Charles Haughey has been more lied about than de Valera and he may have been the second best Taoiiseach the state has had.

It has been stated by an ex soccer star turned journalist that Haughey moved from a modest semi-detached house on the Howth Road to Kinsealy after using inside knowledge, as Finance Minister of Britain’s devaluation of sterling during Harrold Wilson’s Labour Government and James Callaghan’s stint as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Wilson came to power in November 1964. 

Haughey did not move from the Howth Road to Kinsealy. He moved from a substantial house near Howth Junction with acres of land years earlier and when he was Justice Minister had armed Gardai lodged at the gates to his estate. His predecessor as Justice Minister

Gerald Boland had similar protection in Clontarf. At the time, except for houses bordering the Howth Road, there were many hundreds, perhaps thousands of acres of flat fields north of that strip which have since been built over creating the environment and culture celebrated

 by Roddy Doyle.

I understand that Haughey invited his old FCA platoon to drill in his newly acquired Broad Acres and asked it instead to cut the grass and was told  by the Platoon Commander Eamon Francis, who had succeeded him to Eff Off.

Dessie Francis, brother of that Platoon Commander, once shocked me.

 He recalled how,in the early 1950s he and Haughey attended a public meeting addressed by Liam Kelly in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, where Kelly had spoken “Sedition” advocating the use of force to end Partition. Eamon and Dessie Francis, like Haughey were  Fianna Fail stalwarts.

 Kelly was appointed to Seanad Eireann by the Fine Gael Taoiseach  John A. Costello. I’d be surprised if Varadkar, Enda Kenny, John Bruton or many Bluesshirts or Neo- Redmondites know that

Ever since the split over the “Treaty” in 1921 de Valera had tried to avert war, and following the war unleashed on his followers in 1922 laboured to prevent its recurrence. Haughey, whose father had, like most Northern IRA officers, sided with Collins, joined Fianna Fail, whose policy of co-opting former opponents, and weaning former republican militants from militarism was pursued with consistency over the decades.

But I, who had more than a sneaking regard for the IRA, thought Dessie Francis of Fianna Fail,and a fellow FCA man was talking treason to Ireland. He wasn’t.

The Wikipedia profile of Charles Haughey says he moved from the Howth Road direct to Abbeyville.

As Justice Minister Haughey brought in many liberal reforms particularly the Succession Bill which was a long overdue service to women. But he also revived Military Courts to stamp out the IRA border campaign.

He did not, nor did Captain Kelly seek to arm the IRA. In 1969 Nationalists from the North were demanding arms from the Irish Government. The Army which had the authority to import arms, trained Northern Nationalists on Army premises but gave them no arms. Stephen Collins, who perhaps rivals Fergal Keane in the marketing of Porkie Pies well beyond their sell-by-date has been at it again in the IRISH TIMES.

The failure of Jack Lynch and his ministers to establish a coherent political and diplomatic policy to protect their fellow citizens who were living in the British-occupied Six Counties created a  vacuum. Nature, which abhors a vacuum, created the “Provisional”

IRA. Perhaps it’s natural that I should have a high, though not an  uncritical or mindless regard for them.

They are better men and women than their detractors.

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