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Kevin Myers: Action taken against Sky News broadcaster Kay Burley is 'grotesque'

Former columnist Kevin Myers says the action taken against Sky News journalist Kay Burley for bre...
Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

09.39 11 Dec 2020


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Kevin Myers: Action taken agai...

Kevin Myers: Action taken against Sky News broadcaster Kay Burley is 'grotesque'

Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

09.39 11 Dec 2020


Share this article


Former columnist Kevin Myers says the action taken against Sky News journalist Kay Burley for breaching COVID-19 guidelines is "grotesque".

She has been taken off the air for six months for attending a party to celebrate her 60th birthday in London last Saturday.

Sky concluded an internal review after a small number of staff attended the event which was not in line with public health guidelines.

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Ms Burley, who is a founding member of the broadcaster, said she had agreed to step back for a "period of reflection" following the review.

Kevin Myers, who was fired from The Sunday Times over a controversial column, says the presenter has been badly treated.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, he believes what has happened Ms Burley is "completely wrong".

He said: "She made a small error of judgement, to make a great big public sacrifice like this is wrong, it's grotesque.

"It's also creating and rewarding a world of snitches, people will be informing on their neighbours for minor mishaps and misjudgements.

Mr Myers said there had been "comparable hysteria" in Ireland over Seamus Woulfe and Phil Hogan regarding their attendance at the controversial "golfgate" event in August.

The Supreme Court judge and former EU Trade Commissioner were among more than 80 people who attended an Oireachtas Golf Society event in Co Galway.

Kevin Myers: Action taken against Sky News broadcaster Kay Burley is 'grotesque'

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Meanwhile, RTÉ had to issue an apology after senior broadcasters were pictured failing to observe social distancing at a staff party last month.

Mr Myers said there are "two standards" at play during such events, and that the treatment of Kay Burley is "grotesquely unfair" in comparison.

He added: "It's like a Russian show trial in the 1930s, you please not merely guilty but you plead for a high punishment.

"[Kay Burley] said she's taken time off for reflection, shes got a lot to reflect on and the first things she's got to reflect on is hypocrisy and the unbearable nature of the modern world we're creating after this virus.

"No one is disputing the virus is a serious threat to society but an equally serious threat to society is the culture resulting from the panic of the virus.

He does not believe that public figures should be held to a higher account at that "would only create a double system of law".

He said: "We're creating public sacrifices to satisfy this insatiable need for punishment and that's not good because that need will not go away when the virus goes away."

Main image: Kay Burley arrives at the Women in Film & TV Awards at the London in 2017. Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

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COVID-19 Guidelines Covid-19 Kay Burley Kevin Myers Sky News

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