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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

#Brian Cowen

# brian-cowen - Friday 17 September, 2010

Philip Walton: What the internet thought Cowengate This post contains images

Philip Walton: What the internet thought

Round-up of responses to the golfer’s call for an explanation.

# brian-cowen - Thursday 16 September, 2010

Philip Walton writes angry letter to Taoiseach over impersonations Cowengate This post contains images

Philip Walton writes angry letter to Taoiseach over impersonations

And on it goes… Golfer Philip Walton asks; what’s so funny?

# brian-cowen - Wednesday 15 September, 2010

Cowen apologises for radio interview

The Taoiseach says that he never intended to disrespect the Irish people.

From The Daily Edge Cowengate: Top of the YouTube charts Cowengate This post contains videos

Cowengate: Top of the YouTube charts

First the Morning Ireland goes top of the news. Now it’s the most viewed video on YouTube today.

Cowengate: round-up of world coverage Boozy Brian? This post contains images

Cowengate: round-up of world coverage

Taoiseach’s denial of rumours he was drunk on air made headlines across the globe.

# brian-cowen - Tuesday 14 September, 2010

BRIAN COWEN has labelled suggestions that he sounded hungover on a radio industry this morning as “a new low in Irish politics” – and insisted he will continue to give early-morning radio interviews in future. Opposition politicians and public commentators alike had said Cowen had sounded the worse for wear on Morning Ireland today.

“It’s well known that the Taoiseach suffers from congestion sometimes”

Fianna Fáil ministers rally around the ‘hoarse’ and ‘congested’ Taoiseach after his controversial Morning Ireland interview.

Cowen denies being hungover on morning radio interview Boozy Brian? This post contains a poll This post contains images

Cowen denies being hungover on morning radio interview

The Taoiseach gives an interview on Ireland’s most listened-to radio show – in which he sounds a little worse for wear.

# brian-cowen - Tuesday 7 September, 2010

Cowen asks for calm over bond market ‘ebbs and flows’

The Taoiseach says today’s spike in bond prices are a natural feature of the market and that Ireland is safe.

# brian-cowen - Monday 6 September, 2010

Lenihan: Anglo costs are manageable, but I’ll do what’s best for taxpayers

Minister for Finance talks health, leadership prospects, and the state of Irish banking.

BoI refused to take over Anglo on same day of guarantee

Anglo asked Bank of Ireland to take it over on the same day the government announced the bank guarantee.

# brian-cowen - Thursday 19 August, 2010

AN ARTICLE IN US magazine Newsweek which nominated Brian Cowen as one of the world’s 10 most respected leaders has generated over 50 comments in under three days since it was published online.

The article praised Cowen for “prescribing harsh medicine” in the current tough economic climate.

It noted that the “Irish aren’t showing much gratitude”, which is clearly reflected in the comments:

Angie Colton responds to the article:
GRATITUDE? Did I read that right? Gratitude for what – squandering billions of tapayers’ money on bankers who would be in prison anywhere else, while we have essential services being cut? Unbelievable!!!!!!!!! Who allowed this idiot to write this rubbish? I thought Newsweek was a quality publication – it’s down there with the worst of the gutter press!

Digital Orchard simply writes:

Glad to see NEWSWEEK has a sense of humour

Donal Hayes summed it up sucinctly, saying:

Well, thats my Newsweek subscription canceled. Sweet Jesus on a raleigh.

Tadhg McGrath writes:

This guy should be on a wanted poster, not a best leader list. As former finance minister, he has to accept responsibility for the economic mess the country is in.

Paul Moloney says:

Crediting him because he’s giving “harsh medicine” is like crediting a useless drunken father because, after he’s pawned the furniture for beer, has decided to break open the children’s piggy banks to buy them dinner.

But it wasn’t all one-directional Brian-bashing, as a minority of commentators expressed their views that Ireland needs to get on with the job at hand – economic recovery.

