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Ahern, Cowen named Ireland's top blaggers

The former and current Taoisigh top a public poll of people or bodies known for blagging their way into riches.

Image: Peter Morrison/AP

AHEAD OF TOMORROW’S Budget, a public poll has named former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his successor, Brian Cowen, as the country’s ‘top blaggers’ – people who succeed through confidence, trickery or cheekiness.

The poll, commissioned by Irish-owned mobile network Just Mobile, showed Ahern topping the public vote with 57% of respondents declaring him to be Ireland’s best blagger, ahead of Cowen in second place in 22%.

Ahern, the survey said, is best remembered for blagging his way “out of power just in time”, while Cowen also scored highly for “trying to blag his way out of the country’s current economic woes.”

FÁS collectively came third, with 10% of voters – having notably once bought €2,255 of Robbie Williams tickets at the expense of the taxpayer – while controversial senator Ivor Callely came fourth, and former Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue was fifth.

Callely was listed in the poll for his claiming €3,000 in mobile phone expenses from a company that had gone out of business ten years beforehand, while O’Donoghue was criticised for his lavish taxpayer-funded lifestyle while he was Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism.

Just Mobile co-founder Donal Lawless said the survey showed that “the government has set the standard when it comes to professional blagging”.

81% of respondents admitted that the Irish nation was “a great bunch of blaggers”, while among the blagging feats most commonly pursued by respondents were trying to get free drinks on a night out, charming ones way into a VIP area of a nightclub, and meeting celebrities.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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