No prospect of Bertie Ahern returning, says Micheal Martin

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said he does not see any possibility of Bertie Ahern re-entering politics after it emerged the controversial former Taoiseach has been asked to rejoin his local party branch.

Mr Martin said nothing has changed since Mr Ahern was effectively forced out of the party in the wake of the Mahon Tribunal findings. Mr Ahern yesterday appeared to rule out any future return to the Dáil.

Speaking on Tipp FM during a visit to the county, Mr Martin said “Bertie Ahern resigned four years ago in the aftermath of the tribunal”.

Explaining his former cabinet colleague had “effectively retired from politics”, he said that “nothing has changed from four years ago and I don’t anticipate Bertie Ahern coming back into the party. I don’t see any possibility of that”.

Asked if he will actively try and stop Mr Ahern from returning, Mr Martin said: “Well I don’t think it is a prospect, my views [after the Mahon Tribunal when he said Mr Ahern’s actions were “conduct unbecoming” of a Fianna Fáil member and that he should be expelled] still stand.”

The comments came after Mr Ahern’s former branch, Dublin Central, “unanimously” agreed to ask him to rejoin the group on Tuesday.

The decision was taken without the prior knowledge of Fianna Fáil headquarters.

Questioned yesterday, Mr Ahern said “I’ve no intention of coming back, as a TD” and that “all the local organisation said was they’re inviting me back to help out”.

He said “people were stopping me and saying ‘delighted you’re coming back as a TD’” on Wednesday, when he was in the Ukraine, and that he would “think about” the offer to return as a grassroots Fianna Fáil member.


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