Bertie Ahern reveals George Bush called Gerry Adams a 'murdering thief'
Former US President George Bush labelled Gerry Adams a "murdering thief" - Bertie Ahern has revealed.
The former taoiseach used this memory of his time in power to explain why it is absolutely necessary for Enda Kenny to visit the White House on St Patrick's Day.
Mr Ahern recalled the conversation which occurred when he visited Washington in 2001 for his first St Patrick's Day visit with President Bush.
In his column in today's Mail on Sunday, Mr Ahern reveals details of the meeting with Mr Bush.
Mr Ahern detailed that Mr Bush said: "How about this guy Adams, my guy said he's a 'murdering thief'.
"I had to work hard to explains to him that yes, Gerry Adams had a past that was to do with the conflict and the IRA. But that we were making a lot of progress and there were a lot of reasons for that."
Mr Ahern said that he could not have explained the complexities of the situation over the phone but the St Patrick's Day access to the POTUS meant he could discuss the issue face to face.
The Mail On Sunday columnist said conversations such as this are the reason Enda Kenny must meet Donald Trump in the White House on St Patrick's Day.
The former Fianna Fail leader says there is no question that the current taoiseach should make the journey to Washington for the occasion as the access to the American President is unparalleled in Europe.
He recalled how he met Russian President Vladamir Putin and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi while in power as Taoiseach and said it was necessary to meet with different administrations event if the policies of countries differ.
"As Taoiseach I met the US president of the day for 10 consecutive years, so I have a keen understanding of the magnitude of the importance of the visit.
"Leo Varadkar would have you believe there is nothing of substance other than the bowl of shamrock presentation. But then Leo was never there."
Mr Ahern said he felt the concept of a wall was unfair on Mexicans and had no benefit for the US.
He also said that the executive ban on refugees was in contravention of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.