Ahern to resign, Oireachtas in chaos..?

If this is true, and we’ve no reason to think that David and the guys at Politics.ie are wrong, then it might explain Michael McDowell’s strange reversal on RTE this evening… Keep watching this space…

Update from Politics.ie:

20.35 – It now seems unlikely that Ahern will resign tonight, preferring to hold out for the Dail to debate/discuss the matter on Tuesday (as Tom Kitt has allowed), however with the PDs in discussions tonight, will they be the ones made walk if Ahern is holding out? Both Ahern and McDowell are said to be “on standby”.

Watch RTE Nine O’Clock News… PD’s coming back from all over the country in a crisis meeting to prepare response to any statement Ahern/FF may make…

Update to the Update: Keep your eye on Politics.ie for further reports.As a footnote, this was the last report from the Irish Times Breaking News Service, which had McDowell broadly in support (subs needed) of the Taoiseach:

Mr McDowell said he had not addressed the issue of the payments in Manchester before now because he had to first seek clarification on the issue of the IR£39,000 loans made to Mr Ahern in December 1993 and in 1994. The Tánaiste added that it appeared that the payment received in Manchester was a gift.

“The Taoiseach has emphasised that this was not an official function that he travelled privately that he didn’t have an official script and that he wasn’t speaking in his capacity as Minister.

“So I don’t think it can be seen as a fee for an official engagement or something like that and I also understand that he does not categorise it as loan so in those circumstances I suppose it would have to be seen as a gift or as a political donation and I understand that he doesn’t see it as a political donation and that leaves the category of gift,” Mr McDowell said.

He said the tax status of the money was not the primary issue. It’s status in terms of standards, that’s the crucial thing and whether it can be defended,” Mr McDowell said.

More than one person I’ve spoken to tonight has quoted Albert Reynolds’ observation that “its the little things that trip you up”. Ahern, the Teflon Taoiseach is going to be fighting for his political future between now and next Tuesday – if not sooner! Irony of Ironies, only days after his old buddy Tony Blair had handed in his departure ticket in Manchester.

  • David is ex-Progressive Democrat, so his information may well be correct. Keep the box tuned to RTÉ (in between watching the candystripes) for the obligatory newsflash if true…

  • From p.ie:

    “20.30 – One of my sources is now saying there won’t be a resignation tonight, but a statement nonetheless. Progressive Democrats National Executive meeting tonight.

    “20.35 – It now seems less likely that Ahern will resign tonight, preferring to hold out for the Dail to debate/discuss the matter on Tuesday (as Kitt has allowed), however with the PDs in discussions tonight, will they be the ones made walk if Ahern is holding out? Both Ahern and McDowell are said to be “on standby”.”

  • George

    Is McDowell bigger than Bertie? He is playing a high risk, high profit game.

    If he walks and Bertie still survives and gets the independents to keep FF in power until next May, it should be some election.

  • Brian Boru

    Bertie MUST go to save FF from anhiliation next May. Bertie – like Tony in the UK – is prolonging the agony for his party – although of course Tony hasn’t admitted to something like what Bertie did. Allegedly a poll is coming out tonight. Intriguing…

  • George

    Brian,
    “Bertie MUST go”.

    Said by a man who will be voting PD. As I said, if Bertie survives, this could be a high risk strategy for McDowell.

  • i know nothing

    el matador,

    why would bertie resign? whats up? and what has mcdowell got to do with it

  • Brian Boru

    George I wan’t the govt to survive but it can’t after the next election unless FF does reasonably and it WONT with Bertie as leader. He is fatally damaged. The new FF leader needs time to ease into the job and rebuild the public’s confidence. Bertie must go and go now!!!!!

  • Carson’s Cat

    As one who doesnt have the ‘luxury’ of RTE can anyone tell me exactly what the 9pm news is or isnt saying?

  • Brian Boru

    No real announcement other than McDowell demanding more info on the 8,000 cash for Ahern in Manchester.

  • RTÉ described Ahern’s premiership as ‘hanging in the balance’, and said ‘dark clouds are gathering over Leinster House’. Kenny and Rabbitte (the self-styled ‘Alternative Government’) were together at the plughing championships, and both seemed to be turning the screw further.

    RTÉ seemed to believe that the timeframe was still playing to next Tuesday, but McDowell didn’t look a happy bunny.

  • Brian Boru

    McDowell rumoured to be resigning tommorrow.

  • George

    Brian,
    If FF succumb to this Bertie must go or we walk idea from the PDs they will be playing into the PD idea of watchdog. It won’t happen.

    The risk for the PDs is that FF either close ranks behind Bertie or a new FF leader cuts a deal with independents and govern until next May.

    Then we have the nightmare scenario (for the PDs) of potential wipeout at the next election.

    It all depends on public opinion about Bertie and McDowell.
    So many imponderables that anything could happen. There are no MUSTs here.

    Right now the Irish people must decide on Prime Time or Lethal Weapon.

  • Get realfolks

    What a bad bad man that Bertie is. Imagine the cheek of him; accepting money from his friends when he was down on his luck. he should be made to wear sackcloth and ashes. Or maybe he should just resign and go on to a much higher paying post in the E.U. or at the U.N.
    The slabbering at the mouth of those hypocrites who just love to put the boot in when someone is down beggars belief.

  • Crataegus

    It will be interesting to see how the cards fall and who has a strong hand ahead of the next election.

    PDs playing their joker? FF trying to get a reshuffle?

  • Turbopaul

    Its a shooting gallery!

    Anyone got an idea of the final line up at next months Scotland get together, let alone the talks in November?

    Will 666 McDowell take over?

    If McDowell, Paisley, and Adams meet in the revolving door of StAndrews Hotel, it will a year to stop spinning.

