“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
In the early ‘70s approximately, there was a public house not far from the Four Courts in Dublin.
To liven up the place a cabaret was commissioned for the patrons.
It was, reputedly, a great success. Its reputation spread even to the respectable people.
They sent their agents to investigate its popularity.
What they found was shocking; sufficient for them to launch an assault on the stage, grab the performers and stop them in their tracks.
The performance at that moment, as the evidence in the subsequent prosecution (a prosecution alleging public indecency or some such idea) showed, involved an almost naked man (and a woman whose state of dress or undress I cannot recall).
The detective told the court that the performer had covered his nakedness by means of a bowler hat.
However, when he managed to remove his hands from the bowler hat AND IT REMAINED IN PLACE WITHOUT VISIBLE MEANS OF SUPPORT, the forces of the law pounced.
The defending barrister (he is still practicing) undertook the cross-examination of a lifetime, demonstrating that the “indecency” was a private experience particular to the detective.
Being from Offaly, Brian Cowen may not know of this case, but he should, because it is a warning from history, and a harbinger of what is to come.
At least one of his Fianna Fail colleagues believes that his pictures show him in his toilet. But is this true? Perhaps the toilet is a public toilet? Perhaps the proofs, in the potential prosecution of the artist of the pictures, will include an obligation on the prosecution to lead evidence of their knowledge of his use of public toilets, (and his own), and distinguish those two uses.
Who is the appropriate police officer to give this evidence?
Surely someone from his home town? It would be important that that person could correctly disavow any earlier knowledge of these matters, beyond what is generally known in Offaly of his habits.
Who in Offaly can corroborate this and speak, not to the particular, but to the general knowledge of Offalians of Brian Cowen’s doings in the county.
Start the search now, assuming Brian Cowen is not available himself.