Tuesday 23 October 2018

Larkin refused to take part in 'Bertie' TV series

Patricia McDonagh

BERTIE Ahern's former partner Ceila Larkin refused to take part in a new documentary on his life, it was confirmed last night.

Ms Larkin declined the offer when approached by Mint Productions, the makers of 'Bertie', a new four-part documentary on RTE.

A spokesperson for the national broadcaster pointed out last night that Ms Larkin was not the only person who declined the invitation.

However, they refused to reveal how many former associates also decided against appearing on 'Bertie'.

The documentary starts on November 3, with a promise that viewers will finally find out what makes the former Taoiseach tick. It will address how he fought and won a Dail seat on his first attempt; his survival during the Haughey era; and his three-in-a-row hat-trick in Government.

It will also delve into how the "Drumcondra Mafia" helped to force his way to the very top.

More than 70 family, friends and political peers have agreed to contribute to the programme. However, despite the fact that the couple were an item for more than 15 years, Ms Larkin will not be contributing.

Marriage

Ms Larkin met Mr Ahern when she was an employee of his constituency in St Luke's in Drumcondra, Dublin. When his marriage broke up, she was regularly seen attending high-profile state events with him.

Mr Ahern's estranged wife Miriam and daughters Georgian and Ceceila, have agreed to spill the beans to the programme makers, as has his sister Eileen and brother Noel.

Contributions from the political world include Charlie McCreevy, Mary Harney, Brian Lenihan and Micheal Martin.

It will also feature constituency activists Chris Wall and Paddy Duffy. A lengthy interview with the man himself, recorded on July 2, will top off the programme.

A spokeswoman for RTE last night refused to give an explanation for Ms Larkin's absence from the programme.

"She was approached by the producers and she declined. We do not know why," she said. "A lot of people were approached and some of them may have declined." When contacted by the Irish Independent last night, Ms Larkin declined to comment on her reluctance to participate in the programme. She said she did not speak to reporters as a rule and did not wish to comment on the specific issue.

Mint Productions also declined to comment on the issue.

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