  • Turbo- McDowell would not take over in any scenario. The PDs are the junior coalition partner. The most likely replacement should it come to pass that Ahern leaves office is Brian Cowen.

  • Turbopaul

    Could this lead to an early election?

  • stewart

    I laugh at you eejits wetting yourselves with excitement at political events in Eire.
    Get real lads-when all is said and done it is a foreign country.

  • Turbo-

    Depends on whether the PDs maintain the coalition. I wouldn’t think McDowell would be in any rush to give up his Tánaiste’s seat in the Dáil given that it’s still warm from Harney’s arse having left it just a couple of weeks ago.

    This all has a mild whiff of “The money was just resting in my account” 😉

  • Greenflag

    ‘Could this lead to an early election? ‘

    It could . And Bertie could go to the country with a record of sustained economic growth and stability in Government whereas the Opposition could go to the country looking seemingly looking for 8,000 pounds and putting the boot into Bertie for having too many friends willing to help him out .

    Yes maybe it’s time for Bertie to bite the bullet and call a snap election . Now about those alternative slump coalition policies ?

    Where will they be then ?

    Back on the opposition benches post election. IMO

  • Get realfolks

    Greenflag

    Totally agree. It would be a cakewalk for FF.
    Please don’t mention repartition as a possible solution.

  • Mick Fealty

    stewart,

    Foreign or not, it could have an enormous bearing on Northern Ireland.

  • Turbopaul

    What would be the timetable for a snap election and would there be time before the November 24th deadline?

    I can see the headline:

    Bye, Bye, Bertie, Humbled Hain Puts Back Deadline!

  • Mick Fealty

    Vincent Browne is majoring on it now.

  • joeCanuck

    Ah, there’s the rub Mick.
    While the rest of the world is worrying about how to deal with global warming and competing with the rise of China and India as global economic giants, there are those in N.I. who don’t care about “foreign” countries (even their closest neighbours) and whose only concern is the right to walk the highway and possibly piss off your neighbours in celebration of a 316 year old battle.
    Jesus wept.

  • Crataegus

    Turbopaul

    The thought does make one smile. Events.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s an individual right Joe.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Totally agree. It would be a cakewalk for FF.’

    I should hope so. Here we have the best Government in the history of the State and the best Taoiseach since Sean Lemass with the best record of economic growth and living standard increase in the history of the State with an economy more than double the size it was when he took office and the opposition want to toss him out over 8,000 or 39,000 euros ? The former for moneys earned in a private engagement and the latter moneys lent to him by 12 friends ?

    It’s ludicrous . The Opposition will be the laughing stock of the country . The voters will take one look at Bertie and what he has achieved and then they’ll look at what the hyenas of high principle have to offer and the answer will be a resounding fuck you and your principles . The economic future and stability of the country is more important then 40,000 euros and a leak conspiracy by as yet people unknown !

  • Brian Boru

    “The risk for the PDs is that FF either close ranks behind Bertie or a new FF leader cuts a deal with independents and govern until next May.

    Then we have the nightmare scenario (for the PDs) of potential wipeout at the next election.”

    Doubt that considering that in 1992, the PD’s grew from 6 to 10 TDs after Des O’Malley took them out of Albert Reynold’s govt. They could play the “watchdog” card again.

  • chauncy

    Greenflag
    ‘The voters will take one look at Bertie and what he has achieved and then they’ll look at what the hyenas of high principle have to offer and the answer will be a resounding fuck you and your principles.’

    No, Greenflag, the voters are neither as cynical nor as deluded as you appear to be.

  • páid

    Well lets deal with Stewart first of all.

    The guy calls up slugger, tunes into the debate re. Bertie, starts crying, and then spoofs about a foreign country. Right ye are there Stewy.
    Now off with ye to the sites dealing with Hungary and Thailand as ye no doubt love foreign political crises.

    My own minor political sources repeat the politics.ie stuff about it’s all over for bertie the blatherer and mcdowell is gonna pull the plug.

    This mancunian irishman was talking to 1 or 2 of the donors of berties 8k sterling (strange enough currency for an irish finance minister)and they’re appalled he should be brought down over it. Decent skin, united fan, helping with the cultural centre. etc.

    It’s in the gift of McD…feicfidh muid leis an mhaidin

  • ciaran damery

    Yer right Mick. This will be a crowning moment in his career. Vincent Brown, although detested by revisionists and by neo-cons in the media and larger conservative parties, is without doubt the best investigative journalist in Ireland. Wannabees like Ed Moloney or Ruth doodle Edwards aren’t even in the same calibre.

    Meanwhile the game’s up for Fianna Fáil. I gotta say, I (like so many others) often wondered how a finance minister in Haughey’s cabinet with a huge profile in the capital could be untainted or even unaware of the goings on of Burke, Haughey, Lawlor and the rest. But that what he said and his constituency throughout Ireland and internationally considered him a prudent, clever and personable guy. Not any more. Bertie’s history!

    Sinn Féin will never again have a better chance of making a giant stride if and when the government falls. With a major swing against Fianna Fáil expected, Sinn Féin would be in a position to mop up the ‘soft’ republican vote whilst many others will just never again vote for (what the bould Tim Pat Coogan used to call “the men in the mohair suits”.

  • Greenflag

    chauncy,

    ‘the voters are neither as cynical nor as deluded as you appear to be. ‘

    I’ll confess to being somewhat cynical and guilty to the charge of being practical .

    The country does not need an election nor a new Taoiseach . The country needs Bert Ahern as Taoiseach for another term . The opposition have shown they are not ready for government and they won’t be for at least another term IMO . The last thing this country needs right now is a shower of blueshirts in an unstable with a mix of labour and god knows what else !