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Why Bertie Ahern will not be welcome in NUI Maynooth
Tuesday October 06, 2009 20:35 by W.Carney- FEE NUI Maynooth
Reflections on the appointment of Bertie Ahern by the NUI Maynooth School of Business and Law.
Sticker stating 'No Welcome' for Bertie on our campus
It seems almost surreal any Irish University would want to wine and dine Bertie Ahern at the minute. “One of the last socialists in Irish politics” (We all remember that statement!) finds himself among the main figureheads of the Fianna Fail party, a party currently wallowing at 17% support in the Dublin area. He is, for many working people, the perfect embodiment of Fianna Fail gombeenism and greed.
The humiliating defeat of Maurice Ahern in the recent Dublin Central by-election showed that the Drumcondra Mafia, quite simply, ain’t what they used to be. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. Only a brief few years ago Fianna Fail covered Dublin city (and even rural areas) with pictures of the great leader encouraging people to ‘VOTE FOR BERTIES TEAM’. Bertie was the ‘Ordinary Man’, a pint of Bass IN hand and a tough job AT hand. How much can change so quickly…...
Bertie Aherns personal finances remain the subject of much speculation. The sight of ordinary people, many of them Dubliners from the inner city, jeering Bertie each day as he left the Mahon Tribunal said much more than any newspaper editioral ever could. The man of the people had fallen from his high horse. Now, the €4.20 he might have spent on a pint for you in Fagans seems insignificant to the €5,000 here and the £10,000 there that even he seemed unable to account for. Questions of the mans tax affairs remain unanswered, and Bertie somehow managed to, well, dig himself out of a mess when the issue of ‘dig outs’ emerged.
If the Bertie scandal, and the Mahon Tribunal, were to begin today or tomorrow there is no doubt the public reaction would be very, very different. John O’ Donoghues greed and gombeenism for example is at worse on par with Berties. It is at this moment in time however, when even the top-tables of certain trade unions call on us all to ‘pay a bit’ that we must remind people just who is responsible for the current economic crisis in this country, and how unjust it is to expect students (primary, secondary OR third level) to pay for the greed of others at a time many of us, like Bertie himself, did not have a bank account of our own!
If we take Dr. Robert Galavan, from the Department of Business and Laws response to irishelection.com on the matter, it is interesting to note the use of the plural in relation to Berties lecturing on campus. “In addition to the lectures that Bertie Ahern will provide, he will take part in a high level working group” he notes.
Any and every occasion Bertie Ahern is on campus, we will exercise our democratic right to protest against his presence. While his position is an unpaid one, we are not stupid enough to not know that Bertie will undoubtedly be treated to a lavish reception by the University, and seize the publicity his days out offer him. At a time when we face cutbacks ourselves, and a time when tutorials and the like are being slashed across the board, this is a mockery.
There is a great onus on the Student Union in NUI Maynooth to take a position on this matter. Student Unions must play their part in organising student resistance to events like this one. Members of IFUT, the largest university lecturers union on campus, have already made their feelings clear to the President of the University on the matter,
and as individual students all of us in FEE have done our best to raise the issue with as many students as possible.
If Fianna Fail and the Green Party wish to block students access to this wonderful university, it is up to us to block theirs. Bertie Ahern is the poster-boy of Fianna Fail greed, a man who played no small part in bringing Ireland to the economic situation in which it now finds itself. When he arrives on our campus, it is up to us to ensure he knows we are opposed to his very presence on the grounds of an Irish educational facility.
We call on students, IFUT and Siptu members and alumni of the University to make their feelings on the issue known to the University, by writing to John Hughes, the President.
If you're not in NUI Maynooth, but want to get involved in the campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org
FEE NUI Maynooth (pers cap)
FEE UCD and FEE NUIM members occupation at the Dept. of Finance, earlier this year.
Caption: Five Reasons Bertie Is Not Welcome