Wednesday 16 October 2019

Anger at 'The Irish Times' over 'eulogy' for convicted paedophile Tom Humphries

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Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

'The Irish Times' has come under a barrage of criticism for publishing a profile of its former writer Tom Humphries, described as a "eulogy", after he was convicted.

The article detailed his work, his books and his college education. It drew an angry reaction for its tone.

Abuse survivor Mannix Flynn and former international rugby player Brian O'Driscoll were among those to hit out

The piece was originally given the headline 'Tom Humphries: Acclaimed sports writer with controversial views' but this was later changed to 'Tom Humphries: A sports writer who became a national figure'.

The opening paragraph was also changed.

The original post of the 39-paragraph biographical made no mention of Humphries's child abuse until paragraph 37.

O'Driscoll reacted to a link to the piece that was posted on Twitter: "Was this just posted today!? Incredibly insensitive,"

"Absolutely incredulous reading that," he latter added.

Mr Flynn, a Dublin City councillor who survived institutional abuse, demanded 'The Irish Times' apologises.

"All too often, people who are held in high regard by their peers, when they are convicted of a crime, there is a great reluctance to criticise them," he said.

"Tom Humphries has been convicted of a very serious crime. He's a criminal, but he is not being treated as a criminal.

"If we are not going to call a spade a spade and the 'Irish Times' takes seriously what its [former] staff member did to a child we are in trouble," he said.

Fine Gael chairman Gerry O'Connell also criticised the article, which he called a "sweeping eulogy".

A spokesperson for the 'Irish Times' refused to comment.

Irish Independent

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