herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Bertie takes Celia's advice... and shuts up

FORMER taoiseach Bertie Ahern says he has taken the advice of his ex Celia Larkin and "shut up".

As criticism from former colleagues continues to flow and with the Mahon Tribunal report looming, Bertie is "fed up".

Speaking to the Herald from his home in Drumcondra, Bertie says he has given up talking.

"All I'll do is get meself into trouble," he said.

In a TV documentary this week, Bertie tried to distance himself from the property crash.

He said: ''I know people who have second houses and third houses and fourth and fifth houses. They did overstretch themselves and I suppose it's handy for them to blame somebody."

After criticism from his former partner, as well as from his beloved Fianna Fail party, on comments he made about some members being "good for nothings", the ex-Taoiseach's new rule is that silence is golden.

Speaking outside his Drumcondra home yesterday, Mr Ahern told the Herald he has given up talking.

"All I'll do is get meself into trouble," he joked. When asked if he had 'shut up' as Ms Larkin had advised, Mr Ahern laughed: "I have, I've shut up. You can report that. I'm fed up."

Mr Ahern would not comment on claims made on this week's TV3 documentary on the history of Fianna Fail that he had been holding on to power as if he was putting notches on his bedpost.

Away

"To be honest, I'm just keeping away from it. I don't mind that, I mean people will always say things, but I'm keeping away from it," he said when asked for comment.

In the documentary, Mr Ahern's long-time partner Ms Larkin blasted him over his comments trying to absolve himself of blame for the property crash.

"I wish he'd ever shut up when those headlines came out. He doesn't do himself any favours," she said.

Mr Ahern explained in the documentary, The Rise And Fall of Fianna Fail, that his personal financial woes were because of the break-up of his marriage.

He said he had only taken part in the controversial documentary because it examined the history of Fianna Fail.

"That's a historical programme about Fianna Fail, and that's the only reason I did it," he said.

Walking with a slight limp, Mr Ahern said the ankle he injured in the past has come back to haunt him.

"I'm crocked, the ankle hasn't healed on. I'm not getting it right," he said. "I'm getting a huge amount of treatment on it, I'm working on only a quarter mobility on it," he added.

Mr Ahern said he was staying busy. "I'm doing a world economic forum meeting this evening, and I'm working with Co-operation Ireland in the north, I give them a day a week," he told the Herald.

"And I'm doing the Kennedy Conflict Resolution School in Maynooth, all which I do voluntary," he stressed.

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