Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Death of Charles Haughey

The death of Charles Haughey provides further proof of our almost endless capacity for hypocrisy as politicians and commentators who vilified Mr Haughey in life now queue up to find positive things to say about him in death.

The justification offered is often to do with the feelings of the family at this difficult time for them. However, we should not forget it was Mr Haughey who betrayed his wife with a very public affair over a period of three decades and that his family were, and continue to be, material financial beneficiaries of his extraordinary funding arrangements.

The anecdotes now filling the media tend to portray Mr Haughey as a loveable rogue, rather than the man who must bear most responsibility for the corruption that became almost endemic in the biggest political party in the state and, as revealed in the various tribunals, spread its
tentacles into many areas of public life and administration.

Whatever credit he may be due for some of his contributions to public life, his death should not now be a coat of whitewash for his misdeeds.

Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Times, the Irish Independent & the Irish Examiner.

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