Mr Ahern, in his resignation speech today said it was an honour to be Ireland’s second longest-serving Taoiseach and party leader.
“I have been humbled to be entrusted for over a decade with the great responsibility of leading our nation,” he said.
“The Irish people are innately decent and I’ve been privileged to serve them and to enjoy tremendous support.
“I am proud to be the first Taoiseach since 1944 to be elected on three successive occasions.”
Mr Ahern said that when he took over as party leader, he vowed to build up the economy and to work for peace on the island.
“I kept my word and I’ve given all to that cause,” he continued.
“Through painstaking negotiations, colossal work has been done in laying the foundations of reconciliation and justice between the communities in Northern Ireland.
“The cycle of hatred and violence which many people thought might never end has been well and truly broken.”