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Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern resigns from Fianna Fáil

The once popular Irish Prime Minister left Fianna Fáil before the party was due to expel him in the wake of a corruption inquiry.

The once popular Irish Prime Minister left Fianna Fáil before the party was due to expel him in the wake of a corruption inquiry.

On 24 March Mr Ahern announced he was leaving Fianna Fáil because he did not want to be "a source of political division in the party I care so deeply about."

The former Taoiseach made his announcement after it emerged Fianna Fáil was going to expel him and other party members after their names appeared on the final report of the Mahon Tribunal.

The Tribunal of Inquiry Into Certain Planning Matters and Payments, commonly known as the Mahon Tribunal, was a public inquiry set up to investigate allegations of corrupt payments to politicians.

Although the Tribunal did not brand Mr Ahern as a corrupt, it found that he failed to tell the truth about large sums of money he had in the early 1990s, while Finance Minister.

Mr Ahern, a charismatic politician lauded at home and abroad, leader of three governments at the height of the Celtic Tiger years, and one of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process, defended his innocence and said he is considering options for vindicating his good name.

Current Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who was due to propose a motion to expel Mr Ahern from the party, said "It is a matter of profound personal and professional regret to see confirmed in this report the extent to which Bertie Ahern fell short of the standard of personal behaviour which is expected of the holders of high office."

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