Archive for Thursday, April 3, 2008

Allegations prompt PM to announce resignation

April 3, 2008


— Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, the common-touch Dubliner who tended Ireland's economic boom and the blossoming of Belfast peace, announced his resignation Wednesday under a darkening cloud of financial scandal.

The announcement stunned Ireland and much of his Cabinet, whose members stood by Ahern during an 18-month battle against allegations he accepted secret cash payments from businessmen in the 1990s.

Ahern, who governed Ireland through 11 years of growing prosperity at home and peace in Northern Ireland, maintained his innocence.

He said he would also step down as leader of Fianna Fail, Ireland's largest party, on May 6, one week after he addresses Congress in Washington - an honor that reflects his pivotal role in Northern Ireland peacemaking over the past decade.


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