Ahern 'a genuine socialist', says McCreevy

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is one of the few genuine socialists in the country, his former finance minister claimed today.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is one of the few genuine socialists in the country, his former finance minister claimed today.

European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said he believed the Taoiseach’s controversial assertion of his political beliefs.

“Well Bertie pronouncing himself as a socialist wasn’t a surprise to me because funny enough, I believe Bertie Ahern is one of the few socialists in Dáil Eireann, and would have said that many many years ago,” he said.

There was genuine amazement in political circles when Mr Ahern made the pronouncement in a newspaper interview last year. It was widely seen as an attempt to reposition Fianna Fáil as a party for working class people in the face of Sinn Féin’s growing popularity.

The writer and socialist Eamon McCann has said that if Bertie Ahern was a socialist, then “the moon is a balloon, Ian Paisley is a member of Opus Dei and Tony Blair never told a lie in his life”.

But Mr McCreevy said that while it was not his job as European Internal Market and Services Commissioner to defend Bertie Ahern, he believed he was a genuine socialist.

“I would have said that many years ago. I said it around the cabinet table, I said it among friends when I wasn’t on the airwaves and I believe it. He’s one of the very few. I’m not by the way, as you’re probably aware.”

He told RTÉ radio that Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins was one of two other genuine socialists in the Dáil but declined the name the remaining politician.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub


Text header

From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

War_map
Execution Time: 0.219 s