An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Thursday, May 19, 2005  

Even more on Conor

Well, he livened up the blogosphere if nothing else. I take a slight knock in Richard Delevan's blog and he also has a convenient list of links to other sites. His observations did serve to remind me of how being 'inside' conditions one's reactions. I actually know Conor quite well and we worked together for a couple of years persuading county councils to give planning permissions for mobile phone masts and persuading county councillors not to complain - we were very successful. He was also solely responsible for getting the Digifone deal with the Gardai to put antennas on their masts - a development which had a material impact on Digifone's performance.

He is more like his father than people think. Brian Sr. had a huge intellect. He was incredibly well read and far more sophisticated then he ever let on to be. For some reason, and I have no idea why, he played the buffoon as Haughey's sidekick all those years. When Haughey completely shafted him in 1992 by sacking him as Minister for Defence during the Presidential Election, neither he nor any of the Lenihans would criticise Haughey and still won't to this day.

Conor is also well read and once or twice I've seen him let his guard down and actually seriously discuss a topic. In fact I saw it happen once on Q&A when he got into a conversation with an audience member. He made a casual reference to The Affluent Society but the audience member assumed he was calling Ireland an affluent society and had clearly never heard of JKG. Conor started to explain himself but within seconds abandoned it, choosing not to start teaching the audience and even tho' the guy was hostile he changed tack onto something else more on the level. I thought it was revealing. Can you imagine McDowell or McCreevy allowing a humble member of the public to remain in ignorance? They would have been shot down immediately.

He is tho' completely wired and seems content to fulfill the role as class messer whilst big bro' Brian retains the dignity of the law professor that he is. The real mystery is why Bertie snubs Brian who should really be a senior Minister and clearly favours Conor.

Finally, my reaction is also indicative of how accustomed we are to the non-resignations of FF ministers and TDs. If Liam Lawlor was allowed out of Mountjoy to come up to the Dail and vote, then I can hardly be blamed for dismissing any calls for Conor's resignation. Of course why anyone votes FF at all is beyond me but given that they do, we have the standards we are prepared to tolerate.

posted by Sarah | 20:45 4 comments
Your comments on Conor Lenihan's intelligence and political sophistication may be more perceptive than you realise. How about this for a theory? His remark about kebabs may not have been a simple throwaway insult in the cut-and-thrust of what passes for parliamentary debate, but a calculated remark designed to appeal to inherently xenophobic types amongst his constituents. Even if the remark was not calculated in this way, it could certainly serve a purpose for him on a local front. For that reason, despite your "inside" knowledge of Conor Lehihan's personality I feel that you are possibly naive in putting it down so cheerfully to some sort of characteristic lapse. It usually pays to analyse motive, even when assessing the impact of what may seem a throwaway line.
Where does he get the bogger accent. Isn't time that Dublin votes were kept for Dublin people?
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Well - glad it was seen as only the slight knock it was intended to be.

I think the difference between Conor 'Fredo' Lenihan's performance on the one hand and Liam Lawlor, McDaid and the rest is an epistemological one.

I KNOW what Conor did and said - because I heard it with my own ears and saw it with my own eyes.

I never SAW brown envelopes change hands, or someone get behind the wheel after a dozen pints. My knowledge is filtered through opinions, ideology, my trust in the authority of sources (how many Irish people still believe Michelle de Bruin Smith is innocent, for example).

But because I KNOW that Conor said those things, in the way that he said them, there is no debate.

It's the failure of the political class to act when even a certitude of an offence is available that is appalling.

If we can't bring some hygiene to the political system when we're certain, when can we?

End rant. Have a giggle.
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