Wednesday 21 November 2018

Haughey documentary was gripping television

John A Murphy

WHEN I was asked a way back by the producers to participate in the Haughey series as a historical commentator with special reference to the Arms Trial, I politely declined since I had no special knowledge of the complexities of "that old shite" episode, to use PJ Mara's elegant phrase.

I was doubly glad I refused the poisoned chalice when I heard producer Niamh Sammon saying on last week's Sunday Supplement that they had decided not to get bogged down in that particular morass. After all, the chief actor had always adamantly refused to discuss the episode publicly, or it appears, privately.

Haughey was gripping television from beginning to end, produced with brilliant professionalism. As historical documentary it wasn't in the same class as Sean O Mordha's magnificent Seven Ages but then it didn't purport to be. Besides, its focus was much narrower.

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