Not Haughey's finest hour
Published 06/01/2013 | 05:00
Madam – Ronan Fanning in his brilliant article (Sunday Independent, December 30, 2012) sets out very well the disastrous posturing of then Taoiseach Haughey and many of those around him in regard to the Falklands issue in 1982. While traditional enemies like Germany and France could support Britain and the UN declaration, we were back to the old posturing of stabbing them in the back when the opportunity arose and like the Bourbons of old, learned nothing and forgot nothing from the visit to Dr Hempel in 1945.
We were backing South American dictator Galtieri who had an appalling human rights record and disregard for UN Resolution 502. The seizing on the regrettable sinking of the Belgrano of course opened up an avenue for the then government to cling on to, even though it was a warship and it and its escorts posed danger.
Our rushing to the UN in the matter only served to isolate us further at a critical time in Anglo/Irish relations, and as Mr Fanning states just made us look foolish.
The only ray of light in the matter is that there were some civil servants who saw the light and made efforts to hold the line.
Mr Fanning's contribution is in contrast to that in another Irish paper which described Haughey's extraordinary Falklands behaviour in Churchillean tones as potentially "his finest hour". While one might again quote Churchill in the matter, "Some chicken, some neck." I thought Haughey's finest hour was actually winning the Tour De France in 1987!
Ballina, Co Mayo