Keynote Address

The Hon. Bertie Ahern (Former Prime Minister of Ireland)

(Berlin; November 9th, 2014)

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The Hon. Bertie Ahern

(Former Prime Minister of Ireland)


Patrick Bartholomew “Bertie” Ahern is a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician, and the former Taoiseach of Ireland, otherwise known as the head of government or Prime Minister of Ireland, a post he held from 1997 to 2008. 

Academic Career

The Hon. Bertie Ahern was educated at St. Patrick’s National School in Drumcondra and at St. Aidan’s Christian Brothers in Whitehall.

Political Career

The Hon. Bertie Ahern began his involvement in politics in the 1969 general election, where he assisted with the election campaign as member of Fianna Fáil. In 1987 Mr. Ahern became Minister for Labour and negotiated the first national wage agreement between unions and employers; The Programme for National Recovery, which later became known as the “Irish model.”

In 1991 Mr. Ahern became Minister for Finance and in the 1997 general election Ahern became the Prime Minister of Ireland and the youngest ever Taoiseach. His first term in office was during the Celtic Tiger, a period of rapid economic growth in Ireland. He held the post as Prime Minister until 2008. 

Awards and Achievements 

In his first term, Mr. Ahern negotiated the Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, in which the governments of Britain and Ireland and most of the Northern Irish political parties established an “exclusively peaceful and democratic” framework for power-sharing in Northern Ireland. This agreement was signed in 1998. Furthermore Mr. Ahern, along with Tony Blair, were jointly awarded the Thomas. J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights for their work on this Good Friday Agreement to promote peace between Britain and Northern Ireland. Both Mr. Ahern and Mr. Blair were also awarded honorary doctorates by Queen’s University Belfast for their roles in the peace process. 

Keynote Address

The Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin; November 8th, 2014)

Poster Image

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