Irish PM to quit over payments scandal

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KevinB, Apr 2, 2008.

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  1. Irish PM to quit over payments scandal

    DUBLIN, Republic of Ireland (AP) -- Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who helped broker peace in Northern Ireland but could not survive a scandal over his collection of cash from businessmen, announced Wednesday he will resign.
    art.ahern.afp.gi.jpg

    Bertie Ahern played an important role in the Northern Ireland peace process.

    Ahern, flanked by his senior Cabinet ministers, told a surprise news conference he would step down May 6.

    He denied ever receiving a corrupt payment, but conceded that 18 months of growing criticism of his explanations had taken a toll on the effectiveness of his government.

    "Never, in all the time I've served in public life, have I put my personal interests ahead of the public good," Ahern said during a 10-minute statement during which his voice frequently wavered with emotion. Video Watch Ahern announce his resignation »

    "I have never received a corrupt payment and I've never done anything to dishonor any office I have held. ... I know in my heart of hearts, I've done no wrong and wronged no one," said Ahern, 56, who has been Ireland's leader for 11 years.

    His 2 1/2 terms in office have been marked by unprecedented economic success at home and peace in the neighboring British territory.

    But Ahern's hold on power has been steadily weakening since investigators discovered cash payments he secretly received from businessmen in the mid-1990s.

    Ahern initially claimed to have received just two major payments from personal friends. But the investigation since has uncovered about a dozen undocumented cash deposits in 1994 to Ahern, who is due to resume testimony next month.

    Ahern said he intended to remain in office until he delivers a speech to the joint houses of U.S. Congress in Washington April 30. He said that speech would be "one of the proudest moments of my political career."

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/04/02/irish.pm.ap/index.html
     
  2. Why the intrest, he's a politician. Most politicians would rim your dogs sh1ty arse to get votes and power, its the nature of the beast
     
  3. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Doubtless the money was just 'resting' in his account...
     
  4. or he had an "Irish" accountant
     
  5. What exactly is that supposed to mean, mate?
     
  6. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Just curious what the connection to the British Army is?
     
  7. First, mate, this is not unique to 'Irish' accountants - and second - they were not necessarily cooking corporate books, just underpaying the taxman regarding themselves. :wink:
     
  8. Sadly however, this is not unique to Bertie amongst Irish Taoiseachs...

    [​IMG]


    "Argh bedad George, sure and you can pay me later..."
     
  9. Let's face it - is not unique among scum politicos...
     
  10. Yes but if you go back through Haughey - scandal, Reynolds - scandal, Lynch - scandal...the auld sod does seem to pick 'em. In fact Haughey is probably the either the most scandalous politician in the British Isles for hundreds of years! Everything from arms dealing to personal alleged corruption...the man was a genius.
     
  11. Well, if you are going to be corrupt, might as go all the way andl do it with style, I suppose.

    Over here we have eejit mayors caught in drug rings, or transporting their mistresses on public money, or eejit governors caught with their pants down. :roll:
     
  12. Had you but seen Haughey's "palace" you would not conclude that "style" had anything to do with it. It is a tinker's bungalow caught fecking the local presbytery in appearance...
     
  13. Reminds me of the local mob bosses' places - ornate iron gates, lion statues, fountains, cherubs - tacky is the word.

    By 'style' I meant the panache they have to carry out such robbery in the first place!
     
  14. Nope, this is not sylish sleight of hand. It is not cheeky leprachauns pilfering the (Protestant obviously) squire's gold. It is nasty, old fashioned thieving of public money. Amusingly the EU put so much more into Ireland than was needed, that great works were completed and there was still gravy for a lot of people...