| 13.4°C Dublin

Eamon Keane: Fianna Fail memory loss is a virus that's been around a while - and it's spreading

THERE is a deadly virus which attacks innocent victims, and it is called the H3-Fianna Fallitis Virus. Typical symptoms include memory loss and an inability to take responsibility for just about anything.

Scientists say it could be genetic and is almost certainly triggered by environmental circumstances. What we do know is that it has hit a succession of daycent Fianna Fail men and wimmin. Its latest victim? An Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

Let's go back to 2008 when you were put into hock for the rest of your life as a result of the State Bank Guarantee scheme. Among the banks who benefited were Anglo. They were essentially bust at that stage.


The questions are simple -- did Brian Cowen know how bad things were at Anglo when he hocked us into debt that fateful September night? Did he have any previous contact with Anglo that might have led him to believe he needed to be careful about an all-encompassing guarantee?

We knew Brian had a bit of grub with Anglo's Board at an oul' dinner that year. But rest assured, because Brian says Anglo affairs weren't discussed. This has been contradicted at the weekend, but give Brian a break. This is where the virus comes in because the H3-Fianna Fallitis Virus can do quare things to a man's memory.

The dinner issue was raised in the Dail in 2009. In fact it was raised on three separate occasions. Well, poor Brian was hit by the virus again and again. An awful dose of it. Worse than swine flu it was.

Brian forgot to tell the Dail about a golf outing with Seanie FitzPatrick at Druids Glen in July 2009.

He forgot to tell about a phone call from Seanie in March 2008 warning of problems with Sean Quinn's shareholding in the bank.

In fairness to Brian Cowen that information was passed to the Governor of the Central Bank when he got the phone call. But Brian may have forgotten to do a follow-up. If he had, he might have asked Seanie how they were planning to get around the Quinn problem.

He might have found out about the Golden Circle and, of course, he would have stopped such a transaction immediately.

So we do know Briano and Seanie played golf and had a bit of grub afterwards in Druids Glen. Brian,says the bank's affairs were not discussed. Of course they weren't.

Now maybe Brian Cowen got the Fianna Fallitis Virus from Bertie Ahern. Bert, viral experts have told me, may himself have caught a dose from CJ Haughey. Back in October of 2000, CJ's legal team presented medical evidence to the Moriarty Tribunal that he was unfit to give evidence due to... memory loss.

Bertie got one of his many recurrent doses back on June 4, 2009. The Bloomberg news agency pointed out that given that economists, the ESRI and others were warning about overheating the economy surely Bertie must have been aware things were going wrong.

Poor Bert couldn't remember anyone saying that: "I can't remember anyone at any level telling me, 'The banks are giving hundreds of millions of euros to developers, and they're borrowing this at short rates, so if anything happens to them, they're caught... I know some people say 'you should have asked'."


But if you're concerned for Bert what about Pee Flynn? Former Minister and EU Commissioner Padraig Flynn was wrecked by the virus.

After being asked by the Flood/Mahon Tribunal to explain a €50,000 donation from Tom Gilmartin to the FF party, which never quite got to them, Pee said: "Memory is a very difficult thing. There are some things that I can't remember happening 20 days ago, never mind 20 years ago."

So there you have it. I tried to contact Health Minister Mary Harney about the virus but she said she had forgotten she is actually a minister.

It's spreading.

Blog: www.citizenkeane.ie Twitter: @eamonbkeane