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Both friend and foe agree that the time had finally come for him to resign

THE general consensus among members of the public yesterday was that Bertie Ahern's time was up.

Even admirers of the Taoiseach conceded that he was right to announce his resignation yesterday.

Most people who were questioned by the Irish Independent felt he had been a good Taoiseach, but that it was now time for a change of leadership.

Teddy Boyce, from Ramelton, Co Donegal: "He was left with no alternative. He was saving his own skin today by announcing his resignation, instead of going into the Dail and facing what was going to happen there. I have no sympathy for him. He dirtied his bib and that's it."

Andrew McDonnell, from Swords, Dublin: "I think it was coming, it only shows that he has more to hide . . . but still love him, they still voted for him in the general election last year even when all this was going on."

Hayley Evesson, from Ramelton, Co Donegal: "I'm just glad he's gone. I'm sick of the whole thing. Mary Harney should go next and that's all I have to say."

Eddie Greene, from Cabra, Dublin: "It should have been quicker. He probably did some good for the country but he was well paid for it all the same. He just can't account for the money and that's the problem. When he was Minister for Finance, he had no bank account."

Seamus Durkan, from Milford, Co Donegal: "Bertie Ahern was a very good politician and a good leader but with all the recent revelations, his time had come and in the interest of the party and the country he has made the right decision."

Gavin Mackey, from Ramelton, Co Donegal: "I feel sad. Bertie has been a great Taoiseach. He did great work with the Peace Process. I think it is a shame he has left in such circumstances with all that's going on in the tribunal. I don't think he should have gone."

Marie Hannan, from Greystones, Co Wicklow: "I think it's time he resigned."

Tom Murray, from Ramelton, Co Donegal: "I think he has to be thanked for all the commitment he gave to the Peace Process. I'm not sure any other leader would have had that commitment. He provided stability for the country but this has probably weakened lately with the focus on his financial affairs. I'm looking forwarded to future stability with a change of leadership."

Richard Dempsey, from Ballyfermot, Dublin: "I'm homeless and there are people like me suffering all around Dublin city. What has he done for us? He's done nothing for the hospitals and both him and Mary Harney should go."

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Christina Dempsey, from Newbridge, Co Kildare (below): "I think he should have kept going, he shouldn't have said he was going to resign. He was hounded out by the opposition but should have stuck at it. He did a lot for the country and I think everyone will remember his achievements instead of focusing on it (Mahon Tribunal). Everyone makes mistakes."

Hugo Whoriskey, from Ramelton, Co Donegal: "I'm definitely shocked. I didn't think he would go. He was a great man in his time but there was too much hassle going on. It was the only topic of conversation. He is right to move on."

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