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Thread: The Greatness of Haughey

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    Default The Greatness of Haughey

    This post was prompted by an article in the Sindo today, and also by a desire to have at least one thread on this site that isn't about SF! Isn't is surely time for all honest and clear-minded people of all parties and none to accept the truth that during Charles Haughey's period in office, as a minister and as Taoiseach, he achieved far much more for the country than anyone else at the time, and that his positive attributes far outweigh the negatives. In the areas of health, equality, arts, social security, finance and the burgeoning peace process (which CJ started, and not Reynolds, whatever the Longford man may think) he brought about radical and far-sighted reforms. Indeed, the Independent article was justified in calling him the Father of Modern Ireland.

    It is easy to carp and to criticise, and to pen articles decrying Haughey and mocking his pretensions. But as Liam Cosgrave said, he achieved far more than any of his critics ever did. He was a man of vision, and I hope that as a nation we will mature enough in the future to recognise and appreciate his greatness

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    I was only a baby when he was in power, but what I gather is that he was horribly corrupt and almost bankrupted the country by massive overspending in the early 80s. If this is the case, surely it outweights anything he achieved?
    As for starting the PP, nearly every party and group started it, I don't think any one person can take credit for it.

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    "he was horribly corrupt" - Actually no evidence to support the claim that he was corrupt. It's not corrupt to take money from other people - it's very sleazy and unbecoming of the leader of a country, but on it's own it is not corrupt. What is corrupt is when that money is a bribe. There is no evidence that Haughey gave anything in return to his benefactors. In fact, the man was so arrogant that the thought that he was in anybody's pocket didn't even seem to occur to him

    "almost bankrupted the country by massive overspending in the early 80s" - fairly true, although the problems were really started by the previous Lynch government, and the following FG-Lab coalition were much worse: the IMF nearly took over the running of our economy on their watch. But Haughey's greatest achievement from 1987-89 was to initiate the painful reforms that led directly to the economic successes of the 1990s, the fruits of which we are still enjoying to this day.

    "As for starting the PP, nearly every party and group started it, I don't think any one person can take credit for it" - yes and no. It's not true to say that 'nearly every party' started it - FG Lab and the PDs had nothing to do with its beginnings (arguably FG and the PDs have never had anything to do with it). The process was begun in Haughey's time. He gave the go-ahead to Martin Mansergh to start intensive discussions with the provos to try and convince them that the peaceful path would be more productive. Of course, at the same time, the SDLP and SF were beginning discussions. The peace process (or whatevers left of it) was the child, ultimately, of FF, SDLP and SF.

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    Haughey wasn't a bad taoiseach. He did some good. I'd question a lot of what he did as regards NI and with respect to the public finances in the early 1980s.
    MJ Coughlan,
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    http://www.bebo.com/mjcoughlan23

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    Probably the worst taoiseach this country ever had. The only possible rival is DEVt for his post-WW2 stints in the job

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    Default Re: The Greatness of Haughey

    Quote Originally Posted by CJH
    This post was prompted by an article in the Sindo today, and also by a desire to have at least one thread on this site that isn't about SF! Isn't is surely time for all honest and clear-minded people of all parties and none to accept the truth that during Charles Haughey's period in office, as a minister and as Taoiseach, he achieved far much more for the country than anyone else at the time, and that his positive attributes far outweigh the negatives. In the areas of health, equality, arts, social security, finance and the burgeoning peace process (which CJ started, and not Reynolds, whatever the Longford man may think) he brought about radical and far-sighted reforms. Indeed, the Independent article was justified in calling him the Father of Modern Ireland.

    It is easy to carp and to criticise, and to pen articles decrying Haughey and mocking his pretensions. But as Liam Cosgrave said, he achieved far more than any of his critics ever did. He was a man of vision, and I hope that as a nation we will mature enough in the future to recognise and appreciate his greatness

    Well said CJH. Objective History will be kind
    "Be advised, my passport's green / No glass of ours was ever raised / To toast the Queen." Seamus Heaney 1982

    "I'm a bit of a green myself" Charles Haughey 1989

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    Default Re: The Greatness of Haughey

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbarian
    Quote Originally Posted by CJH
    This post was prompted by an article in the Sindo today, and also by a desire to have at least one thread on this site that isn't about SF! Isn't is surely time for all honest and clear-minded people of all parties and none to accept the truth that during Charles Haughey's period in office, as a minister and as Taoiseach, he achieved far much more for the country than anyone else at the time, and that his positive attributes far outweigh the negatives. In the areas of health, equality, arts, social security, finance and the burgeoning peace process (which CJ started, and not Reynolds, whatever the Longford man may think) he brought about radical and far-sighted reforms. Indeed, the Independent article was justified in calling him the Father of Modern Ireland.

    It is easy to carp and to criticise, and to pen articles decrying Haughey and mocking his pretensions. But as Liam Cosgrave said, he achieved far more than any of his critics ever did. He was a man of vision, and I hope that as a nation we will mature enough in the future to recognise and appreciate his greatness

    Well said CJH. Objective History will be kind
    Like you can tell the future, they could've done with you in the past

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    Ill have to say, although personally to me a very unlikeable man, he did have vision and instituted reforms and many initiatives that makes Ireland what it is today. However as Danny says, they are mitigating factors and I dont believe outweigh his good deeds.
    Anyways for one:

    following FG-Lab coalition were much worse: the IMF nearly took over the running of our economy on their watch
    Coincidence that it nearly happened on their watch: FF handed that bomb to FG-Lab. The damage was done.


    But Haughey's greatest achievement from 1987-89 was to initiate the painful reforms that led directly to the economic successes of the 1990s, the fruits of which we are still enjoying to this day.
    Its my recollection that they were FG reforms!
    And in any case it couldnt have been done without Alan Dukes Tallaght Strategy.

    In the end with the present being so harsh for Haughey throughout the 80s and 90s, history will aknowledge the good that he did, which is only fair. However I hope it wont be at the expense of realising everything he did, including the bad.
    Ireland interests are best secured within a more dynamic EU. Vote YES to Lisbon.

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    CJH is correct. I expect Garret the Good to make a statement in a few years time something along the lines; "In the fullness of time the Irishpeople will recognise the greatness of Charles J Haughey and it will be done so at my expense."

    That's actually some wishful thinking, but the history will be recorded in that way though.
    "Everyone hates Fianna Fáil except the electorate."

    Unattributed correspondent, 1960s.

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    I don't understand how people are coming up with this, history will be kind malarkey. Chances are it won't be. The current generation of historians and commentators are the ones pushing this line, but future historians, the people studying today will have been brought up in an environment which viewd CJH as corrupt, and I think most of their work will be about golden circles, and exposing Haughey's work for the great and good around the country.

    With regards to the claim that he started the Peace Process. What horsehit. He played party politics with the sbject, being happy in oppposition to oppose the Anglo-Irish agreement, and whip up republican rhetoric. If historians are to be kind to Haughey it will be on the lines of his arts policies, and his role in the broad consensus which was one of the root causes of the Celtic Tiger. However, I would suggest that most of the owrk on him will deal with his perceived corruption, and his circle of friends. That will sell books in thrity years time, so that is what I would write.

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