Friday 24 November 2017

Novel lampoons Haughey as sexual opportunist

Unspoken by Gerard Stembridge
Unspoken by Gerard Stembridge

John Spain Books Editor

CHARLIE HAUGHEY is depicted as a "lizard" and a sexual opportunist in a new novel by the man who regularly satirised him on the 'Scrap Saturday' radio show.

'Unspoken', which goes on sale this week, is set in the 1960s and mercilessly lampoons the great political figures of the day, with Haughey a prime target.

The book is written by Gerry Stembridge, who was the main writer on the infamous 'Scrap Saturday' programme which left politicians cowering in the 1980s.

His new work paints Haughey as "the Lizard son-in-law" who married the daughter of the Boss (Sean Lemass) and then carried on an active sex life away from home.

Haughey is envied and despised by 'Dom', the famous Donogh O'Malley who, as Minister for Education later, would start free secondary education.

In 1961, however, he was still parliamentary secretary to Haughey, who was Finance Minister.

In the novel, Dom remembers a night out with Haughey.

"I was flying it until Charlie pulled that PR one into the gents to try and ride her . . . Charlie finally returned and I'd love to be able to describe to you, Taoiseach, the look of satiety on your son-in-law's lizard face, but that isn't what you want to hear from me right now, is it?" he asks.

In contrast, Dom is a more sophisticated ladies' man who prefers the "rustle of silk negligee draped on a chaise longue".

He looks with disdain on his Fianna Fail colleagues who look to "the kitchenette of a two-room flat in Phibsboro, beer spilt down a blouse, then pawed at in pretend apology".

The novel sends up the Irish political system as well as Irish society as a whole.

Irish Independent

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