Bertie Ahern

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Ahern, Bertie

(Bartholomew Patrick Ahern) (əhûrn`), 1951–, Irish politician, prime minister of the Republic of Ireland (1997–2008). Born into a working-class family, he studied accounting at University College, Dublin. A member of Fianna FáilFianna Fáil
, Irish political party, organized in 1926 by opponents of the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 establishing the Irish Free State and setting up Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.
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, he entered the Irish parliament in 1977 and held a number of parliamentary offices. From 1986 to 1987 he was lord mayor of Dublin. Returning to national government, he served as labor minister (1987–91) and finance minister (1991–94).

Ahern became head of Fianna Fáil in 1994 and was leader of the opposition until 1997, when he succeeded John BrutonBruton, John
, 1947–, Irish politician, b. Dublin. A lawyer and farm owner, he is a member of the centrist Fine Gael party. Bruton was first elected to the Irish parliament in 1969 and during the 1970s served as a junior minister.
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 as prime minister, heading a Fianna Fáil–Progressive Democrat coalition. He helped to broker a cease-fire by the Irish Republican Army, and in 1998 he and others (including Britain's Tony BlairBlair, Tony
(Anthony Charles Lynton Blair), 1953–, British politician, b. Edinburgh. An Oxford-educated lawyer, he was first elected to Parliament in 1983 as the Labour party candidate from a district in N England.
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 and America's George MitchellMitchell, George John,
1933–, U.S. public official, b. Waterville, Maine. An attorney in private and government practice in the 1960s and 1970s, he was a protege of Senator Edmund Muskie.
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) brokered a peace agreement in Northern Ireland. Ahern also increased the republic's influence in Northern Ireland. His government was returned to office in the 2002 and 2007 elections, but as a three-party coalition with the addition of the Green Party after the 2007 vote.

Revelations that Ahern had received secret cash payments from businessmen in the early 1990s led to an investigation that revealed additional payments, and in 2008, with the controversy over the payments undermining his authority, Ahern resigned as prime minister and party leader. He was succeeded in the posts by Deputy Prime Minister Brian CowenCowen, Brian,
1960– Irish political leader, prime minister of the Repubic of Ireland (2008–11). A lawyer from a family long involved in Fianna Fáil politics, he was first elected to the Irish parliament in 1984, winning his late father's seat.
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. The 2012 report by the investigation accused Ahern of lying under oath and his government of attempting to undermine investigation, but it also found that there was no evidence that Ahern did political favors in return for the payments.


See biography by K. Whelan and E. Masterson (1999).

References in periodicals archive ?
BoyleSports spokesman Liam Glynn said: "We have seen more support behind Bertie Ahern to succeed Michael Higgins and as a result the Drumcondra native is now challenging Mairead McGuinness for favouritism.
Bertie Ahern waving goodbye on the steps of Leinster House on Wednesday
He said the declaration by Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern had not been negotiated or ratified by the Province's political parties.
Maurice's constituency rival Maureen O'Sullivan, who like Bertie Ahern is a local TD, paid tribute to the Ahern family last night.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said no date had been set for the referendum but it would probably be in the first half of 2008.
PRIME MINISTER Bertie Ahern gave the EUR100 million Curragh redevelopment programme his seal of approval on a flying visit to the County Kildare track yesterday morning.
DECISION DAY: Bertie Ahern at a polling station today
TONY Blair and Irish Premier Bertie Ahern were preparing a package of measures yesterday aimed at saving the Good Friday agreement.
Speaking to the RTE Guide, Nicky confessed he had no idea about the brunette's famous dad - former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
Dozens of other well-known faces including Bertie Ahern, Sharon Corr and Pat Shortt agreed to send a recipe and also pose for a picture.