Bertie Ahern to step down?

RTÉ is currently carrying coverage and speculation on an expected statement from Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in light of the recent conflicting evidence to the Mahon Tribunal and his legal challenge in the courts. That speculation includes the possibility that he might announce standing down as leader of Fianna Fáil.. Update You can ignore the question mark. Bertie Ahern to tender resignation as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil on Tuesday 6th May. Hmm.. That’s Blair, Paisley, Ahern.. anyone else? Adds In the afterglow of a successful election, in May 2007, Mick grabbed this quote from Bertie Ahern – “I’ll work until May or June of 2012.” And BBC report here with a short clip from the statement [RealPlayer file]. Full statement here. More Reactions. From President McAleese and his expected successor Brian Cowen, and Labour Party Leader Eamon Gilmore [et al]. And Reaction from Tony Blair. The BBC round-up reaction. Heh. Shane Hegarty has a verbatim report “for those who missed it”. Update In the comments zone Conall McDevitt notes an interesting point about Ahern’s chosen resignation date – it’s before the planned US NI investment conference [7th – 9th May] Final Update Via Maman Poulet. That moment in time..

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  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    In fairness, probably the best Taoiseach the Republic of Ireland has had.

  • George

    Speaking on RTÉ now.

  • George

    Gone after he speaks to the Houses of Congress and visit of Japanese PM.

    To resign on May 6.

  • sammaguire

    Resigning on 6th of May. Great guy.

  • Eddie

    Who’s next to go?

  • sammaguire

    Looks like there’ll be two Offaly men in the White House next Paddy’s Day!

  • Mark McGregor

    Pete,

    The only one left from the time of the Agreement is Adams.

    Paisley, Blair, Ahern, Clinton, Trimble, Hume, Ervine, Alderdice, that WC one, McMichael, Bob……..all gone.

  • DC

    The people of Northern Ireland indeed owe him a lot for the relentless work he gave towards finding a sticking political settlement.

    Good on him and the Irish.

    Conversely, that’s why such notions of direct rule and limited joint authority should be disregarded as you just don’t know who will be next or whether they will have as much vested interests in Northern Ireland.

  • URQUHART

    A great shame. A great man.

  • Im not going to comment about Bertie beyond two points. He reminded me of those London’s Metropolitan police detectives in the 1960-70s, who whilst appalled by the corruption that was going on around them, never the less turned a blind eye and by doing so gained an advantage for themselves.

    If you really wish to know which side Bertie batted for keep an eye on who praises him in the next few days. He may have been a nice man but it is stretching it to say he was a great politician, surly?

  • Hogan

    Gave his full weight to peace process.
    A Statesman.

    Delivered three times for his party.
    A Politician.

    Deserves his accolades in the US.

  • TEA SOCK

    My memory may be dimmed ny alcohol and the passage of time.

    I do remember however remember travelling to Tolka Park to watch Leeds play shelbourne(as a result of a postponment in England)

    I spent a plesant hour before the game with my protestant friends in the company of Mr Ahern in Fagans Bar

  • derrydave

    An Accountant and Minister for Finance who didn’t have a bank account ?? (even I had 2 bank accounts at the time and I was a fekin student !)

    A man who signed books of blank cheques for Charlie Haughey ??

    A man who has his solicitors in the high-court attempting to stop a Government set-up Enquiry into corrution from questioning him on certain statements ??

    A man who can’t reasonably account for hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of lodgements to accounts he controlled ??

    A man who most certainly was having foreign currency lodged for him yet who denied it continuously ??

    A leader of the country who pays his tax 8 years after receiving income (and only of course after he was caught out) ??

    Aye, great man and politician alright !! Only in Ireland ! We really are still a backward little country in some ways.

    Trust me, in the fullness of time the stink of corruption which surrounds everybodys pal Bertie will become clear to everyone !

  • derrydave

    Also forgot to mention:

    A man who helped himnself to donations to Party Funds (and fully admits it), and a man who gave thirty grand of party funds to his missus at the time to help her buy property (now of course it is claimed it was only a loan – still not paid back after all these years of course !).

    He must think that we’re all completely fuckin stupid !

    And we must remember of course that this is just the tip of the iceberg ! Much of Aherns dodgy dealings we may never find out about as he liked to deal in cash only.

  • derrydave,

    no one is perfect, have a heart 😉

  • Not good that he is leaving before the investment conference in Belfast. Sure sign things are not going well for it.

