A WELL-KNOWN Irish newspaper columnist has had his contract terminated after he was found to be behind an anonymous Twitter account.
Eoghan Harris has been dropped from his position as a columnist for the Sunday Independent with immediate effect after he was found to be running an anonymous Twitter account set up in February 2020.
The account, under the name Barbara J Pym, is allegedly run by a number of people including Harris, and posted regularly about Irish politics, particularly against Sinn Féin.
While his columns were often anti-Sinn Féin, and urged people to see the Unionist view of issues in Northern Ireland, Mr Harris's anonymous account was "a betrayal of trust" and did not put his views across in a transparent manner.
A statement from Sunday Independent editor Alan English confirmed the termination of Harris's contract last night, stating that while the newspaper encourages "the expression of strong, sharp and diverse opinions ... we expect our writers to put their views across in a transparent manner. Readers can agree or disagree with these opinions.
"We will not, however, tolerate hidden agendas."
He added: "Having reviewed the account this week I found it frequently went far beyond what I would describe as fair and reasonable comment. Under no circumstances would such material have been published in our newspaper or on Independent.ie.
“We regard Eoghan Harris’s involvement with this account as a betrayal of trust and as such his contract has been terminated."
Eoghan Harris has admitted being on of the founders of the account, as well as contributing to Tweets posted by the account since it was set up in 2020, however he declined to comment when contacted by his former employers.
The veteran columnist had written for The Sunday Independent for two decades.
The Twitter account in question has since been suspended.