Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Charles J. Haughey died today

Well well, the man has passed away. Much will be said. I wonder how many times in the next week we will hear the Shakespearean quotation...."I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him!"

I think it's all best summed up by Fine Gael's Alan Dukes who was quoted as saying that Haughey was a gifted politician who ultimately wasted his talents - "I have never known anybody with such ability and who squandered it all spectacularly. It was incredible".

Footnote 6.00pm....

Speaking of Shakespeare - I almost forgot that Haughey quoted Othello when he resigned as Taoiseach around 1992 - "I have done the State some service." Things are bad when you need to go for self praise in a resignation speech. I head a cynical re-parsing of above recently for Mr. Haughey...

"I have DONE the State. Some service!"


-Ann said...

By two pm yesterday, I officially had Charlie Haughey Fatigue. (Although, I have to say, it was not as bad as the Pete Best Fatigue.)

This is completely off topic, but I can't find an email address in your profile. Can you tell me where I could find either a tennis practice wall (some parks in the states have them) or a tall, windowless wall that could double as a practice wall? Full disclosure - I will be practicing hitting a tennis ball with a hurley. Someone advised me this would be a good way to improve my skills.

Claire said...

Yes, I am one who finds it difficult to speak well of the dead in this instance. It even sticks in my craw that the State is paying for his funeral.

Ho Hum.

John of Dublin said...

Ann - Yes, and it will get worse after his funeral, I'm sure more will speak out more freely. BTW - I've e-mailed you on the tennis practise walls.

Claire - yes indeed. Dermot Desmond was on the RTE news at lunchtime. The impression he gave was that people just gave Charlie hundreds of thousands of pounds (even 1.3 million pounds in case of Ben Dunne) out of kindness and friendship. He maintains that Haughey has never been proven to have done one corrupt deed!!

I'm tempted to respond but I'll resist.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked at the revisionism displayed today at Mr. Haughey's funeral. Has everyone forgotten that this man defrauded each and every Irish tax payer? That he made his 'tighten our belts' speech while squandering our money? The State Funeral that he received is a disgrace! How dare our elected representatives smile on such hypocrisy?

John of Dublin said...

As a former Taoiseach and with no criminal convictions/jail sentence CJH was entitled to a State funeral.

However, CJH was as cunning as they get. It's incedible how he escaped from all the serious wrongdoings he was involved in. I've more respect for Ray Burke in a way - at least he paid for his wrongdoings by going to jail - he wasn't in the same class as Houdini Haughey when it came to escapism.

Bertie's speech at the graveside was good. I liked the quotation from Theodore Roosevelt. However I think it was a bit generous to associate it with Haughey. That powerful statement was for people who fail by trying to do the RIGHT thing. Haughey failed ultimately by doing WRONG things. The Roosevelt speech could apply to people like Martin Cullen trying to modernise with electronic voting, but failing. Or McDowell trying to get more Cafe Bars licenses, but failing. Or an Entrepreneur putting his heart, soul and money into a great idea, but failing.

Sure, Haughey was a great fighter and had many succeses having come back from disgrace at the arms crises. But his ultimate failure in departure from office was due to evil wrongdoings, not having failed in fighting a just cause.

However, let me just refer finally to Shakespeare again from Julius Caesar..."The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones". Let's also give the man a little credit in death for his many good deeds.

cathalcom said...

so what if he skimmed off the top? he generated more money for ireland than any previous leader. celtic tiger anyone? this is Parnell syndrome all over again.