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July 25, 2014

Sun prints two ‘glaring errors’ in Commonwealth Games coverage for Wapping departure issue

The Sun proudly trumpeted (p2 The Sun 23 July 2014) "Wapping Sun sets" as it printed its final "historic edition" from Fortress Wapping – in the shadow of the less imposing, but infinitely more historic, Tower of London.

Unfortunately for The Sun editor, Glaswegian David Dinsmore, the final edition contained glaring errors.

For as the paper's colour spread on pages 16/17 blared out "Glasgow Set For 11 Days of Glory", it included two glaring errors.

The first, as the Queen launched the Games at Celtic's stadium where home fans wave the Irish tri-colour at matches, was that Ireland was taking part.

If this had been true it would indeed have been a genuinely historic political occasion. The problem for The Sun is that Ireland withdrew from the Commonwealth on 18 April 1949 and has never rejoined much less taking part in the Commonwealth Games. And as if to underline its error, The Sun printed the green, white and orange tricolour of Ireland as one of the eagerly participating nations.

Of course what The Sun journalists meant to indicate was that the UK province of Northern Ireland was participating and they should have printed the correct accompanying flag.

A second – less glaring – error for The Sun's "historic" final Wapping edition, was that in their enthusiasm to herald the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, the second largest athletics event in the world after the Olympics, journalists got so carried away they printed the flag of Fiji twice.

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One Sun journalist said: "Perhaps Dinsmore plans to change stance on The Sun's policy and support a united Ireland.

"And Fiji aren't expected to pick up many medals, so maybe by printing their flag twice The Sun is hoping they'll send in twice as many athletes as any other team to increase their medal chances."

The Sun published the following clarification after the edition: "In our spread about the Commonwealth Games yesterday we mistakenly used the flag of the Republic of Ireland instead of the Northern Ireland flag.

"Ireland is not a member of the Commonwealth but Northern Ireland is. We apologise for the error."

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