  • DaithíÓ

    DerryDave

    Sadly that’s how so many Irish people define a “great politician” otherwise he wouldn’t have been so roundly endorsed in the last general election.

    Better the crook you know?

  • Steve

    Ahern did good work but he was no saint so lets line him up against the wall and stone him!

    But remember……

    He is who is with out sin cast the first stone

    Makes him safe from me atleast

  • majordolittle

    Good to see him and Mugabe going at the same time. two slimeball leaders of third world countries. But of little interest to anyone here in civilisation.

  • ulsterfan

    Enoch Powell was right when he said all political careers end in failure.
    Who will be next to go
    Adams?

  • Saddam gone, Bertie gone, Mugabe going. Are there ANY strong men left?

  • Greenflag

    Thank you Bertie for all you have done for the country and for the poor benighted gobshites of both persuasions in Northern Ireland .

    Irish GDP per person more than doubled during Bertie’s term as Taoiseach . The country’s population also increased by almost 800,000.

    And now for the succession . Although it looks like Biffo I would not be surprised to see a few other hats thrown into the ring .

  • Moochin Photoman

    Greenflag
    the only gobshite i have seen here at the mo is you

  • Greenflag

    Sorry moochin I should have referred to specifically the NI ‘political’ benighted gobshites . After all who else but a gobshite would fart around for 40 years over a political and economic backwater like NI? You could of course say that it takes a shower of gobshites to vote for similar representation but I would not go that far . Somebody has to deal with the political excrement and it might as well be a gobshite

    I apologise if I have offended . I promise to do better next time

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    As no one understands economics then we have to attribute Irish economic miracle to just that – anything else is speculation.

    re. Non Iron Deal – Irish were bit part players in deal between Englezes and Provos. He still managed to nearly feck things up by appointing a foreign minister who even the PDs believed to be seriously corrupt.

    Re. Alleged Corruption. After his ridiculous crying act on RTE I’m afraid you really have to blame the plain people of Ireland who must have known he was lying trough his teeth and yet elected him.

    Clearly FF are not fit for governement and systemic abuse of power at local and national level and with Berty’s statements before the election not holding water the Plain people of Ireland should be given the chance to put things right with another election.

  • Eoin O’Donnell

    What a crying shame a decent oul skin hounded out office by the mdeia and the opposition only over a few highly questionable financial transactions.

    Ha!

    Good riddance.

  • senseandsensibility

    Ahern has done a lot for the people of the ROI but his financial misdemeanors which portrayed his party in a negative way.

    It’s a pity McAleese wouldn’t go too.
    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • joeCanuck

    Does this mean the end of the Mahon Tribunal?
    Was it investigating Bertie Ahern or the Taoiseach?

  • An Lochlannach

    This is bad news for the opposition parties. They can’t claim any credit for having gotten rid of him and it enables Fianna Fáil to ditch a figure who has become something of a liability (and in plenty of time for the local elections). The public have a short memory when it comes to FF corruption. One corrupt figure exits and the party says ‘That’s all in the past, we’ve cleaned up our act now.’ Haughey is disgraced, Ray Burke is disgraced, Ahern is disgraced and we go on to the next generation.

  • graduate

    You know, given that bertie’s away to spend his money I’d be inclined to agree that Mr Adams will soon be spending a lot more time hugging trees in Donegal.

  • cladycowboy

    Onwards to the Platonic Republic!!

  • senseandsensibility

    I do not think that my comment should have been edited as what I had stated was in fact the truth – she did compare the Protestant people of Northern Ireland to Nazis so I don’t see why this part of my comment should have been removed!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    He became leader of FF in 1994 at a time when the Republic was still an economic backwater and the north was still in flames. He leaves office with the country prosperous to a degree that would once have seemed impossible, with what should be a stable peace in the north, and can claim to have been instrumental in achieving both.

    Quite simply the finest political leader to have emerged from these islands in recent decades.

  • Na bach leis.

    senseandsensibility me thinks you are just looking to be offended. Sure where there is smoke there is fire, 20,000 refugees. Burning of the Falls over the removal of a Tri Colour.
    Worse, still at it today with attacks in Central Belfast on innocent Man, after a game of football that your tribe won.
    Senseandsensibility have we not learned anything from our shared history or are we doomed to repeat the mistakes.

  • Garibaldy

    Interesting that no-one has been talking about his role in Europe, where he performed very skillfully.

