Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has publicly apologized to the Irish nation for his party’s role in the downfall of the Celtic Tiger.
The opposition leader made a formal apology at the annual Fianna Fail Ard Fheis (delegate meeting) in Dublin.
Martin is desperately seeking to restore former glories to the party, founded by Eamon De Valera, after its recent battering at the polls.
Sinn Fein is now more popular with voters than Fianna Fail as the public blame the Republican Party for the collapse of the Irish economy and the need for an EU-IMF bail-out.
Martin acknowledged as much in his keynote speech to the 73rd annual Fianna Fail meeting in Dublin.
“Fianna Fail has made mistakes and we are sorry,” said the party leader, according to the Irish Times.
“It’s not enough to point to the worst world recession in 80 years and the euro zone crisis.
“Nor to point to the fact that other parties were demanding policies which would have made things worse - that’s for them to answer for.
“We were in government and we should have acted differently. We made mistakes. We got things wrong. And we are sorry for that. No equivocation.
No half-apology. Just the plain, unvarnished truth.”
Martin received a standing ovation from the 4,000 delegates as he emphasised the need for renewal and a new approach to politics.
“There are people throughout our country who are experiencing very hard times,” he added.
“They are struggling with finding a job, paying their mortgage or losing a loved one to emigration.
“The problems facing people are too serious for tired, old political games.
“This government of broken promises must be held to account for its bad decisions. But we will tackle them responsibly.
“When something is right for Ireland, we will support it, when it is wrong we will oppose it.”
Top ten Irish movies of all time (VIDEOS)