Monday, May 15, 2006


Monday Madness - Revising Haughey

Why Charlie why? Those who read this site will know that one of the things I have a serious distate for is revisionism. Alas, such historical revisionism took place recently at the Mansion House in Dublin which celebrated Fianna Fáil's 80th anniversary. This revisionism involved giving disgraceful retrospective support to the worst Taoiseach in the history of the Irish state - Charles Haughey.

Yes current Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern highlighted his party's forgetfulness by hailing the "courageous decisions" of Haughey and laughably claiming that this country owed the man:

"This country owes much of its present prosperity to the courageous decisions that were taken in 1987 and 1988 by Charles Haughey and his government, and in particular, the Minister for Finance Ray MacSharry.

"It was a very bad period and they took the decisions that were necessary. It was those decisions that helped create the growth in the economy into the 90s and beyond."

Vile revisionism. Ahern conveniently overlooks the fact that at this time Mr Haughey was making tidy sums of money from his very rich friends while many people in this country were struggling to make ends meet. We owe that joke nothing. Ahern then produced this little gem:

"He did make mistakes but when you look at his political career, it was exceptional."

Yeah the same can be said of Hitler.

It is vitally important to challenge this kind of nasty historical revisionism. The fact is Charles Haughey appeared on national TV in 1980 as if butter couldn't melt and came out with this load of baloney:

"...I wish to talk to your this evening about the state of the nations affairs and the picture I have to paint is not, unfortunately, a very cheerful one. The figures which are just now becoming available to us show one thing very clearly. As a community we are living away beyond our means...we have been living at a rate which is simply not justifiable by the amount of goods and services we are producing. To make up the difference we have been borrowing enormous amounts of money, borrowing at a rate which just cannot continue. A few simple figures will make this very clear...we will just have to reorganise government spending so that we can only undertake those things we can afford..."

As the Moriarty tribunal revealed however, cheeky Charlie received more than £8 million over an 18-year period from various benefactors and businessmen. One payment alone of £1.3 million came from Ben Dunne. Haughey spent large sums of money on Charvet shirts and expensive dinners in a top Dublin restaurant while he was feeding the Irish public a load of guff about belt tightening and implementing budget cuts as a national policy.

This is the kind of thing Fianna Fáil want swept under the carpet. The dirty little secret of the party's history. Corruption scandals which have plagued this State for decades now.

The Irish people need to see through the myths that Fianna Fáil wish to propagate about "good oul' Charlie", "the lovable rogue", "made a few mistakes who doesn't?" blah, blah, blah.

This guy was a gangster. Plain and simple. His story is not one of a tragic hero who fell from grace; it's the story of a power-hungry corrupt crook who was a national disgrace.

He gained a few million but he lost his reputation. A fitting price to pay I feel.


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