A Thread of Violence

Ronan McDonald at The Guardian:

Grotesque. Unbelievable. Bizarre. Unprecedented. The then Irish prime minister Charles Haughey famously used these four words at a press conference in the summer of 1982, when a double murderer, the subject of a high profile nationwide search, was found to be staying as a guest in the seaside penthouse of the attorney general, Patrick Connolly. The most wanted criminal in Ireland was occasionally chauffeured around in the state car provided to the Irish government’s chief legal adviser, complete with a garda driver.

It was Conor Cruise O’Brien who shortened this into the acronym that was to define an era: Gubu. The ensuing scandal cost Connolly his job and contributed to the fall of the Haughey government later that year. Picking up Mark O’Connell’s remarkable new book about these murders, I was half expecting social analysis, and perhaps some theoretical reflections on 1980s Ireland, such as Fintan O’Toole offers when dissecting the case in his recent autobiographical social history, We Don’t Know Ourselves.

more here.