Charles Haughey

7th Taoiseach from 1979 to 1981; 1982; 1987 to 1992

Charles James Haughey (Irish name: Cathal Ó hEochaidh) (16 September 192513 June 2006) was the sixth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, serving from 1979 to 1981, March 1982 to December 1982 and from 1987 to 1992. He was a member of the Fianna Fáil party.

Charles Haughey

Quotes edit

  • It was a bizarre happening, an unprecedented situation, a grotesque situation, an almost unbelievable mischance.
    • T. Ryle Dwyer Charlie: The political biography of Charles Haughey (1987), chapter 12.
    • Originally used at a press conference in 1982 to refer to an incident in which a wanted murderer was arrested in the house of the Attorney-General, but subsequently turned into "Grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre, unprecedented" and made a catchphrase. Sometimes rendered into the acronym "GUBU". Also see "'Era-defining scandal': Ireland revisits 'Gubu' murders 40 years on" The Guardian (8 November 2022)
  • It's guarded by units of the British army and I can never come up to this border without experiencing deep feelings of anger and resentment.
  • I could instance a load of fuckers whose throats I'd cut and push over a cliff.
  • The best, the most skillful, the most devious and the most cunning.
  • As a community we are living way beyond our means
    • Taoiseach Charles Haughey remarking during a televised broadcast in 1980 about the current social situation in the Republic of Ireland. Seen as ironic by many commentators due to his private lifestyle, which was often seen as lavish and decadent.

About edit

  • You know, I have a theory about Charlie Haughey. If you give him enough rope, he'll hang you.
    • BBC Ireland correspondent Leo Enright at the end of Haughey's premiership.
  • He (Haughey) was a very promising minister in the '60s, but once he became leader all he was concerned with was staying leader. It was always about the cult of leadership. His sense of himself was much more important than any vision he had for the country. People say he discovered fiscal rectitude in '87, and people talk about his contribution to Anglo-Irish affairs, but really if you try and look for any consistency in his affairs after the late '70s you can't find it because it's just about him.
  • Charles Haughey was undoubtedly a great statesman...By far the most gifted politician of his generation, he squandered his opportunities for greatness on luxuriant rhetoric and luxurious living.
  • He can only be defined by his contradictions: a patriot whose ultimate allegiance was not to Ireland but to the Cayman Islands; a preacher of family values who kept an expensive mistress; a lover of power who allowed himself to become a kept man; a product of the Catholic lower middle class who spent millions of pounds of other people's money in affecting the style of an Ascendancy gent; a man of the people who secretly sniggered at the people's credulity; a charmer who liked to cultivate an air of menace and warned his own bank that he could be a very troublesome adversary.

External links edit

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