    A consumate politician, in touch with popular sentiment, from appearing on TV to talk about Man United to reinaugurating the 1916 marches. And, ironically, one of the least personally corrupt of that generation of FF politicians.

    But still a disgrace that he was relected. And he should have gone before now. The question is, was he the last one with skeletons in the closet. And not just in FF.

  • RepublicanStones

    nosenseandnoability it seems you are completely unaware of President mcAleese’s comments, so i’ll oblige you

    “But they gave to their children an irrational hatred of Jews, in the same way that people in Northern Ireland transmitted to their children, an irrational outrageous hatred, for example, of Catholics, in the same way”

    Now please show where she said that Protestants were like Nazi’s.
    It seems a lot of unionists jumped down her throat after her making this historically accurate comment. Their reaction was quite revealing, claiming it was a slur on all protestants which it self-evidently wasn’t. I wonder why they screamed so loud, perhaps to try and drown out the Kernel of truth in her comment. after all nobody likes to be reminded of skeletons in their closet, especially by an uppity Taig.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Garibaldy

    Good point. He achieved an importance in Europe disproportionate to Ireland’s size – another huge achievement.

    So, in terms of Bertie’s performance:

    the economy, the peace process, Europe, the EU presidency, relations with Britain and America, relations between the Irish state and unionism, immigration, education and research – all brilliant.

    He had three crushing election victories and leaves FF well positioned for further success and poised for historic organisation in the north – so as well as being the greatest Taoiseach, he is also probably the greatest leader Fianna Fáil have ever had.

    In the debit column, there was the issue of Shannon refuelling, little improvement for huge spending on health, and of course his personal finances.

    Law and criminal justice is a mixed bag.

    All in all though, to use that much-overused word, a genuinely great man.

  • Steve

    Senselessandinsensitive

    No she compared your home educational policies and well…

  • senseandsensibility

    With regards to trying to be offended – the term “tribe” is highly offensive!!

    I will reiterate what I had said about Mr Ahern –
    he did a lot of the ROI.

    He led his country well and it is unfortunate that his reputation has been dampened by alleged financial goings on.

    With regards to McAleese she is in no way comparable to Mr Ahern and her comment about Protestants does not portray the general consensus of the people of the ROI!

    I hardly think this is a case of looking to “be offended” But yes her comments were offensive, although the actions of some “Protestants” were incredibly wrong there was no need to tar us all with the same brush!

  • ellie

    Mr Ahern is a very capable politician and led his people well.

    Since 1994 the economy of the ROI has been the strongest it has been in a long time.

    With regards to senseandsensibilty it is a shame about the alleged financial affairs situation.

    Allthesame he has done a lot for his people and will be remembered fondly from those in the republic.

  • Garibaldy

    Did no Catholics teach their children an irrational outrageous hatred of Protestants?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘and her comment about Protestants’

    Im going to turn and talk to the wall now…….

    On thread, I sincerely wish Mr Ahern all the best for the future. He shouldn’t bother with the potential Euro post. Instead it should be sombrero and sandals time for Bertie, he could turn his hand to writing novels like his daughter………and Jeffery Archer…oops.

    I believe the Bertie’s record is overwhelmingly tipped in the positive, and history will judge him according to this bigger picture, and not based upon his bar tab at Fagans.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Senseandsensibility

    “…although the actions of some “Protestants” were incredibly wrong there was no need to tar us all with the same brush!”

    She didn’t do any tarring, though a lot of unionist commentators leapt at the chance to pretend she did. In fairness, her statement was incomplete (as it lacked the usual “both sides” caveat) but it was accurate, as far as it went.

    Garibaldy

    “Did no Catholics teach their children an irrational outrageous hatred of Protestants?”

    They did, but that’s neither here nor there, in terms of what President McAleese said. Her statement might have been incomplete and one-sided, but it wasn’t wrong.

    And she apologised the very next day for the incompleteness of the statement.

    Funny enough, the invented “controversy” surrounding the President last week was a similar thing – the President is asked a question and, as per her constitutional duty, she falls in with the government line. Cue howls of unionist outrage about President McAleese “intervening” or “interfering” etc.

    In truth, the subtext is unmistakable:

    “Who does this bitch from Ardoyne think she is?”

  • Garibaldy

    Actually Billy, I think that constitutionally she should have said that was a matter for the government, and not for her as President. Or even something bland like I hope to see her there as soon as possible.

