Tánaiste Micheál Martin said relations between him and former Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern have improved.
r Martin, whose decision to propose Mr Ahern’s expulsion from Fianna Fáil ten years ago resulted in three-year-old Taoiseach resigning from the party, first opened the door for Ahern to rejoin the party earlier this year.
In September, Mr Martin announced he had consulted his predecessor on Northern Ireland and Brexit issues.
In an interview with the Irish Times, the newly appointed foreign secretary said he had worked with the former party leader over the past year.
“We get along very well. We’ll meet at a match, or he’ll leave a message for me to call him, always about the North,” he said.
“Before I met Boris once, he would have called to say I thought they were here. The North is his great interest.
“He’s involved in a group up north with people from the loyalist community and unionism – former politicians. So he has a good sense of where loyalty is.”
He previously said Mr Ahern had been “valuable” in terms of working with communities in the north.
Earlier this year there were calls from some in Fianna Fáil to allow Mr Ahern to be reinstated into the party, including at the party’s parliamentary meeting on Wednesday.
In the interview published today, Mr. Martin did not rule out the possibility that Mr. Ahern could be a party candidate for the presidency in the 2025 election.
But he said: “There’s still a long way to go and I’m very aware of the need to respect President Higgins. I’m not even sure Bertie wants to be president.”
He added that he “didn’t even consider” the possibility of running for the presidency.
Mr Martin also spoke about his desire to “enjoy life” with his wife, he said: “I walk a lot. I often tell Mary, “I’d like to get a field somewhere and let it grow wild and do my bit for nature.”
The couple married in 1990 and had five children.
Last year, Mr. Martin spoke publicly for the first time about the deaths of his third-born child, Ruairí, who was in his cot at the age of five weeks, and his youngest daughter, Léana, who died of a heart condition in 2010 at the age of seven.
He spoke about this time in his life with Joe Duffy in a pre-taped television interview last September.
“I found it very difficult. After that, I just didn’t tell them at home. I actually watched it alone. I couldn’t see it with them. I went upstairs,” he said.
“I always worry a lot about how other people might react because it’s their life too. I received another interesting correspondence, which is basically about sharing grief and thoughts. It’s like it helps other people and I have to be aware of that.”
Celebrating the holiday season, the 62-year-old added what he would like for Christmas: “I like a sweater and some books and I get green tea. You all know that green tea is not wasted.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/tanaiste-micheal-martin-does-not-rule-out-bertie-ahern-being-fianna-fail-candidate-for-presidency-in-2025-42242603.html Tánaiste Micheál Martin does not rule out that Bertie Ahern will become Fianna Fáil’s presidential candidate in 2025