Former taoiseach Brian Cowen has said nobody is more sorry than him about what happened to the country in the economic collapse.
Responding last night to claims that he has not apologised for the mistakes that happened during his period in office, he insisted that he had expressed regret on a number of occasions.
“There is no one more sorry than I about what happened. Sometimes I get the impression that the request for an apology is as if in some way I went out to do something wrong and I should apologise for that. The motivation of my government was to do the very best we could,” he said.
'Openly and honestly'
"I don't shift the responsibility from anyone in respect of my role with responsibility as taoiseach, the amount of responsibility I must take and have taken openly and honestly."
He was speaking in Edenderry where he was launching Denny Mack: A True Story, a book by local man Denis McNamara.
Asked about the claim by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that there was an axis of collusion between Fianna Fáil and the bankers, he said there was no basis whatever to that.
“That is a political charge and I took it as that, a political charge made in the Dáil, an unfortunate one I think, because the Government is talking about setting up an inquiry.”
Mr Cowen said he had retired from politics and he was not going to engage in political controversy with anybody.