Scribe confronts O’Brien in drama at the Gate
A BAN on Irish Times journalists appearing on radio stations controlled by Denis O’Brien was followed by a dramatic clash of titans in the Gate Theatre.
The ban was announced on Thursday. That evening, Irish Times journalist Kitty Holland was in the Gate when she spotted the billionaire owner of Communicorp.
Ms Holland told the Irish Mail on Sunday that she confronted Mr O’Brien about the ‘ludicrous ban’ after the play. He told her the ban had nothing to do with him but that Newstalk had to take a stand. She said O’Brien also referred to Fintan O’Toole as a ‘nasty journalist’.
‘It was all very polite but a robust engagement,’ said Holland. ‘We were going down the stairs, I said: “We’re all very sad in the Irish Times because we won’t be able to be on your radio programmes any more.”
‘He kind of laughed and said: “We have to take a stand.”’
‘He said everyone in Newstalk was up in arms about the Irish Times.’
A spokesman for Denis O’Brien told the MoS last night that the businessman was ‘not involved in the decision as regards the Irish Times’.
hunTEd: Denis O’Brien
hunTER: Kitty Holland