Lisa Irwin writes:

Will people stop moaning. He’s doing what is needed.
I assume people here can remember this country before the celtic tiger.
Despite the economic troubles Ireland is still better off than it was in the 90′s.
The economy will recover.

Dermot Cullen says he’s not surprised about the reaction to the piece given Cowen’s approval rating, and comments:

I’m not a Fianna Fail’r but I believe he is making the right moves for Ireland. The international community also thinks this. Pity most Irish people are too pigheaded to see it.

The original article and accompanying comments can be found here.

A thread on echoed the responses given on the Newsweek site, with a more balanced division between those agreeing with the summary of Cowen’s position and those venting their anger.

Ads by Google writes:

It’s true though.. We’re getting some international praise for taking corrective action over a year earlier than most places. We can’t see it but we’d be more fooked without it.

Blue_Lagoon writes: NewsWEAK!

The Highwayman posts: Time magazine made Hitler ‘Man of the year’

# brian-cowen - Wednesday 18 August, 2010

HE MAY NOT be popular at home, but he certainly seems to have the respect of his international peers.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has made it in to Newsweek’s list of 10 most respected leaders. Newsweek has nicknamed Cowen “The Fiscal Taskmaster” and have praised him for “prescribing harsh medicine” in a tough economic climate.

The magazine praises the Cowen/Lenihan double-team. “They’ve pushed through austerity packages drastic enough to win the admiration of the international community, raised taxes, and slashed some public salaries by more than 10 percent”.

David Cameron tops the list, which also features Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, Nicolas Sarkozy of France and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Newsweek also lists Ireland as the 17th best country to live. The list puts us ahead of Austria, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal but below the UK, Germany, France and the US. Finland tops the lost. Ireland’s health is praised as seventh best in the world.

# brian-cowen - Wednesday 28 July, 2010

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal released a list of the top 25 earners of the decade and it got us thinking.

Who are the best paid civil and public servants in Ireland? So we compiled a list from their respective annual reports. We’ve put their salaries together with the value of their known benefits and bonuses.

Perhaps the new McCarthy group will want to take a look at this.

1. Padraig McManus, CEO, ESB, €654,309

2. Declan Collier, CEO, Dublin Airport Authority, €568,100

3. John Corrigan, Head of NTMA, €500,000 + (Estimated as NTMA refuses to release salary details)

4. Brendan McDonagh, Head of NAMA, €500,000 + (Estimated as NAMA refuses to release salary details)

5. Mike Aynsley, CEO, Anglo Irish Bank, €500,000

6. Donal Connell, CEO, An Post €500,000

7. Cathal Magee, Chief Executive, HSE €415,000

8. Donal Byrne, CEO, Eirgrid, €407,000

9. John Mullins, CEO, Bord Gais, €394,000

10. Gabriel D’arcy CEO, Bord na Mona, €392,000

And what does poor old Taoiseach Brian Cowen earn? A measly €228,000 – not bad in comparison to his British counterpart David Cameron who’s only pulling in €169,500. There are sixty-six civil and public servants on higher pay than Cowen according to The Sunday Tribune.

# brian-cowen - Monday 19 July, 2010

THE TAOISEACH Brian Cowen has attacked the media for causing the Moody’s downgrade by its ‘pervasive negativity.’

The international ratings agency has downgraded Ireland for the second time since the beginning of the recession. Ireland’s sovereign bond rating now stands at Aa2. (What the ratings mean)

Moody’s says the downgrading is “primarily driven by the Irish government’s gradual but significant loss of financial strength, as reflected by its deteriorating debt affordability.”

But don’t take their word for it because Brian Cowen thinks he’s figured out the real reason behind the downgrading.

And while it may seem smart to value the logical, dispassionate analysis of an internationally respected credit ratings agency… you never know. Maybe he’s right.

So, just to be on the safe side, please disregard everything you have seen and learned about the financial crisis. Maybe then it will all go away.

