When Bertie met Vinnie.
Five years ago today .. Here’s some photos I took for The Irish Times of the launch of the Fianna Fail party general election manifesto which took place in the Mansion House May 3rd 2007. Fianna Fail’s manifesto included a promise to immediately abolish stamp duty for all first-time buyers and promised to increase their mortgage interest relief. Fianna Fail subsequently got through and went into coalition with the Green party. Remember them.
The gig was a dull enough affair until journalist and broadcster Vincent Browne stood up and started asking Bertie Ahern some awkward questions about his personal finances. Someone from Fianna Fail intervened and tried to prevent Browne from speaking, but he got his way and got his hands on the microphone where he recalled that 20 years previously he was among journalists who were obstructed from questioning former party leader Charles Haughey. Bertie squirmed as Vincent landed punch after punch. Despite that, Ahern got a massive round of applause for his answers from the party faithful who had packed the room.
When it was all over Bertie was escorted out a side door by security as Vincent continued to pursue him and ask questions. There was loads of jostling for photos in the mayhem that followed. We all got stuck in. It was great fun and one of the most exciting political press events I’ve attended.