Ahern makes undignified exit
He was once able to charge almost €30,000 for a single speech, was given special permission to address the US Congress and, at one point, was even mentioned as a possible recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work in the North.
Even when the recession arrived with a vengeance in 2008, Bertie Ahern's star didn't plunge to earth. He wisely kept a low profile, made very few political interventions and preserved the dignity of the office of An Taoiseach in the traditional manner.
However, in the last year Ahern's reputation has finally imploded, partly because of Ahern's public actions and also because of the sheer depth and length of the financial crisis, with which he will forever be linked.