The parents of an Irish American woman based in Dublin who took her own life, are meeting with the editor of the Irish Times, Kevin O’Sullivan, over the coming days, to discuss an anonymous article written by their late daughter which appeared in the paper, was later edited and then redacted, Broadsheet.ie reports.
Tom and Sally Fitzgerald who moved back to Ireland from California when their daughter Kate was young are considering taking legal action against the paper over copyright issues and the potential damage done to Kate’s posthumous reputation “as a writer”. Kate Fitzgerald (25) took her own life last August, after suffering from depression. She was a writer and also head of Irish Democrats Abroad
She wrote an anonymous piece entitled “Employers Failing People With Mental Health Issues”, which detailed her battle with depression in which she made a number of anonymous claims about her employer. It was published anonymously on September 9, at which point she had committed suicide.
Tragic suicide of head of Irish Democrats Abroad
Ireland needs to get serious about mental health
More health news on IrishCentral
The Irish Times later interviewed her parents after they contacted the paper, when they realized Kate had been the author of the article. Kate’s employer was not identified in the article. The follow up interview with her parents was published on November 26.
Two days late the Irish Times edited their online version of the article and removed Kate’s mention of her personal experiences after she returned to work following a period she spent in hospital.
Following on from this, the paper issued an apology to The Communications Clinic, where Kate had worked as a consultant.
Two days later, the original article was blurred on the Irish Times website and then later blacked out, according to Broadsheet.
On the same day the Irish Times editor wrote oa op-ed piece stating: “After publication of the piece on Kate’s life some further details of her final months emerged. This led to an Irish Times decision to edit the initial piece and to publish a clarification in Saturday’s editions. In my view, this was necessary in the context of fairness and it does not undermine in any way Kate’s life and the story told by her family, including her brother William.”
Speaking to Broadsheet, Sally said the family was not contacted by the Irish Times regarding an apology or the editing of Kate’s article.
She said: “We have no answers. We talked with Kate’s friends at the weekend and they have no idea what’s going on [either].”