Tuesday 24 October 2017

If only 'Private Eye' had tackled our banking scandal

As the British satire magazine turns 50, John McEntee looks back at an institution that still has teeth

AT least 15 years before the details of Charlie Haughey's love life were common knowledge from Burnfoot to Bantry, the readers of Private Eye were being regaled with salacious details of the sexual shenanigans of the Fianna Fail leader.

The informant remains a prominent Irish media figure, but he is only one of a legion of anonymous, well-placed informants who mischievously place stories with the satirical magazine, which celebrates its 50th birthday this month.

The late Taoiseach is probably the best-known Irish figure mocked in the part-comic, part-investigative organ. But before examining the half-century history of the Eye, it is worth noting that the spirit of the now sainted Mary Kenny has, for the past 30 years, haunted its joke pages in the persistent euphemistic description of "Ugandan discussion" for sexual activity.

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