Hermann Kelly is an Irish journalist who wrote for the Irish Mail on Sunday and is a former editor of The Irish Catholic. He has also written for The Sunday Times, Sunday Independent, Sunday Mirror, The Sunday Business Post and Magill magazine. Kelly is currently Director of Communications for the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group in the European Parliament.
He wrote a book disputing the claims in Kathy O'Beirne's book Don't Ever Tell to have suffered abuse in childhood. He claimed that initial doubts that he had while reading her book were confirmed by inconsistencies in different accounts she had given, and later confirmed by various witnesses and documentary evidence. He also claimed that false allegations were being caused by compensation to those appearing before the Residential Institutions Redress Board. Kelly's book was positively reviewed in the Sunday Tribune by Tom Widger:
"Kathy O'Beirne wrote a memoir in which she claimed her father abused her, that she was placed in a series of institutions. This was classic stuff. Some newspapers came out with 100pt headlines 'Nightmare Childhood' 'Whipped by Nuns'. The book to hand sets out to disprove Kathy's version of her childhood and to respond in kind. Hermann Kelly has come up with some convincing contrary evidence. He interviewed Kathy, her siblings, her publishers. Apart from setting matters right, the book is a lesson to all reporters. In the latter part of the book we read of how an 'abused' man stood outside Dublin's Mater hospital waiting for his abuser to die. The reporter buys the 'abused' man's story. A simple phone call by the reporter would have confirmed that the 'abuser' had died in a nursing home in Baldoyle."
The book was also positively received in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
A review by Gene Kerrigan (who worked alongside Michael Sheridan - O'Beirne's co-author) has criticized Kelly's own criticism of O'Beirne's book.
However, Kelly wrote to Hodder, who proposed to publish a sequel by O'Beirne, sending them a copy of Kathy's Real Story and asking them not to publish. A Sunday Times new article (26 July 2009) indicated that Hodder have withdrawn their initial offer to publish her book because of 'unresolved legal issue.'
Hermann Kelly, the author of Kathy’s Real Story, a rebuttal of O’Beirne’s first book, wrote to the publisher as well urging it not to bring out a sequel.
Her first book was described by her family as a “figment of her imagination”. Now Kathy O’Beirne, the bestselling author whose account of her abuse in a Magdalene laundry sold 400,000 copies, has been forced to shelve plans for a sequel after her publisher cancelled the contract.
Hodder Headline had planned to publish Always Dancing, a sequel to Kathy’s Story, later this year, but decided against going ahead with the book after “failing to resolve legal issues” with the author.
Both Kelly and O'Beirne appeared on Ireland AM to discuss their books in November 2007, but the encounter ended in an argument.