The Meaning Of Life with Gay Byrne

Programme 4

Gay Byrne with former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern. Surely, everyone has now heard everything the former Taoiseach has to say on just about anything. except, perhaps, the things they'd most like to hear him talk about. And yet this is an interview with a difference, as Bertie talks candidly about his far from fashionable attachment to Catholicism and the influence it has had on his life and career. Unlike Tony Blair, of whom Alistair Campbell famously said, "We don't do God," Bertie does "do God", accepting that questions about his faith are a legitimate line of enquiry.

He reveals how, in spite of his instinctive attachment to the Catholic Church, he felt compelled to launch the enquiries that have exposed the institution's scandalous failings. He explains how he prays for assistance, when his back is against the wall politically, without letting his beliefs shape policy. He talks about how he reconciled his faith with the collapse of his marriage and "living in sin" with Celia Larkin. He also tells how Christian belief offered an unlikely breakthrough in his relations with Ian Paisley.

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