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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 13, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

    Gogarty’s ‘FU’ Moment and Other Dail Outrages

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Green Party TD Paul Gogarty is not the first to create public outrage by his remarks in the Dáil. Nor is he the first to attract attention for his use of unparliamentary language. 

    Cork TD Martin Corry (1890-1979), according to reports, was a man who did not mince his words either, although I am not saying he used the eff-word. In those days, it was all off-camera and the written record could always be edited before publication.

    Other startling moments in our Dáil history include Oliver J. Flanagan’s comment in 1943 : “There is one thing that Germany did, and that was to rout the Jews out of their country. Until we rout the Jews out of this country it does not matter a hair’s breadth what orders you make. Where the bees are there is the honey, and where the Jews are there is the money.”

    Then there was the occasion in February 1934 when future taoiseach John A. Costello  told the Dail that, “the Blackshirts were victorious in Italy and . . . the Hitler Shirts were victorious in Germany, as, assuredly . . . the Blueshirts will be victorious in the Irish Free State”. (To read the debate, click here.)

    Less outrageous, although it still caused a stir at the time, was Garret FitzGerald’s statement that Charles Haughey had a “flawed pedigree”. The literal meaning of that would appear to be that Haughey was what used to be called illegitimate or, if you like, a “bastard” (Apologies for the political incorrectness here.)

    It’s extremely doubtful from the context that FitzGerald meant it like that – he was  speaking of  Haughey’s overweening ambition (for the full text of his speech, click here.)  I understand that Haughey’s mother was in the House that day for her son’s nomination as taoiseach. Later, in an interview with the present writer, Haughey himself described the remark as “horrific”. But although there had been an element in the Opposition down the years which tried to make out that Eamon de Valera was “a Spanish bastard” (not true of course), there was never any such suggestion about Haughey.

    • Pomme de Tayto says:

      Perhaps Gogo had recently watched the most brilliant political spoof of all time…’The Thick of It’… and thought he’d practice his Malcolm Tucker impersonation…not even close…! I only hope Santa has read my letter and I get the boxed set (careful!) of both series for Christmas … particularly the spectacular final episode when Malcolm finally loses it! Has there ever been better television…catch some of the best MTucker quotes on the web…’F**kitybye’…

    • barbera O'Shcokenzy says:

      Well here’s something that might induce the Gogarty effect in some. The annual salary of the Editor of The Irish Times (Geraldine Kennedy) = Euro 399,000 — that is, per week Euro 7,673 — even though The Irish Times made a staggering loss of Euro 37.8 million in 2008!

    • Deaglán says:

      1) Voluntary pay-cut of 20% brought that down to Eur 319,200.
      2) There was another Eff-word user in the Dáil that I missed. Today’s Sunday Times reports that Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh used the expression “f***-all” in the chamber and that Gogarty (!) picked him up on it. See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article6954601.ece

    • Kevin H O Rourke says:

      He was a Spanish bastard, born in New York. Dev was a conniving con-artist pseudo-Irishman who used the Irish Press to feather his own nest and that of his family. He started the grand tradition of Fianna Fáil skulduggery that led to Haughey and his political heir Bertie. At least the Blueshirts told the likes of De Valera where to go.

    • eddie says:

      A bit more of Gogarty straight-talking would be better than the insincerity that is normally floating around ..Fianna Fail are a flawed party ..corrupted by power ..but that is surely better than to have had a fascist-run state even more aligned with the Church that the Blueshirts/Fine Gael of the day would have had for us ..

      Fine Gael have had their corruption limited by their lack of access to power.

      De Valera is flawed as he stuck around a long time .. Collins was a hero because he died ..I think we know Collins was a great gunman ..what else he would have been is conjecture..

    • Red Biddy says:

      I don’t know if Dev was a member of the illegitimati, literally or politically speaking, but I know how much this term still hurts those stigmatised by the label through no fault of their own so maybe it could be avoided…just a wee thought…

      Anyway GoGo is sooo last week…still it’s interesting to compare the responses on the different blogs …think OTR has definitely captured the vox pop market!…so time to move on perhaps…

      How about the ‘Pimp my B**tch up’ Angela Merkel dressy uppy dolls…definitely DON’T want one of those in my Christmas stocking…how extraordinary that women are still judged on appearance. Male colleagues (in the Bundesrat and elsewhere) wear the equivalent of her trouser suit dressed up with a tie day in day out but there’s not a peep about that!

    • Frank Jameson says:

      Garret’s political pedigree was open to question. His father sat in the Dáil chamber wearing the paramilitary uniform of the Blueshirts.

    • Frank Jameson says:

      Barbera. I couldn’t agree more re Madam’s salary but her managing director should be included in the criticism.
      The MD is responsible for the loss of money. The editor is responsible for the loss of journalistic standards. Deaglán is not included.

    • Kynos says:

      Yirrah twas all a sham there was nothing sincere about that swearing at all it was staged fexake he wouldn’t get past the asterisks on here. Ironic really. He was apparently supposed to be outraged about an attack on his sincerity. So he got falsely enraged about an attack on his sincerity. I might suggest that speaks volumes and there are other issues at work. Such as a descire to be an iconoclast. In itself no bad thing but there are some icons worth preserving and not treating the chamber of Ireland’s government like some backroom bar is one. Even though I feel a hypocrite for saying it.

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