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Fianna Fáil to put forward motion to expel Bertie Ahern

Micheál Martin has called his conduct “unbecoming” of a member of the party.

In happier times...
In happier times...
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin is to put forward a motion which could see his one-time boss Bertie Ahern expelled from the party he led for 14 years.

Following a meeting of the party’s officers this evening, Martin said that he will table the motion at a special meeting of the National Executive, adding that Ahern had betrayed the trust of Fianna Fáil and the country.

The vote will be taken next Friday, 30 March.

The officers at tonight’s meeting deemed his conduct “as outlined in evidence made public through the tribunal” unbecoming of a member of Fianna Fáil.

The party is writing to the former Taoiseach to inform him of its decision.

Martin said that although the central allegation of corruption against Ahern was not sustained, the evidence confirmed by the Tribunal and its comments relating to him “are extremely serious”.

The receipt by a senior office holder of large amounts of money and the failure to give any credible explanation requires an unequivocal response, explained the new leader, who has promised reform and swift action on the Mahon Report.

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.

Martin reiterated the tribunal’s finding that a significant amount of evidence given by Ahern was deemed “untrue”.

He said the extent to which Ahern fell short of the standard of personal behaviour which is expected of the holders of high office was a matter of “profound personal and professional regret” for him.

Former minister Pádraig Flynn also faces expulsion from the party after the tribunal found that he accepted for himself a sum of £50,000 from developer Tom Gilmartin.

That behaviour on his part was a disgrace and betrayed the trust that the Irish electorate had placed in him.

Bertie Ahern: I hid nothing…I have told the truth>

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