Ó Broin, Boyd Barrett, Paul Murphy: all from backgrounds as ‘posh’ as FG leadership

Economic and social background is not a useful guide to ministerial ability

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

In the 20th anniversary edition of his 1991 book Jiving at the Crossroads, John Waters describes an exchange at a press conference during Charles Haughey’s last days as taoiseach, early in 1992. Haughey was responding to claims by former minister for justice Seán Doherty in a now iconic interview on the Nighthawks programme on RTÉ television that as taoiseach Haughey had been aware of the bugging of two journalists’ phones.

Asked by a journalist at the press conference whether the Doherty interview related to a leadership bid by “Albert Reynolds and the western alliance” Haughey threw back his head and corrected him: “You mean the country and western alliance.” “For a moment,” Waters writes, “the hostility of the press conference dissipated and Haughey had most of the journalists laughing and again eating out of his hands.”

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.