ONE of Northern Ireland’s most gifted reporters has died.
Joe Gorrod, who was in his 70s, passed away overnight in Belfast.
For decades Joe, who was born in Sunderland but adopted Northern Ireland as his home, was the Mirror’s legendary reporter in Belfast.
He covered all the major events of the Troubles, including Bloody Sunday in Derry.
After retiring from the Mirror as a staffer in the late 1980s, Joe continued to work on a freelance basis for the Mirror and Sunday Mirror.
He also worked shifts on the now defunct Sunday News, turning his hand at copy rewriting and working on the news desk
When it closed in on Mothering Sunday, in March 1993, he sent a message to rival Sunday Life editor Martin Lindsay which said: “Sunday New is no more.”
A fabulous raconteur, he was on first name terms with the editors of the Mirror group titles.
His famous line to cub reporters was: “If you can’t write the intro in 14 words, don’t write it at all!”
And if he spotted a rising star in journalism, he would puff on a cigarette and say: “Do you want a proper job kid? Who do you want to work for? The Mirror? Sunday Mirror? The People?”
Joe had a contacts book that was the rival of his colleagues and had contacts right across all walks of life.
He had a contact in the police who would receive a daily call from him with the opening words: “What’s new pussy cat?”
At the height of the Troubles, he worked alongside the Mirror’s legendary photographer ‘Commander’ Cyril Cain who passed away in 1997.
Joe is survived by his wife Eileen and children. Funeral arrangements later.