Sunday 25 September 2016

Front Bench Podcast: Adams has 'blown' 10 seats for Sinn Fein - Bertie Ahern

Barry Lennon

Published 25/02/2016 | 17:12

FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern believes that Barry Cowen will be the future party leader of Fianna Fáil.

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Mr Ahern said, during the Front Bench podcast on Independent.ie, that he keeps thinking of the Offaly TD for the top job and it “never changes”.

Fionnan Sheahan, Editor of the Irish Independent with former politicians Bertie Ahern, Pat Rabbitte and Nora Owen
Fionnan Sheahan, Editor of the Irish Independent with former politicians Bertie Ahern, Pat Rabbitte and Nora Owen

The former leader praised Mr Cowen’s performance “against the heavy hitters of other parties” during the General Election campaign. 

Mr Ahern also said that Sinn Féin have “blown” 10 seats because of its leader, Gerry Adams.

“I have to say that if Gerry had have taken early retirement I think that Sinn Féin would far higher in seats,” he said. 

He suggested that deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald or Finance spokesman Pearse Doherty would have been better as leader.

Mr Ahern was joined by Labour’s Pat Rabbitte on his last day as a TD, who said leaving the Dail was a “shock to his system”.

“My wife said to me, ‘I hope you don’t think you’re coming home now,’” Mr Rabbitte said.

“I’m also the kind of guy that needs a place to go to hang my hat so it’s going to be very strange indeed.”

Mr Rabbitte praised his leader Joan Burton saying that it was a great “advantage to have a woman leader.”

The veteran politician said that a “woman attracts the kind of attention and comment that would never apply to a male politician”.

He also joked that “she has the same hairdresser, I think, as Mick Wallace”.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and Independent.ie.

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