.
They released a statement saying: "Comments made by journalist Jan Moir about Stephen Gately in her newspaper column caused controversy on Friday. Jan Moir's column has never been published in the Irish Daily Mail which, like the Irish Mail on Sunday, is edited and printed entirely in Ireland – independent of the UK titles – and does not have an online presence."
Moir's article was published the day before Gately's funeral in Dublin. The original online headline "Why there was nothing 'natural' about Stephen Gately's death", was later changed to be the same as the print edition which read: "A strange, lonely and troubling death".
Onevery troubling question, which has yet to be answered, is why the original print headline was changed at all.
Sure, online heads need SEO elements, but this was a complete change in tone.
Wisely, the Irish edition stayed well away from the fray.