Ryanair boss fires last round at war-weary Taoiseach
Published 12/04/2008 | 13:38
Ryanair boss, Michael O'Leary, said a no-frills goodbye to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern yesterday.
O'Leary denigrated Mr Ahern and his legacy with foul language and schoolboy taunts.
During a lengthy lecture on the failings of the aviation regulator the chief executive of one of Ireland's biggest firms moved onto Mr Ahern's departure with the blunt opener: "We've had a clown as Taoiseach for the past 10 years."
O'Leary said Ahern's record on the economy was "crap" and a lack of leadership was why the health service was in the "sh*t".
On Mr Ahern's legacy after a decade in charge, Ryanair's leader blamed him for almost every possible governmental failing since 1997.
He said the economy was facing payback for Mr Ahern's years of "inefficiency, fudge, dither, buying off the public sector and...out of all the difficult problems".
He continued: "The reason the health service is in sh*t is because we've had no leadership in this country for the last 10 years. The road transport is a mess, public transport is a mess, because everything that's been done by Bertie."
"I was listening to all this crap at the weekend about the great job he has done for the economy. Bertie Ahern has been a disaster for the Irish economy for the last 10 years.....The next government is going to have to deal with some really harsh realities."
He added: "Brian Cowen couldn't be any worse, I think he'll be significantly better than Bertie Ahern, but that's not setting the bar very high."
A spokesman for the Taoiseach last night felt that the Ryanair' chief's unparliamentary remarks were most definitely: "unworthy of comment."