A challenge to Haughey’s friend; Colm Tobin

According to writer Colm Tobin writers and artists should be raising a secret glass to the disgraced Taoiseach Charles J Haughey (Sunday Independent).

Since it is not fashionable, or even wise, nowadays to raise a glass to Charles Haughey, I will follow Anthony Cronin in suggesting that those of us who have cause to be grateful to him, and to his policies, should wait until we are at home alone, and then we should turn off all the lights and raise a glass to him in the dark alone. Tell no one.

The suggestion seems to be that the legacy of the criminal Haughey is under attack by sinister forces and therefore his admirers should be careful when celebrating his great work, they should only do so at home, in the dark, tell no one.

Perhaps, one day, when the dark forces who oppose the hero have been banished from the land the Haugheyites can once again emerge from their dark, lonely, glass strewn hideouts into the bright sunlight of accountable, transparent, democracy – so beloved of the criminal.

Tobin’s attitude can be summed up in one sentence – Haughey did me a favour therefore I will always remain loyal to him no matter what crimes he has committed against the Irish people.

This selfish, intellectually narrow mindset is one of the principal reasons why criminals like Haughey can safely live out their long careers plundering the resources of the state without the slightest concern that they will ever be brought to justice.

Tobin’s ignorance of the origin of the disaster facing the Irish people today can be seen from the following bizarre statement.

It might be a comfort in what will be not only a hard time, but a time of strange introspection in Ireland, when we are deeply concerned with our own dilemma, the puzzling question of how we got here, and who is to blame, and who should pay for the party it seems some people had.

The puzzling question of how we got here, of who is to blame?

I’ll put this as simply as I can for Mr. Tobin’s sake.

We got where we are because the Irish political system is corrupt to the core.

The criminal Haughey introduced the disease of corruption to Ireland and his party was the chief carrier. The disease spread rapidly through every level of Irish society particularly in the political, financial and public service sectors.

It is this disease, introduced by Haughey, that has destroyed our country and impoverished this and many generations of Irish people to come.

It is clear that Mr. Tobin has cause to be grateful to Haughey for favours granted but I would like to challenge the writer to put pen to paper and explain to the Irish people why they, the victims of the criminal, should be grateful.

I won’t be holding my breadth.

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Colm Tobin