  • George

    JoeCanuck,
    Does this mean the end of the Mahon Tribunal?
    Was it investigating Bertie Ahern or the Taoiseach?

    It is investigating corruption in planning and is interested in finding out who made payments and who received them.

    http://www.flood-tribunal.ie/asp/Detail.asp?ObjectID=310&Mode=0&RecordID=357

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘think that constitutionally she should have said that was a matter for the government’

    do you mean she is bound by the constitution not to offer a reply?

    C’mon Garibaldy, McAleese isn’t one for bland statements. And what she done was re-iterate the govt line, so I don’t see the crib !

  • Garibaldy

    The point of the President is to offer bland, apolitical statements. As for parroting the government line, it’s not for her to do that on hospitals or education or anything else. So don’t think that she reacted the way she should have here.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Billy Pilgrim

    “He became leader of FF in 1994 at a time when the Republic was still an economic backwater and the north was still in flames. He leaves office with the country prosperous to a degree that would once have seemed impossible, with what should be a stable peace in the north, ”

    The Irish governement had feck all to do with peace in the north – berty just had to nod oblingingly as the British handed back some control of Non Iron to the republic and its fellow travellers the Northen Nationalsits. It is also arguable that Berty missed out on a few tricks here – particulalry equalising the tax rates north an south.

    re. The economy – many FGs and PDs will say that ‘it was us what done it’. American and European money would have arrived here as long as we had a pro-western government with low taxes and were an English speaking country in the EU.

    If you want to give credit then although I hate to say it, the PDS probably are most responsible
    for the tax reduction or the PDS mentor Maggie Thatcher.

    But what we can say with much more certainty is that he is the latest in an inglorious line of FF politicians who have the lowest standards of any governement (central and local) in Western Euope and the gobsheens that voted them in hopefully wise up and vote them out now that the fear of house price deflation has turned in to a reality.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Garibaldy

    “The point of the President is to offer bland, apolitical statements.”

    No, the point of the President is to be the head of state and to represent the state when meeting with other heads of state and foreign dignitaries, either at home or abroad.

    In this instance, President McAleese neither added nor subtracted even the tiniest detail from the government position. She simply replied to a question, giving the same formula that the Taoiseach had spelled out a couple of weeks before – though interestingly, the Taoiseach did not provoke any unionist outrage, even though it was HIS position, not the President’s.

    “As for parroting the government line, it’s not for her to do that on hospitals or education or anything else.”

    It’s well within her competence to refer to government policy. Furthermore, a state visit to the Republic by the Queen would clearly be a matter of specific relevance to the President (in terms of diplomatic protocol, the Queen would be there as the personal guest of the President), so she was particularly within her rights to refer to the government policy.

    The unionist “outrage” is all about where the President is from, nothing more.

  • “He is who is with out sin cast the first stone’

    Or without article 2 etc 😉

  • Nazis would not like to be compared to NI Protestants either. Who would?

    Will Bertie get a knighthood? has he a girl friend or do he still wear those yellow GAA thug clothes. The write ups after he shocked G8 with his canary yellow jacket had me chuckling for weeks.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Clearly FF are not fit for governement

    Can we please try to get it into our heads that there is only one measure of fitness for government, and that is a mandate. The Irish people had the choice last year not to re-elect this crowd of corrupt twats, and they failed to take it.

  • I really think that we should wait until the Mahon Tribunal is finished before we make any serious assessment about Bertie Ahern.

    My continuing suspicion is that he used drug money from the Provos to promote the GFA while personally enríching himself, and helping his party.

    I certainly want to know more about the Manchester businessman, apparently John Murphy, who provided the $45,000 and other money to Ahern and FF, apparently under the cover of promoting business in the Republic.

    Murphy sounds like one of Manchester’s Quality Street Gang which was up to its ears in Provo criminal activity, like ‘Steak knife’, while allegedly working for the Crown and the Dublin government for a peaceful settlement of The Troubles.

  • ulsterfan

    Before we leave McAleese’s Nazi statement it is worth noting that she did not apologise to the world wide Jewish community.
    I am sure millions of Jews in Europe would willingly swop the holocaust for a little bit of perceived discrimination in Ireland.
    The Unionist people by and large ignored her offensive remarks but were more angry at the way she belittled what Jews had to suffer in Europe by comparing what the Nazis had done with attitudes expressed by Unionists and for this reason she should have resigned.

  • slug

    “In fairness, probably the best Taoiseach the Republic of Ireland has had”

    If that crook is the best I dread to see the rest!

