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Should we wait?

Richard calls the event a human one before a political one. He wonders if the week can pass off with some level of respect before the war over his legacy rages.

The war has already begun on the TV and radio, and on this blog. I don’t think it is a human event before a political one. It’s the biggest political story this year, and the reaction of politicians to his death is a story in itself. I don’t see how it’s disrespectful to argue over the man’s legacy today, or tomorrow, or every day until his funeral. He was afterall a politician, a former Taoiseach, and by far the most controversial figure in Irish politics since the foundation of the State.

I say: Have at it.

I could go further and say that I had no respect for the man when he was alive, why should I show him respect now he is dead?

But I won’t.

14 thoughts on “Should we wait?”

  1. Whatever about the man himself, there are family and friends who are trying to mourn someone they love. I have to say I’m shocked at how fast people are out of the traps to condem the man seeing that as something separate from the grief his loved ones must be feeling right now….Let the next 48 hours pass is what I say then “have at it”. His family and friends have the right to their dignity at this time also.

  2. I really don’t agree to be honest, I guess he was as provocative in life as he was in death. It is a very emotive subject that girl, and Haughey touches a nerve in me unlike no other politician. Why 48 hours?

  3. To give the family some respect in their grief….The rest of the country has the year ahead to do their hatchet job on him (and I’m not and never was, a Haughey supporter)…

  4. That Girl – I’m quite sure the Haughey family aren’t sitting around reading blogs to gauge the reaction to the old cunt’s death.

    You can be sure the papers and TV and radio will, for the most part, do the ‘right’ thing and not tell the truth about him.

    Blogs like mine and Gavin and all the others don’t have readers who will stop buying our product if we publish something bad about Haughey. That is the only thing stopping the newspapers from doing more than hinting at his dubious past.

  5. Gavin,
    It might be wise to think a bit more about this. The way you choose to respond may well come to haunt you later in your life. It’s an easy target to sound off about a man who has just died. You might even get some satisfaction from being tough, and being consistent in your critique. A sort of macho approach perhaps?
    I suspect it would be harder for you to hold back and restrain yourself. You might well feel it to be an unpleasant constraint. The fact that it touches a nerve in you suggests to me to it might be a good challenge to take on.
    Until the man is well and truely buried, few will be interested in provocative remarks about Haughey. Politically, timing is a good skill to have. Isn’t it?

  6. It really doesn’t matter when the criticism of Haughey (both the legitimate stuff, and the stuff that’s cruel, but funny) starts, there’ll always be those who complain about you badmouthing a dead man.

    Start now, and you’ll get the ludicrous comments about respecting the family (as if Sean Haughey is trawling through various blogs looking for feedback – and, frankly, if he is, he deserves everything he gets). Leave it a couple of weeks, and the objection will shift to his ‘not being around to defend himself’.

    If we’re going to have to listen to comments about how great he was, IFSC, artists’ exemptions, etc etc etc, it’s only fair that both sides of the story should be put.

    Of course, if you want to see a really stupid defence of Haughey, check out this little beauty on the Guardian site (

    And, if you’re interested, you could *shameless plug* check out this piece having a go at it ( *shameless plug*.

  7. Wow – next time I hear bloggers going on about “citizen journalism” I’ll remember this time. Funerals and the aftermath of death are about the families who are left behind. The papers and TV are already weighing in with “both” sides of the story….and it’s not about whether the Haugheys are reading blogs or not, it’s about having some simple respect for people whose loved one has died. That may be hard for people to stomach – but he was deeply loved by some people and they deserve some time to remember that man without the citizen and other journalists of this world competing for air space to tear him apart.

    There’s forever for that…

  8. So should all the tributes paid over the last 12 hours go unanswered?

    Should tributes I feel are unwarranted and indeed cringeworthy go unquestioned?

    Omani I have held off a huge amount of venom for the man, and been restrained in my reponse – in my own view. I will watch how politicians and the media react in due course –

    That girl I really appreciate your remarks, as ever, and I absolutely see your point of view. Watching O’Rourke and Mansergh today lauding Haughey was incredibly difficult, and I have held off from remarking thus far on many things said about him today.

    But I do think that whilst his family are mourning, there seems to be huge and I would say unbalanced approach, especially by RTE, to give the ‘positive’ side of the story. And it is natural for me react immediately, especially given the nature of one click publishing blogging allows.

    I do appreciate that Haughey was human, and had family, and I regret that anyone should lose a father or husband.

    But it remains that the media have reacted, RTE in my view in a biased manner, and it is natural to seek to criticise and redress that balance.

    Whilst watching unbalanced news reports, is it not fair to seek to redress those reports with criticism? Does that criticism amount to dancing on a grave, or is it an honest reaction of despair at the reaction in general?

  9. Even with my cursory knowledge of Irish politics, I recognise Haughey as corrupt, embittered scum.

    The broadcast media, with a greater degree of immediacy than the press, probably feel a need to be somewhat circumspect (at least for the immediate aftermath). Bloggers like yourself have no such duty upon you. Damn the naysayers and provide people like me with an accurate portrayal of this key figure in modern Irish history.

  10. Slippery, I’m not about to start blowing my own trumpet but you cannot have any idea how much I actually DO “…question what [I’m] being fed when [I] take a spoonful of political history”!! Don’t worry, I’ll assume good faith here.

    Okay, my hands are up – I lied. I have rather more than a cursory knowledge of Irish politics, as I do of UK politics. And my appraisal of the man remains the same – except that I’d perhaps add “gun-running” to what I put above.

    Interesting piece in the MediaMonkey today about the Irish Independent:

    As tributes are paid to former Irish premier Charles Haughey, who died today aged 80, the Irish Independent’s website tells readers: “Family’s vigil as Haughey health worsens.” Well, it’s only five hours out of date, probably more by the time you read this. The Irish Independent online. Today’s news. Tomorrow.

  11. Niall……

    Ha!!! Thought as much!! C.O.T as the man would say!

    Anyway…ill not throw my two cents into the discussion here as I doubt it would go down too well, sufficed to say that its looking like I might be at the funeral on Friday. I take it none of the above will be attending?

  12. Gavin – I totally agree with your view on the man – I’m not and never was a CJ fan but I just happen to believe that until the man is buried, this time is for the family and his loved ones and yes, I think the tributes should go unchallenged for now – there’ll be lots of time after the funeral – and let’s face it, we;re all intimately aware of the man’s failings after the tribunals so it’s not that we need “balance”…lots of time for analysis after Friday.

  13. The man was a CUNT and his family and friends knew it, they knew where he got his money and they knew he was shafting the people of this country so I’ve NO respect for him or his family or the bunch of cunts who helped him in the Daíl and outside the Daíl.
    Like Gavin said why pretend to like a man when he’s dead ? He was a FIRST CLASS FUCKER

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