Amazing to hear how Vincent Browne feels about Haughey now (check out Village this week). He seems to have been won over. This is the journalist who first asked the question; how is our Taoiseach living like a Prince Regent? Now he's talking about how everyone has their flaws.
I think that we will hear less and less about Charlie's scandals as the years go by. Is this respect for the dead or is this abuse of respect for the dead?
I've been pulling the day shift at work to cover for Bill going on holiday so I'm hearing more early afternoon radio than usual. Joe "Good afternoon to yoooooooouuuuuuuu" Duffy played a clip from 1998 when he interviewed Charlie. Haughey had helped rescue some French buck who got in trouble on his yacht (could ya make that up?). I listened to the interview and lo and behold, I felt myself warming to the man - Charlie, not the Frenchie, or Joe, not that I have a problem with Joe and I never met the French man - anyway, I was won over. And that was a recorded radio interview. Can you imagine what he must've been like in person?
Charlie wasn't the evil man that Connor Cruise Control would have ya believe but if you listened to old Fianna Fail people... Pee Flynn wouldn't hear a word about contributions. Mary O Rourke was the only one who admitted to the Boss' dark side and that's because Lenihan was her brother. I haven't heard what Albert Reynolds thinks, that'd be interesting.
Charlie was a good man and a bad man. Aren't we all the same? He stopped Temple Bar being turned into a bus station yet hung out with the people who tore down Georgian Dublin. He made the very brave political decision of telling a nation that "we are living beyond our means" yet the man lived like a king (thanks to St. Bernard). He was a contradiction.
His old foe Garrett Fitzgerald may have put it best when he said that if Charlie had only concentrated on his job, on running the country, he may well have been our greatest leader (paraphrase).