Journalist John Drennan, writing in Magill magazine in September 2005, defends Charles Haughey in what can only be described as the most amazing (and hilarious) case of political denial in Irish history. There is no need to analyse the article, the quotes speak for themselves.
Why Haughey was never found to be corrupt:
“Mr. Haughey was merely following precedents set by such illustrious figures as O’Connell and Parnell.”
Reason for perception that Haughey was corrupt:
“Haughey’s ‘corruption’ is the fantastical creation of a petit bourgeoisie of Tim Healy-style hysteria mongers, whose insipid viciousness explains their expertise in the price of everything and their ignorance about the value of anything.”
Haughey’s love of beautiful things:
“The narrow minded shrieks of false incomprehension about Haughey’s elevated desire to possess beautiful things failed to understand that the sort of Gatsby who appreciates beauty within the personal realm is far more likely to seek to replicate this in public.”
On Haughey’s ‘fiscal probity’:
“Mr. Haughey did make money courtesy of some good advice from patriotic sources.”
On taking money from businessmen:
“Of course Mr. Haughey did take money from Ben Dunne and other public-spirited businessmen. However, this was for life-style as distinct to political purposes.”
On Haughey’s ‘insourcing’ of the FF leader’s allowance:
It was in payment for putting his home at Kinsealy at the service of the nation.
On Haughey’s tax problems:
“Mr. Haughey did have some minor tax problems. However, unless you are in love with the lifeless technicalities of accountancy it would be easy to believe a gift is not a salary.”
On Haughey’s refusal to cooperate with tribunals:
“Some would argue that a refusal to obey those semi-legal, amoral instruments of oppression that collude with simpering creeps like Frank Dunlop as both try to save their respective skins was a genuine act of patriotism.”
Real reason for hatred of Haughey:
“The hatred of Haughey is all about the challenge he posed to a society which was petrified by notions of class…” (Quotes PJ Mara; ‘Haughey’s enemies thought they were ‘the fucking aristocracy.’).
Ireland without Haughey’s type:
“…a dandified, foppish, lattefied, hygiene-obsessed, anti-smoking and anti-drinking (unless it’s a glass of red wine for the heart) school of bourgeois.” “…a hissing, pissy, sanctimonious hysterical desert, which could only be invented by the petite bourgeoisie.”
Drennan ends the piece by suggesting that it would serve the people of Ireland right if Haughey and his family were to deny them the ‘great reward’ of a state funeral.
“After all, Mr. Haughey knows better than anyone that betrayal is never rewarded.”
(Brian Lenihan, I suspect, would disagree. Haughey made a tidy sum by betraying his ‘friend’).
Personally, I was delighted that Haughey opted for a state funeral and even more delighted to learn that he made all the decisions and arrangements himself in the arrogant expectation that the people of Ireland would turn out in their droves to pay homage to a ‘great statesman’. His final selfish scheme, like his entire life, was a failure.
So, what have Mr. Drennan and Magill magazine had to say since the publication of the Moriarty Report? Well, er. Nothing, absolutely nothing.