Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Charles J. Haughey

Charles Haughey was the sixth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland and served three terms in office between 1979 and 1992. He died today after a long battle with cancer. Haughey is credited with transforming the economy while he was in government between 1987 and 1992. The actions taken by Haughey's government during this period did transform the economy. One of the main schemes put forward which would have enormous economic benefits for the country, was the establishment of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Dublin. However, his political career was far from smooth with scandals such as the arms crisis and the phone tapping incident. He also lost many supporters when revelations came out about his personal finances and lifestyle after he had retired. I only have vague memories of Charles Haughey when he was in power considering that I was in primary school for most of that time. In fact my abiding memory of him comes from 'Scrap Saturday' the Saturday morning radio comedy show from the late eighties. Dermot Morgan aided and abetted by co-scriptwriter Gerard Stembridge and Pauline McLynn mocked Ireland's political, business and media establishment. In particular the sketches about the relationship between Charles J. Haughey (the then Taoiseach) and his press secretary, P.J. Mara were legendary. I remember some of these sketches, particularly Haughey's dismissive attitude towards P.J. Mara whom he would summon with a guttural "Maaaara". Mara would then respond with an adoring and grovelling attitude calling him "Boss" and "Man of Destiny". Unsurprisingly RTE axed the show in the early 1990's at the height of its popularity which caused public outcry. An RTÉ spokesman famously said "The show not being axed, its just not being continued!"

That's what happens when you're holed up in a cave all day, you don't even hear that CJ died! Btw, very funny comment at the end... I think you're turning into a bit of a comedienne!
A sad day for the country, when Scrap Saturday was axed. I too was young, perhaps younger than your good self (but obviously you're measured in sheep years so that makes you mega older) when Scrap Saturday was on but I remember it well on a Saturday morning.
What was wrong with pair of you! Most people your age (at the time) were fecking asleep on a Saturday morning... not getting up early to listen to political satire on the radio!!! I'd say you two got beaten up a regularly by the other children in the neighbourhood... that said, Scrap Saturday was the biz!
I was a big fan of Saturday morning TV (and Scrap Saturday on the radio) so I was always up early on a Saturday morning. I can't speak for RC but I was never beaten up by the other kids in the neighbourhood. :-)
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