Thursday 18 July 2019

FF branch votes to invite Bertie back into the party fold

Bertie Ahern. Photo: David Conachy
Bertie Ahern. Photo: David Conachy

Niall O'Connor

Fianna Fáil members in Dublin Central have unanimously passed a motion calling for former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to be readmitted to the party.

The move had been mooted privately for several weeks but a motion was passed at last night's branch meeting at the Skylon hotel.

The motion, tabled by veteran party member and Ahern loyalist Chris Wall, states that party headquarters should be informed that Mr Ahern will be invited to rejoin the party.

Mr Ahern resigned in March 2012 following the publication of the Mahon Tribunal report.

However, he has been active locally ever since and has made many media appearances in recent months.

Party sources say the move is aimed at giving Mr Ahern a greater role in shaping Fianna Fáil strategy in Dublin.

However, party headquarters are likely to be alarmed at the move, which came as a surprise to many within the party.

Read more: Fianna Fáil branch pass motion calling for Bertie Ahern to be invited back into party

Earlier, the party's former councillor in Dublin Central, Mary Fitzpatrick, gave a presentation on the party's standing in the constituency.

As previously revealed by this newspaper, Mr Ahern was appointed chief mediator in a running dispute over the future of a handball alley in the constituency.

The former Fianna Fáil leader had been asked to help broker a deal between the GAA and the management committee of the Irish Handball Centre, in a dispute which has been ongoing for several years.

The dispute over the potential demolition of the facility was widely seen as having played a role in the fiasco surrounding the cancelled Garth Brooks concerts in the summer of 2014.

It emerged that a formal mediation process between the parties was chaired by Mr Ahern and a satisfactory outcome was agreed by the parties in recent weeks.

Irish Independent

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