Having announced that he will not run in the next General Election, former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern has said that he has not ruled out running for the position of President of Ireland.

Following the former prime minister’s announcement Brian Cowen was been leading tributes to his predecessor. Mr Ahern said on Thursday evening that he had always planned to step down as a TD when he was 60. He will turn 60 next September.

Brian Cowen called Mr Ahern the “consummate politician of his generation”. His brother, Fianna Fail TD Noel Ahern said that he was proud of his brother’s economic legacy.

He said “Yes, matters have unraveled, a little…but we retain much of what has been achieved and we just have to, sort of, re-gather ourselves now and move forward.