Now that it has been established that Bertie Ahern lied under oath at the Mahon Tribunal all those who loyally served under him have to make a choice.
They have to admit they were complete fools to believe such drivel, make up some excuse for their gullibility or, for the first time in Irish political histroy, admit they knew he was lying but kept quiet to protect their own particular interests.
The third option, telling the truth, has never happened in Irish political life but here are examples of option one and two.
Micheál Martin has opted for the ‘Im a fool’ excuse. Asked by the Irish Daily Mail if he was a knave or a fool to believe Ahern’s evidence Martin replied;
I believed what Bertie Ahern said at the time of the tribunal and I was wrong and I was disappointed.
Now only a fool would believe that this fool is telling the truth when he says he believed the fool Ahern but at least he’s not blaming anybody else for his stupidity.
Former Green Party minister and loyal Bertie Ahern supporter Eamon Ryan took the second option – an excuse.
Questioned on Tonight with Vincent Browne (March 22) he placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Irish people.
Vincent Browne: You were implicated in the whole thing.
Ryan: No, we raised the whole issue of corruption… blah blah blah blah…
VB: But you were in government with Ahern.
Ryan: We went into government with Bertie Ahern and no matter what we did he was still going to be Taoiseach. The Irish people returned Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach in 2007, not us.
VB: You defended Ahern when everybody knew he was a liar
Ryan: The Irish people made a democratic decision that they were going to return Bertie Ahern and Fianna Fail. That was not our call, it was the Irish people that did it.
VB: It was your call to go into govenment with someone you knew was telling lies to the tribunal.
Ryan: It was the Irish people who returned Bertie Ahern.
VB: You went into governent wth someone who you knew was lying.
Ryan: It was up to the tribunal to discern that (that Ahern was lying).
VB: Rubbish; you remained happily in government. Did you think it credible? (Ahern’s evidence)
Ryan: No, I didn’t. (Rejecting the ‘I’m a fool option’).
VB: You’ve never said that before in public. So you remained in government disbelieving the evidence the leader of government gave to the tribunal on the issue of corruption.
Ryan: One of the reasons you stay in government is to get things done…blah blah blah blah…
It is obvious from this exchange that, at the very least, the integrity and honesty of Eamon Ryan and the Green Party was seriously compromised by their association with the corrupt Fianna Fail party.