Irish Democracy is Totally Screwed

I was sitting down tonight with a former secret policeman, savouring a quiet pint and enjoying his stories of beating confessions from suspects when he made an observation that, I have to confess, I’d overlooked.

This Vincent Browne thing, he remarked.


The way his show was axed.

Indeed, I interjected. I love the Vincent Browne show.

And it’s gone now, he completed for me.

‘Tis, I agreed. That’s the end of Vincent grilling politicians on the radio.

And re-enactments of Tribunals, he added. Why?

I don’t know, I replied, contritely. Tell me.

(Former secret policemen tend to have that effect on you).

Simple. He asked too many hard questions.

Which was the exact precise fuck-you moment when I realised that Irish democracy is well and truly screwed.

Do you remember the iconic incident when Vincent confronted our crooked-as-fuck Prime Minister at a press conference in the run-up to the last election, and asked him about his crooked-as-fuck contributions from big business? And wouldn’t be shut up by the arrogant-as-fuck PR guy, PJ Mara? Do you remember how he publicly reminded Mara that the crook Haughey had quelled such questions in the past but it wouldn’t happen a second time?


Now the penny drops!

In the same way. In the very same way that Bertie decided to rehabilitate the crook, Beverley Flynn, and suddenly – by magic – our national broadcasting company agreed to halve Beverley’s outstanding legal bills, it appears that the same broadcaster decided to get rid of the turbulent Browne who had the temerity to question Bertie’s honesty.

Magic or coincidence? You decide!

One way or the other, Irish democracy is now a thing of the past.

Goodnight and God bless. Hope y’all enjoy the chicken!

24 thoughts on “Irish Democracy is Totally Screwed

  1. When exactly did we have democracy in Ireland? Pre Bertie? Pre Charlie? Pre Dev? Pre Cromwell? The Begrudgers Guide to Irish Politics by the late great Breandán O Heithir charts the history of mé féin politics back to when the Blacksmiths opposed independence as they felt the gentry would go and take their horses with them.

  2. Speaking of Charles J. It was not so long ago that when the FF government lost a vote of no confidence he, C.J. neglected to dissolve the government as he was obliged and instead attempted to get Brian Lenihan to convince Paddy Hillary, President at the time that it would be ok not to dissolve the Dail. Haughey was “connected” in the Army and Gardai and we were one step away from effective dictatorship. Fair play to Hillary a true patriot, he refused and disolved the Dail. Lenihan went on to run for the office of President himself the cheeky cunt, but was exposed and admitted his role in this sorry affair on prime time news. He had a mature recollection, must have been a buttock clenching moment for him. The electorate gave him his answer in the Presidential election!

  3. Yes, but Comrade Ahern only has the best intentions for this country. And all those dangerous dogs to be destroyed in Dublin. I don’t think so, they’ll be turned into Berties private attack pack so instead of being forced to swallow hemlock, all idlers, fencesitters and nay-sayers shall be savaged by big dogs.

  4. At least you HAVE a journalist willing to ask the tough questions. In the U.S. they all use the talking points straight from the White House. In a recent poll, nearly half of respondents wanted shrub impeached and more than half called for cheney to be impeached, yet the press continues to play lapdog.

  5. Ah here.

    You would swear that Vincent hadn’t been doing shit like that for years.

    The reason why his show was axed was because they needed to move the furniture around out in Donnybrook. In broadcasting this shit just happens.

    Politicians might be able to put some meat on RTE from time to time but they cannot have people fired for ‘asking the wrong kind of questions’. And if they could they certainly wouldn’t get rid of some ranting old codger like Browne, well past his best.

    As for Irish democracy – lighten up would ya this isn’t Sierra Leone.

    Is there anyone blogging who isn’t a self-righteous moan.

  6. Galwaywegian: Well, they told me we had a democracy and I believed them.

    Conan: That bastard, Naomh Pádraig. He should be strung up.

    QJS: Well done, sir. A comment worthy of its own post.

    Niall: It doesn’t have to be.

    b3n: Great idea. I wonder if they’d take a Jack Russell too?

    Medbh: Indeed. That’s the impression most people here have of the US press.

    Ian: I agree. They want to turn RTE into the kingdom of the bland. And yes, most bloggers are self-righteous moans, but then again, so are most commenters.

