THE chief executive of Limerick Civic Trust has said the invitation to former columnist Kevin Myers to moderate a talk on censorship will not be withdrawn, after it was subject to ‘vitriolic’ abuse following the announcement.
David O’Brien, who heads the conservation and preservation charity, said the invitation was not a “provocative, calculated” move on their part to attract a greater audience, which critics have suggested.
Mr O’Brien said Mr Myers was invited about five weeks before the column which led to his dismissal from The Sunday Times, appeared in print.
The trust has now received a number of “distasteful emails, full of vitriol” regarding Myers’ name on the billing, as well as abuse on social media, in addition to criticism of its “male dominated” line-up of speakers.
But Mr O’Brien said he believes it would be wrong to censor a person due to moderate a talk on the subject of censorship.
After Myers’ column appeared, Mr O’Brien said he felt he was “in a position where I couldn’t censor him”.
“That would have been the easy thing to do. We had to look at the bigger picture, and it would have been too easy have a knee-jerk reaction, box him off and put him in a cell. I think we need to be bigger people and be more enlightened,” he said.