Former Taoiseach attacks Ahern over payments

Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds has launched a blistering attack on Bertie Ahern over payments that he recieved from rich businessmen while Minister for Finance.

According to the former Taoiseach Bertie's judgement on the matter has affected Irish public life. Mr Reynolds insisted he would have forbidden his then Finance minister from taking loans and gifts worth €62,000 from individuals if he had been aware of it.

“I always strongly believed that there was no way a member of a government should finance anything he was doing in that respect. I was Minister for Finance and nobody ever offered me money,”

In an interview with the Marian Finucane show he also said

"I think it’s bad for politics and bad for everything — if there’s a view out there, you know, that money can be got if you’re a minister or a Taoiseach, in relation to what you’re doing in normal daily life,”

This is not welcome news for Bertie Ahern who had hoped that "Bertiegate" was in the past. It is more unwelcome as Albert is still held in high regard by a great many people, most of whom are Fianna Fail voters.

I have always liked Albert Reynolds, he is a committed Republican and he has always been very good towards the people in the North. He is the one Fianna Fail leader who most Sinn Féin members have some time for. He was the man who coined the "John Unionist" title for that Blueshirt Bruton.

He was quite disgracefully shafted by his Fianna Fail associates in 1997 in relation to the Presidency.

They do say however that when you sup with the devil (Fianna Fail) these things can happen.

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