Immigrant body lodges Garda complaint over Myers article
July 16, 2008
A COMPLAINT has been lodged with the Garda to investigate whether an article by newspaper columnist Kevin Myers has breached incitement to hatred legislation.
The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) yesterday lodged a complaint at Pearse Street Garda station, Dublin, and with the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) about the article, which was published in the Irish Independent last week with the heading, “Africa is giving nothing to anyone – apart from Aids”.
ICI chief executive Denise Charlton said in a statement that the council believed the article breached section two of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989.
“We believe the published article does not just overstep the boundary of common decency – it triple jumps right past that – but it also crosses the legal boundaries,” Ms Charlton said.
Section 2 (1) of the Incitement to Hatred Act states that it is an offence for a person “to publish or distribute written material” if the “written material, words, behaviour, visual images or sounds, as the case may be, are threatening, abusive or insulting and are intended or, having regard to all the circumstances, are likely to stir up hatred”.
Garda at Pearse Street station declined to comment on the case.
A station officer said it was a matter for the Garda, the person complained about, and the complainants.
NCCRI director Phil Watt confirmed that a complaint had been made to the committee, which monitors issues such as racism.
The NCCRI had made a formal complaint to the Press Council of Ireland and would also complain to the Garda, he said.
Mr Myers could not be reached for comment.