Monday, May 05, 2008

Fear na Sheanaráice


[Fógra: In view of possible wider interest in this post following the death of Seán Cromien (6/8/2018) RIP, I have provided a rough translation in the comments below]


Is cuimhin liom go maith eagrán de "Scrap Saturday" in 1991 nuair a tháinig Bertie isteach sa phost mar Aire Airgeadais. Bhí a cháil cothaithe aige le fada roimhe sin mar "Fhear na Sheanaráice", "de man o' de people", "de Northside ..." pé rud é féin.

Ag an am gcéanna, bhí íomhá "Sir Humphrey" ar an scáileán sa tsraith "Yes Minister".   Sliapaire de Stát Seirbhíseach agus blas na galántachta ag sileadh uaidh.

Bhí an mheas agam ar "Scrap Saturday", agus an cruthú is mó ar chomh héifeachtach agus chomh maith is abhí se ná gur chuir RTÉ deireadh leis.

Ach sa chás seo ba teip náireach í an ceap magaidh a rinneadar de Sheán Cromien, abhí ina Rúnaí ar an Roinn Airgeadais ag an am.

Is ar Bertie abhí an t-Anorak agus ar Sheán an éide galánta, dár leo. B'fhearr le Bertie ceapaire i Fagan's thar lón na n-Uasal san Unicorn. Bhí dul amú mór ar Sheán dá gceapadh sé go mbeadh lámh in uachtar ag an ghalántacht ar ghaois Dhroim Conrach.

Very funny!

Ach ba mhalairt na fírinne é an cur i láthair seo. B'ionann stíl Sheáin agus manaigh na meánaoise: simplí, saor, saonnta; follasach, fiúntach; ciallmhar, coigilteach. Agus Bertie? Agus an t-Anorak agus an PR fágtha ar lár, is mó go mór an stíl agus an éirí inairde abhí ar Bhertie seachas mar abhí ar Sheán.

Is fear umhal daonlaitheach é Seán agus ní bheidh sé pioc sásta leis an méid atá ráite agam. Bíodh sé sin mar atá, is fiú ráite é.

Dúirt Caitríona Crowe le Tom McGurk le déanaí gur fiú go mór "revisionism" toisc gur stair í atá bunaithe ar an fhianaise seachas ar bhaothbhrionglóidí na haoise.

Tá sé in am, má's ea, an babhta Sheáin/Bhertie a thabhairt chun chríche.

A Gerry, a chara, tá sé thar am leithscéal a ghabháil agus an píosa staire grinn seo a hathscríobh faoi dheireadh.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

GS: Quod scripsi, scripsi!

Anonymous said...

@ GS

Mór is trua.

An Spailpín Lucso said...

Aontaím go mór gur fear gan aon éirí in áirde a b'ea é Seán Cromien. Fear ar nós manach ón mheán aois a bhí ann cinnte agus saol simplí aige, murab ionann agus mo dhuine Bertie a bhí ag imeacht go dtí na rásaí go rialta, de réir mar adúirt sé fhaid is a bhí dian obair ar siúl ag Seán ar son na tíre.

Póló said...

Maith thú a Spailpín dílis.

Ní fánach iad na tuairimí agat.

Is cinnte gurbh ar son na tíre abhí an Crómianach ag treabhadh fhaid a bhí Bertie i mbun an úllghoirt.

Póló said...

I offered a translation of this post from May 2008 at this time in memory of Seán who died earlier this week RIP.

________________________________________


The Post

Anorak Man

I remember well the edition of "Scrap Saturday" in 1991 when Bertie became Minister for Finance. He had long cultivated the image of Anorak Man, de man o' de people, de Northside ... whatever.

At the same time we had the image of Sir Humphrey on the telly in "Yes Minister". A slippery manipulative civil servant exuding an air of posh.

I had great regard for Scrap Saturday, and the best proof of its effectiveness and of how good it was, was RTÉ spiking it.

But in this particular instance it was a disgraceful failure in its portrayal of Seán Cromien who was Secretary General of the Department of Finance at the time.

Bertie wore the Anorak and Seán the expensive suit, according to this version. Bertie would settle for a sanger in Fagan's while Seán lunched with the Establishment in the Unicorn. Seán was deluding himself if he thought this posh stuff would win out over the street wisdom of Drumcondra.

Very funny!

But this presentation was the complete opposite of the truth of the matter. Seán's style was that of a medieval monk: simple, free, innocent, transparent, worthy, wise,and sparing. And Bertie? Leaving aside the Anorak and the PR, it was Bertie who was the vain one and not Seán.

Now, Seán is a modest democrat and he would not be happy with me taking all this up in the public arena. Be that as it may. It needed saying.

Catríona Crowe recently remarked to Tom McGurk on the benefits of "revionism" because it is evidence-based history rather than the mythology of the age.

It is time, therefor, for closure in the Seán/Bertie saga.

Gerry, my friend, it long past time for you to apologise and write a definitive version of this little piece of satire.

The Comments

There is one purporting to come from Gerry (GS) where he stands over what he wrote. To which I replied: "more's the pity". Maybe there was some deeper level of satire here that I missed.

Another, from Luxembourg, agrees with my line. To which I replied that Seán was ploughing the public service furrow while Bertie was occupied in the orchard.

Póló said...

I have been reflecting on the first comment above which purports to come from Gerry Stembridge.

Why is it in Latin?

Two possibilities: (i) his Latin is better than his Irish, or, (ii) he is quoting Pontius Pilate in his defence.

Maybe it is both. But, while I do believe in equal opportunities satire, it would be nice to see it serving a constructive purpose rather than purveying a destructive "alternative reality", particularly in the times that are in it.