Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern once received a rope and noose in the post after leaving office

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Mr Ahern at the banking inquiry
Mr Ahern at the banking inquiry

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has revealed that he received a rope and noose in the post after leaving office.

Speaking about the years since leaving office, he said he has received some hate mail over the years.

“I got some horrendous mail and threatening calls, but gardaí got the bottom of it.”

He added that he also got sent a rope and noose in the post. “That wasn’t too nice.”

He said the “vicious mail” he got was in the minority.

Mr Ahern has also said that he takes responsibility as the former head of Government for the government decisions and the issues that went wrong with his government.

Speaking to Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ's 'Miriam Meets' programme, Mr Ahern said however, in relation to banking issues and the issues that went on in the boardroom of banks, he did not take responsibility for those.

 “No, unfortunately I have no responsibility for the Central Bank, “he said

He added that the Financial Regulator is also independent.

“It is the government’s job to look after the fiscal responsibilities, government do not tell banks who to give money to.”

Ahern said while his Cabinet brought in the legislation for the regulator, the government had no control over it.

He said there are people who want to believe that he knew what each developer owed to the banks.

“The Taoiseach, nor me, or Brian Cowen or Enda Kenny has any idea of what individuals owe or what their companies owe.

“We were totally detached,” he said, adding:

“The Central Bank and Regulator are entirely independent from the political system.”

He said he was “horrified” to hear there were only a handful of staff regulating the banks. “There was not a good job done of regulation.”

He apologised to the people of Ireland stating that he felt particularly bad for those that had lost their jobs and homes.

“I was head of government… if you’re the head you’re the head.”

Mr Ahern said he was pleased that he got an opportunity to comprehensively answer all the questions put by the committee at the banking inquiry this week.

He said lots of people have suffered as a result of the recession, and what he felt toughest about was those who lost their jobs, those who lost their homes and people who lost their business.