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Ahern's legacy marked in Dail hanging

Bertie Ahern was finally hung at midday in Leinster House yesterday.

The portrait of the embattled former Taoiseach was mounted on the wall outside the Dail chamber, joining his distinguished predecessors.

Work on the portrait of his successor as Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, has yet to begin.

Ahead of the return of the Dail on September 14, Mr Ahern's portrait was mounted on the balcony over the main staircase in Leinster House leading up to the chamber.

Paintings of former Taoisigh hang in chronological order, with Mr Ahern hanging beside John Bruton and then clockwise from there, Albert Reynolds, Garret FitzGerald, Charles Haughey, Liam Cosgrave, Jack Lynch, Sean Lemass and John A Costello.

Due to space constraints, the portraits of Eamon de Valera and William T Cosgrave are hanging in the main lobby of the building.

Mr Ahern's portrait was painted a decade ago by Dublin-based artist James Hanley and has toured the country, as part of an OPW exhibition.

Mr Ahern is currently taking flak from many Fianna Fail figures over his public utterances.

The party is also distancing itself from its former leader ahead of the publication of the report of the Mahon Tribunal.

Fianna Fail grassroots members are furious about his increasingly erratic behaviour. And former colleagues are angered at the way Mr Ahern remains a magnet for public resentment.

Irish Independent