Written on: 3. 8. 2022 in the category: Uncategorized


Share this now:

Five years ago this week, the scum of Irish life set about the destruction of my good name, my financial future and my mental well-being in the most savage lynching in the history of the media in  Ireland. The unrelenting orgy of hatred was psychotic in both its venom and its longevity – fully a month – and was precipitated by my public sacking by the Irish edition of The Sunday Times. The mob was too numerous to name individually, but it would be derelict of me not to identify the worst culprits as Audrey Carville of RTE’s Morning Ireland, Jon Williams of RTE News, Fintan O’Toole and Cathy Sheridan of The Irish Times, Gene Kerrigan of The Sunday Independent and Sean Donlon of the Press Council of Ireland.

Between them, they created a caricature of Kevin Myers, a racist, heartless, misogynistic bully whom the hunting-pack of curs then felt authorised to try and destroy, ruthlessly and remorselessly. But even back then, it was clear that by sacking me so brutally The Sunday Times had done enormous damage to its credibility in this country, for the plain people of Ireland knew that the allegations about me were false. The Irish editor Frank Fitzgibbon accepted this, as he was later to admit.

“(W)hen the social media Gods are angry, they demand a sacrifice and that’s what happened….It was causing problems at the highest levels and to close it down, they decided Myers must go. Now. Immediately. And it worked…. but Kevin was very badly done by, by people who claimed he was anti-Semitic of course, because that was just completely, completely and utterly wrong.” 

“I mean his record shows and his columns show quite the opposite, and you had very powerful people in the Jewish community come out in support of him. But of course, once the story gets out there and it’s got its boots on, you can’t catch it.”

What goes around comes around, not always, to be sure, but too often not to make a wise soul cautious.

Five years on, almost to the day, with neither its sales nor its reputation ever having recovered from the damage done by my ruthless and unjustified dismissal, the Irish edition of The Sunday Times has effectively folded. Half a decade was still not enough to restore its good name, and last Monday, most of its staff were let go or retained on starvation-wages.

I knew nothing of this that day as I set out to attend the funeral service of David Trimble, the heroic peacemaker whose political party was almost destroyed by the refusal of the Irish, British and US governments to make Sinn Fein-IRA pay for its persistent delinquencies. By all means, let us remember that what goes around comes around, but not always, as we contemplate history’s gallery of boastful, unhung killers and knighted felons.

Outside Lambeg Presbyterian chapel scores of armed policemen had been deployed. I stopped and asked two of them how I could get into the church. Politely but emphatically, they told me that unless I was on the guest-list I simply couldn’t. What I could do was to park my car half a mile away and then join the modest throng of spectators assembling behind the crash-barriers across the road from the church. At this point, all I hoped for was that once the ceremony was over, I might meet my old friend and defender Ruth Dudley-Edwards.

One by one, the police-escorted limousines arrived: President Higgins, the Taoiseach Micheal Martin, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, armed plain-clothes men whispering into their sleeves as they formed a line between us gawking outsiders and the VIPs. Then, a man left the small crowd of dark-suited officials at the chapel entrance, crossed the road and approached me.

“Excuse me sir,” he said, “you’d be very welcome to join the official funeral party inside the chapel.”

With that, he pulled the crash barrier aside and he escorted me past the line of armed minders and into the chapel vestibule.

“Who are you please?” I asked.

“John Moore, Ulster Unionist press officer.”

Inside the chapel, several men came over and shook my hand, and one of them whispered he would escort me to my pew.

“Adams is here,” he whispered as we made our way in. “To your right, two rows down. I’ll put you well away from him.”

My escort took me past that evil confirmation that not all that goes around invariably comes around to a bench just behind him and in front of the SDLP’s Joe Hendron, Adams’ former rival for the West Belfast constituency and the last nationalist to win sizeable numbers of working-class Protestant votes. He called out a welcome on seeing me. As one observer had remarked, in words I wish I had coined, David was the test-crash dummy for the DUP, but he was not the first to pay such a price. Both Joe and the late Seamus Mallon could have cited comparable experiences of their own.

