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Leo Varadkar has softened his stance on Bertie Ahern

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has softened his stance on Bertie Ahern whom he previously compared to convicted drug dealer John Gilligan. Mr Varadkar said his comments about Mr Ahern in the Dáil in 2008 were made at a “particular point in time” and praised the controversial former taoiseach’s role in the Good Friday Agreement. Mr Varadkar said on it was not his business who is a member of Fianna Fáil after Independent.ie revealed on Wednesday that Mr Ahern had been readmitted to his former party more than a decade after he quit over the findings of the Mahon Tribunal. In June 2008, Mr Varadkar, then an opposition Fine Gael TD, excoriated Mr Ahern’s evidence to the tribunal, saying that he had “essentially given the John Gilligan defence — that he won the money on the horses”. “This is a defence for drug dealers and pimps and not the kind of thing that should be tolerated from a former Taoiseach and Member of this House. We do nothing, we wash our hands and say it is a matter for the tribunal,” Mr Varadkar said in the Dáil.

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