Tramp The Dirt Down?
June 13, 2006 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Haughey Dead No, not that one. Charles Haughey – Former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, and probably the most controversial figure in recent Irish political history, has died of complications arising from prostate cancer.
posted by Sk4n (26 comments total)
His generation of sleazy politicians (and he was certainly the leader of that group) was coming into power in Ireland as I grew up politically. I loved it that he could never command an overall majority in the Dáil, and that it was he who started the mighty Fianna Fáil party down the road of compromise and minority government. Still – he had a soft spot for the arts in Ireland, and was responsible for a number of initiatives that promoted that one area. Otherwise I despised him. An event worthy of my first FPP? I hope so.
posted by Sk4n at 2:44 PM on June 13, 2006

Please infer a period / full stop after the first link. Please do not infer any other dots from me on this one.
posted by Sk4n at 2:46 PM on June 13, 2006

note : it's pronounced "haw-hee" if any British newsreaders are reading this.

What an interesting man. I really cannot get my head around the level of corruption he got away with, yet he did do some good things for Ireland (zero tax for artists, started the financial services centre, low corporate tax etc).

He acted like mini-emperor for a "great little nation" in its adolescent stage. Ireland's current Prime Minister was his underling in the 80's, and he countersigned a lot of party cheques so that Haughey could go buy hand-made Charvet silk shirts, among other things.

At the time, the shirts cost the equivalent of four weeks' wages, and unemployment was 16%.

He is estimated to have taken up to £12 million ($18 million) in bribes over the years, lived well beyond his means and settled with the equivalent of the IRS for about $1m.

In closing, thanks to Haughey and successive politicians in his ilk, Ireland has turned into a nation riddled with apartment cancer, proto-yuppie gak monsters, saddled with debt.

One can only imagine if such a character was in power in the UK or USA at the time...
posted by snailer at 3:12 PM on June 13, 2006

I just have to say, I'm not sure that this was in good taste...

just my opinion, ymmv.
posted by HuronBob at 3:12 PM on June 13, 2006


posted by reklaw at 3:13 PM on June 13, 2006

Funny, I thought it was pronounced somewhere between 'Hoh-hee' & 'Hoch-ee', with the 'ch' sound almost in the throat, german style.

Shame not all world statesmen of the 1980s & 90s are known to Reklaw, but there ya go.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:28 PM on June 13, 2006

note to newsreaders : it's *not* pronounced hock-ee.

probably easier that way, cheers dash!
posted by snailer at 3:30 PM on June 13, 2006

Sorry, but I just think these obit posts are pointless. I read about this in the news earlier, and didn't much care who it was then either.
posted by reklaw at 3:54 PM on June 13, 2006

Ah he was a charming old rascal and to hell with you people dancing on his grave.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:14 PM on June 13, 2006

What is "apartment cancer" or a "proto-yuppie gak monster"?
posted by Justinian at 4:14 PM on June 13, 2006

Heh. "Chorles Hockey".

When I was a kid I thought his name was "that fecker Charlie Bleedin Haughey". He raised my father's blood pressure to life threatening levels.
posted by jamesonandwater at 5:13 PM on June 13, 2006

I only pay attention to Ireland when Ian Paisley does something crazy. Got any of that on offer?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:36 PM on June 13, 2006

I'm glad somebody finally posted this, with the same "Haughey dead" line that I was thinking of doing all day.
posted by yhbc at 5:53 PM on June 13, 2006

Aww, chashowie!
posted by danb at 5:54 PM on June 13, 2006

Guess that means the power-mad librarian's in charge.


Oh, wrong Haughey. Nevermind.
posted by graventy at 6:25 PM on June 13, 2006

Any realtion to Lord Haw-Haw?
posted by wendell at 8:11 PM on June 13, 2006

s/b relation...

