Waterford did well under the outgoing Taoiseach as the economy grew, but this could well change given the new, harsher climate.

It could be argued that the Taoiseach erred in dragging his personal problems into the political domain, an action that, in private at the very least, he now regrets.

Sterling lodgments in accounts, as stated by his secretary for what were to be salary lodgments seemed to cause the most disquiet and the national media pursued it vigorously.

But as things stand, Mr Ahern cannot be accused of hanging onto power and can proudly reflect on three successive election victories, a record he shares only with Eamon De Valera.

Though Dev did carry overall majorities for Fianna Fáil, something Mr Ahern almost pulled off in 2002; the consensus politics pursued by the outgoing Taoiseach has made the once impossible a reality: Fianna Fáil can lead a stable, cohesive coalition.

As popular as Jack Lynch, Bertie Ahern presided over a booming economy that had been nurtured by previous Governments, in which he had also featured.

When Mr Ahern landed the top job, the country was poised for massive economic growth. It could be argued that he allowed the property boom to over inflate, leading to today’s downside, yet there has also been enormous growth in employment.

Immigration grew to maintain the labour supply that the boom demanded, thus ensuring that we did not experience high inflation.

Very much a man of the people, it was sad to see Mr Ahern, so streetwise a politician, say goodbye to political life over money issues that can only be described as grubby.

During his time as Minister for Labour, Bertie Ahern helped to solve the Waterford Crystal dispute, giving the city special attention, getting to know the area and its strengths and weaknesses, which he played a part in addressing.

We remember too his promoting Martin Cullen to the cabinet table and the subsequent support he offered when Minister Cullen experienced difficult times 18 months ago.

The infrastructure that was badly needed for the region is finally arriving with the Ring Road in place, the second bridge under construction and the motorway/bypass on the way. We are finally seeing the south east capital taking on the shape that a ‘gateway city’ ought to possess.

His achievements in Northern Ireland will ensure him a great place in the history books, but the ethics that Bertie Ahern demanded of others finally turned and rebound upon him, inevitable in this age of transparency.