The very fact that Bertie Ahern has chosen to appeal to public sympathy in an attempt to get himself off the hook is an indication of his desperation. In his interview with RTE’s Brian Dobson, Ahern resorted to the usual excuses.
No favours were sought or given – It was a debt of honour that I will repay (sometime) – In hindsight, if I knew my daughters and I were going to be successful I would have acted differently – I broke no law – It was a relatively small amount compared to being offered millions.
The debt of honour excuse is the same tactic used by Ahern’s mentor and hero, the corrupt Charlie Haughey when he was asked to explain why he never repaid a loan to Allied Irish Banks – AIB is still waiting for payment.
In her enthusiasm to defend Bertie on Primetime, the Minister for Education, Mary Hanifin may have got herself into a spot of bother. She claimed (wrongly) that Michael Lowry had received very large amounts of money from businessmen who he didn’t know. Pat Rabbitte remarked that Lowry’s solicitors will probably have something to say about such claims.
Mary O’Rourke, adopted her most severe school teacher persona when Vincent Browne interrupted her gallant defence of Bertie with one of his famous sighs. The exchange between the two provides a good laugh.