Former Fianna Fáil junior minister Conor Lenihan has described the return of Bertie Ahern as “a very welcome thing”.
“I think, in particular, his skills of organisation, which ultimately, when I was elected in 1997, won us three successive general elections, will also be a huge plus for the party because we really do need people of great wisdom like him advising the party on its electoral and on its candidate strategies and indeed on its policy matters,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“Of course there will always be criticism, that is the nature of politics, but I think the most important thing to remember here is whenever I am out and about, he is hugely welcomed and hugely popular still."
Mr Lenihan said Mr Ahern would be an asset to Fianna Fáil in the coming years.
Varadkar to meet Zelenskiy
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy is wrapping up a whirlwind tour of his major European backers – already heading home with heaps of goodwill, promises of more military aid and France’s highest medal of honour.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who is in Brussels for the summit, will meet Mr Zelenskiy later on Thursday.
"This is an opportunity for us, as Europeans, to say that we stand, 100 per cent, behind Ukraine," Mr Varadkar said, arriving in the Belgian capital.
"We'll stand with Ukraine until Ukraine has peace again, just and lasting peace, and that means Russia withdrawing, and it means Ukraine being allowed to continue on its democratic and European path, so I'm looking forward to having an opportunity to speak with President Zelenskiy, and assure him of Ireland's ongoing solidarity and support for as long as it takes."
Controversy over Creeslough documentary
A sister of a young fashion designer who was killed in the Cresslough explosion four months ago has revealed she is “very disappointed” that TG4 decided to go ahead and air a programme about the tragedy, despite pleas from families who lost loved ones and others who were injured.
Lisa Gallagher’s 24-year-old sister Jessica was killed when the Applegreen service station and several apartments were decimated during the explosion in the Donegal village.
A number of families of those killed in the explosion objected to the broadcasting of Iniúchadh TG4 – An Craoslach.
The explosion on October 7th killed 10 people, two of whom were children, and left eight hospitalised.
Earthquake death toll exceeds 16,000
More survivors have been pulled from under the rubble of collapsed buildings after a huge earthquake and aftershocks hit Turkey and Syria – but hopes of finding more people alive more than three days later are fading.
The disaster’s death toll now exceeds 16,000.
In addition to 12,873 people killed in Turkey, the country’s disaster management agency said more than 60,000 have been injured. On the Syrian side of the border, 3,162 have been reported dead and more than 5,000 hurt.
Emergency crews working through the night in the city of Antakya were able to save a young girl, Hazal Guner, from the ruins of a building and also rescued her father, Soner Guner, two hours later, news agency IHA reported.