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Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen 'hopes to walk again soon' following stroke last year

“For us all, it’s encouraging he’s making progress,” his family said.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

FORMER TAOISEACH AND Fianna Fáil leader Brian Cowen “hopes to walk again soon” as he continues his recovery from a stroke last July, his wife Mary has said.

She told Midlands 103 that her husband is making “slow and steady progress” with his treatment which has seen him moved to a rehabilitation centre and he had been paying keen attention to the general election, where his brother Barry was re-elected to the Laois-Offaly constituency.

The 60-year-old father-of-two took over from Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach in 2008 until 2011 when he stood down from politics.

Last July after he had attended hospital for a separate matter, Cowen “collapsed and he had a very bad stroke, and a bad bleed to the brain,” Mary said.

He spent five months in St Vincent’s Hospital and is now in rehab.

Mary said: “It’s been a difficult seven months since Brian got sick. It’s been hard on the girls, his mother, his brother. We see progress now. It’s good for him. He is coming on.”

Beginning to see progress himself which is encouraging for him. He’s very determined and hopes to walk again and get out and hopes to come home soon. For us all, it’s encouraging he’s making progress.

She said he hadn’t read negative commentary online about her husband and praised the goodwill “from across the political divide” since he got sick.

Meadhbh, their daughter, said of the criticism online: “No matter your political belief or your stance on things, he’s a person at the end of the day. He went through a really traumatic time.

I just think they should think more before they start commenting that there is families behind these people.

His daughter Sinead also told Midlands: “It’s been extremely difficult. Like my mam said we’re encouraged by the progress he’s made in the last few months. It’s made it a lot easier for us. It’s been a tricky time but we feel we’re coming out the end of it.”

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Sean Murray

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