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Random: The Granny Of Cian Healy's Ladyfriend Was CJ Haughey's Mistress

Donny Mahoney
By Donny Mahoney
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Here's Church and his girlfriend Holly Carpenter at the Leinster Awards function last evening. Apropos of nothing but the incredible smallness of Ireland, Google told us today that Carpenter is granddaughter of Terry Keane, journalist and mistress of Charlie Haughey who died in 2008. Or so said the Daily Mail last year.

For this glamorous brunette is not only the newest Miss University Ireland, she is also the grand­daughter of one of the most controversial, divisive figures in recent Irish history: Terry Keane.

Holly grew up knowing that the secret 27-year lover of former taoiseach Charles Haughey, the sharer of his corruption-funded Charvet shirt, Coq Hardi and Celtic Mist lifestyle, was, in fact, her own granny – though Terry never allowed her grandchildren to call her that.

‘She was a larger-than-life character. But we weren’t allowed to call her granny,’ Holly told the Irish Mail on Sunday.

‘It was always “Terry”. If we called her granny she would go mad. We used to do it just to annoy her.’

And while Holly, as she pursues the limelight, will now have to grapple with how to handle her grandmother’s enduring fame – or notoriety – it was not a factor that affected her greatly during her middle-class, Northside upbringing in Dublin.

She was only six years old when Terry told Gay Byrne on one of his last Late, Late shows that she had been Haughey’s long-time lover. But, despite the revelation shocking the nation, it had no major influence on Holly’s childhood in Raheny.

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