Saturday 18 November 2017

Bertie moves into his new office

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern leaving his new offices in Drumcondra,
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern leaving his new offices in Drumcondra, Dublin. Photo: ELEANOR KEEGAN
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has a new office in Drumcondra, Dublin, after moving out of his base in Fianna Fail's office in the wake of the Mahon Tribunal.

Mr Ahern has moved from St Luke's, Lower Drumcondra Road to the Drumcondra Business Centre on Upper Drumcondra Road.

The location of the office means Mr Ahern's trip to work is actually shorter as it is even closer to his home in the Beresford Estate on Griffith Avenue.

He also drives himself these days as the perk of a state driver and car was removed from former Taoisigh last year.

Similar to St Luke's, the business centre is a red bricked, two-storey, terraced house.

The former Taoiseach has continued to employ his long-term secretary, Sandra Cullagh. But he has to foot the bill for the office and to employ his secretary from his own pocket.

After almost a quarter of a century based in St Luke's, Mr Ahern moved out two months ago following his resignation from Fianna Fail. The party was seeking to kick him out in the wake of the Planning Tribunal's adverse finding against him.

He had continued to use an office in the building even after resigning as a TD last year.

Fianna Fail's Dublin Central constituency organisation, headed by members of the infamous 'Drumcondra Mafia', bought the building in January 1988 for IR£56,000.

The renovation and furnishing of the house, including the repair of a structural fault, was estimated to have cost another IR£44,000. All told, the bill for St Luke's came in at about IR£100,000.

The building was turned into a constituency office for Mr Ahern, with an apartment overhead where he occasionally lived as his marriage had broken up.

It is not clear how much Mr Ahern is paying to rent the office.

Irish Independent

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