Kevin Myers (born 30 March 1947) is an Irish journalist and writer. He writes for the Irish edition of The Sunday Times, having previously been a columnist for the Irish Independent and a former contributor to both The Irish Times, where he wrote the "An Irishman's Diary" opinion column several times weekly, and the UK Sunday Telegraph.
Myers was born to an Irish emigrant family in Leicester, England, where his father was a general practitioner. He attended Ratcliffe College, a Catholic independent school. Myers was accepted by University College Dublin (UCD), where he subsequently obtained a degree in History in 1969. He began to work as a journalist for Irish broadcaster RTÉ, and reported from Northern Ireland during the height of the Troubles from 1971 to 1978. In the 1980s, he covered the Lebanese Civil War, and in the 1990s the Bosnian War. Otherwise he has been based in Dublin and Liverpool.
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 NGOs, 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, ... [I]n 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
He was presenter of the Challenging Times television quiz show on RTÉ during the 1990s. In 2000, he published a collection of his An Irishman's Diary columns (ISBN 1-85182-575-4). In 2001, he published Banks of Green Willow, a novel, which was met with negative reviews. In 2006, he published Watching the Door (ISBN 1-84351-085-5), about his time as a journalist in Northern Ireland during the 1970s. The book received positive reviews in The Times, The Guardian, and the New Statesman, while The Independent published a more mixed review that wondered whether there was "an element of hyperbole" in Myers' account.
He is member of the Film Classification Appeals Board (formerly known as the Censorship Board) and a regular contributor to radio programmes on Newstalk 106, particularly Lunchtime with Eamon Keane and The Right Hook. He has regularly appeared on The Last Word on Today FM.
- Kevin Myers: From the Irish Times Column 'An Irishman's Diary' (2000).
- Banks of Green Willow (2001).
- Watching the Door: A Memoir, 1971–1978 (2006).
- More Myers: An Irishman's Diary, 1997–2006 (2007).
- Ireland's Great War (2014).
- Kevin Myers: Anglo macho men speak for Ireland – but only their version, thesundaytimes.co.uk; accessed 6 March 2014.
- Myers, Kevin. "Hubris at Montrose is simply staggering". Irish Independent. 29 November 2011. "Seldom has the professional liberal consensus been as exposed as it has in the past fortnight, with the bogus tweet during the presidential debate, the sorry affair in Naas, the libel-debacle in RTÉ and the squalid pickets outside the Israeli Film Festival in Dublin".
- Craig, Patricia. "Watching the Door, by Kevin Myers". Irish Independent, 7 March 2008; retrieved 27 May 2008.
- Sheehan, Maeve; Cusak, Jim (13 February 2005). "How Myers tackled the single mothers 'issue' and became a national hate figure". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 13 February 2005.
The first complaints were slow to trickle in. Anna Nolan, standing in for Marian Finucane on her 9am radio show and, ironically, a sister-in-law of Mr Myers, broadcast the first complaints from irate callers.
- 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 23 July 2008.
- Press Council upholds complaint against Myers' article, Irish Times, 18 October 2008
- Complainants and the Irish Independent, The Irish Press Council, 10 October 2008
- "Banks of Green Willow by Kevin Myers". RTÉ News. 5 December 2001. Archived from the original on 20 December 2011.
- Kevin Myers; Andrew Mueller (22 March 2008). "Watching The Door: Cheating Death In 1970s Belfast". The Times. London. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
- Petit, Chris (18 April 2008). "Guns and girls". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
- "Here comes trouble". New Statesman. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
- Craig, Patricia (7 March 2008). "Watching the Door, by Kevin Myers". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
- "When looney film censors ran our moral madhouse". Irish Independent. 11 January 2008.
- Kevin Myers at the Irish Independent
- Myers signs lucrative deal with Independent Newspapers — The Sunday Business Post, 30 April 2006
- Ireland: The dark before the dawn — Interview with Myers in The Sunday Times, 29 October 2006
- extract from 'Watching the Door' by Kevin Myers, published in The Independent, 8 March 2008
- "Lies, damned lies, and the wickedness of Wikipedia", a sample column from Kevin Myers, dated 27 May 2008