Wednesday 13 December 2017

Andrea Pappin: If FF does vote to expel Bertie it will be one hell of a moment in the history of the party

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

ItT'S almost like we haven’t gotten over the break-up. Because after two subsequent Taoisigh and three years since he left office, when the Mahon Tribunal final report is finally published, we’re still going to be talking about Bertie.

Have you ever noticed that when you mention any Tribunal, most people – myself included – usually pause and thoughtfully squint as they work out which exact scandal investigation are we talking about. The Mahon Tribunal is pretty easy – it’s the one that’s to do with planning applications and in terms of time makes Wagner’s Ring Cycle sound like a radio jingle. Of major interest with this final, final report publication is really one name and what’s said about him. For Fianna Fáil, it is all about how they handle this ghost of leaders past.

After the Presidential candidate dithering, Micheal Martin needs to look decisive about whether Bertie is in or out of his party. The seeds have already been planted – I doubt few Fianna Fáil members missed the headline a few weeks ago that their party would be ready to expel Bertie on foot of the Mahon Tribunal. The momentum behind this has been allowed to grow and the leadership team are themselves calling it ‘a watershed moment’ for the current leader.

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