In a bitter attack, former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has slammed two of his former colleagues for plotting against him in private before he was overthrown as Fianna Fail leader.

Ahern also talked about his marriage breakup with wife Miriam, and admitted it failed because he had an affair with his advisor Celia Larkin.

”I didn't play it straight and that was the problem. Ultimately she got fed up with that and you know 'que sera.' She was right."

Ahern named current finance minster Brian Lenihan and Employment minster Mary Coghlan during a television interview on Dublin-based TV3 as the pair who plotted against him.

"If they had come into me and said some of the things I know they were saying against me, I could have taken it," said Ahern.

"I know what they were saying -- you're not around as leader for 14 years and . . . your intelligence (network) isn't good. So, I knew what they were saying.

"They were getting jittery and nervy and you know, you know the stuff that people do. People are nice to your face, talking behind your back. Listen, I forgive them all. But if you have something to say to Bertie Ahern, I'd always rather people say it to my face."

 He also claimed 'someone' was working night and day to overthrow him.

"There was one person working overtime, you know, out to damage me and I know who the person is,” added Ahern.

“But the laws of libel have told me and my solicitors (have warned) me that you can't name (the person), but there was one person, working night and day to screw me up"

Ahern isn't so sure his life turned out well. "It's hard to (say). I've enjoyed it at times but you know you ask a good question and the question is: was it all worth it?"

He added: "I can't say. I can't say. I can't give you a straight answer to that but I can give you a truthful answer. I'm not sure."

He also spoke about his subsequent breakup with with Celia Larkin and now regrets it "Life wasn't so bloody lonely or boring when Celia was around,

"When I went away and she accompanied me on some of the bigger trips, when you needed a partner or a spouse, otherwise you were out of the loop. And gee, I can tell you there was nothing worse than going to some of the international functions and you were the only one that hadn't got somebody."