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Brian Lenihan "disappointed" by former Taoiseach Brian Cowen's performance

Duo had good working and personal relationship, but Lenihan felt he could not criticise Fianna Fail leadership due to his role as Finance Minister, he revealed in an interview.

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen (left) and former Finance Minster Brian Lenihan (right) at a press conference in 2010.
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen (left) and former Finance Minster Brian Lenihan (right) at a press conference in 2010.
Image: Julien Behal /PA Wire via PA Images

[Updated 9.03am]

HE WAS APPOINTED Finance Minister by the ex-Taoiseach Brian Cowen in 2008, and now Brian Lenihan has admitted he was “disappointed” with his former party leader.

In an interview with the Community Voice newspaper, Mr Lenihan said the pair had a good working relationship, but that he was disappointed by his colleague’s performance.

He is quoted as saying:

I felt that when he was elected Taoiseach he would give a stronger lead and express himself in a more forthright way about the problems facing the country. I felt that I had to give a lot of that lead and give those forthright expressions myself, along with everything else.

Mr Lenihan added that as the financial controller for Ireland, “any political move” of his “could have destabilised the finances of the country”, a fact which “weigh[ed] heavily” on him in relation to the Fianna Fail leadership.

Speaking about his time as Finance Minister, he said he had no regrets:

I don’t…I mean for a Dublin West politician to hold the second highest office in the land was a great honour. I’m not taking from the office of Tánaiste in any way but the power and responsibility of the office is very serious.

It was the worst economic crash Ireland ever faced and in my defence I can say that I stabilised the ship and kept the ship afloat. That’s all I could do.

Read more in the Community Voice>

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