Thursday 25 May 2017

Celia was his wife but for the paper

Fiona Ellis

Celia Larkin was once described as the greatest political wife the country never had.

And for much of his career, Finglas-born Ms Larkin was by Bertie Ahern's side as his girlfriend and consort.

Mr Ahern had been open when he became leader of Fianna Fail about the breakdown of his earlier marriage to Miriam Ahern.

Their relationship was a marriage in every sense but was missing the vital piece of paper that would have commanded the respect that the relationship often didn't get.

October 1997 marked the first time Ms Larkin's name appeared alongside Bertie Ahern's on an official invitation to a state event when Hillary Clinton came to visit to Ireland.

Celia sat beside Cherie Blair when Bertie met with Tony. She dined with the Queen in Buckingham Palace. However, in 2001 Cardinal Desmond Connell took offence at Ms Larkin's inclusion at an official function.

Ms Larkin was appointed to the board of the National Consumer Agency in July 2005. Last summer she broke down on RTE's 'Liveline' as she explained the closure of her salon business in Drumcondra.

Irish Independent

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