According to today’s Times Conor Casby, who painted the nude portraits of Brian Cowen,(aka BIFFO, the Big Ignorant F*cker From Offaly) which caused a furore in Ireland, has handed the police a series of other satirical works featuring the nation's politicians.
The other works that Mr Casby gave to detectives are said to be in similar vein and feature Bertie Ahern, Mr Cowen's predecessor, and Michael McDowell, the former Justice Minister.
Mr Casby's efforts may have found little favour with fine arts critics or the Taoiseach and his supporters, but opposition political parties renewed their attack on the Government yesterday and the issue was raised in the Irish parliament. Liz McManus, of Labour, told the Dáil: “The public interest will not be served by a national broadcaster bowing to political pressure. We live in a democracy where political satire is part and parcel of our democracy.”
Enda Kenny, leader of Fine Gael, the biggest opposition party, described the reaction by the Government and the police to the paintings as “absolutely over the top”.
Mr Casby now appears to have gone into hiding. He was not at his home in Dublin yesterday and had taken a “personal day” from his work as leader of a programme to encourage potential early school-leavers to remain in education in the capital's inner-city.
Perhaps the Irish Government should give up and leave Casby alone. Cowan and his allies have hardly covered themselves in glory over this stupid episode, Somehow I can’t see BIFFO getting another term as Taoiseach after this foolishness.Still, it's a shame the other paintings were not displayed too!