Tuesday 24 April 2018

‘Bloodthirsty RTE drama will hurt Charles Haughey’s widow Maureen’ – Mary O’Rourke

Mary O'Rourke
Mary O'Rourke
Aiden Gillen as Charles Haughey
Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

FORMER minister Mary O'Rourke believes the forthcoming RTE Haughey drama will hurt his widow Maureen.

The Fianna Fail matriarch, who served in Charlie Haughey's cabinet, believes that in order to "provide blood-thirsty drama and make money", the three-part series will inevitably concentrate on "macho males' roles" and the "liaison with the winsome Terry" (Keane).

She believes all of this will sadden Mr Haughey's widow Maureen, who previously had to endure Ms Keane revealing her long-term relationship with the former Taoiseach live on 'The Late Late Show'.

"I'm glad she has such great children to support her," Ms O'Rourke told the Irish Independent about the drama in which Sting's ex-wife Frances Tomelty will play Maureen.

Last week, Mr Haughey's daughter Eimear said that the family fears "a hatchet job".

But Ms O'Rourke (75) says that she has already had a good laugh at the actor playing her late brother Brian Lenihan Snr. He will be played by Peter O'Meara, who is currently in the role of dentist Andrew in 'Love/Hate'.

Ms O'Rourke said both she and her sister-in-law Anne are prepared for the show.

"In fact myself and Anne were giggling about it on the phone when we saw the actor playing Lenihan on set had an abundance of hair.

"I just hope the actor playing Brian will capture both sides of him: the bubbly charming guy and the bookish person," she said.

Admitting she would be glued to the drama, Mary did express surprise that the writers of 'Charlie' had not consulted her as someone who served under Haughey.


"I would hope they have read my book because there is a good bit about Haughey in it," she said. "In my opinion, Charles Haughey was a very good leader of Cabinet.

"Of course there were things that were wrong but there were also things that were very much right. I heard a historian remark lately that it will be some time before we can really put Charles in perspective," she said.

Directed by Kenny Glenaan and Charlie McCarthy, the three-part drama will cover the period from his bid for power in 1979 and go on to chronicle his attempts to maintain that power until his departure from politics in 1992.

It will star Aidan Gillen as Haughey, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as PJ Mara.

Irish Independent

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment