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John Bruton and the happiest day of his life! Well, not quite. June 23, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Stephen Collins mentioned this some weeks back and I just had to go looking. This was on foot of the visit of the Prince Charles recently to the state – natch. But it appears John Bruton’s speech on his last(only?) significant visit in 1995 wasn’t quite as awful as it is sometimes made out to be.

The line is that Bruton said it was the “happiest day of his life”, but Collins was emphatic that he didn’t. I can’t find the text of the speech but there is a snippet of it on youtube and some secondary sources. Let’s just say that in fairness to Bruton – words you won’t see me writing every day – it wasn’t quite as bad as that. Mind you, it wasn’t great either, so much so that the genuinely great Mary Holland – a voice that is sadly missed – wrote this:

I am not concerned, well not primarily, with how John Bruton chose to conduct himself publicly during the Prince of Wales’s visit. Any Irish leader who is described as “embarrassingly effusive” by the London Times and inspires a leader in the Guardian urging him to get a grip on his“extravagantly nonsensical attitudes” to the royal guest must – mustn’t he? – learn from his mistakes.

By the time the next English prince or princess arrives, the Taoiseach will be able to remember that it was his own party which declared this State a republic, and may even have learned that, when in the grip of powerful emotions, it is safer to stick to the prepared script.

But what did he say – well, here’s some of it.

Your courage your innovation and your initiative in coming here has done more in symbolic and psychological terms to sweep away the legacy of fear and suspicion that has lain between our two peoples that any other event in my lifetime.

To his credit – words you won’t find me writing every day either – Prince Charles looked utterly baffled and somewhat embarrassed by it to judge from his reaction on video available from the event..

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it, as to what powers the sort of effusiveness that was on display then?

Comments»

1. Seán Ó Murchadha - June 23, 2015

Did Bruton not say on the day that Charles “represents much of what we aspire to be”?? I’m open to correction.

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2. CL - June 23, 2015

“This is what you get when you found a political system on the family values of Henry VIII…
the prospect of a morose bat-eared and chinless man, prematurely aged, and with the most abysmal taste in royal consorts, is a distinctly lowering one’
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2010/06/charles_prince_of_piffle.html
Sometimes one misses Hitchens.

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3. 6to5against - June 23, 2015

‘…..Prince Charles looked utterly baffled and ….’

But then again, Charles always looks a little baffled to me. he seems to live in a state ot royal perplexity.

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4. dmfod - June 23, 2015

What’s more revealing is that his rhetoric is almost identical to the fawning over QEII on her visit! He just ‘matured’ a bit earlier than the rest of us 😀

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5. EXCLUSIVE! JOHN BRUTON’S ‘TUT TUT’ COMMENT RE BRITISH ARMY DRESS ETIQUETTE! | 11sixtynine - April 20, 2016

[…] but that couldn’t possibly be the ‘John Bruton’ we know who, as a proud Irishman, would never offer ‘jolly hockeysticks’ to the British […]

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