Sunday 18 February 2018

Haugheys contact RTE over fears of 'hatchet job'

Aiden Gillen playing Charlie Haughey.
Aiden Gillen playing Charlie Haughey.

Ken Sweeney, Entertainment Editor

THE family of Charlie Haughey fear the upcoming TV series will be “a hatchet job” on the controversial former Taoiseach.

Eimear Mulhern – a daughter of the former Fianna Fail leader – said the

family have not had any negotiations with RTE over the €3.7m three-part series.

The Haughey family have written to RTE director general Noel Curran requesting a meeting due to their “alarm” over the drama which will star Aidan Gillen as Mr Haughey.

Ms Mulhern told the Herald: “This is going to be a hatchet job because RTE haven't interviewed anybody who knew my father well.

“It's grossly wrong. Nobody came near the family.”

The Haughey family believe that, as a public service broadcaster, RTE should have involved and consulted them

about the series which won an investment of €1m from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland's Sound And Vision Fund.

“Any citizen should have a fair and

reasonable account of their life rather than a hatchet job, but RTE haven't consulted the people who knew Charles Haughey well so we know exactly how it's going to be.

“We knew this man. He didn't have horns growing out of his head,” Ms Mulhern said.

“We have written to Noel Curran, the director general of RTE requesting a meeting because we are alarmed that this series is getting so much publicity and we know nothing about it.

“Our friends loved him. Among the people of Ireland, it's 50/50, half love, half hate. Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher, it was the same for them.

“That's the way it is with all strong personalities. But RTE have no interest in that 50pc,” she added.

Ms Mulhern said RTE has not considered the impact a negative portrayal of her father will have on her mother, Maureen, and the extended Haughey family.

“I think it's disgraceful. I just feel it is very hard for my mother and the the nephews and nieces,” she said.

In an attempt to combat the negative view they fear will be given in the series, the Haughey family have set up a

website to “provide factual information on his career in public life and on his considerable contribution and achievements over many decades”.

Ms Mulhern backed her father's former press secretary PJ Mara's public comments that the RTE drama would bring out Mr Haughey's strengths as well as “fault-finding”.

“We don't want a fairy story but, for instance, look at the things my dad did for older people which are now being taken away,” she said.

Penned by Dublin-born writer Colin Teevan, the series is currently in the middle of nine-week shoot.

Irish Independent

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