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Wednesday 27 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C
# Shaking heads
WATCH: Brian Cowen explains THAT infamous bailout denial
The shaking heads of Dermot Ahern and Noel Dempsey became synonymous with the bailout in 2010.

DURING HIS EVIDENCE to the banking inquiry today, Brian Cowen recalled an infamous event where two of his cabinet ministers strenuously denied Ireland was in bailout talks – just days before the Troika’s arrival.

The former taoiseach described it as an “unfortunate incident” as he was questioned by Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy at the committee today.

In late November 2010, then-justice minister Dermot Ahern told reporters at an event in Meath that neither he nor his ministerial college Noel Dempsey, who was stood behind him, were aware of any bailout talks.

minister shake heads Broadsheet / YouTube Broadsheet / YouTube / YouTube

In another interview, Ahern said the rumours of bailout talks were “fiction”.

The above footage of the two ministers became synonymous with the government’s botched handling of keeping ministers and the public informed of the bailout negotiations.

Speaking today, Cowen said the ministers “said what they were told” although was critical of the “simplistic” answer.

What I’d have said was ‘these are matters for the minster for finance, you better talk to him about it.’

Watch Cowen explain what exactly happened:

Oireachtas /

Cowen: ‘I played golf with Seán FitzPatrick but we never discussed Anglo’

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