By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — Following her "kiss ‘n tell" disclosures about a 27-year affair with Charles Haughey four months ago, columnist Terry Keane is now cutting links with the past and has put her portrait of the disgraced former taoiseach up for sale.
The Roderick O’Connor portrait of Haughey will be auctioned by Adams in Dublin on Sept. 29 along with other arts works belonging to Keane, including a bronze bust of her by Gary Trimble.
Keane, who turned 60 last week, said she is at the stage where, she said, she feels she should shed some possessions.
"I just want to live in the future and I don’t need all the paintings," she said. "I prefer to count friends rather than paintings."
Keane said the events of this year had taken their toll on her friendship with Haughey. "We have gone our separate ways," she said. "There will always be affection and love there."
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She said she still had many mementos of her affair, including photographs, letters and poems.
"Before people reach the wrong conclusions — which they always seem to do about me — only one painting that is on sale, the portrait, was given to me," she said. "The rest of them, I earned the money by the sweat of my brow and I collected them by working very hard."
Keane said the last year had been particularly traumatic for her.
"I needed to get out of a relationship that was really going nowhere and was never going anywhere, I suppose," she told RTE. "When someone close passes out of your life, you go through a process really of grieving and anger and loss. Rather like a death. You then clear out all the effects to go on to hope and to new life."
She said St. Augustine considered his confessions as the beginning and not the end of his productive life.
Keane believes that Haughey’s "true friends" would remain loyal to him.
"Like everybody else, I watch what happens to Charlie with interest and compassion and I wish him well," she said. "Absolutely. I always will."
When she first revealed details about her affair with Haughey on the last "Late Late Show" hosted by Gay Byrne in May, she said she had told the former taoiseach what she was going to do at a lunch the day before.
"Charlie asked me if I could wait, because there is so much going on
at the moment," she said at the time.
She decided to go ahead because a book about the affair was about to be published. She later serialized her memoirs in a Sunday newspaper.