His last recorded job was as a barman in Belfast.
The Taoiseach still has only one average home, and he worked in the Mater Hospital and then as a constitutional politician.
Perhaps we should investigate what multiple of Bertie’s modest net assets are in the hands of the Provos?
When will we see a judicial inquiry, or serious media investigation, of the use made by the Provos of taxpayers’ funds in 1970 to help launch their murderous campaign, or the proceeds of the Northern Bank robbery and all the other robberies, including those in which Irish people were murdered?
And what of the proceeds of extortion, smuggling, drugs protection, forgery, kidnapping, etc?
And the lazy media use of the ‘Bertie-gate’ label is itself an indication of bias, suggesting, without the slightest evidence, or even reasonable suspicion, of dodgy dealings, or systematic cover-up.
I moved home in April, 1986. We used several sources of funding to finance our house purchase and repairs.
Neither my wife nor I can recall not only what we got from each source, but even which sources we used. Nor can we recall the total spend, much less the details of sources.
Nobody can recall such details several years later.
Bertie or Celia have as little right to ask about or know such details of my life as I have to ask or know about his or hers.
But this circus costs.
Firstly, it adds to the popular cynicism that “they are all the same”, which only helps the retreating (for now) Provos and ultra-left types.
Secondly, it distracts the Taoiseach from useful work on our behalf.
Thirdly, it allows media and opposition to avoid focusing on real issues and challenges in our society.
Fourthly, it renders political service even more repugnant to capable and honourable people who otherwise might think of entering it.
Why spend vast public funds on such tribunals especially since Oireachtas committees have been so impressive on the rare occasions they have been used? What actual results are being, or ever will be, obtained — at any price?
And when will the ongoing abuse of the whole tribunal process by inside leaks be ended, or seriously investigated, or even admitted ?
Ireland is a small country and Dublin is a small city where everyone knows at least someone who knows someone else.
It is unimaginable that the character and lifestyle of Bertie could be universally misread.
It is time to trust our gut instincts, and generously recognise that he is, and has always been, one decent, honourable, incredibly hard-working public servant who has sacrificed so much to a lifetime of service in democratic politics, and has delivered us all unprecedented opportunities in our own land, as well as the prize of peace.