Sunday 11 December 2016

Bertie ‘too busy doing leaves’ to consider a return to politics

Bertie keeps tight-lipped about rejoining Fianna Fáil

Published 01/12/2016 | 06:52

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been invited to rejoin FF’s Dublin Central branch. Photo: Arthur Carron
Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been invited to rejoin FF’s Dublin Central branch. Photo: Arthur Carron

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern claims he hasn’t thought about a return to politics as he’s “too busy doing leaves”.

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His comments follow a motion which was unanimously passed by Fianna Fáil members in Dublin Central calling for Mr Ahern to be readmitted to the party.

The motion had been mooted privately for several weeks and was finally passed on Tuesday at a Fianna Fáil Dublin Central meeting at the Skylon Hotel in Drumcondra.

“I haven’t thought about it, I’m too busy doing leaves,” he jokingly told the Irish Daily Star.

“I am just back from my involvement in peace talks in Ukraine, so I spent the last two weeks over there and it wasn’t going great but anyway that’s another day’s work.

“I came back last night. I only heard the thing this morning. I didn’t even know there was a meeting because I’m not in touch with them,” he added.

However, while he was coy about rejoining Fianna Fáil, he didn’t completely rule it out.

“But you know whether I do or don’t (rejoin Fianna Fáil). I don’t know really, I haven’t even thought about it. I’m not leaning any which way at the moment.”

When asked if he would like to run for the Dáil again, the former Taoiseach laughed told the newspaper: “Give me a rest”.

It is believed that party headquarters are likely to be alarmed at the move which came as a surprise to many within the party.

Earlier, the party's former councillor in Dublin Central Mary Fitzpatrick gave a presentation on the party's standing in the constituency.

As previously revealed by Independent.ie, Mr Ahern was appointed chief mediator in a running dispute over the future of a handball alley in the constituency.

Mr Ahern, who stepped down as Taoiseach in 2008, resigned from the party in March 2012 following the publication of the Mahon Tribunal report – which made serious and negative findings against Mr Ahern in relation to a number of payments made to him while he was Taoiseach.

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