With frank and deeply revealing interviews from family, political colleagues, former constituency activists and commentators, this new four-part series asks: who really is Bertie Ahern?
From the production company behind Haughey (2005) and Fine Gael: A Family at War (2004) comes a four-part series which explores the question: who really is Bertie Ahern?
History may remember him as an important political figure who everybody knew, but nobody knew much about. He seemed a mass of contradictions. A self-proclaimed socialist who governed as a laissez-faire capitalist. A deeply religious man whose official partner was not his wife. The son of an IRA man who led his party to 'abandon' Articles 2 and 3.
Bertie as a series tells a remarkable story. With no connections in the party, Bertie Ahern fought and won a Dáil seat on his first attempt. Almost uniquely, he survived the civil wars over Haughey's leadership unscathed. He remained underestimated by his colleagues even as he rose to the leadership. As Taoiseach, he formed three back-to-back governments and presided over a decade-long boom - jumping ship just before it hit the rocks.
From family and friends we get insights into what makes this complex man tick, and how the 'Drumcondra Mafia' helped to force his way to the very top. Through Bertie Ahern and his Ministers we can look behind the scenes at the last three decades of Irish politics, and witness his successes and his failures which culminated in his resignation from the post of Taoiseach on 6 May 2008.
Bertie features more than 70 contributions. These include his family: estranged wife Miriam, daughters Cecelia and Georgina, sister Eileen and brother Noel; politicians including Charlie McCreevy, Mary Harney, Brian Lenihan, Micheal Martin, Willie O'Dea, Dermot Ahern, Mary O'Rourke and Tony Blair; and constituency activists Chris Wall, Paddy Duffy, Liam Cooper and Royston Brady. The series includes interviews with contributors to the 'good will' loans including Des Richardson, Joe Burke, Barry English and David McKenna. Bertie also features a lengthy interview with Bertie Ahern recorded on 2 July 2008.
Made by Mint productions for RTÉ, Bertie is directed by Steve Carson, produced by Noeleen Leddy, series produced by Ailbhe Maher and edited by Nathan Nugent.
'The Bertie series is an honest and independent political biography of scope and insight, and an effective primer in recent Irish political affairs and in the nature of power and politics,' says Kevin Dawson, commissioning editor for RTÉ Factual.