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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Taoiseach comments on Bertie Ahern’s ‘ghettos’ remark on Northern Ireland Protocol

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has responded to remarks made by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in regards to loyalists’ attitudes to the Northern Ireland Protocol while referring to certain areas in Belfast as Ghettos.

Ahern was speaking at a Brexit conference in Dublin where he stated that some loyalist areas do not understand the protocol or the trade issue and only see it as “a road to the Dublin Government taking over again”.

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“In east Belfast and in the ghettos – and in the areas where you are likely to get trouble – the people haven’t got a clue about the protocol, not a clue”.

Amid calls for the former Taoiseach to apologise for his comments, Taoiseach Micheál Martin offered a different perspective to the incident by initially stating that he hadn’t seen Ahern’s full remarks.

He noted that the comments were made at an academic conference where “things get said”.

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Martin added that he didn’t believe that anyone from the unionist or loyalist community could accuse the Irish Government of not listening to them.

While speaking in Cork at the weekend, Martin stated, “I’m engaging with them on a consistent and constant basis, with all the unionist leadership in terms of the protocol – you know, in fact, I would have spoken to the EU Commission having heard the concerns of unionist leaders in respect to the operation of the protocol”.

IMAGE – “File:Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach – 27 June 2020 (50051632532).jpg” by Houses of the Oireachtas from Ireland is licensed under CC BY 2.0/Culturaldiplomacy

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