herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

'All they're talking about is trying to win a seat back' - Bertie

Bertie is open to rejoining FF
Bertie is open to rejoining FF

A Fianna Fail councillor in Bertie Ahern's heartland has said the former taoiseach's input into future election campaigns could be beneficial if he rejoins the party.

David Costello was speaking after Mr Ahern said he is considering rejoining his old party, which he left in 2012, following an invitation from his colleagues in the Dublin Central constituency.

Mr Costello was at the local Fianna Fail cumann meeting in the Skylon Hotel on Monday, when the proposal was made to invite Bertie back into the fold.

"I was surprised at the motion because I hadn't expected it," he said.

Party sources say there were around 30 to 35 people in the room at the time of the motion being proposed.

"It seemed to grow out of a conversation about local knowledge of the area and the people and the need to harness that," said another who was present.

The source also said that former councillor Mary Fitzpatrick was at the meeting but she was not present when it was voted upon.

Swords

Ms Fitzpatrick and Mr Ahern have crossed swords in the past.

On the night before the 2007 general election, she posted leaflets to homes asking people to vote her number one.

The next day letters were hand-delivered from Bertie's office to 30,000 voters, urging them to give their first preference to him and their second to Cyprian Brady.

Yesterday, Mr Ahern (65) told the Herald he has "no intention of coming back as a TD" and he also thinks Michael D Higgins will remain President beyond 2018.

"All the local organisation said was they're inviting me back to join the local cumann to help out," Mr Ahern said. "It's just the context of it. I'll think about it.

"I've huge regard for the people who run Dublin Central. They are a good organisation."

He admitted he may be able to bring support back to Fianna Fail and the Dublin Central constituency.

"All they're talking about is me helping out in the constituency by joining the local cumann and trying to win a seat back," Mr Ahern said.

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