Bertie Ahern announces that he will step down as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil.

After eleven years in the job, the announcement came on the steps of Government Buildings in a 12-minute statement, with cabinet colleagues beside him.

The Taoiseach said recent developments in the Mahon Tribunal had not motivated his decision. Rather he was motivated by what's in the best interests of the people. Mr Ahern added that this was solely a personal decision. He defended his personal integrity stating that he had never put personal interest above the public good, nor had he ever received a corrupt payment.

What I announce today is completely inspired by the desire to refocus the political dynamic in this country.

The Taoiseach thanked his family, his Dublin Central constituency, and the Irish people who he said it had been a privilege to serve. He also said that he was proud to have played a part in bringing peace and prosperity to the country. 

I know in my heart of hearts that I've done no wrong and wronged no one.

As the Taoiseach left government buildings in his chauffeur-driven car, one woman approached him saying

It's a sad day for Ireland.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 April 2008. The reporter is David Davin-Power.