Kevin Myers (born 30 March 1947) is an Irish journalist and writer. He writes for the Irish Independent and is a former contributor to The Irish Times, where he wrote the "An Irishman's Diary" opinion column several times weekly. Until 2005, Myers wrote for the Sunday Telegraph in the UK.
Early life and career
Myers was born to an Irish emigrant family in Leicester, England.
Myers graduated with a degree in history from University College Dublin in 1969, He worked as a journalist for RTÉ, for whom he covered the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Lebanese Civil War, and the Bosnian War. According to Patricia Craig, Myers'in common with many of his generation, held mildly "Leftist" and Republican views until exposure to the badness of Belfast began a change of heart. This memoir deals with his experience of getting the naivety knocked out of him, in horrendous circumstances.'
Myers 'has also written for the Irish Telegraph, and the UK's Sunday Telegraph. Myers presented RTÉ's quiz show Challenging Times throughout the 1990s, and regularly contributes to radio shows on Newstalk 106. He is the author of Watching The Door (2006), an account of the time he spent covering the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, and also of the novel The Banks of Green willow (2003). A collection of his columns for the Irish Times, An Irishman's Diary, was published in 2000.'
Views and controversies
Aid to Africa
In July 2008, Myers wrote an article arguing that providing aid to Africa only results in increasing its population, and its problems. This produced strong reactions, with the Immigrant Council of Ireland making an official complaint to the Garda Síochána alleging incitement to hatred.
Hans Zomer of Dóchas, an association of non-governmental organization (NGO)s, and another complainant, took a complaint to the Press Council on the grounds that it breached four principles of the Council's Code of Practice: 1) Accuracy, 3) Fairness and Honesty, 4) Respect for Rights, and 8) Incitement to Hatred. In their case details the Press Council said
- beginning with the headline “Africa is giving nothing to anyone – apart from AIDS”, the mode of presentation was marked by rhetorical extravagance and hyperbole which used the failings of some to stigmatise whole societies, employing a level of generalisation that was distorting and seriously insulting to Africans as a whole and that -
- In addition the article resorted, in several instances, to language that was gratuitously offensive and was, in the view of the Press Council, likely to cause grave offence to people throughout sub-Saharan Africa and to the many Africans in particular who are now resident in Ireland.
They concluded that the article did breach Principle 8 of the Code of Practice in that it was likely to cause grave offence. It did not, however, find reason to conclude that it was likely to stir-up hatred or that there was any intention to do so.
They also concluded that the Council did not have clear grounds on which to make any findings in relation to the complaints under Principles 1, 3 & 4 of the Code.|Press Council of Ireland Complainants and the Irish Independent
- Craig, Patricia. "Watching the Door, by Kevin Myers". Irish Independent, 7 March 2008. Retrieved on 3 August 2010.
- Intelligence Squared Kevin Myers, accessed 3 August 2010
- Myers, Kevin. Africa is giving nothing to anyone except AIDS. Irish Independent, 10 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- Immigrant body lodges Garda complaint over Myers article. Irish Times, 16 July 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Press Council upholds complaint against Myers article, Irish Times, October 18, 2008, Accessed 3 August 2010.
- Complainants and the Irish Independent, The Irish Press Council, 10 October 2008, accessed 3 August 2010