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From the Fact Better than Fiction Files!

Old 01-09-2010, 08:18 AM
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Default From the Fact Better than Fiction Files!

Whatever happened to sweet innocent little auld Ireland!


Sex Scandal Captivates Northern Ireland

Theunis Bates Contributor

(Jan. 9) - A 58-year-old woman named Mrs. Robinson has an affair with a 19-year-old boy toy, with shocking consequences. No, this isn't the plot of 1967 movie "The Graduate," but a real life political scandal that has gripped Northern Ireland.

On Wednesday, Iris Robinson -- a member of Britain's parliament since 2001, and the wife of Northern Ireland's leader, First Minister Peter Robinson -- announced in an open letter that she cheated on her husband 18 months ago. Mrs. Robinson said that she started the "brief affair" while suffering from severe depression, an illness that prompted her to announce last month that she would step down from Parliament before this spring's general election.

Shortly after that statement was made public, Mr. Robinson appeared on local TV and revealed that his wife had attempted to kill herself over the affair. "My first knowledge of Iris's inappropriate relationship came about midnight on March 1 last year -- the night she tried to take her own life," he said, visibly holding back tears.
Peter Morrison, AP
Now 21, cafe owner Kirk McCambley was 19 when he had an affair with Iris Robinson, the wife of Northern Ireland's leader Peter Robinson.

That was only the beginning of the scandal. On Thursday, the BBC revealed that her lover was Kirk McCambley, the 19-year-old owner of a south Belfast café, who Mrs. Robinson had known since he was 9 years old. The relationship apparently started in early 2008, when she comforted him over the death of his father.

She offered more than a shoulder to cry on. Mrs. Robinson allegedly solicited $80,000 from two local property developers, which McCambley then used to buy his restaurant. After receiving the funds, McCambley claims Mrs. Robinson asked for $8,000 back, possibly to donate to the evangelical church she attends, where her sister is pastor. The details of that deal should have been reported to British parliamentary standards authorities. But Mrs. Robinson kept schtum.

The BBC alleges that Mr. Robinson was drawn into the financial scandal when his wife broke up with McCambley in the fall of 2008. Mrs.Robinson's ex-political adviser Selwyn Black -- the source of the BBC story -- claims that he overheard the First Minister on the phone allegedly advising his wife on how to recover the $80,000.

Mr. Robinson has strongly denied these allegations. "I completely reject [the BBC's] attempt to implicate me by insinuation and innuendo," he said in a statement on Friday. "I will be resolutely defending attacks on my character and contesting any allegations of wrongdoing."
John Harrison, PA Wire
Iris Robinson and her husband, Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson, say they've made it through a marital crisis after her brief affair.

The sordid tale has sent shockwaves through Northern Ireland's deeply conservative society. Many voters -- especially the Protestants who back the Robinsons' Democratic Unionist Party -- think their leaders should also serve as guardians of public morality. That was a role the province's first couple, who have been married for 40 years and have three children, were keen to play.

In June 2008, Iris Robinson outraged human rights campaigners and many fellow politicians when she labeled homosexuality "an abomination" during a radio interview, and said that gay people could be "turned around" with counseling. A few days later, she reiterated her views on local TV, saying, "Just as a murderer can be redeemed by the blood of Christ, so can a homosexual." Gay-rights activists accused her of inciting hatred and lodged complaints with the police, but her husband stood by her. That winter he told the BBC that, "It wasn't Iris Robinson who determined that homosexuality was an abomination; it was the Almighty."

According to the recent BBC story, Robinson's illicit relationship with McCambley began some months before she made those anti-gay comments. That has led one former British MP, Edwina Currie – who famously had an affair ex-Prime Minister John Major – to label Mrs.Robinson "a stinking hypocrite." "Mrs. Robinson has made stupid and ignorant remarks about homosexuals while she was busy betraying her husband and seeking love somewhere else," Currie told the Daily Mail newspaper. "If you go on and on about God's commandments and keep flinging the tablets of stone at other people, sooner of later someone is going to pick up a bit and chuck it at you."

The revelations couldn't have come at a worse time for Northern Ireland's young and shaky government, in which Catholic and Protestant parties share power. Despite months of talks, Peter Robinson and his Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of the nationalist Sinn Fein party, have failed to reach an agreement over the devolution of policing powers from London to Northern Ireland. That failure has added to public frustration over their government's apparent inability to take much-needed action on a series of vital issues.

During his Wednesday interview, First Minister Robinson said that he was "determined to try and put this issue behind me [and] continue the work the people of Northern Ireland have entrusted to me." Whether he still has the public's trust to carry on, though, is another matter entirely.
Menzies is offline  
Old 01-09-2010, 08:31 AM
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Not too shabby...
He could have done far worse.
Steve_250 is offline  
Old 01-09-2010, 09:36 AM
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Heres to you Misses Robinson. Wow 80,000 Mrs. Robinson allegedly solicited $80,000 from two local property developers, which McCambley then used to buy his restaurant. After receiving the funds, McCambley claims Mrs. Robinson asked for $8,000 back, And more in installments obviously
TimW Texas is offline  

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