JOANNE O'RIORDAN: Caught in the act? QuelleSurprise!

We all know about the French President Francois Hollande.

He was elected President of France on 6 May 2012, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, and was sworn in on 15 May. He is the second Socialist Party president of the French Fifth Republic, after François Mitterrand.

He’s in the news, not for being politically able, but for having an affair. On Friday it was revealed that the president had been hooking up with the actress, 41, at a Parisian apartment. Pictures emerged in French Closer magazine of Mr Hollande leaving the apartment located on Elysee Palace.

Yes, it’s all very exciting and like Bill Clinton all over again. Lies, scandal, and well, the First Lady got admitted to hospital for being exhausted, or, as newspaper reports being ‘depressed’.

Although, the picture revealed in Closer looked like Francois, in his defence, it’s hard to say, he does have a big helmet over his head.

However, the question that sparked my interest was: “If this happened in Ireland what would be the reaction?”

We don’t have to go far back to get a quick glimpse, we have Charles Haughey where in May 1999, Terry Keane, revealed on The Late Late Show that she and Haughey had a 27-year extramarital affair. In a move that she subsequently said she deeply regretted, Keane confirmed that the man she had been referring to for years in her newspaper column as “sweetie” was indeed Haughey.

Don’t forget we had good old Bill Clinton who ‘did not have sexual relations with that woman’.

Whilst we were all shocked and appalled at that, the one that took everyone by surprise was Bishop Casey, when in 1992, newspapers discovered that Casey had a sexual relationship with Annie Murphy, an American divorcée. Together they had a son, Peter, born in 1974 in Dublin. When Annie decided to go public about the relationship and informed The Irish Times, Casey tendered his resignation and left the country. She later published a book, Forbidden Fruit, in 1993 revealing details of their relationship.

Although it was a huge shock that our beloved bishops could do such a thing, doesn’t it prove these ‘gods’ that we look up to are regular people too?

I must say, I do love the good saucy story of someone having an affair, but realistically, as the French people have said about Mr Hollande, it’s not affecting their lives, but it shows that some magazines would go to any lengths to sell copies.


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