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top tip

Bertie Ahern says election should be in mid-June and gives his top tip to Simon Harris

Ahern also gave his top tip to the newly elected Taoiseach Simon Harris.

FORMER TAOISEACH BERTIE Ahern has said if the decision was up to him, the general election would be in June. 

Speaking to reporters at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre this afternoon, Ahern said he believes this government will now run the full-term. 

However, when asked if that was wise, Ahern said: 

“Well, [it's] not my decision anymore. If it was my decision, the election would be in mid-June when it is warm and it is bright till half ten at night. But that is not going to happen,” he said. 

Predicting when the next election will be, Ahern said people will need to have a warm pair of gloves as he believes it will be the last Thursday or Friday in February.

former-taoiseach-bertie-ahern-meets-and-shakes-hands-with-current-fianna-fail-leader-and-tanaiste-micheal-martin-as-he-arrives-at-the-fianna-fail-ard-fheis-at-the-dublin-royal-convention-centre-pict Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern shaking Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin's hand the party Ard Fheis in Dublin. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Ahern,surrounded by the Fianna Fáil party faithful, wished new Taoiseach Simon Harris well, telling the media that it is “hugely important for the country that he does well, so I give him my very best,” he said. 

When asked if Harris, being so young, might lack the experience for the job, Ahern quipped that he was young when he held the job.

“I was 44. I was young,” he laughed, stating that the Taoisigh are getting younger all the time.

“I wish him well. He has a lot of experiences. He was in health, which is a hard ministry for four years. He was higher level education. He’s been in in finance. So he was chairman of Wicklow County Council, so he’s a lot of experience. He might be 37, but he still has put in a lot of years. So I wish him well,” he said.

When asked what his top tip would be for Harris, he said: 

I think it’s take a small number of issues and do the best you can on those issues. If you’re trying to take too many issues you get spread too thin.

It’s very hard.There’s always the unpredictable. The one thing when you’re Taoiseach, you get up in the morning and that day never runs as you think it will,” said Ahern. 

The former Taoiseach said he is out canvassing with party candidates ahead of the next local and European elections. 

“Every election is a challenge,” he said, stating that there is six weeks of hard work ahead, but that the reception on the doorsteps has been good. 

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