Controversial columnist Kevin Myers hosted a luncheon for 92 friends and supporters last week to celebrate “freedom of speech” and winning his 2019 defamation lawsuit against RTÉ. The celebration was postponed by more than two years due to the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Myers booked out the Patrick Guilbaud restaurant, which has two Michelin stars and is located in Dublin’s luxury Merrion Hotel. He treated guests to a feast of salmon ballotine and Wicklow lamb, followed by chocolate pudding and accompanied by fine wines and champagne.
A lunch menu at Patrick Guilbaud without drinks costs 90 euros per head, according to the restaurant’s website.
Speaking of Sunday independent This weekend, Myers said those invited to the luncheon had supported him at a time when he was facing personal and professional ruin.
He was dismissed The Sunday Times in July 2017 after a controversial column about the gender pay gap led to complaints that it contained offensive remarks about Jews.
“It’s the logical course of action,” Myers said. “When someone speaks up for you in a time of great adversity, you acknowledge it. I owe them a lot more than they owe me.”
Among those attending the luncheon were journalist Mary Kenny; Maurice Cohen, Chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland; and Karl Martin, who filed the first complaint to RTÉ over presenter Audrey Carville’s description of Myers on the Tomorrow Ireland program, as “Holocaust deniers”.
Myers declined to comment on his guest list, saying: “I have no right to disclose who was at a private event. I’d rather put my head on an anvil.”
In its response to Mr Martin, RTÉ accepted that Myers was not a Holocaust denier but still refused to apologize. It was that letter that Myers used as part of his lawsuit to seek an alleged six-figure settlement and apology in late 2019.
The lunch invitation asked guests to help Myers mark his victory over what he called the “Liars of RTÉ.” In a four-minute video released by Mr Martin, Myers can be seen holding a glass of champagne and telling guests: “I woke up at 2am this morning as I have for the past week, and have prepared a combination of the Gettysburg-Churchill speech and the Battle of Britain and Lincoln about the abolition of slavery. At 10 a.m. this morning, I realized that none of this was necessary.
“Five years ago a bus with the words ‘Friends of Kevin Myers’ on it pulled up in the middle of the Irish countryside and half the people on that bus got off and I haven’t seen them since. But the remarkable thing was that as many people got on the bus as got off.”
The bus, he added, “pulled up in front of this restaurant an hour ago and here you all are.”
Raising a toast, he said, “Have a glass — to friends, to free speech, and fuck the lynch mob.” Myers declined to say how much lunch cost him, but said “it was worth every penny.” He estimated that “15 percent of those present were from the Jewish community.”
The lunch came a day after it was revealed that Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has filed a complaint against RTÉ in the High Court, seeking damages over alleged defamation.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/fk-the-lynch-mob-kevin-myers-splashes-out-to-celebrate-rte-libel-win-41604467.html “F**k the lynch mob” – Kevin Myers splashes out to celebrate RTÉ’s slander win