Leading a peace process: an interview with Bertie Ahern

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This article is based on an extended interview with Bertie Ahern, former taoiseach of Ireland 1997-2008, and is concerned with how he viewed his leadership role in the Northern Ireland peace process and what influences he tried to bring to bear through that leadership. The interview highlights the importance of pragmatism and consensus-building for Ahern but also emphasises the significance of talk and the informal as key considerations. Referring to problems such as removing Articles Two and Three from the Irish constitution, prisoner releases and PIRA activity we see how important the development of trust and relations was for the Irish, as well as how both conditionality and context were used to bolster the case for negotiations, political accommodation and power-sharing in Northern Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)588-607
Number of pages20
JournalIrish Political Studies
Issue number4
Early online date22 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Bertie Ahern
  • leadership
  • peace process
  • Northern Ireland


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