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"There is no one more sorry than I" - Brian Cowen

The former Taoiseach says that he takes his “full measure of responsibility” for the financial crash, but says nobody could have foreseen what was coming.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

FORMER TAOISEACH BRIAN Cowen has said that “no government in the Western world” could have foreseen the collapse of the financial markets.

Cowen, speaking to RTÉ at an event in Offaly last night, said that he felt as if people felt he had intentionally set out to do something wrong.

“There is no one more sorry than I about what happened. you know sometimes I get the impression that the request for an apology is as if in some way that I went out to do something wrong and I should have apologised for that.

But the motivation of my government or any government I ever served in, in any issue, was to do the very best we could in the very difficult circumstances we found ourselves in.

Cowen added that he was not “suggesting that everyone got everything right”, but said that the government of the day’s attempts were “honest”.

“There was an honest attempt at all times by all members of our government to deal with the matter in the way that we felt was best,  given the unprecedented situation we were in.”

Cowen says that he has been “frank and open” about how much responsibility he takes for the financial crash, but says that he cannot take “responsibility for what happened in the private banking system”.

“That is not to suggest that I don’t take my full measure of responsibility of whatever that is, but it’s not the full responsibility.”

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