28/02/2008

Taoiseach Dissenters ‘Not Fit To Tie His Shoelaces’

The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs has slammed the recent outpouring of criticism of the Taoiseach claiming some of those speaking out are “not fit to tie his shoelaces.”

Dermot Ahern rallied in defence of his party leader in the wake of continued castigation and calls for Bertie Ahern's resignation by opposition parties over the Mahon Inquiry.

Bertie Ahern faced tough questions this week in the case, which sought to identify the source of several payments into his account and questioning why these payments had not been declared for tax purposes.

The Foreign Minister’s comments come on the heels of an address defending Bertie Ahern by the Tánaiste, Brian Cowen, that many saw as half-hearted qualified support of the Taoiseach earlier this week, causing further damage to the Bertie Ahern's increasingly difficult position.

Fianna Fáil have dismissed suggestions that Mr Cowen’s remarks were ‘half hearted’ and that the party fully supports the Taoiseach.

Tensions have continued to soar since the hearing with the leader of Fine Gael being described as ‘Napoleon’ drawing up 'plans for lost wars' by Mr Cowen after the opposition leader suggested Fianna Fáil had been paralysed by the recent hearing and called for the Taoiseach to step down.

Enda Kenny, Fine Gael Leader, has since compared recent events to the Haughey era - saying the “pupil” was replicating the sins of the master.

Mr Kenny said it was time for the Tánaiste to deal with the matter with a sense of leadership and courage rather than collusion and weakness.

See: Ahern Facing Probe As Paisley Defiant On 'Jnr' Controversy

(DW)

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