Sunday, June 18, 2006

Vincent Browne re-invents GUBU!

The Pauline conversion of Vincent Browne to the cause of Charles Haughey has been one of the more intriguing side-shows in recent weeks.

Village magazine recently published an interview with the former secretary to Mr Haughey who revealed that, apparently, the then Taoiseach had no prior knowledge about Sean Doherty’s phone-tapping activities. Vincent Browne subsequently had her as a guest on his radio programme, where he conducted a lawyerly cross-examination of both the lady and his other panellists in an effort to demonstrate that Mr Haughey had been wrongly forced from office.

Incidentally, Vincent’s approach that night could not have contrasted more starkly with his most unlawyerly performance a couple of weeks earlier when, seeming to lose his temper, he hotly declared that Brother David Gibson should simply “shut up”, rather than seek to question the volume of accusations being levelled against members of the Christian Brothers.

The Browne thesis appears to be that if Mr Haughey was forced to resign on a false premise then we, the court of public opinion, should be required to ignore all the subsequent evidence against him which emerged in the various tribunals of inquiry and the fact that he perjured himself there.

This lawyerly logic may make sense to Vincent Browne but it doesn’t cut much ice with me. I don’t know what impact Vincent’s support may be having on the opinions of the “undecided”, but I suspect it’s placing a serious question mark over the good judgement of the advocate.

Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Independent and in Vincent Browne's Village Magazine.

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