    Mairéad: I didn’t know he could spell.

  7. Isn’t Vincent going to Newstalk anyway? He’s not dead. And when you compare transparency here (and our press) to the USA, this place seems like fekn paradise.

    I prefer the glass half-full approach. Democracy is not perfect anywhere. And who the hell voted the crowd of shits back in – Beverley included?

    As for the Naomh, this place would’ve been a lot more fun if he’d left us alone. To hell with him.

  8. Ah, Nora, you’re right. It’s just that I liked Vincent’s show so much, with all the reconstructions and reenactments. Not to mention his ritual torture-interrogations of politicians.

    What will we do without Vincent grilling crooked politicians?

  9. I’m not paranoid but… there once was a satirical program on TV called Hall’s Pictorial Weekly that has been credited with the ousting of the Fine Gael/Labour government because of it’s merciless lampooning of said government. Funnily enough the program’s demise coincided with Charlie Haughey’s election as Taoiseach. RTE’s next attempt at satire was a TV program called Night Hawks. Despite attaining a top ten rating for most of it’s lifespan Night Hawks was scrapped after 2 years. Next up was the infamous Scrap Saturday radio program, probably the funniest and nastiest of them all. It had HUGE listening audience but, following a now recognisable pattern, it was inexplicably ‘scrapped’ after 3 years. Of course I’m not implying that any political pressure was applied to RTE to drop any of these programs. I mean every Radio/TV station drops it’s most successful programs at the height of the popularity – don’t they ?

  10. Well remembered. And furthermore, do you recall the incident on Nighthawks that caused such a furore? It was when the late Sean Doherty (former Justice minister) spilled the beans on Haughey during an informal interview on the show.

  11. “I mean every Radio/TV station drops it’s most successful programs at the height of the popularity – don’t they ?”

    They’re saying Vincent’s numbers were down …

    It is understood that falling listenership figures were behind the decision by Ms Leddy to drop the show.

    “Vincent Browne has been consistently losing listeners for a while now, and he was also having problems holding down a backroom team, so it was probably coming,” one Montrose insider said.

    but I grant you, that could be a load of waffle and spin … on the other hand, wouldn’t Vincent deny it? He hasn’t, as far as I know.

    … the 62-year-old said he was leaving RTE on good terms and revealed that he yesterday signed a contract with Random House to write a biography on his old sparring partner, Charles J Haughey.

    I’m quoting the Indo.

    Have a good 12th, all.

  12. I wrote a fantastically insightful and witty comment, then the bastard page refreshed all by itself. Bloody censors, obstructing my hard hitting comments.

  13. Jesus, Nora, you were doing great until you mentioned the Independent.

    Kieran, that’s a complete pain in the arse, but maybe it will spur you on to even more insightful and witty coments. Who knows?

  14. re Hall’s pictorial weekly… Hall relentlessly satirised the coalition government, never had a go at the opposition and, if memory serves, he was rewarded with a state sinecure by the FF government when he was appointed Film Censor, without the post having been advertised.

  15. Conan, I must disagree. Hall’s Pictorial Weekly had a hop off everyone. The demented Ballymagash councillor , played by Frank Kelly, was very definitely FF and don’t forget the slimy Charlie Hawkeye (I wonder who that was ?) . The only reason the Coalition got more stick was because they were the government at the time.

  16. hey man – we’re irish and we love this sort of thing … it’ll take george bush and his cronies to put a nuclear weapons silo in the phoenix park before we realise what they are up to ! we couldnt give less of a fuck

  17. Conan: Whatever else might have happened to Frank Hall, the programme was definitely axed.

    Wrinkly Joe: that’s right. They had a go at everyone, and therefore all the politicians were glad to see the back of them.

    Rambling Man: Well, I gove a fuck. And so does Wrinkly Joe, and Conan and Kieran and Nora and the Hangar Queen, and Mairead, and Medbh and Niall and . . . .

  18. Vincent Brown is back and still on air in 2010. It also has free reign to say whatever it likes. It has invited the most critical commentators onto the show. The very essence of democarcy. Free speech is alive and well in the Republic of Ireland and blossing. It is yet to be seen wheather free speech can generate change.

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