Tuesday 12 November 2019

Sean Doherty's daughter slams 'Charlie' drama

Former Minister for Justice Sean Doherty pictured in 1983
Former Minister for Justice Sean Doherty pictured in 1983
Gavin O'Connor as Sean Doherty in RTE's three part drama Charlie
Aidan Gillen in Charlie
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

THE daughter of the former Justice Minister Sean Doherty has condemned the depiction of her late father in the RTE television drama 'Charlie'.

Rachel Doherty said her father was depicted as "a cartoon figure" who was also supposed to have been a key figure in leader Charlie Haughey's government in the early 1980s. "Overall, the series adds nothing to our knowledge or understanding of those extraordinary events. There is no attempt to contextualise what was occurring at that time," Ms Doherty told the Irish Independent.

Ms Doherty, who is a Fianna Fail member of Roscommon Co Council, said she reluctantly commented on the series on grounds that she had to defend her late father's memory. "I was 12 years of age when Sean Doherty was first appointed to government. I am not competent to comment on the details of allegations which have been made against my father but I know most of them, which have endured for years, are based on hearsay," she added.

"I am frustrated by the portrayal of my father as this villain character which is inherently contradictory. On the one hand he plays a key role in the work of the Taoiseach of the day and on the other hand he is a cartoon figure," Ms Doherty said.

She said people have to take on board the events which occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s. "There was a major economic crisis which afflicted the country. There was deep division and extreme rivalry within Fianna Fail and there was a different code of values in the Ireland of the day. The problem is that this is being judged by today's standards," Ms Doherty argued.

RTE defended the depiction of Mr Doherty. "The intent of the drama is not to upset any individual or his/her family," a spokesperson explained. "Rather to tell the story of a tumultuous time in recent Irish political and social history through the dramatisation of the public life."

RTE said it had received no complaints and the second episode pulled in average ratings of 726,000.

Irish Independent

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