Bertie Ahern

Bertie Ahern was first elected to the Dáil (Parliament) in 1977 and served thirty-four years as a Public Representative, occupying a broad range of political positions including Vice President, Treasurer and President of the Fianna Fail political party, Minister for Arts, Culture & the Gaeltacht, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Minister for Labour and Tanaiste,. He was first elected as Taoiseach ( Leader) of Ireland, in June 1997 and served a full five-year term, being re-elected in 2002 and 2007; the first Taoiseach to achieve that distinction in a generation.

He led the negotiations on Northern Ireland from his election in 1997 first achieving the ceasefire in Northern Ireland from September to the following Easter.

The defining moment of this period, and in Irish history, was his successful negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement with Tony Blair – the agreement between the British and Irish Governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland.

On the 8th May 2007, years of work on the Peace Process paid a rich dividend when a power sharing administration was established in Northern Ireland. After nine years of political commitment this historic event represented the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement; a triumph for Mr. Ahern, Mr. Blair and the leaders of the Northern parties

On the wider world stage Mr. Ahern was President of the Social Affairs Council during the 1990 Irish Presidency and was part of the Council that agreed the Social Charter of fundamental rights for citizens.

The Irish Presidency of European Council in 2004 saw Mr Ahern holding the office of presidency over the historic enlargement of the European Union of twenty-seven member states including eight countries from Eastern Europe.

Bertie Ahern’s achievements as leader at home and abroad have been recognized internationally when he was in office and in the intervening years.

He is one of a very small number 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.

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

  • Chair of The Bougainville Referendum Commission
  • Co-Chair of The Inter Action Council.
  • Honorary Professor of Peace Studies at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace and Security, Queens University, Belfast.
  • Member of the International Group dealing with the Conflict in the Basque Country.
  • Honorary Adjunct Professor of Mediation and Conflict Intervention in NUI Maynooth.
  • Member of Crisis Management Initiative.
  • World Economic Forum Agenda Council on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.