BTW, we all know that if anything happened to mathowie, all control of the Massive MetaFilter Empire would fall to Fiona.
posted by wendell at 8:19 PM on June 13, 2006


(..remembering elementary school)
posted by spiderskull at 8:47 PM on June 13, 2006

6th October, 1891

He cleared his throat once or twice and then began to recite:
He is dead. Our Uncrowned King is dead.
O, Erin, mourn with grief and woe
For he lies dead whom the fell gang
Of modern hypocrites laid low.
He lies slain by the coward hounds
He raised to glory from the mire;
And Erin's hopes and Erin's dreams
Perish upon her monarch's pyre.
In palace, cabin or in cot
The Irish heart where'er it be
Is bowed with woe -- for he is gone
Who would have wrought her destiny.
He would have had his Erin famed,
The green flag gloriously unfurled,
Her statesmen, bards and warriors raised
Before the nations of the World.
He dreamed (alas, 'twas but a dream!)
Of Liberty: but as he strove
To clutch that idol, treachery
Sundered him from the thing he loved.
Shame on the coward, caitiff hands
That smote their Lord or with a kiss
Betrayed him to the rabble-rout
Of fawning priests -- no friends of his.
May everlasting shame consume
The memory of those who tried
To befoul and smear the exalted name
Of one who spurned them in his pride.
He fell as fall the mighty ones,
Nobly undaunted to the last,
And death has now united him
With Erin's heroes of the past.
No sound of strife disturb his sleep!
Calmly he rests: no human pain
Or high ambition spurs him now
The peaks of glory to attain.
They had their way: they laid him low.
But Erin, list, his spirit may
Rise, like the Phoenix from the flames,
When breaks the dawning of the day,
The day that brings us Freedom's reign.
And on that day may Erin well
Pledge in the cup she lifts to Joy
One grief -- the memory of Parnell.
posted by shmegegge at 10:32 PM on June 13, 2006

It's actually a fairly big deal over here in Ireland. Lots of folks are trying to attribute Ireland's current economic goodness to Haughey (I only moved here last September, so I know absolutely nothing about the man). He was definitely an interesting character though...
posted by antifuse at 3:16 AM on June 14, 2006

Damn, those were horribly unpleasant words to read, even if it took less than a nanosecond to realize you didn't mean our Matt. *kicks Sk4n in the shin*
posted by zarah at 3:33 AM on June 14, 2006

Funny, I thought it was pronounced somewhere between 'Hoh-hee' & 'Hoch-ee'

It's 'Hoh-hee'. The 'g' is silent -- unlike in Britian where the 'h' is silent, because the British are weird :oP

He might have been an interesting character -- RTE broadcast a series on his life and career almost exactly a year ago, so it was obviously worth something -- but it's also on record that he was a corrupt chancer who abused his position, and we'd do far better to remember the crap that he pulled rather than sweep it under the rug and go "ah but he was a lovely fellah so he was at all at all."
posted by macdara at 5:23 AM on June 14, 2006

I should also state that the fact that Haughey is getting a state funeral is an utter disgrace - especially on Bloomsday, of all days. I wonder what Joyce would have made of him.
posted by macdara at 5:42 AM on June 14, 2006

For the non-Irish people who may not know who he was, he might be described as the Richard Nixon of Irish politics, with a talent for self enrichment.

He did do a small amount of good but for the most part he was a venal, selfish, tax-evading, corrupt individual who told the Irish people they were living beyond their means on national television while he proceeded to live in his stately mansion, buy an island and have fun with his horses and his yachts - while his only job was the fairly meagre salary afforded him by his political career.

And I haven't even written anything about the Arms Crises, or his role in opposing divorce, the Anglo-Irish Agreement or anything else.

He won't be missed by me, and I offer a resounding "f*ck you" in his direction.
posted by tomcosgrave at 6:58 AM on June 14, 2006

> note : it's pronounced "haw-hee" if any British newsreaders are reading this.

Are you joking? British newsreaders taught everyone else how to say it.
posted by catchmurray at 8:01 AM on June 14, 2006

I wonder what Joyce would have made of him

I suspect it would have been a slightly different spin on Ivy Day in the Committee Room.
posted by shmegegge at 4:25 PM on June 14, 2006

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