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Tuesday 28 March 2017

Cowen and Lenihan were unaware of Greens' plans

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen and Finance Minister Brian Lenihan were completely in the dark about the Green Party's announcement that it would be pulling out of government until minutes before it was made.

Mr Cowen was on the air on his local radio station, Midlands 103, between 11.05 and 11.30 yesterday morning as Green Party leader John Gormley made frantic calls trying to inform him of the imminent bombshell.

In the latest example of poor communications between the coalition partners, Mr Cowen was eventually informed of the development minutes before the Greens' press conference began at around 11.45.

Mr Lenihan was also unaware of the Greens' intentions as he arrived at a function in his Dublin West constituency before 11 yesterday morning, although speculation about the Green Party's intentions was already building.

But he seemed totally unaware of the dramatic development less than an hour before it was made.

On his way to an awards ceremony at the LINC centre in IT Blanchardstown, Mr Lenihan said he hadn't heard "any suggestions" about the collapse of the Government at Cabinet.

"We had a very constructive meeting yesterday and I certainly haven't heard any suggestion of that to date," Mr Lenihan said.

Irish Independent

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