Tuesday 23 July 2019

So farewell to another political institution

Bertie with his former wife Miriam Ahern at St. Luke's in 2010 before the announcement that he would not be running in the next general election.
Bertie with his former wife Miriam Ahern at St. Luke's in 2010 before the announcement that he would not be running in the next general election.
Editorial

Editorial

St Luke's, the headquarters of the former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, was in many ways a unique Irish political institution.

After Mr Ahern's stint as Lord Mayor of Dublin, a group of friends got together to buy the property, where Mr Ahern, recently separated from his wife Miriam, could live and also launch a political career that would take him to the pinnacle of political life.

As well as a headquarters for his well-oiled constituency machine, it was also his living quarters. However, when he was considering a bid to succeed his mentor Charlie Haughey as leader of Fianna Fáil in 1992, it did lead some within the party to muse "we should know where our leader sleeps at night".

But Mr Ahern did indeed achieve his personal ambition, becoming leader of Fianna Fáil in 1994 and leading the party for the next 14 years, and serving as Taoiseach for much of that time.

The distinctive red-bricked building in Drumcondra hosted world leaders and Fianna Fáil ward bosses and is now being sold by Fianna Fáil, ending a link to a controversial and, in many ways, unique era in Irish politics.

Irish Independent

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