Irish Times journalist in Twitter row

Journalist John Waters has accused The Irish Times religious affairs correspondent, Patsy McGarry, of allegedly using an anonymous social media account to launch messages against him. Mr McGarry has declined to comment.

According to Mr Waters, the @Thomas2805607 Twitter account was the source of online messages mocking his recent action against RTÉ in the wake of The Saturday Night Show’s interview with drag artist Rory O’Neill. There were also tweets critical of The Iona Institute.

The same account allegedly leaked details of a legal action Mr Waters threatened to launch against The Irish Times on foot of an article on homophobia in which he was named and arising from that same controversy.

Now, following efforts to uncover the identity of the Twitter user @Thomas2805607, Mr Waters has alleged, in a file he apparently submitted to The Irish Times’ editor, Kevin O’Sullivan, that in addition to earlier messages signed ‘Patsy’, a series of geotags – electronic locators – on messages sent from the account narrowed the search down to The Irish Times offices and a house in Monkstown, Co. Dublin, linked to Mr McGarry as well as a nearby pub.

Writing on the issue recently in Village Magazine, Mr Waters stated that the tweets “confirmed the existence of a highly toxic climate of illiberal antagonism towards particular viewpoints at the heart of The Irish Times’ editorial operation”.

Contacted by The Irish Catholic, Mr McGarry declined to comment on the matter.