The former editor of The Guardian has stepped down from a commission considering the future of Ireland's media industry.

Alan Rusbridger had faced calls to be removed from the role after revelations that his newspaper's former media editor, Roy Greenslade, was supportive of the IRA.

Máiría Cahill, who has alleged she was sexually abused by an IRA man at the age of 16, had called on the Taoiseach to consider Mr Rusbridger's position on the body.

Earlier this month, the Government decided that Mr Rusbridger should remain as part of the commission.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said at the time that she raised the issue with Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who in turn discussed the matter with the other coalition party leaders before they came to their decision.

However, in a statement today, Mr Rusbridger said: "I was pleased to be invited by the Taoiseach to be part of the Future of the Media Commission.

"I was heartened by his backing for my continued involvement, along with the Culture and Media Minister, Catherine Martin.

"The unanimous support of my commission colleagues was very important to me.

"The commission is considering critical issues for Ireland and I don't want my involvement to be a distraction from its work, so I have told its Chair, Prof Brian MacCraith, that I will step down."

The Government has thanked "Mr Rusbridger for his significant contribution to the commission".

The Guardian recently apologised to former senator Ms Cahill over an article written about her by Mr Greenslade.

The former Labour senator has said she was sexually abused as a 16-year-old by alleged IRA member Martin Morris.

Mr Morris, who denied all wrongdoing, was acquitted of rape when the case against him collapsed.

In 2014, Mr Greenslade wrote a column in The Guardian, which said that the BBC, which investigated Ms Cahill's claims, "were too willing to accept Cahill's story and did not point to countervailing evidence.

"That is not to say that she was not raped.

"Nor does it negate her view that the IRA handled her complaint clumsily and insensitively."

Recently, Mr Greenslade wrote in the British Journalism Review that he backed the IRA's armed campaign while he was working as a journalist during the Troubles.

The Guardian, in an update attached to Mr Greenslade's original 2014 piece, said: "In March 2021, Máiría Cahill contacted the Guardian to complain that this article had been published and without disclosure of the writer's political affiliations."

It added: "The Guardian's readers' editor considered the complaint and concluded that the columnist ought to have been open about his position."