Sinn Fein has blown 10 seats with Gerry Adams as its leader, claims Bertie Ahern
Sinn Féin has "blown" 10 seats in the Republic of Ireland's general election because Gerry Adams is its leader, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said.
His comments come as voters in the Republic go to the polls on Friday to elect a new government.
Mr Ahern added that he has "no doubt" that Mr Adams - who has been the Louth TD since 2011 - wants to lead the opposition instead of attempting to lead the next government if there is no clear winner between the ruling Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party.
The former Fianna Fáil leader believed either Sinn Féin's Deputy Leader Mary-Lou McDonald or finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty would be better leader than Mr Adams.
"It depends where in the country you are," he said
"If you're in Dublin it's Mary-Lou, if you go to a lot of the countryside it's Pearse Doherty."
"I have to say that if Gerry had have taken early retirement I think that Sinn Féin would be far higher in seats."
Mr Ahern also believes out-going Offaly TD Barry Cowen will lead Fianna Fáil in the future.
The Drumcondra man said he keeps thinking of Mr Cowen for the top job and it "never changes."
He praised his "great performances against the heavy hitters of other parties" during the General Election campaign.
Meanwhile, Mr Ahern could not predict what government would be formed after votes are counted tomorrow.
He was speaking during Independent.ie's podcast The Front Bench.
"By lunchtime Monday, when all the hoo-ha is over they will have to do (a deal) with what the electorate have given them," he continued. "And if the electorate give them the dog's dinner then they have to have a look at putting it together out of that."
Source: Irish Independent