Sinead O'Connor rips up a picture of the Pope on "Saturday Night Live"

Top five most shocking Irish scandals


Sinead O'Connor rips up a picture of the Pope on "Saturday Night Live"

Ireland is known for sweeping its scandals under the carpet, but the truth always outs in the end, as today's troubling news has proved. 

Here's a list of the top five Irish scandals of the past three decades, some serious, others less so. Many of them involve the country's leaders and many, strangely, occurred on the "Late Late Show," the nation's long-running chat television program.

Teflon Taoiseach bites the dust

"The most skillful, the most devious, the most cunning of them all." So said one slippery Irish politician, the late former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Charlie Haughey, of another, Bertie Ahern.

Ahern was Ireland's Teflon Taoiseach, seemingly untouched by scandal, until all hell broke loose last year, when it emerged that he didn't have a bank account and could not remember the details of personal financial deals involving thousands of euro - not very impressive from a former finance minister and accountant.

Ahern bowed out of his position, leaving his successor Cowen to deal with the damage.

Haughey's high-life
On Friday night in May 1999, Terry Keane told host Gay Byrne on the "Late Late Show" that she had been having an affair with Charles Haughey for 27 years. The details of their liaison included wildly expensive trips abroad and a high-flying lifestyle.

Haughey was embroiled in the Moriarty Tribunal investigations into his finances at the time. He died shortly afterwards.

Sinead and the Pope
Sinead O'Connor was the darling of the Irish media until she ripped up a picture of the Pope on the "Late Late Show," and on "Saturday Night Live" in the U.S.

Her blasphemous behavior caused a furor. Scandal has continued to dog the tiny pop star, who has since become a priest and accused family members of abuse.

Celibate Catholic Bishop has a son

Bishop Casey was a well-loved public figure and it turned out that he had a flourishing personal life too.

It was outed that Casey had a son, Peter, the product of his affair with an American woman called Annie Murphy.

Casey resigned his post and went to Ecuador after the scandal broke. According to the BBC, he's now back in Galway with the blessing of the Bishop of Galway, Dr. Martin Drennan.

More Haughey mischief

Irish Ministers for finance are a dodgy lot. While Haughey held that position, he was arrested and tried on charges of arms trafficking for the IRA.

Although a court deemed him innocent, the whiff of scandal remained, and for many years, the British government viewed him with suspicion.

Scandals seem endemic in Irish culture, and these stories are only the tip of the iceberg.

What surprising Irish scandals do you remember most clearly?


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