Bertie Ahern

Bertie Ahern watchers out there will be glad to know that our former taoiseach (prime minister) has finally found a new role in life after absconding from office before he could be blamed for the fine mess we are currently in.

He’s now Dial-a-Dub.

Political types will know that Bertie hobbled off into the sunset in May of last year when he officially stood down as taoiseach and leader of the Fianna Failures.

His exit was greeted with much sadness by some at the time, but now, with the benefit of hindsight, there are those who believe his timing was excellent.

After all, poor Biffo himself Brian Cowan has been left to shoulder the blame for the nation’s ills, now so many they could fill a small hospital all on their own.

The Ahern allure may have been damaged slightly by the erosion of the Celtic Tiger, but he certainly hasn’t hung around long enough for the mud to stick.

In the year or so since he walked away from the highest office in the land, Bertie has been going quietly about his business and trying to sort out his tax affairs, something he has yet to complete incidentally.

He has popped up in the public domain every so often, canvassing unsuccessfully for his brother Maurice who managed to lose his council seat and the Dublin by-election last month.

On Sunday Bertie graced my television screen once again, not three hours after Dublin had put Kildare to the sword in a Leinster final of epic proportions.

The RTE Evening News, something of a stalwart when you’re confined to home and on crutches as I currently am, carried a five minute report from Croke Park on the big game.

The crew spoke to Bernard Brogan’s mum after her son’s man of the match performance, asked a few disgruntled Kildare fans what they thought of their side’s failure to win against 14 men, and then produced their very own stroke of genius.

Clearly on the look-out for a celebrity Dubs fan, they spotted Bertie making his way out from under the Hogan Stand. Bertie and the camera were re-united once again.

His performance was flawless. “Well, after the Meath and Westmeath games we needed a tough game and that’s exactly what we got today,” beamed Bertie before adding something along the lines of, “The Dubs are back.”

It was brilliant. In a couple of seconds Bertie summed up the entire day for the Dubs, and the world of television was a better place for the experience.

It was, I have to say, good to see him back as well. Love him or loathe him, and I’m not pushed either way, Bertie was always a man of the people, and right now the people of Dublin are very happy with their football team.

They have every right to be. On Sunday the current Dubs proved that they have a backbone as well as the finest attack in the land.

When you have players like Brogan and Jason Sherlock, whose goal was sublime, you always have a chance in the scoring stakes.

But the impressive thing about Dublin last Sunday was their ability to stand up to adversity. Kildare had a real chance to win this game when Dubs defender Ger Brennan was sent off for a stupid punch in the 20th minute.

The Lilywhites almost put it up to the Dubs, but the manner in which Pat Gilroy’s team responded to a real live challenge suggests Bertie might just be Dial-a-Dub for a little longer than normal this summer.

That’s good news for Bertie -- and good news for RTE watchers.