Reynolds memoirs - Was Ahern vindictive?

The story about Albert Reynolds believing that Bertie Ahern shafted him in relation to the Fianna Fáil nominations for the presidency has long been doing the rounds in political circles, but Mr Reynolds has now confirmed it in his memoirs.

He states that he was reluctant to run for president, but Mr Ahern actually persuaded him to stand for the Fianna Fáil nomination.

There were three candidates – Mary McAleese, Michael O’Kennedy and Mr Reynolds.

“I was advised by a number of friends that I should pull out as I was being set up,” Mr Reynolds writes. “I could not believe this was true.”

As president of Fianna Fáil, Mr Ahern adopted an outwardly neutral stance, but when it came to the first vote Mr Reynolds stated that Mr Ahern actually showed him his vote before depositing it in the ballot box. That was enough to prompt Brian Crowley – who was convinced that Mr Ahern was backing somebody else – to exclaim to Mr Reynolds in expletive terms that he was finished.

Mr Ahern had every right to support Ms McAleese or anyone else, but in the circumstances it was wrong to encourage Mr Reynolds to run. Was that just politics or pure vindictiveness?


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