Labour: Ahern departure is in country’s best interests

Former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte says Bertie Ahern has done the country a service by naming a date for his resignation as Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader.

Reacting to Mr Ahern's announcement this morning, Mr Rabbitte said Mr Ahern was a remarkably gifted politician.

However he said his position as Taoiseach had become untenable at a time when the economy is facing significant difficulties.

"His mind could not be on the job because of his preoccupation with what was going at the tribunal and therefore, I suppose, the decision is in the best interests of the country at this time," Mr Rabbitte said.

He said Bertie Ahern was a tireless worker and his departure had been brought about by the relentless publicity surrounding his tribunal evidence.

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