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'His remorse is genuine': Taoiseach backs Barry Cowen over drink-driving ban

The taoiseach said that he was first made aware of the incident on Friday.

Barry Cowen, left, alongside Micheál Martin, in 2016.
Barry Cowen, left, alongside Micheál Martin, in 2016.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said that he is “disappointed” that he only found out yesterday about a drink-driving ban served by Fianna Fáil minister Barry Cowen in 2016. 

TheJournal.ie understands that Cowen, who is the Minister for Agriculture, served a three-month driving ban in 2016 after being found by gardaí to be drink-driving after attending the All-Ireland football final. 

In a statement, Martin said that he was first made aware of the incident on Friday afternoon. 

“I have spoken to Minister Cowen and I accept that his remorse about this incident is genuine,” Martin said. 

“I am disappointed that I learned about it in this way and have made that clear to him.”

Cowen was named as the Minister for Agriculture and the Marine last Saturday. 

Cowen, a 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.

With additional reporting by Garreth MacNamee

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