Too Good to Be True?

Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern is not one for formalities. Seconds after hitting the streets of Dublin last week to campaign for re-election, passers-by were warmly greeting him by his first name. It's the same wherever he goes; everyone knows the Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, as Bertie. "He just comes across as an ordinary bloke," said Dubliner Anna Deeley after pressing the flesh with the Irish leader.

Such easygoing popularity should seal Ahern's bid to return to office. Irish electors have a knack for throwing up surprises, but polls say the only real question is how big Bertie's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!