  • Mick Hall

    He who is without sin cast the first stone

    A republican who quotes Christ, and doesn’t ignore the basis of his teaching as a matter of routine.

    Bertie going, anyway, is a good day for the SDLP. If Bertie had have understood Christian values, he might have kept the SDLP in play in the North and not promoted anti-christian Sinn Fein.

    As it stands you reap what you sow. A little moral flaw at his core made Bertie a poor participant in the North’s political process.

  • slug

    “He leaves office with the country prosperous to a degree that would once have seemed impossible, with what should be a stable peace in the north, and can claim to have been instrumental in achieving both.”

    Can claim. But the two were actually much deeper structural things than who holds office at the time.

  • slug

    Impropriety aside, he was good for unionists. That I will agree.

  • Jimmy

    Bertie was a crook, I hope, unlike Haughey, he will be accountable.With his mightyer than thou attitude I just dont know.
    A Pro-Euro Superstate lackey, remember Nice 1? Brought unfettered immigration to Ireland, Isnt that one of the things that government think defines Civilised behaviour regardless of the consequences?
    The Super rich untaxed, while ordinary people struggle financially.A puesdo pro Bush supporter,ie US troops still using Shannon.
    Looks like he is Jumping before he was pushed to me. Good ridance!!, as for his successor it will be more of the same shite.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘The Unionist people by and large ignored her offensive remarks but were more angry at the way she belittled what Jews had to suffer in Europe by comparing what the Nazis had done with attitudes expressed by Unionists and for this reason she should have resigned.’

    Ulsterfan it seems your in the bracket of people who cannot distinguish between comparison and equivalence. you think she owes an apology to the worlds jews. that is a ridiculous statement. it also illustrates how you have graciously forgotten the Romany people, handicapped etc, who also perished. You seem to have been comfortably sucked into the sphere of Holocaust sacredness and uniqueness, as if the mere mention it is a crime. catch yourself on. and Unionists by and large ignored it???? those that did cry only did only because it belittled the Jews suffering???
    all unionists were worried about was that they would be compared to nazis, and most of them cried.
    do you even remember the incident??????????
    Obviously not.

  • austin

    Ahern was a dilettante of the highest order.

    A Republican who on the other hand abandoned the all-Ireland Republic.

    The ‘last socialist in the Dail’ who was obsessed with courting big business interests.

    The great GAA supporter who sychophantically followed an English soccer team.

    The Minister For Finance who didn’t have a Bank Account.

    Sorry-when I described him as a dilettante, I really meant a chancer.

  • sammaguire

    Maybe you might do a better job Jimmy. You could tax all these fat cat billionaires and multinationals to the hilt.

    You won’t know what to do with all the dosh you’ll raise. Ordinary workers like me will love you.

    Except, that’s not how the real world works. Bono and the boys moved their business operation to Holland after Cowen decided they should pay a bit of tax for a change. In the real world again Intel, Microsoft, Google etc etc wouldn’t stay too long if Corporation Tax was doubled or tripled by your ilk.

    If Bertie gave us shite as you say then I’m all for more shite. Loony lefties can head off to Zimbabwe to see what a lunatic in power can do to economy and a people.

  • Oilifear

    If we strike out the incredibly poor decision include an example when commenting on a duality, McAleese’s comments take on an undeniable veracity:

    “The Nazis didn’t invent anti-Semitism, they used anti-Semitism, they built on anti-Semitism but they didn’t invent it. It was, for generations, for centuries, an element of the lived lives of many people who, on the surface, lived very good lives, I mean many of them would have regarded themselves, for example, as very good Christians. But they gave to their children an irrational hatred of Jews, in the same way that people in Northern Ireland transmitted to their children, an irrational outrageous hatred, for example, of Catholics, in the same way that people give to their children, an irrational outrageous hatred of those who have different colour, and all of those thing, all of those hatreds in the wrong circumstance, on a street in Dublin, they cropcan out as I have seen and heard, of a little child from Somalia being pelted with rotten eggs.”

    On Ahern, in an unprecedented era of heroes on this island, history will judge him in the words of a arch villain: “The most cunning, the most devious, the best of them all.” But the facts are that that earlier era left it’s stench upon him.

    (A snippet from Gordon Brown’s remarks may shed some light on Brown’s absent mindedness re: Northern Ireland when discussion Britain/Britishness: “I think the whole of Britain will want to thank Bertie Ahern, in fact the whole of the United Kingdom.”)

