Haugheys hit out at TV depiction of CJH

The Haughey family was "horrified" over the portrayal of the deceased former taoiseach Charlie Haughey in the recent three-part RTÉ series.

Haugheys hit out at TV depiction of CJH

His son, Cllr Sean Haughey, claimed it was “an intrusion” and a particularly difficult experience for his mother Maureen. He also said the series gave too much prominence to the role of Terry Keane — who had a long-running affair with Charlie — and that the “pillow-talk scenes” were “quite explicit”.

The comments, on Radio 1’s Liveline, are the first from the family since the series ended last Sunday.

Mr Haughey, a former TD, said his 89-year-old mother had watched all three episodes in the company of a family member. Mrs Haughey was not portrayed in the programme.

“I’m sure she is not particularly happy about it,” Mr Haughey said. “From a family point of view, we were dreading it. The main shock was the prominence given to Terry Keane, the pillow-talk scenes and so forth, it was quite explicit.”

Expanding on the relationship between Ms Keane and his father, he said: “It was a constant theme right throughout the three parts of the drama and I don’t think that was necessary. I don’t think her influence was that significant, so I would fault the drama in that sense.”

He also said of any suggestion of a pregnancy as a result of the Keane-Haughey affair: “I would imagine it’s completely untrue.”

While paying tribute to actor Aidan Gillen’s physical performance as the Fianna Fáil leader, Mr Haughey said the depiction of his father “did not capture his personality at all”, portraying him as driven by money and power. He also criticised the portrayal of some of Haughey’s political colleagues, arguing that ministers were shown as “idiots” when this was not the case, while he also took issue with the depiction of his grandmother, Sarah Ann Haughey, as “a bitter, deranged old woman”.

He said that, on balance, it was probably for the best that his own mother was not portrayed, even though he said she had also “done the State some service” and had a ringside seat for a number of major moments in Irish history, not just as a “dutiful wife”, but also as daughter of former taoiseach Seán Lemass.

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