Tag Archives: Charles Haughey


From top: Dessie O’Malley and Charlie Bird in 1985; Charlie Bird and Eamonn Farrell last night with a portrait of Haughey; Eamonn Farrell at the Hunt Museum

Last night.

The Hunt Museum, Limerick.

Charlie Bird launches an exhibition of photos from the career of Charles Haughey and his Limerick nemesis Dessie O’Malley by veteran photographer Eamonn Farrell, who runs the Rollingnews picture agency and is long term friend of the ‘sheet.

Charles Haughey: Power, Politics, Public Image And Desmond O’Malley runs until November 20.

Eamonn Farrell at the Hunt Museum

Pics: Eamonn Farrell, Rollingnews



Last night.

The Gallery of Photography, Temple Bar, Dublin

Former Fianna Fail government minister Conor Lenihan with his just published  biography of Charles Haughey, Haughey: Prince Of Power viewed the Charles Haughey Exhibition “Power Politics and Public Image“, by photographer Eamonn Farrell, before the book’s launch by Fianna Fail, leader Micheal Martin in the National Library.

Spoiler alert: The ‘Prince’ pinches his da’s liver money.

Good times.

Extracts from new Lenihan book: ‘Venal’ Haughey cashed in on the country’s economic success (Irish Independent)

90365922Charles Haughey at Abbeville, Kinsealy, Co Dublin in September 1995



Did not some great French sage say: “Le style – c’est l’homme”? And although Mr Haughey’s politics were not always admirable, there was something human and even shrewd about my mother’s instinctive attraction to the “Duce”, to reference to PJ Mara’s renowned allusion. Above all, there was something that spoke to the historical collective memory of the Irish people.

And it’s something ancestral which, strangely enough, Charles J Haughey shared with – of all people – Mary Robinson. When Charlie acquired Kinsealy, drank Montrachet, and sat on his hunter, he was vindicating the collective Irish unconscious in a parallel version of “the risen people”. This was not “the risen people” of wild rebellion, but the “risen people” who were now as good as their lords and masters had once been – who could be as grand, as stylish, as upper-class as any belted earl who had gained land and estates from selling out at the Act of Union, or who had exchanged an ancient chieftain’s role for an endowment by a Tudor monarch.

Charlie was proof that the “risen people” had arrived. And so, in a different way, was Mary Robinson – the very embodiment of the “Catholic gentry” who showed the world that we were no longer the wild Irish so unfavourably portrayed by cartoons in ‘Punch’ and the hostile London ‘Times’.

My mother’s generation – born before World War I – has now passed away and the folk memory which propelled their hunger for style, confidence and even upper-class taste in leaders has perhaps faded. She had been born into a Galway family where old people could remember the Famine, not only the lesser famines of the 1870s and 1880s, but the Great Famine of the 1840s, too. Eamon de Valera represented austerity and sacrifice, but Charlie brought panache, elan and glamour. And, for the vicarious pleasure he gave in that regard, I do not retrospectively begrudge him the Mercedes cars, the Charvet shirts or the wine cellar stuffed with Chateau Margaux.


He loved a Merc and a Margaux – which made Charlie my mother’s darling (Mary Kenny, Independent.ie)

(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)


Further to fresh claims that Charlie Haughey’s ‘first touch’ [selling short on the English pound before a devaluation that he, as minister of finance had been told about in advance] contained in Eamon Dunphy’s autobiography The Rocky Road.

And aired again in a column by Eamon Delaney in the Irish Independent this week..

In an email headlined ‘The Framing of Haughey’, Donal Kennedy writes:

Haughey sold his semi on the Howth Rd, Raheny in 1960 moved to substantial house in many acres which he sold in 1969. I can recall seeing Gardaí guarding the place before I left Ireland in 1964 . Charlie was then Minister for Justice. The area nearby was mostly fields. They were beginning to be built on then and have since become famous as Barrytown by the fiction writer Roddy Doyle. Eamon Delaney was born 2 years after Charlie quit his semi. The fifteen year old Eamon Dunphy was beginning his English football career when Charlie quit his semi.
If, in 1960 Charlie had foreknowledge of the 1967 devaluation Dunphy’s story could stand up. But it seems the worse for the drink consumed during its invention and retelling.
Donal Kennedy (born 1941)

Oh dear.

It appears to be ON.


Previously: Selling Ireland By The Pound


The source told [Eamon] Dunphy that the devaluation was Charlie’s first big ‘touch’. ‘The Irish pound was linked to sterling, so when Harold Wilson’s government decided to devalue on November 18, 1967, the Irish government was given twenty-four hours’ notice.’

As Minister for Finance, Haughey passed the information on to a small group of wealthy Irish businessmen who made a fortune on the currency markets. More importantly, many of these same people undoubtedly looked after Haughey himself years later when, apparently because of his lavish life style,

…As Dunphy writes [in his autobiography The Rocky Road], in scenes worthy of Mario Puzo, the sterling benefactors ‘looked after’ the Man of Destiny who’d tipped them off and a year later, with the heat off, Charlie moved from his ordinary semi-D in the modest suburb of Raheny into the palatial James Gandon-designed mansion of Abbeville in north county Dublin, with its Georgian ballroom, chestnut trees and horse paddocks.

Haughey’s turn of fortune “was known around the town” but no one said anything, writes Dunphy. And wasn’t that always the way with Haughey: everyone spoke about his finances, his corruption and his sexual affairs at dinner parties and in pubs. But no-one said it publicly. And as for the press reporting it, this collusion has since been referred to as ‘the Vichy regime of Irish journalism.’ Ouch.



Charlie Haughey, a sterling windfall and the republican legacy (Eamon Delaney, Irish Independent)

Pic via Chess History

“Looking back, we used to keep lists of men who weren’t safe in taxis, “NST”, and those who were “NSL”, not safe in lifts, they were a bit quicker with their hands than NSTs. I think my best experience was with Charlie Haughey, who was then Ireland’s Minister of Justice. I like to imagine he went to his grave with my bruises on his hands after he tried to grope me during the 1969 Irish elections.”

Anne Robinson.


Is Sexual Harassment Still Rife In The TV Industry? (Anne Robinson and Emma Wilson, Guardian)

Thanks Grania.