Bertie Ahern: A political life


JUNE 1977Elected to Dáil for first time in the Dublin Finglas constituency and Dublin Central after 1981

MARCH 1982Appointed government chief whip in short-lived administration that ended in December that year

1986Elected lord mayor of Dublin

1987Promoted to first Cabinet position as minister for labour

1991Appointed minister for finance, a job he held until the 1994 collapse of the Fianna Fáil-Labour government

1994Became leader of Fianna Fáil

DECEMBER 1996In Dáil speech laid down explicit rules of ethical behaviour for Fianna Fáils elected representatives, saying in future “anyone who abuses their position or knowingly flouts the rules – will be gone”.

JUNE 1997Elected taoiseach and entered into coalition with Progressive Democrats

OCTOBER 1997Said when minister for foreign affairs Ray Burke was forced to resign over reports of £30,000 donation that his career “was ended by Deputy [John] Bruton and his likes, not by me. I hope . . . he never comes to a similar untimely political end.”

DECEMBER 1997Met US president Bill Clinton for first time as taoiseach

APRIL 1998signed Belfast Agreement

MAY 1998Belfast Agreement supported by overwhelming majority in the North and South

SEPTEMBER 1998Official visit to China with his partner Celia Larkin

1999Appointed Liam Lawlor to the Oireachtas ethics committee

2001First Nice Treaty referendum rejected

MAY 2002Elected taoiseach for second time just three seats short of an overall majority

NOVEMBER 2004Named European Statesman of the Year by Brussels-based newspaper the European Voice for work during Irish presidency of the EU in brokering agreement on the European Constitution

JUNE 2006Giving the graveside oration at funeral of former taoiseach, said, “Charles Haughey was a patriot to his fingertips.”

OCTOBER 2006Received honorary degree from the NUI, one of a number he received during his terms as taoiseach

APRIL 2007Northern Ireland first minister Ian Paisley publicly shook hands with the taoiseach at Farmleigh

MAY 2007Taoiseach and Ian Paisley visited the site of the battle of the Boyne

JUNE 2007Re-elected for the third time as taoiseach and entered coalition with the PDs and the Green Party

JULY 2007In a speech to union leaders in Donegal he criticised those talking down the economy and said: “Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. I don’t know how people who engage in that don’t commit suicide.”

2007Appeared before the Mahon tribunal, the first serving taoiseach to be questioned by a tribunal investigating corruption

APRIL 2008Addressed US Congress

MAY 2008Stood down as taoiseach

OCTOBER 2010Appeared “in the cupboard” in News of the World advert

MARCH 2012Mahon tribunal reported and he resigned from Fianna Fáil