  • ulsterfan

    Republican stones
    It was the president who first mentioned the Nazis in order to make a cheap shot against Unionists.
    The comparison/ Equivalence does not stand up and so she should have kept her mouth shut.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘It was the president who first mentioned the Nazis in order to make a cheap shot against Unionists.’

    im sure you will provide a quote to demonstrate the above.

    ‘The comparison/ Equivalence does not stand up’

    because you do not understand the difference between two words.

    ‘or a little bit of perceived discrimination in Ireland.’

    good man…tell me, do you think anyone else other than yourself believes there was only perceived discrimination in the north????????

  • Danny O’Connor

    So long Bertie,and,THANK YOU for making Ireland a country at peace with itself.

  • Gregory

    Didn’t an SDLPer compare the Short Strand to the Warsaw Ghetto? That struck me as being fairly hyperbolic as ridiculous BS goes.

    “The Short Strand in east Belfast is now another Warsaw ghetto according to the SDLP’s Alasdair McDonnell.”

    http://football.guardian.co.uk/worldcup2002/comment/story/0,,738484,00.html

    Henry (BTW) confuses the (Jewish) ghetto rising with the Polish Home Army rising of 1944.

  • Gregory

    “Bertie going, anyway, is a good day for the SDLP. If Bertie had have understood Christian values, he might have kept the SDLP in play in the North and not promoted anti-christian Sinn Fein.”

    That’s terible, Big Brother No1 is now at the head of an atheistic cult of doom, I’m shocked,

    If enough money is chucked at it, West Belfast could turn into Vermont, gay people, snowboards, and ice-cream franchises.

  • eranu

    i heard berties new book is to be called “PS IOU” 🙂

    its a pity hes gone. most people in dublin i know seemed to like him and werent bothered at all about a few 10,000s in brown envelopes now and again. that doesnt even rank as corruption these days.

  • Merrie

    I remember Ian Paisley declaiming from his pulpit that he had survived Thatcher, he outlasted Trimble, that Mo Mowlam had gone, he was still there after so many of his enemies had departed the scene, it was God’s will that it was so.

    Now Ian is departing, Bertie is departing, Ian Og has already gone. Who are still around? Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness!

    Presumably that is God’s will also.

    It is sad that Bertie is going. His contribution to Ireland was considerable. Haven’t looked into much his reasons for resigning, but once again it appears a politician has broken Rule Number One: do not accept money or favours from anyone. (Obama has done that and is now rueing it)

    Not sure if Bertie broke rule Number Two- as Ian Og did: do not do favours for friends or people who do favours for you.

    Cowan will make a good PM so I hope he gets the job.

  • Gregory

    There is absolutely nothing wrong in slipping a politician a few quid, granted in Canada, they ripped the arse out of it,

    but within reason, and so long as it isn’t accompanied by threats of michief, there is no reason modest sums (10k – 50K) should not be wagged about in brown envelopes.

    That’s my view.

    G.

  • Merrie

    Gregory:
    >> There is absolutely nothing wrong in slipping a politician a few quid

    One problem is the suspicion such actions arouse. There is always someone sniffing around for a scandal – opposition leaders, the media, donors who have slipped a few quid and you subsequently offended them. Take the cash for questions probe a few years ago. Hamilton had offended that mad man Mohamed Fayed, and was subsequently bankrupted.

    You should not risk your political career and reputation for a few “innocent” 10,000s in brown envelopes.

    If Bertie hadn’t been a politician, would those mates have given him money? If Ian Og hadn’t been a politician and the son of his Dad, would Sweeney (or whoever) have any interest in him at all?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Cowen will make a good PM so I hope he gets the job.’

    Eh ? He’s got the job . It’s over bar the official declaration. The election will be to decide who becomes Tanaiste . Mary Harney can no longer claim the post now that Bertie has moved on . I’d guess Lenihan will be the new Tanaiste to help keep the Dublin vote.

    Cowen btw is a ‘planter’ name for those who may be interested . Most Cowens hail originally from the North of England/ Yorkshire /Lancashire and southern Scotland . Biffo Cowen is a good man and will do the business and deliver .

  • For those ignoring or minimizing the extreme lengths Bertie was willing to go, especially financially, to secure his own reputation and that of the warring parties at any cost, see this link:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7327993.stm

    Perhaps, he will end up writing what it’s like to have been a bagman.