Sunday 18 August 2019

Jacob Rees-Mogg responds to Bertie Ahern's comments about Irish border

Jacob Rees-Mogg. Photo: REUTERS
Jacob Rees-Mogg. Photo: REUTERS

Kevin Doyle and Jane Last

BREXITEER Jacob Rees-Mogg has taken a swipe at former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, suggesting Ireland had a comedian as its leader before the Ukraine.

The Conservative MP who has been to the forefront of the Brexit debate hit back at comments made by Mr Ahern over the weekend.

Speaking at the Women In Media Conference in Ballybunion, Mr Ahern described Jacob Rees Mogg as a "lovely fella when he’s asleep".

When asked by MEP Mairead McGuinness "how do you know?", he replied: "When he’s awake, he definitely is a strange fish I tell you, in and out of the water."

Bertie Ahern. Photo: PA
Bertie Ahern. Photo: PA

"But the reality is he admitted to me he had no idea of what the border was. I think a lot of British politicians thought the border was something up around Dundalk or Newry, and that there was a gate on it.

"I mean the idea that it was 460 kilometres across the island and that you could criss cross it to farms and houses, they just didn’t know it.

"And regards to the fact that lot of these guys went to Oxford, Cambridge and Eton, they’re not very bright. This is the problem."

"There is nothing wrong with the backstop," he added.

Mr Rees-Mogg responded to the comments on social media today, saying they were “quite funny but regrettably untrue”.

“Perhaps Ireland had a comedian as its leader before Ukraine,” he said, a reference to the recent election of Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Mr Ahern was not immediately available for comment.

Online Editors

Also in Business