Éire PM Ahern to resign May 6

No more the Teflon Taoiseach: bid a long farewell to Bertie ~

April 2 (Bloomberg) — Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern will resign next month after presiding over the euro region’s fastest-growing economy for 10 years and helping broker peace in Northern Ireland. He quit under pressure from lawmakers over his failure to explain gifts and cash he got in the 1990s.

“I believe it’s in the best interests of the government, my party and the people of Ireland to set out a timetable for my departure,” Ahern, 56, told reporters in Dublin today.

A Dublin-based tribunal is investigating Ahern’s personal finances as part of a probe into illegal payments to politicians. The prime minister, leader of the Fianna Fail party, gave evidence for eight days at the tribunal and is scheduled to appear again next month.

…During Ahern’s time as premier, or taoiseach in Irish, the size of the economy more than doubled to $280 billion and the number of people with jobs increased 40 percent to a record 2.1 million. His government cut income, corporation and capital taxes and still ran budget surpluses in every year of his tenure except one.

…With then U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, Ahern helped bring about a Northern Ireland peace deal between unionists and republicans in the divided province. The climax came in May 2007, when Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley agreed to become first minister in a government with Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, signaling the end of more than three decades of conflict.

Once known as the “Teflon Taoiseach,” Ahern had previously escaped the taint of corruption scandals of the sort that destroyed the reputations of a number of Irish politicians, winning a third term in May 2007.

…“There’s still a huge amount of people in Ireland who 100 percent support Bertie,” said Nial Ring, 48, a pub owner from the Ballybough area of north Dublin, who was standing outside government buildings holding a banner saying “Ballybough Loves Bertie.”

Ahern’s announcement of his timetable for leaving office means he will still be able to take up an invitation to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington on April 30…

Something tells me that the Congress’s applause will be a cheering rousing chorus of appreciation for yer man notwithstanding any possible peccadilloes, and a grand Sendoff.

5 Responses to “Éire PM Ahern to resign May 6”

  1. Alasdair says:

    Isn’t “Taoiseach’s” a genetic recessive-gene disease carried mostly by Mediterranean folk ?

    (innocent grin)

  2. B. Minich says:

    How on earth do you PRONOUNCE Taoiseach, anyway? I guess it probably works best with an Irish accent . . .

  3. Andrew says:

    B. Minich, the gaelic languages are not meant to be “pronounced”, they’re meant to be slurred. ;-)

  4. Joe Loy says:

    Har har, Alasdair :}. “Mediterranean folk”, indeed ~ not that you’d ever (innocent-grinningly :) conflate the Keltoi with the Ashkenazim on the flimsy basis of their respective central-European ancestries or anythinglikethat :> but thenagainFinnegan, the Hibernians & the Hebrews do have certain historical experiences in common, to include the periodic suppression of our native Tongues by the Foreign Foe [a Language famously being: a Dialect with an Army & a Navy ] ~~ and yes, like the Children of Israel, we descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann (B. Minich: tuːˈəhÉ™ dʲɛː danˈən :) do Occasionally ;> inherit our own peculiar Predilections. // Which brings me, with a Circuitousness which I hope would make Taoiseach Bertie proud, to: Andrew.

    Andrew: ROTFLMIAO! (Irish” :) Commentary would be Superfluous. Brilliant. [And yes, it’s Noted that you veryinclusively & correctly said not merely the Irish but the gaelic languages :]

    B. Minich: since you Asked, it’s TAY-shuk. / The Taoiseach is selected by the majority party [or coalition] in the Dáil. Pronounced, “Doyle”. (Who Coincidentally, I believe, is a Member from the South County Kerry, famous for Never shlurring his schpeeches upon th’ Flure exshcept shumtimes of an odd Monday morning. :)

  5. Alasdair says:

    Elder Loy – I was tangentially referencing such things as sickle-cell which affect folk of mediterranean derivation, which some used to think only affected (afflicted somewhat protectively) those of high melanin content … (grin) … (See what happens when a mainframe geek tries the PC route!) …

    B Minich – I was punning upon the Tay-Sachs pronunciation, since, the s-in-the-middle can be an s sound or an sh shound depending upon local gaelectical variant … (think Sean Connery, for example) …

    I have a friend from way back who, while himself genetically sassenach, took it upon himself to become as fluent in gaelic as he could, to the point where locals in the Highlands and Islands thought himt o be from a differnt island, rather than the sassenach he is … I still tease him about Klingonese being a genteel refined form of Gaelic …

    Isn’t the Oirish Legislature actually pronounced like the Dáil on a ray-joe, anyway ?