From top: The Stand with Eamon Dunphy podcast; Kevin Myers
Three weeks ago, Eamon Dunphy posted an interview he carried out with Kevin Myers for his podcast The Stand.
This was prior to the fallout of Mr Myers’ column in The Sunday Times on July 30 and his subsequent sacking for the same.
During the 71-minute interview they discussed The Irish Times and Mr Myers’s time in Northern Ireland, Beirut and Sarajevo.
He told how he wasn’t invited to Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the war memorial in memory of the Irish soldiers killed in World War I, in Islandbridge, Dublin; and how a journalism student told him he was warned not to mention Kevin Myers’ name if he wanted to proceed on his course; and how media/journalism courses in Ireland teach conformity.
He also lamented the lack of “good columnists” in Ireland under the age of 40, or even 50.
From the interview…
Eamon Dunphy: “Now you got the job of writing the Irishman’s Diary in The Irish Times which was very prestigious. You had some very amazing predecessors in that slot, you might tell us about. But it’s quite onerous because I think it’s three or four times a week?
Kevin Myers: “It was five times a week when I started.”
Dunphy: “Tell me who’d done it before.”
Myers: “Well, Patrick Campbell famously.”
Myers: “Not famous anymore. He was a very, very celebrated man in the BBC and a very funny man and, before that, or well, after him, there was Seamus Kelly whom I never knew. He had a reputation for being very irascible but perhaps that was because he was drunk every morning by 11am and he had terminal cancer for a long time, so that would make you irascible.”
“But, it was, I didn’t want to be a diarist, I didn’t want to be a columnist. It seemed to me to be onerous, too onerous. But it was something that was a marking in the absence of anyone else, somebody else, a journalist in the newsroom pool, would be given the diary to write. So I was doing, they were going down well. Douglas…”
Dunphy: “In journalistic parlance, just to make it clear, a marking is a gig.”
Myers: “Yeah. And, I…Douglas Gageby that then edited The Irish Times didn’t like me at all. And made it very evident that he didn’t like me. He didn’t want me to be employed by The Irish Times but the overwhelming impression, decision amongst his, opinion amongst his senior editors around him, I should be employed, he was emphatically against me being employed as a columnist but, again, there was no one else to do the job.”