Martin insists Bertie Ahern's legacy 'cannot absolve' him


Bertie Ahern’s achievements, such as the Belfast Agreement, cannot absolve him from the findings of the Mahon tribunal, Micheál Martin has said.

The Fianna Fáil leader said although the central allegation of corruption against the former taoiseach was not upheld, the evidence confirmed by the tribunal and its comments relating to Mr Ahern were “extremely serious” and could not be ignored.

“No matter how high a member rises within the party and in elected office, they still carry a duty of trust for the members of Fianna Fáil and for the people who elected them,” he told a press briefing in Dublin this morning.

Mr Martin said a motion seeking Mr Ahern’s expulsion from the party would be voted on at a meeting of the party’s Ard Comhairle next Friday.

He said the motion was “the only route available to us to assert the fact that he [Mr Ahern] fell short of the standard of personal behaviour which all holders of public office should uphold”.

The parliamentary party will also propose the expulsion of former Fianna Fáil minister and EU commissioner Pádraig Flynn, who the tribunal found corruptly sought and received a payment from developer Tom Gilmartin in 1989, along with the expulsion of former councillors GV Wright, Finbar Hanrahan and Don Lydon.

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