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What is Haughey's Legacy?
In light of the Moriarty Tribunal report into payments made to Charles J. Haughey, it seems as good a time as any to reflect on the career and influence of one of the most controversial politicians - some would say the most controversial politian - that Ireland has ever seen. We now have a clearer, almost forensic, understanding of what Haughey gained from public office, but what about the balance to that? What did he give to the Irish people? What did he leave behind? What is his true legacy?
On 11 February 1992, Charles J. Haughey stood up in the Dáil and gave his own political epithet. 'This is not the time to outline any special list of claims or achievements,' he said. 'Let the record speak for itself. If I were to seek any accolade as I leave office it would simply be: he served the people, all the people, to the best of his ability.' The former Taoiseach praised his party, civil servants, the opposition, and the character of the Irish people on what was his final, significant day in the Dáil. He had been a sitting TD for 35 years. Earlier in his speech he had quoted Othello: 'I have done the state some service. They know't. No more of That.'