Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

Former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern reveals in his upcoming book “Bertie Ahern: The Autobiography” that the breakdown of his marriage was one of the hardest things he had to go through in his life.

The former Fianna Fail leader pulls no punches when it comes to attributing the blame for the collapse of the relationship.

"Looking back on it now, I can see I should have been around more. I neglected Miriam and the girls. They knew I loved them. They just didn't see me," he writes.

"Miriam was absolutely brilliant," he continues.

"It was a very difficult situation for her. Most people who go through break-up deal with it in their own way. She had to keep reliving it year after year.

"It must have made it more difficult for her to move on. But she never once said a word against me, when she might have had good cause. In fact, she said almost nothing.

"There's a loyalty in Miriam that breaks my heart, because probably I don't deserve it."

Trying to build a successful political career meant long hours away from home, and it was this absence that led to the strain that eventually broke the marriage up. However it was not just the work that got in the way.

"In truth, even when the work was done, I was spending more time socializing than I did with my family.

"I was still only in my early thirties. I wanted to blow off steam and the pressure of the job.

"I had a beautiful wife and two great kids. Now I realize that I should have been at home with them, not out on the town with others. I was being careless and I put our relationship under strain. I know how much I must have hurt Miriam and that is one of the greatest regrets of my life."

“Bertie Ahern: The Autobiography" hits the bookstands in Ireland on Wednesday.