Charles Haughey & The Arts – a re-assessment. An illustrated talk by Professor Kevin Rafter
Prof. Kevin Rafter is author of Taoisigh and the Arts which was published in 2022. He is currently Chair of the Arts Council of Ireland. Prof. Rafter is Full Professor of Political Communication at Dublin City University where he has been Head of the School of Communications and Associate Dean for Research. He has published extensively on Irish politics and media in leading academic journals and as the author/editor of over a dozen books.
Prior to 2008, he worked as a political journalist holding senior positions with RTÉ News, the Irish Times, Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune as well as being editor of Magill magazine. He will be a Fulbright Professor at Boston College in 2024.
When Taoisigh and the Arts was published in late 2022, the book was described as ‘consistently entertaining and informative’ in the Dublin Review of Books and as ‘a gripping history of the State’s treatment of artists and writers’ in the Irish Independent. A review in Books Ireland said it ‘should be in the in-tray of all Irish politicians.’
Taoisigh and the Arts looked afresh at major political figures in post-1922 Ireland through the work of writers and visual artists. It also examined the legacy of national leaders and considered the priority these politicians placed on the arts during their time in office.
One figure loomed large in Taoisigh and the Arts – Charles J. Haughey.
In this Farmleigh House talk, Prof. Rafter will explore the controversial and contested legacy of the former Taoiseach in terms of his engagement with the arts.