“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Follow That CAB

The second episode of Dirty Money, TV3’s series on the Criminal Assets Bureau and its war on Irish organised crime, screened last night, CAB being a unique and largely successful Irish experiment in targeting criminals’ assets whether or not it could be proved individuals had broken any actual laws in accumulating them. CAB came into being in the wake of the murder of the Sunday Independent’s investigative reporter Veronica Guerin (and, lest we forget, that of Detective Jerry McCabe), and the series is narrated by Guerin’s then peer and rival, Paul Williams of the Sunday World (the series is loosely based on Williams’ best-selling account of the period, THE UNTOUCHABLES). Marred by excessive Sunday World branding, and a faux hardboiled delivery on Williams’ part, it is nonetheless a fascinating account of a watershed in the Irish public consciousness, not least for its impressive array of talking heads, which includes most of the main players from the time. The first vid we posted had no sound, mainly because we're monkeys when it comes to the techie stuff, but our second attempt (featuring the relevant ministers Ruari Quinn and Nora Owen, and the then Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne) tries to answer John McFetridge's question in the comment box, about how you get the country to care about such matters. You take the Twenty Major approach, if Ruari Quinn is anything to go by ... Roll it there, Collette …

4 comments:

Twenty Major said...

Oh, I was watching this last night.

I had the 'Now it was personal' line spouted about two seconds before him. Then I laughed. What else can you do?

ps - no sound on that video.

Declan Burke said...

No sound might be the best way to watch Paul Williams ... I'll see what I can do. Cheers, Dec

John McFetridge said...

Still no sound, but it LOOKS cool.

What we'd like to know is how you go about getting, "the Irish public consciousness," to focus on one thing. The recognition that there IS organized crime is a great step. Truly, we're jealous.

We've had a few reporters targeted, http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2006/08/28/auger-retire-crime.html
and the RCMP has "proceeds of crime" department, but we've never managed to get any public interest. We're experts at looking the other way.

Maybe the great Irish crime fiction helps.

Declan Burke said...

John - Maybe the smaller population helped, everyone seemed to take it personally at the time ... Also, it coincided with the murder of a Detective Garda, so there was a snowball effect ... There's a sense that, among all the other consequences of Veronica Guerin's murder, it had a hugely cathartic impact on Irish crime fiction. The 'new wave' of Irish crime coming now had its origins back then, I'm sure. Cheers, Dec