Now that the notorious gambler, and former Taoiseach, Bertie ‘Lucky’ Ahern, has confirmed his decision not to contest the next Irish general election he obviously feels freer to be critical of his party colleagues in government. From the Belfast Telegraph report
Mr Ahern, a columnist for the Irish News of The World, told the newspaper Mr Cowen’s administration failed to communicate properly with the public throughout the crisis.
He said he carried out daily doorstep interviews with the media when he led the country but that came to a stop when he handed over the baton.
“The Taoiseach should be communicating the information that he has,” he said.
“These aren’t secrets; I don’t consider them state secrets; and for whatever reason, two and a half years ago, the pattern that I had established stopped and they decided only to do rare ones.”
The Dublin Central TD added: “If you ask me, my view is you’re better doing it my way, but he opted not to do that.”
Mr Ahern was also critical of the Government’s handling of the EU-IMF bailout, saying he had wondered when he saw the Greek bailout taking place what contingency plans were being drawn up by the Department of Finance and the Central Bank to stave off the possibility of Ireland going the same route.
Mr Ahern added that he did not know whether the Government had examined all the options early-on, to see if there was a solution available.
Mr Ahern said he also thinks that if action had been taken earlier in the year to signal a correction to the public finances, the bailout might have been avoided.
There’s also the European political and markets’ climate to factor in there.
Of course, there may be another reason for the former Taoiseach’s evident keenness to distance himself from the current administration…
Asked about whether he plans to seek a nomination to run for President, Mr Ahern said he would like to run if the circumstances were right, but added that he has to be realistic.
‘I think at present it would be very difficult for a Fianna Fáil member to be elected President, no matter who it was,’ he said, adding that ‘at the moment though, with the party political rankings, it’s not too realistic.’