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Saturday 18 November 2017

Ahern quit peace charity role after report said he lied

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has resigned as a director of peace-building charity Co-operation Ireland.

Mr Ahern stepped down from the board after the Mahon Tribunal report, which found that he had repeatedly lied about the sources of €275,000 found in his bank accounts. None of the board members of the Belfast-based charity are paid for their work.

However, a document filed with the UK's Companies House shows that Mr Ahern resigned on April 27 this year.

It was just weeks after his name was dropped from the website of the prestigious Washington Speakers Bureau.

He had been available for hire along with other former politicians, including Tony Blair, George W Bush and John Major, with a speaker's fee of at least €30,000.

Mr Ahern also resigned from Fianna Fail – the party he led for 14 years – in late March amid the Mahon Tribunal controversy, just days before the party's national executive was due to meet to consider a motion to expel him.

In 2008, the former Taoiseach received the Co-operation Ireland peace award at a gala dinner in Trinity College.

The award, which recognises the outstanding contribution of those who have worked to bring peace was presented to the former Taoiseach by the Co-operation Ireland Chairman, Christopher Moran. Other recipients of the award include former US President Bill Clinton, former Northern Ireland Secretary of State Mo Mowlam, US Senator George Mitchell and former head of the SDLP John Hume.

Mr Ahern currently serves as chairman of the International Forest Fund and of the renewable-energy firm Scientia Solar.

Irish Independent

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