My presence at the funeral then became publicly authorised when the famous Northern Irish broadcaster Paul Clark left his seat and came over to greet me, whereupon a palpable aura of approval gathered about my head.

Protestant funerals are infinitely superior to those of Catholics, who at best half-heartedly bleat their way through hymns but more usually imitate constipated goldfish trying to have a shit. Presbyterians in particular sing with a robust musical assertion of who and what they are, and on this day, they were stoutly rendering a rousing musical tribute to Ireland’s last surviving Nobel Prize winner. Tributes of a rhetorical kind then came from David’s good friend Dean Godson and the Presbyterian clergyman Charles McMullen.

At the service’s end, we were bidden to retire to the adjoining hall for tea, but my position in the chapel was farthest from that exit, so I slipped out of a side-door to breathe some fresh air. I found myself standing besides Pat Hynes of the Glencree Centre, whom I – Ireland’s most internationally renowned anti-Semite – had met just a few days previously at the home of Maurice Cohen, president of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland and in the company of the Israeli ambassador. Next, I was greeted warmly by Minister for Social Inclusion Heather Humphreys TD, and we shook hands.

I whispered into her ear: “The last time we met, I kissed you.”

“You can again, if you like,” she laughed to Ireland’s best-known misogynist.

Next, I found myself talking to Doug Beattie, the war hero of the Royal Irish Regiment and successor to David Trimble Unionist leader. Moments later, I was still taking the air when President Higgins rounded the bend. Slightly taken aback, he seemed a little uncertain who I was.

“Kevin Myers, Uachtarán,” I said, hoping I had inserted the fada correctly.

“Indeed, Kevin, how are you! How wonderful to see you. You’re very good to come all this way.”

“The least I could do for such a great man.”

“I agree entirely, a great man indeed, a very great man, and a great peacemaker, than which there is nothing greater. But tell me, how are you? You have been in the wars, I believe.”

“I am very well, thank you.”

“I understand that you have made something of another resurrection.”

“Indeed. But this time, it required rather more than three days.”

He smiled, perhaps not hearing me properly, and then reached out with both hands and seized my hand.

“Kevin, I just want to tell you – and I mean this most sincerely – that I wish the very best for you. The very, very best for you.”

And again he squeezed my hand, even though he must know I have been a critic of many of his speeches. Then he smiled and left for the Presidential limousine, while I gazed dizzily at his retreating form.

But the day was drawing on, the queue for tea stood undiminished and unless I left soon, so too would the Bank Holiday traffic-jam on the M50. I tottered back to my car half a mile away and was just taking out my keys when a woman of a certain age emerged from her home.

“Well, if it isn’t Kevin Myers,” she said. “And how are you these days Kevin?”

“You know me,” I gasped, “here in Lambeg?”

“Of course, I do. I miss you.”

We spoke. She is Eileen Lavery, a retired mental nurse. One who had not retired was what I needed at that very moment, because I was sure I was going mad. We said farewell, and I sang all the way home. When I got there two hours later, I checked on the news coverage of the funeral. The first report that came up was, unpromisingly, in The Irish Times, and I scanned it briefly, The Northern correspondent Seanin Graham named a few of the guests present, and there – not even at the very bottom – she included “the writers Ruth Dudley Edwards and Kevin Myers,”


There was not even the slyest or slightest of personal digs at my expense, five years to the very day that The Irish Times had set about my utter destruction. Yet instead, I am alive, the Irish edition of The Sunday Times is toast, and Seanin’s honest reporting confirms that though the heart of The Irish Times might be thoroughly rotten, in its outer orbit there clearly remain journalists of integrity and decency.

Monday, August 1, 2022, will stand as a landmark day in my life just as much as August 1, 2017, when the sewer rats of Irish journalism set out to destroy me but, as the later day duly attested, would utterly fail. Sooner or later, something will kill me, but it will not be that tawdry mob of cowards, none of whom bothered to attend the funeral of one of the greatest Irishmen of the 20th century. However, their turn will come to be judged at the bar of history, and by God, I look forward to writing their epitaphs, once the smirking hangman has emerged from beneath the trapdoor, having tugged on their twitching heels….

Share this now:
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial