Thursday 14 November 2019

Haughey family 'upset' at claims that Charlie refused surgery

Failing health: Haughey
Failing health: Haughey
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Charles Haughey's family has criticised controversial claims that the former Taoiseach wouldn't have treatment for prostate cancer, even though it would have prolonged his life.

The claims, made by Tim Pat Coogan in a new book, were revealed in the Irish Independent on Thursday.

The family said they were "deeply upset and disappointed" by the claims in the book 'The Mornings After - From the Courts Martial to the Tribunals'.

In a statement the family said: "The book claims Charles Haughey was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996, but declined life-saving surgery. This is utterly untrue and highly hurtful to the family of the former Taoiseach.

"The family would like to put on record that their father, Charles Haughey, never refused 'life-saving' surgery concerning his prostate cancer or any other illness."

In his book, Mr Coogan writes that the Fianna Fáil politician was told he had cancer but was assured that if the prostate was removed he would survive.

"However, he was also informed that the operation would render him impotent.

"He refused the operation saying: 'No: there's life in the old man yet'. He died in 2006," the book says.

The family note in their statement that the quotes used by Mr Coogan are unattributed.

The publishers of the book, Head of Zeus, said it had "no comment" to make on the family's statement.

Mr Haughey died at his home from prostate cancer in June 2006.

The new book is pitched as a history of Ireland since 1916 and includes stories about Mr Haughey, Ian Paisley and Albert Reynolds among many others in Irish life.

With regard to Bishop Casey's affair with Annie Murphy, Mr Coogan claims that the cleric liked her to dress in a bikini.

He writes that American-born Annie told a friend that Irish girls "are so prudish" and that the friend kept the secret of their affair for more than 20 years "lest she caused scandal".

'The Morning After' is available in bookshops for €22.50.

Irish Independent

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