Even if Bertie Ahern’s resignation offers Micheal Martin a useful tribal head on a plate, Noel Whelan notes that it also robs the party of some of the best of its recent history:
Ahern led Fianna Fáil for 14 of the last 17 years. He has defined the party in the modern age and has done so in a positive and popular way for most of the time he was leader and taoiseach. In distancing itself from Ahern, Fianna Fáil will find itself having to airbrush him from its history. In fact it will be left without a recent history. Every time, for example, party figures talk about the contribution of the party and Ahern to the Northern Ireland peace process, they will also be reminding the electorate about the findings of the Mahon tribunal.