Could Lisbon be Cowen’s downfall?
The more I read of the debate on Lisbon and its aftermath, the more it seems we are at a crossroads in Irish political life. The irresistible force has finally met the immovable object. (more…)
It now looks as if the Government may adopt the Danish strategy from 1993, whereby that country voted again on a previously-rejected EU treaty, approving it the second time with a number of opt-outs. But a second Irish referendum seems unlikely to be held until the local and European elections are out of the way next summer. (more…)
New York: Brian Cowen did not seem particularly put out by the remark attributed to France’s President Sarkozy that Ireland needs to have a second vote on the Lisbon Treaty. The Taoiseach arrived here last night for a series of engagements, mainly to do with business, the economy and investment. (more…)
Way back in early 2000 Brian Cowen was made Minister for Foreign Affairs. I was editing Magill at the time and wrote a long profile, with Damian Corless, about Cowen (yep, Fianna Fail’s dauphin as the French might say).
A friend of his, a sharp-witted Labour politician, mocked him kindly. In a general comment about his social habit and dress sense, he said, yes, there have been times when Brian has spoken in the Dáil sporting a tie that had been dipped in a pint of porter the night before.
My late and much-missed Irish Times colleague Dick Walsh wrote a very useful and interesting book about Fianna Fail, entitled The Party. His father had been a founder-member and throughout his life Dick was fascinated by the Soldiers of Destiny. Over the years they developed characteristics that Dick found distasteful, yet they kept on getting elected again and again and again. As he points out in his book, the very people who had opposed the establishment of the Free State by force of arms went on to take over its institutions and remould them in their own image. FF has now been in power for 23 out of the past 30 years and their bottoms have only occasionally warmed the opposition benches over the past three-quarters of a century. (more…)