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The Man In The Mirror
As editor of the Irish Sunday Mirror, Paul Martin has a unique position in the world of Irish media and celebrity. He talks to Stuart Clark about his dislike of Calum Best, his friendship with the late Katy French, the end of David Norris’s presidential bid, the News Of The World phone-hacking scandal and his admiration for Piers Morgan. All this plus a cameo from Louis Walsh!
Stuart Clark, 26 Aug 2011
When and why do you think her drug-taking got so out of control?
What changed wasn’t the amount of cocaine she snorted on a Saturday night, but her attitude towards it. She talked about taking cocaine as if she was on the Atkins Diet. In the last month of her life, I didn’t have one conversation with Katy in which she didn’t tell me about some sort of coke-fueled escapade. Looking back, I suppose her drug use did escalate but only in those final weeks.
You took issue a moment ago about Gareth O’Callaghan saying what he did about Gerry Ryan, yet you wrote some very explicit articles about Katy after her death. Do you have any regrets about that?
I’ve never written a story I’ve been ashamed of. I’ve written many stories that people said I should have been ashamed of. When Katy died, I did a series in the Mirror which was basically Katy’s Confessions and it was the real story. I knew there was a book coming out and I did a two-day series which was very successful in terms of sales, and I told the real story. We were friends and she confided in me about a lot of things – and I did print a lot of that. I remember being at the TV Now awards, and a girl from the Sunday Independent grabbed me by the arm and her first words to me were, “How do you sleep at night after doing that? You fucked over your mate.” And I said I didn’t fuck over my mate, that my mate is dead from drugs and I’m going to write about how she glorified drugs and maybe one person will read that and think that drugs aren’t so cool. If so, great.
What are your thoughts on Kieron Ducie, who brought her to hospital and has also spoken extensively about “the Katy I knew”?
I was the first person to put his picture in the paper, even while Katy was still in hospital. She wasn’t dead yet, and I’d been tipped off that he was the one with her on the night. I was prevented from saying what I wanted to say about him so we ran the headline, “I Tried To Save Katy”, which in essence he did. He bundled her into the car and went off. With the court case coming up there’s not too much more I can say, but he came to the Mirror one day and chatted to me for three hours, often crying. I felt very uncomfortable sitting in front of him knowing that he was with Katy, my friend, on the night that she essentially died. For probably the only time in my journalistic career I said, “Can I get through this?” I kind of buckled up and got on with it, but I found it very uncomfortable.