Friday 24 March 2017

Arrogant Bertie is more like Sean Lemass than he thinks

Ahern's remarks are typical of a dismissive vanguardist mentality that characterises past leaders of Fianna Fail, writes Bryce Evans

BERTIE Ahern likes to associate himself with one of the Great Men of Irish history, Sean Lemass. A few pages into his autobiography, Bertie says: "I never miss a chance to state my belief that Lemass was in the vanguard of almost every great event and decision that shapes the Ireland in which we live."

When he was in power, Bertie certainly never missed a chance to align himself with his personal hero. So he'll be pleased to have it confirmed that remarks he made last week, when he branded some Fianna Fail grassroots members "useless good-for-nothings", were classic Lemass.

Typical of a dismissive vanguardist leadership mentality that has long characterised the party, they highlight the difficulties Micheal Martin now faces as he attempts to break with the party's past. I was interviewed on radio alongside Martin last week and, of course, he didn't miss the chance to distance himself from Bertie's comments.

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