Kevin Myers: The abyss beckons after ignorant, hysterical lynching of TV3 news
Let me start my first column of the year 2010 by congratulating the TV3 news team, and specifically Ursula Halligan and head of news Andrew Hanlon, for their courage and their sensitivity in breaking the dreadful news of the illness of Brian Lenihan.
The minister is deservedly popular and respected. I esteem him above all his peers. It is the worst of all duties for a journalist to have to break the news of a serious illness afflicting one of the best, and best-liked, men in Ireland. But duty is duty, as defined by the OED: "An action required by one's business, occupation or function."
Brian Lenihan is the single most important politician this state has known since Eamon de Valera, 1939-45. The duties -- that word again -- falling upon him are unbearably onerous. It is obvious that he must be in the peak of his health while discharging those duties -- yes, once more, inescapably the d-word. If we in the news media discover that he has an illness that could be adversely affecting the manner in which he attends to his duties, then it is our duty, D-U-T-Y, to report what we know.