Haughey family statement

‘Untrue Claims Regarding Charles Haughey Highly Hurtful’

Charles Haughey pictured in 1970

This is the statement issued on behalf of the Haughey family yesterday:

“Family deeply disappointed and saddened by false claims by Dr TK Whitaker regarding Mr Charles Haughey’s injuries in 1970 that forced him to miss budget speech.

The family of Mr Charles Haughey strongly disputes the article published on Saturday (20th September, 2014) in the Irish Independent, which carried the headline "Charles Haughey was beaten with an iron bar on morning of Budget speech." The family also strongly disputes a similar article published in the Sunday Independent (21st September, 2014), with the headline "Haughey missed budget day because of vicious assault."

The two articles are based on claims made by Dr TK Whitaker about Mr Haughey from the newly published book, "TK Whitaker: Portrait of a Patriot" by Anne Chambers, which are patently untrue.


Dr Whitaker claims that in 1970 “Charles Haughey missed a Budget speech after being beaten with an iron bar in a pub row that morning” and goes on to say that “Haughey’s injuries were the result of a severe beating inflicted by persons unknown in a public house on the morning of Budget day” and were not the result of a horse riding accident.

We wish to state categorically that Dr Whitaker’s claims are completely and utterly untrue.

On the morning in question Mr Haughey was returning to the stables in Abbeville on his horse. He grabbed an overhead drainpipe to dismount from the horse and it reared up and jumped forward when the pipe broke. Mr Haughey fell from the horse and became unconscious.

We also wish to state that the version of events given by Ruth Henderson, who was employed as a groom in Abbeville, in relation to this incident and as outlined in her High Court Action in 1999 and other legal actions, is true and accurate.

It should also be pointed out that several members of the Haughey family attended to Mr Haughey in the immediate aftermath of the accident in question.

We are deeply disappointed and saddened that a highly respected civil servant like Dr Whitaker should make such claims that have caused great distress to Maureen Haughey and her family.

We will not be making any further public statements about this matter.