Friday 28 October 2016

Publican's frantic chase through the streets of Dingle to find Charlie Haughey

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 13/08/2015 | 14:08

Publican Finn Mac Donnell with the precious 'Charlie' portrait
Publican Finn Mac Donnell with the precious 'Charlie' portrait
Finn's uncle Oliver McDonnell who purchased the portrait
Charlie Haughey

A publican has described how he engaged in a frantic chase through the streets of Dingle in order to recover a portrait of ex-Taoiseach Charlie Haughey.

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Finn Mac Donnell, of Dickie Mack's pub, told that he was tipped off to the fact that a group of patrons had taken the painting from the wall of the pub.

"A guy came over and said to me there's a few lads that have taken Charlie," he said.

Finn immediately left the crowded bar and ran through the streets of the town until he caught up with the thieves.

"When they saw me coming they threw Charlie onto the road.

"To my surprise they weren't young lads, they were quite well-to-do.

"Luckily I managed to catch him mid-air and prevent any serious damage being done to him," he said.

The men offered Finn €50 to cover repairs but he didn't hesitate in demanding €100.

"The frame was badly damaged so I took the money as I knew we would have to restore it to its original condition," he said.

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The painting has been in situ in Dickie Mack's for seven or eight years, after Oliver Mac Donnell bought it at auction.

Charlie's portrait had previously been the subject of controversy when a pint was maliciously thrown over him last January.

Finn said that Charlie has now been 'properly' attached to the wall of the pub, lest anyone attempts to abduct him in a similar manner.

Charlie Haughey was a regular visitor to Dickie Mack's pub before his death in 2006.

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