Mixed reception for Ahern at FF ard fheis

Mixed reception for Ahern at FF ard fheis

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been given a mixed reception at the Fianna Fáil ard fheis this afternoon.

In his opening address to the gathering last night party leader Micheál Martin took what was seen as a thinly-veiled swipe at Mr Ahern, saying he would deal "swiftly and comprehensively" with anyone found by the Mahon Tribunal to have engaged in wrongdoing.

A number of people greeted the former Taoiseach warmly and posed for photographs with him when he arrived at the RDS in Dublin today.

But others including party members Norín Barron and Liz Roche criticised his presence.

"If we want our party to succeed it's about renewal, it's about getting untainted people in," Ms Barron said.

"We've got the Mahon Tribunal coming out next week - I'm just disgusted, I really am."

Mr Ahern declined to speak to the media.

Meanwhile it is still unknown who will become the new deputy leader of the party following the resignation this week of Éamon Ó Cuív from the position in a row over the party's stance on the European fiscal treaty.

Mayo TD Dara Calleary, who is widely tipped to replace him in the role, today was tight-lipped as to whether or not he'd like the position.

"I'm not even thinking about it," he said.

"It's a matter for the leader.

"He's focussed on the(keynote) speech tonight at 8.30 and nobody's talking about the deputy leadership apart from yourselves (reporters).

Earlier today delegates voted in favour of giving equal marriage rights to all people regardless of race, religion. gender or sexual orientation, and also backed a motion calling for same-sex couples to be given full adoption rights.

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