Posted on July 16, 2008

ICI Claims Article Was ‘Racially Offensive’

Charlie Taylor, Irish Times, July 15, 2008

The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) is to make an official complaint to the Garda Síochána today about the publication of what it considers to be a racially offensive article that appeared in the Irish Independent last week.

The ICI said it believed the publication of the article, ” Africa is giving nothing to anyone—apart from AIDS”, which was written by columnist Kevin Myers and published last Thursday, breached Section 2 of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989.

Section 2 of the Act says it is an offence to publish or distribute written material if it is threatening, abusive or insulting and intended to, or having regarding to all of the circumstances, is likely to, stir up hatred.

In the article, Mr Myers questioned whether it was moral to save an Ethiopian child from starvation, given that it could grow up to face poverty, hunger, violence and possible sexual abuse.

He also described Africa as “almost an entire continent of sexually hyperactive indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive because of help from the outside world.”

The ICI said it also intends to lodge an official complaint about the article with the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism.

“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,” said the council’s chief executive, Denise Charlton.

“The issue at stake here has nothing to do with freedom of speech or expression. It is about respect for, and the upholding of, Ireland’s laws.

“Journalism, like any other profession, operates within the framework of the rule of law in Ireland,” added Ms Charlton.

[Editor’s Note: Read the complete editorial “Africa Is Giving Nothing to Anyone—Apart From AIDS” here.]