Haughey: Still seen as a man of style by Irish journalists

It would be great to start off 2011 on an optimistic note but unfortunately our situation is as dire as ever and getting worse at an ever increasing pace.

An ineffective, uninformed and, at times, lazy, media play no small part in our continuing descent into chaos.

RTE in particular, as the national broadcaster, exhibits a disturbing lack of awareness of whom and what lies at the core of the catastrophe currently engulfing the nation.

Three recent interviews will make the point. The first occurred on 30th December on Morning Ireland.

Rachael English discusses with Irish Times journalists David McCullagh and Deaglán de Bréadún the newly released papers for 1980 from the National Archive.

Haughey’s criminally irresponsible spending at the time was treated in a light hearted manner as if there was no direct connection between the criminal’s behaviour and the ultimate destruction of our country.

Charlie had style as we all know; you have to give it to him.

said Deaglán de Bréadún.

Wrong, Haughey was nothing more than a low life scumbag, a criminal who robbed and plundered his way through a long career of corruption with very little challenge from the media.

Later in the discussion de Bréadún said there was a general kind of suspicion about Haughey’s lifestyle but that we had to wait until the Ben Dunne business before he was finally caught out.

Again, de Bréadún is wrong. The British government, for example, knew exactly what kind of low grade politician they were dealing with.

In April 1980, just four months after Haughey gained power; the British ambassador in Dublin made the following accurate assessment of the man (criminal) now in charge of Ireland’s fate.

His primary characteristic seems to be one of calculating and ruthless ambition. He has become pretty sophisticated and would like to be more so. His present fortune is derived in part from property speculation undertaken while he was Minister for Finance.

This is very strong language for a senior diplomat to put in writing in assessing the Prime Minister of a friendly state. The message translates as follows.

Haughey is a low grade, ruthless politician with high ambitions who made his money under murky circumstances.

Fast forward 30 years to a nation disastrously infected by Haughey’s legacy – the disease of corruption, and we still have journalists incapable of calling a spade a spade, who continue to praise this ruthless criminal as a man of style.

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Morning Ireland