Saturday 22 July 2017

Boozing denial makes headlines across globe

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

CLAIMS that Taoiseach Brian Cowen was hungover during his radio interview made headlines across the world yesterday.

The story was picked up by major international news organisations such as Fox News, the BBC and MSNBC -- all with headlines saying Mr Cowen denied being drunk and hungover on air.

The international news agency Reuters ran an article headlined "Hangover talk hounds Ireland's PM".

The article said that "controversy over Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen's alcohol consumption" overshadowed his efforts to reassure people he was tackling the "country's financial woes".

"Fears that the former 'Celtic Tiger' economy is on the verge of a full-blown debt crisis have sent its borrowing costs soaring, and Dublin needs to slash the worst deficit in the European Union to reassure investors and bring yields down," the article added.

"But Cowen's efforts to drum up public support for yet another round of cutbacks backfired when his hoarse performance on the flagship morning radio show triggered a flurry of comment on Twitter that he was feeling the effects of a boozy night."

The Associated Press reported "Irish premier denies being drunk, hungover on air" and said Mr Cowen "offered vague, semi-coherent answers to questions on Ireland's battle to save its banks and reverse its deficit".

A headline on Fox News said: "Ireland's embattled prime minister denies being drunk, hungover; opposition demands election."

Groggy

The influential 'Wall Street Journal' also ran an article on the interview on its website, and said Mr Cowen "denied being hungover or drunk after appearing on early morning radio".

"Cowen was heard on state broadcaster RTE's flagship news programme . . . sounding hoarse, groggy, sometimes slurring his words and, on occasion, momentarily mixing up answers to the questions," it added.

The story was also picked up by the BBC World News which said: "The Irish prime minister has denied being drunk or hungover on a radio programme."

It was also reported by the 'New York Times', 'Washington Post', 'New York Daily News', Spain's ABC and the 'Huffington Post' website.

However, French newspaper 'Le Monde' stuck to economics and only reported the €3bn Budget cuts mentioned in the interview.

Irish Independent

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