“It has been raised at the highest levels all week..”

Did the out-going Taoiseach’s ‘pitch’ work? At the Present Tense blog Shane seems less than impressed, noting that – “He addressed a half-filled chamber, so plenty of political representatives felt it was a moment of history they were happy to skip.” But, according to the Irish Times report today, the offers questions of a future role are flooding in.. [subs req]

Outside the Kennedy Library in Boston yesterday, Mr Ahern said the question of a future role had been raised a good few times in different places during his US visit. “It has been raised at the highest levels all week,” he told reporters after his last official engagement of the visit at the library.

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  • Debbie

    Pete here’s another hack trying to spice up his copy:

    Bertie’s resignation is the start of his new era James Kelly
    By James Kelly
    03/05/08

    There is no doubt, it was a great speech, probably one that will go down in history, the “speech of his life” by Bertie Ahern, Irish taoiseach, responding to the invitation to address a packed combined Congress of the United States in Washington.

    He came to bring a message of peace in Ireland, for which he has played such a key role.

    His listeners responded with obvious emotion.

    Several times the great gathering rose cheering when Bertie spoke of the bonds nurtured over the centuries between Ireland and America.

    “It is something that goes beyond friendship,” he said.

    “To be an Irishman among Americans is to be at home.”

    Well put – I personally felt that keenly on various US visits, no more so than out and about in the friendly streets of old New York.

    This was a speech that had everything, history, past and present, the important part played by the US in our peace process, the nightmare of September 11 2001, the Irish troops serving under the United Nations flag, Dr Martin Luther King, and the international efforts to secure a peaceful future for the people of Israel and Palestine.

    That is only a brief snapshot of an amazing contribution to our life and times.

    I must say I was profoundly moved by some of the historical passages and I write as one with family links with the United States going back to the days of the famine coffin ships.

    The Irish Independent gave it massive coverage on two pages across 12 columns with a colour picture of the historic scene as Bertie Ahern receives the applause of the packed benches of Congress.

    Hopefully some day soon someone will print this as a special historical supplement in full colour.

    We are reminded that this great event owed much to the collaboration of the speechwriters.

    But Bertie rose to the occasion and the policies he laid down will remain the policies of his successor, Brian Cowen.

    Regretfully the Indo tells its readers: “All this serves to remind us, perhaps more forcefully than ever before, of what a formidable politician we have lost.”

    Down south few believe that they

    are seeing the end of the sprightly

    outgoing-taoiseach.

    Observers are suggesting that his recent reference to the Lisbon Treaty and his powerful support for the European Union might indicate an interest in the vacancy for president of the union?

    Rumours that another ex-premier, Tony Blair, might be making a move in that direction poses a problem there.

    Next Tuesday will be a day to be remembered.

    As told by the taoiseach to that great gathering in Washington, there will be a brave attempt to “bury the hatchet” on a famous field on the banks of the Boyne after the lapse of three centuries since Dutch King Billy sent the defeated King James scurrying off to Dublin.

    Bertie and his new friend First Minister Ian Paisley (who have already rehearsed the event) are to offer each other the symbolical hand of friendship indicating that the centuries of war and strife are over.

    Anyway the Boyne was all a cod. The school history books got it all wrong.

    King Billy was on the same side

    as the Vatican in a European conflict which had nothing to do with us.

    The angry Irish troops in Dublin had a rude name for the fleeing King James not to be told in polite company.

    Back now to Bertie to describe the rest of that historic day.

    He said “on that same day I will go to the president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, a woman who rose from the conflict-torn streets of Belfast to be elected our head of state and our first citizen.

    “I will offer her my resignation as taoiseach. “I will humbly hand over the seal of office which I have so proudly held.”

    Finally, on the morning after, he will pay tribute to Ireland’s patriot dead and bid goodbye with the thought “in history, in politics and in life there are no ends, only new beginnings”.

    link

    Pete as someone said on Shanes blog. Great post historic even;-)