Family ‘shocked’ at ‘completely wrong’ depiction of Charlie Haughey

Séan Haughey says ‘Charlie’ drama did not capture his father’s personality

Charlie Haughey's son has said his family was shocked by the "completely wrong" depiction of the former taoiseach in the recent RTÉ television drama series Charlie.

Séan Haughey, a former Fianna Fáil TD and minister, told RTÉ's Liveline yesterday (Wed) that the drama did not capture his father's personality and portrayed him as being obsessed with power.

In particular, he said the portrayal of the relationship between his father and his mistress, Terry Keane, was shocking.

However, Mr Haughey, who is seeking a return to the Dáil, said his mother Maureen watched all three episodes accompanied by her daughter Eimear.


“She’s a divil for punishment,” Mr Haughey said of his mother, and said the scenes of “pillow talk” between his father and Keane were particularly tough for her to watch.

“I think it could have been dealt with much more sensitively,” Mr Haughey said, insisting that Ms Keane’s influence on his father was overstated.

He said Charles Haughey was "a very good father, was there for all of the occasions" and added his mother has never spoken about the relationship her husband had with his mistress.

“She is going to kill me now for talking about it again,” he said.

He also said he can “only speculate” as to whether his mother was aware of the relationship with Keane.

“It was a different generation, different times,” he said. “Things like that went on in politics and right throughout society, generally. She obviously kept her views to herself in that regard.

“You would have thought the two of them dealt with the issue in their own way. They loved each other and you could really see that in their latter years when my father was sick.”

He said it was probably better - "on balance" - that Maureen Haughey wasn't included in the series.

Mr Haughey said the depiction of his grandmother, Charlie Haughey’s mother, was also inaccurate.