Bertie Ahern on the Good Friday Agreement, Brexit and a United Ireland

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Following the 11th Dr John Kennedy CBE KSG KCMCO DL DHI Lecture in Irish Studies given by Bertie Ahern, we spoke with the former Taoiseach on the Good Friday Agreement, the impact of Brexit on relations between Ireland and the UK, and the prospect of a United Ireland.

The achievements of Bertie Ahern (Taoiseach from 1997 to 2008, Leader of Fianna Fáil from 1994 to 2008) as a leader at home and abroad have been recognised internationally. He has been conferred with honorary degrees by several universities and is one of only five people to enjoy the great distinction of having been invited to address both the Houses of Parliament at Westminster and the Houses of Congress of the United States in Washington D.C.

Mr Ahern has been involved in negotiations for most of his life, from industrial relations issues in his early years including major legislation reform to the successful negotiation with Tony Blair of the Good Friday Agreement between the British and Irish Governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland in April 1998. As Minister for Finance he led the negotiations on the agreement of the Maastricht agreement and as President of the European Council he achieved consensus of the 27 countries to a European constitution. Over his entire career he has been central to reconciliation and negotiation on several fronts.

Since leaving Government in 2008 Bertie Ahern had dedicated his time to Conflict Resolution and is actively involved with many groups around the world.


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