RTÉ to broadcast major Ahern documentary

The first major TV documentary on Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is due to air on RTÉ this Autumn.

It is understood Cabinet ministers like Dermot Ahern and Willie O’Dea have already been interviewed for the three-part Mint Productions project.

Mint, which is run by Prime Time anchor Miriam O’Callaghan and her husband Steve Carson, has also produced ground-breaking the documentaries such as 'Haughey' in 2005 and 'Fine Gael: A Family At War' in 2003.

Mr Carson, who will be directing the series on the Taoiseach, said it will be a political biography of Mr Ahern while also covering the general political history of the country since 1992.

Justice Minister Brian Lenihan and Social & Family Affairs Minister Martin Cullen have also been approached for interviews as well as Integration Minister Conor Lenihan and the Taoiseach’s own brother, Minister of State Noel Ahern.

Mr Carson, who is a former BBC producer and director, would not say who was being interviewed for the series or if Mr Ahern was co-operating.

The Taoiseach’s favoured successor, Tánaiste Brian Cowen is not believed to be taking part.

Mr Carson said: “It is a political biography of the Taoiseach while also covering Ireland’s political history from 1992, where the Haughey series left off.”

“There are a range of senior politicians involved and it is due to air in the Autumn.”

Interviews interwoven with archive footage will form the basis of the three 60-minute programmes.

Political sources say that the contributions from Mr Ahern’s Fianna Fáil colleagues have all been generally positive so far.

One aide said: “What is coming across is that it is mostly good things that are being said about the Taoiseach.”

Mr Carson also told PA: “It will be an Irish story for Irish people. It is ambitious in terms of its editorial scope.”

With offices in Dublin and Belfast, Mint has produced several documentaries on politicians in the past including former Irish president Mary Robinson and ex-Italian prime minister Sylvio Berlusconi.

As well as RTÉ, it also produces political and historical programmes for TG4, Channel Four and BBC4.

Mint’s diverse range of work also includes documentaries on Shergar, junior doctors and lawyers.

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