Saturday 23 September 2017

Cosgrave brings to life the ghosts of old politics

The former Taoiseach is a precious link to the chaotic first years of the State and reminds us of the challenges the government faced, writes John-Paul McCarthy

LIAM Cosgrave gave a remarkable speech last week at the launching of a new biography of former Taoiseach J A Costello at the Mansion House.

Lord Tennyson once warned that old ghosts only emerge "to trouble joy", but sometimes old Irish political ghosts aspire to more than a wander around the ramparts of memory lane.

For a man of his advanced years, Cosgrave looked almost radiant at the podium, delivering most of his wide-ranging speech without glancing down at his text. He did his best to make people take Costello seriously as a Taoiseach, a rather hard sell at the best of times considering the fact that all of his major decisions were composites, as befitted a chief executive who had five hungry party mouths to feed while in office.

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