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Bertie Ahern walks out of TV interview after Mahon Tribunal questions

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has walked out o an interview with a German TV station
Connla Young

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has walked out of a German TV interview with after being questioned about the Mahon Tribunal.

The Tribunal was set up in 1997 to investigate allegations of corruption in the Irish planning system.

When it reported in 2012 it found that Mr Ahern had failed to truthfully explain several financial transactions.

The former Taoiseach, who was in office from 1997 to 2008, has always denied any wrongdoing and rejects the findings of the tribunal.

In recent weeks he has been back in the public gaze after attending several events to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which he helped to broker.

His walkout came during an interview with German TV station Deutsche Welle (DW) in Dublin when he was questioned about the Mahon Tribunal during an interview set up to discuss the Good Friday Agreement.

When asked about the issue, he told DW's Conflict Zone programme he was "quite happy" he had cleared his name.

"The tribunal gave its views and I gave my evidence, and I was very happy with my evidence,” he said.

"The tribunal is over.

"I've dealt with that issue and I'm not saying anymore about it."

Interviewer Tim Sebastian continued to question Mr Ahern saying: "You're someone who wants to come back maybe as president, these are issues that are be in the public domain".

Mr Ahern replied: "That'll be for another day, that'll be for another day."

When he continued to be pressed on the issue Mr Ahern said: "I agreed to meet you on the Good Friday Agreement, we've done that, so we're finished, thank you very much."

The former Taoiseach then ended the interview.

Mr Sebastian later said there was "no intention of offending him".

"This was billed as an interview about the Good Friday Agreement but we did also offer his office a list of topics that we were going to cover but they didn't come back to us,” he said.

"We hope Mr Ahern will come back to us someday and finish the interview and we wish him well," he added.

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