The Irish Times has fired its columnist John Waters, after comments he made about payments to directors and the former editor Conor Brady.

Mr Waters told RTÉ Radio last week that the newspaper withdrew his column on the issue, claiming the article was libellous, inaccurate and had issues of taste.

In a letter to Mr Waters yesterday, editor Geraldine Kennedy said that he had expressed the view publicly that she was compromised in her role, and that she was relieving him of any further neccessity to contribute to the newspaper.

Sources at the paper said that the action had been taken because of the allegation that Ms Kennedy was compromised as editor and not as a result of the row over the column.

Mr Waters was not a member of the staff of The Irish Times but had an arrangement to file a weekly column.