Bertie Ahern has been slammed for calling Garret FitzGerald “useless” at peace process negotiations with unionists and nationalists.
Mr Ahern criticised his successor Brian Cowen and Dr FitzGerald in an academic research interview.
The former Fianna Fail leader said Dr FitzGerald wouldn't have been able to deal with those involved in the peace process negotiations.
Mr Ahern said he and Prime Minister Tony Blair were the right leaders to negotiate with unionists and republicans.
“Imagine if it had been FitzGerald and Thatcher at the table. It just wouldn't have worked. He would have just been horrified by all these mad, bad people. He could never hack them anyway; he tried, God love him, but he was useless,” he said in the interview.
Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin said Dr Fitzgerald was pivotal in the Anglo-Irish Agreement and Mr Ahern should “say nothing” if he had nothing positive to say.
“His record in Northern Ireland, with the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985, was a major achievement,” he said.
Mr Griffin also said Dr FitzGerald played a role in the Sunningdale Agreement.