I think it is worth analysing the comments of President McAleese during an interview with Sean O’Rourke on RTE’s News at One yesterday.
Speaking of Haughey’s illness, she said that
“he had borne his long illness with great dignity and considerable grace”.
She had nothing to say about the many thousands of Irish citizens who continue to suffer great indignity, pain and humiliation on hospital trolleys because of the savage cuts in health spending that Haughey initiated in the 1980’s.
She mentioned the International Financial Service’s Centre (IFSC) as one of his great achievements. The IFSC stands at the centre of Irish financial culture, a culture that the New York Times recently described as the ‘Wild West of European finance”.
She claimed that Haughey was “a man who wanted to see Ireland flourish”, but as we know his top priority was to see himself flourish first, usually at the expense of those he claimed to represent.
The President rounded on O’Rourke when he questioned the appropriateness of providing a state funeral for a man like Haughey. In an angry tone she emphasized to O’Rourke and the Irish people how much she admires the criminal Haughey
“I’ll be home for Mr. Haughey’s state funeral on Friday. I would have thought there’s a fairly strong view in that, wouldn’t you?”