Ahern should ‘be in no hurry to leave office’ – Finneran

Embattled Taoiseach Bertie Ahern may be under fire from Fine Gael in the past number of days, but his own party TDs, including Roscommon Deputy Michael Finneran, have come to his defence.   Deputy Finneran, while seen as a particularly close friend of Minister Brian Cowen, the man expected to succeed Mr. Ahern as Fianna Fail leader, emphasised at the weekend that he remains fully supportive of an Taoiseach.   Amid calls by the opposition for Mr. Ahern to resign over his Tribunal-related difficulties, Deputy Finneran said that he has ‘full confidence’ in the Taoiseach, adding that he (Mr. Ahern) ‘should be in no hurry to leave office.’   Deputy Finneran said that close questioning of Mr. Ahern about his personal life (at the Tribunal) was worrying and unnecessary. He added that while the Tribunal should be allowed to conclude its work, costs were now a serious issue.   Asked by the Sunday Independent if he felt that Mr. Ahern should resign, Deputy Finneran said: ‘I retain full confidence in the Taoiseach and he should be in no hurry to leave office. He should go at a time of his choosing.’   Deputy Finneran was one of a number of backbench TDs spoken to by the Sunday Independent in a random ‘phone poll at the weekend.