# brian-cowen - Sunday 18 July, 2010

FINE GAEL finance spokesman Michael Noonan has declared that Brian Cowen was “asleep on the job” when he was in charge at the Department of Finance.

Speaking on the This Week show on RTÉ Radio 1, Noonan said Cowen had been given ample warning of the impending banking crisis when he was finance minister, but had failed to act decisively.

He said the government’s excuse was that the banking crisis “was bounced on them and they had to act within hours and did the best with the information they had” wasn’t true.

Noonan pointed to reports that Merrill Lynch had advised the government against the blanket bank guarantee, and to newspaper reports that even current finance minister Brian Lenihan acknowledged the department had lost influence.

He added that the Department of Finance had previously advocated legal mechanisms to allow banks be put into examinership, and that a senior department official had expressed concern over ‘black holes’ appearing in Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.

Commenting that none of the ample warning had been pursued, he concluded that Cowen must simply have been “asleep in the job”.

BRIAN LENIHAN has complained that the Department of Finance lost power and influence in the run-up to the credit crunch that fuelled the current banking crisis – when it was run by Brian Cowen.

“The powers of the Department of Finance were substantially reduced during that long lead-up period to the actual economic difficulty,” the minister said.

The comments – to be broadcast on Today FM’s Sunday with Sam Smyth show this morning – have caused a stir in government circles with a source being forced last night to defend them.

“I think [Lenihan] was referring to the fact that a lot of power was transferred to the Taoiseach’s department,” the source told The Sunday Times.

“When you’re in an overblown economy there is huge pressure to spend more and more money and it’s politically very difficult to say ‘no’ to demand on hospitals or schools.”

Lenihan did not solely reserve criticism for the role of his own department, however. In the interview, he also slams officials from the Central Bank, who backed up the ultimately incorrect views of former Central Bank governor Patrick Neary about Anglo Irish Bank.

He denied, however, that he was trying to make excuses for decisions made at the time, drawing a peculiarly aquatic analogy:

Money was freely available for a long period of time… it’s only when the water went out of the lake, if you like, that various islands became exposed as not having a proper foundation.

# brian-cowen - Friday 16 July, 2010

BRIAN COWEN has admitted he can’t sack Ivor Callely from the Seanad – but has appealed to the troubled Senator to consider his position.

Commenting on the Seanad’s decision to suspend Callely for twenty sitting days without pay, the Taoiseach said he noted Callely’s on-the-record assurance that he would repay any expenses to which he wasn’t entitled.

He also said Callely must comply with the recommendations of the Seanad’s Select Committee on Member’s Interests and obligingly serve out his 20-day suspension from the Seanad.

The suspension means Callely stands to lose up to €10,000 in wages and expenses.

The committee’s investigations followed public complaints that Callely had been claiming travel expenses from an address in Cork, despite maintaining a constituency office and public profile in Clontarf.

Callely insisted he was primarily resident at the house in Cork, despite admitting he had been trying to sell it since 2004 and remaining on the electoral register in Clontarf.

The senator has strongly denied the claims and says he will “consider the options available” to clear his name.

Callely resigned his membership of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party last month, after the party’s chief whip proposed to remove it from him.

# brian-cowen - Tuesday 13 July, 2010

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen is set to meet top US business leaders in New York this morning. Cowen is on a three day economic mission to the US. The Taoiseach will also meet New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Vice President of the IDA in the US, John Conlon said this could be “one of the best years on record” for US investment into Ireland. Speaking on Morning Ireland Colon said “last year when things were going badly, a lot of the press coverage was very negative. The government has taken the right decisions.”

“Investment has continued, even last year when FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) was down 40% worldwide, investment in Ireland was only down 4%. So, even through the bad years we’ve continued to win substantial investments from some of the best companies in the world into Ireland.

Conlon continued, “when they come to Ireland we normally have a very good chance of winning the project. Site visits are up 40% this year, we’re continuing to attract some of the largest companies in the world to Ireland, to invest in Ireland.”

Yesterday the Taoiseach launched a €500m innovation fund.

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