Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern is charging American companies a small fortune – to lecture them on how he transformed the now bankrupt Irish economy!
The Irish Independent has revealed that the disgraced Fianna Fail leader, blamed by many for the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, is earning as much as $40,000 a speech.
Ahern is on the books of the elite Washington Speakers Bureau whose company motto reads: “Connecting you with the world’s greatest minds’.
They are currently marketing his lecture on how he turned the Irish economy into a role model of ‘economic growth’.
During his lecture, Ahern tips businessmen on how to make their firms competitive.
Ahern’s latest lecture is entitled ‘Prime Minister as CEO’ and is attracting big interest across the States according to the Independent.
The bureau refused to discuss how many bookings they had received for the lecture but a source confirmed that Ahern is one of the most sought-after of the 346 speakers on their books.
The company’s website confirms Ahern’s fee as more than $40,000 and it at a level enjoyed by just 57 other speakers including former US President George W Bush.
The company’s profile praises Ahern’s role in the Good Friday Agreement and also reveals how Irish citizens accepted ‘short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term gain", which has raised most eyebrows’.
The outline of the speech reads: “Leading the turnaround of an entire country is akin to the constant evolution companies and organizations must undergo to remain competitive.
“Bertie Ahern dedicated his career to re-inventing his country’s economic and political stakes in global affairs. He persuaded his fellow politicians and citizens to accept short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term gain.
“His ability to persuade his constituents to follow his vision provides lessons for even the most seasoned executives.”
The website adds: “In this thought-provoking presentation, Mr Ahern describes:
News of Ahern’s lucrative speaking engagements in America has been met by astonishment back in Ireland.
Labor Party deputy Ciaran Lynch told the Independent that he was astonished that companies would want to employ M Ahern to give them advice on how to be competitive.
“This news will sit badly with the majority of the Irish population, particularly people crippled by debt due to "the errors made when Mr Ahern was Taoiseach,” said Lynch.
“It’s absolutely bewildering, particularly given the worldwide coverage of Ireland’s economic collapse, that he’s being promoted as a strategic thinker for companies.
“The mismanagement of the Irish company happened under his watch and it must be frustrating for the Irish public to hear about the huge payments he’s getting for this speech, while so many of them live in desperate situations.”