Statement by the archbishop of Dublin on the announcement by An Taoiseach of his intention to resign
Reacting to the announcement by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD of his intention to resign on May 6th, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr John Neill said …
"The resignation of Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach will bring to an end a long and distinguished ministerial career in Irish public life. On a personal basis, I always found him most supportive and courteous in my dealings with him and for this I am extremely grateful.
As Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern has many achievements to his credit. Chief amongst them, of course, is the Good Friday Agreement, which was a credit to his courage, patience and tenacity. He continued to show these traits in abundance in the long and often tortured process of obtaining its full implementation. The prize was well worth it and the new relationships between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and between Britain and Ireland offer hope everywhere that seemingly intractable and endless conflicts can, with dedicated effort and goodwill, be put to one side.
In recent years he also played an important role on developing a new relationship between the state, the various Christian churches and other faith groups, in the context of a changing and increasingly diverse society. This was an undertaking that clearly interested him greatly. While the Good Friday agreement and its implementation will be remembered as his greatest achievement, I think this work will also be regarded as a constructive legacy and I hope it will be built upon in the years to come.
Bertie Ahern can look back on a long career in public service as Taoiseach and Government Minister with a lot of satisfaction and I wish him every blessing in the years ahead."