John I knew was reluctant traveller -- Ahern
FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern yesterday said he had sympathy for Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue, who he claimed was reluctant to travel during his time as tourism minister.
"He was a fine minister, a fine politician, a very hard-working person and I know John O'Donoghue was one of those ministers who was reluctant to travel," he said.
"The perception is that he wanted to be away all the time. That is not the case."
Mr Ahern, who nominated Mr O'Donoghue for the post of Ceann Comhairle, said he was sorry for his party colleague. "I think most of the things that are down as expenses are things that he hadn't got control over because they were arranged by other departments," he said.
Mr Ahern was speaking in Belfast, where he was at a book-signing event to mark the publication of his autobiography.
He added that he used to be commented upon for not having a wife to bring on foreign trips. "I have to say I used to get into trouble over that, because when I was separated and didn't have a wife, they used to give out to me. But anyway, that's life," he said on the BBC's 'Good Morning Ulster'.