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Power and Iris Robinson 'affair'

I feel sorry for Kirk McCambley and I am amazed that his relationship with Iris Robinson is just seen as an affair with a younger man.

Mr McCambley was just 19 when this affair took place. His father had just died, believing that Mrs Robinson would keep a protective eye on him.

She was a powerful, influential woman, who solicited funds for this young man's business.

She also bedded him. And when the "affair" was over, she wanted the money back. If we are to believe what has emerged from this dramatic story, Mr McCambley was trying to get out of this relationship and even feigned illness to achieve this.

Was he a match for this woman in any sense?

It is very difficult for me to see this relationship as anything but exploitative. But this will be an unpopular analysis, because it is easier to say nothing about such things.

Also, there will be those who feel Mrs Robinson's behaviour hits back at what older men have been doing with young women for so long. But, that is exploitative too. And what of Mr McCambley? What will he say? Not very much, I imagine.

It is enormously difficult for males to say that they were exploited sexually, no matter what the circumstances.

Maria Dowling
Dublin 13

Irish Independent