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Brian Cowen: Things were said and written about me that went too far

The former taoiseach reveals that he felt some things written and said about him went too far in an in-depth interview with TG4 to be aired next week.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

BRIAN COWEN HAS said that attacks on him during his three years as taoiseach were “too personal” at times but has acknowledged he did not put enough emphasis on altering the public’s perception of him.

In his first full interview since leaving public office over two years ago the former taoiseach has told TG4 that things that were written and said about him when he was in office were at times too personal.

Becoming Taoiseach in May 2008 , the ex-Fianna Fáil leader was forced to contend with Ireland’s economic collapse, the still controversial bank guarantee in September of that year and later the EU/IMF bailout – all of which he was heavily criticised for.

One of the most controversial incidents in his time as taoiseach was his interview on Morning Ireland in September 2010 when he was accused of being drunk or hungover, a claim he later denied though he did apologise for his performance.

Speaking on the Comhrá programme due to be aired next week, Cowen says: “I’m a politician and I know what it’s like when the atmosphere turns sour like that.

“But having said that, at times things were said and written that went too far. They were too personal. There was no need for that.”

In the interview he also acknowledges that he perhaps did not place enough emphasis on projecting a more positive image of himself as the government dealt with one crisis after another between 2008 and 2011.

“There is an image of me out there that isn’t very good,” he says. “Maybe I didn’t place enough emphasis on that sort of thing.

“If I could just say – the most important thing to me in any of the positions I’ve had was to be myself. I’ve never wanted to pretend to be someone else.”

Read: This former Fianna Fáil government minister is now working for a PR company

More: Brian Cowen’s first interview in over two years labelled ‘cocky and arrogant’

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Hugh O'Connell

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