The cigar smoking, greasy mustached general accompanied the dictator out on to the runway where the Government jet was ready for take off. His Excellency was on his way to attend a very important meeting where the price of bananas was top of the agenda.
Before boarding the general reminds his Excellency about ‘the other business’ he must attend to after his very important meeting. The dictator thanks the general and promises to promote him to Field Marshal on his return.
The very important meeting went well, much business was done and the dictator boarded his jet for the return flight. Two hours into the flight the pilot is instructed to divert to the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the pilot is new to the job and unfamiliar with the ways of the world; he protests;
“But your Excellency; I must follow the flight plan and take you safely back to our glorious republic.”
After a couple of clatters around the head and a threat that his family would be forced to join Fine Gael, the pilot does what he’s told.
The dictator is in a hurry, only spending six hours in the Bahamas attending to ‘the other business’, before continuing his journey home.
After all he has been away nearly a week now and his people must surely be suffering from the absence of his great leadership.
It seems that the then Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, made an unscheduled flight to the island of Freeport while on an official visit to the Bahamas in 1994. He was returning from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the US.
Former developer Tom Gilmartin has alleged that Reynolds collected $1 million in New York, Boston and Chicago that year but that only $70,000 made it to the Fianna Fail party.
The general said there was no reason recorded for the unofficial flight.