Bertie Ahern, disgraced in the wake of the findings of The Mahon Tribunal, was removed from the prestigious Washington Speakers Bureau list this week. The removal comes just days after Ahern held what was described to be an “inspirational” talk in Nigeria.
The Herald reports that with his removal from the Washington Speakers Bureau, Ahern is no longer included with the likes of other former heads of state Tony Blair, George W. Bush and John Major. Ahern had remained listed after the release of the Mahon Tribunal, but now recently is no longer available.
Despite no longer a part of the exclusive Washington Speakers Bureau, Ahern is still attracting audiences in Nigeria. He offered a speech there on Monday at the Ogun State Investors' Forum, just days after the release of the Mahon Tribunal. While his talk was deemed “inspirational,” audience members were reportedly "unaware" of the Tribunal’s findings that essentially branded Ahern a liar.
A source said to The Herald, “He spoke about the Good Friday Agreement and the Celtic Tiger and he was very well received. You have to remember, Mr Ahern is judged in Nigeria by his achievements, not by a tribunal that had negative findings against a number a people.”
Following Monday’s engagement, sources confirmed that political and business leaders in Nigeria's Ogun State have invited Ahern to speak in Nigeria again next year.
"He is seen as an inspiration over there,” said one source. “He already advises the Nigerian government on economic issues but this event was separate. We have a saying -- 'A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country'."
A spokesperson for Ahern refused to comment on the Nigerian trip.