Trevor McDonald on a life on the frontline of breaking news

From Beirut to Berlin, Trevor McDonald has seen it all in a long and storied career as a newsman – but covering the Troubles was an experience like no other, he tells Andrew Lynch

8th December, 2019
Trevor McDonald on a life on the frontline of breaking news
Trevor McDonald: ‘I feel I’m a better person when working. Otherwise, I’m a very lazy man who can spend all day watching football matches on television.’ Picture: Bryan Meade

When Trevor McDonald reported from the North at the height of the Troubles, there was one assignment he always wanted to avoid. The republican newspaper An Phoblacht came out on a Saturday evening and the only way of getting it early was to visit a rowdy republican pub in west Belfast.

“The British journalists used to gather in the Europa Hotel and toss coins to see who would go,” McDonald recalls. “One night I lost...

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