Saturday 27 December 2014

Where, oh where, is Bertie's adviser Una Claffey?

John Corcoran

Published 19/05/2002 | 00:11

The ?100,000 pa former RTE political correspondent has become invisible lately, says Jody Corcoran

THEY seek her here, they seek her there. But, really, what has become of Una Claffey? Has Bertie's political adviser fallen down an economic black hole?

Fianna Fail's spin doctors brought their black art to a new level during the election campaign, dictating the "news" to that honourable group of stenographers, otherwise known as the pol corrs.

For this, many of the West Wing wannabes in Fianna Fail's election HQ will try to claim the credit.

And who knows, they may even fool a few gullible ministers when it comes to doling out 'adviser' type jobs for the boys and girls.

But really, there was only one Prince of Darkness. Take a bow, PJ, the master puppeteer. Mara was assisted by Gerry Hickey, Martin Mackin and Mandy Johnston. But where was Una? Nowhere to be seen. She was out to lunch with Fergus Finlay last week. But besides dining for Ireland, surely she should have had some role in the triumph.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe because she's paid by the taxpayer she has no business touting for a political party. Which, if that is the case, raises questions about others who had no such qualms.

Una is a seasoned hand in running campaigns. Take Nice, for example. The former RTE political corrrespondent took the Taoiseach's shilling about ?100,000 pa, actually some time back. In doing so, she ruffled a few feathers: Hickey, Johnston etc. Then she was offered the Nice gig. That the campaign was a complete disaster was not entirely Claffey's fault, no matter how the West Wing wannabes gossip behind her back.

We'll look forward to seeing how the wannabes swing Nice next time out. One thing is for sure: to do so will take more than writing a few letters to the Irish Times.

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