Waters had been a regular freelance columnist at the Irish Times since 1991, but was not on staff. He is also a former media correspondent at the newspaper…
Waters is believed to have been unhappy at the Irish Times in the wake of the homophobia debate which ignited after Rory O’Neill – aka Panti – appeared on RTE One’s The Saturday Night Show and was asked to name commentators who he believed were homophobic.(He named at least 6 who later filed a suit)
Waters was one of several people named by O’Neill, and who later received a financial settlement from RTE over the comments.
The Phoenix magazine reported last month that Waters also sent legal letters to the Irish Times over a column by journalist Una Mullally about the homophobia debate, demanding a retraction and an apology from his employer.
It seems he was named publicly on a TV show that was published on the Internet. The European Parliament even got involved.
The homophobe row and RTE’s payments to those who claimed they were libelled by the gay campaigner Rory O’Neil have caught the attention of the European Parliament. MEPs in support of gay and lesbian rights have been congratulating the Socialist MEP Paul Murphy for the speech he gave to the Parliament on Monday night. In his speech, delivered under parliamentary privilege, Mr Murphy referred to comments made by John Waters, Breda O’Brien and the Iona Institute as homophobic. Mr Murphy says RTE behaved in a cowardly and disgraceful manner by paying money to Mr Waters, Ms O’Brien and members of the Iona Institute.
Interviewee: Paul Murphy - Socialist Party MEP Dublin Constituency