Express & Star

Former Irish premier rejoins political party more than 10 years after quitting

Fianna Fail confirmed they had received a membership application from Bertie Ahern which the party had accepted.

Bertie Ahern

A former Irish premier has rejoined the political party he once led.

Bertie Ahern led Fianna Fail from 1994, and served as Taoiseach from 1997.

He led Ireland during the peace talks across the Irish border in Belfast, working with then-UK prime minister Tony Blair as the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

National Archives papers released
Irish premier Bertie Ahern, left, US senator George Mitchell, centre, and UK prime minister Tony Blair after they signed the Good Friday peace agreement (Dan Chung/PA)

But Mr Ahern resigned from Fianna Fail in 2012 following a report from a tribunal.

The Mahon Tribunal, which looked at allegations of planning corruption, did not find Mr Ahern to be corrupt but said he did not “truthfully account” for money he lodged to his bank account.

Last September, the current leader of Fianna Fail Micheal Martin indicated he would be open to allowing his former party colleague back into the party.

It had been proposed during a meeting of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party that Mr Ahern should be allowed to make a return as part of its plans to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

A Fianna Fail spokesperson said on Wednesday: “We received a membership application and it was accepted by the party.”

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