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Barry Cowen to give statement in the Dáil tomorrow about drink-driving ban

Cowen has apologised for his actions and said he regrets what happened.

Barry Cowen before today's Cabinet meeting.
Barry Cowen before today's Cabinet meeting.
Image: Leah Farrell

AGRICULTURE MINISTER BARRY Cowen is to give a statement in the Dáil tomorrow evening about his drink-driving ban.

Cowen served a three-month driving ban in 2016 after being found by gardaí to be drink-driving after attending the All-Ireland football final.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said over the weekend that he was “disappointed” that he only found out about the ban served by the Fianna Fáil minister despite it occurring four years ago.

Speaking in Dublin Castle after tonight’s Cabinet meeting, Martin confirmed that Cowen would make a statement on the issue in the Dáil tomorrow.

Martin said Cowen had articulated “his profound regret, and sorrow and shame at what transpired four years ago. I became aware of this on Friday. It’s deeply, deeply regrettable. It shouldn’t have happened”.

The Taoiseach also addressed the matter that Cowen was driving on a provisional licence.

“It can happen historically, people have availed of the provisional licence regime. That was a tendency in Ireland. Not everybody availed of it. I’m not excusing it. I believe and accept that his remorse is genuine and he will be making a statement to the Dáil in relation to it and he’s asked the Ceann Comhairle to facilitate that. I accept that his remorse is genuine,” he said.

Cowen has apologised for his actions on RTÉ’s Week in Politics programme.

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The Laois-Offaly TD is a brother of former taoiseach Brian Cowen.

He previously held frontbench spokesperson roles on Environment and Local Government and Social Protection.

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