FF tries to pin blame on Fine Gael TD's 'tweets'
'I was taken aback by the interview, as were so many before me'
FIANNA Fail was yesterday remarkably keen to blame Brian Cowen's woes on a single 'Twitter' posting by Fine Gael's Simon Coveney.
However, the reality was that by the time Mr Coveney had uploaded his comments into cyberspace, hundreds of people had already gone online to vent their fury.
In fact, Mr Coveney did not actually post his comment on Twitter until 9.15am -- more than 15 minutes after the Taoiseach's interview had concluded and over 25 minutes after it had started on RTE's 'Morning Ireland'.
By the time the Fine Gael TD had tweeted, hundreds of people had already taken to the online forum to ask hard-hitting questions about Mr Cowen's performance.
The massive outcry on Twitter and text messages to RTE and local radio stations debunks the argument that Mr Coveney first sparked the controversy.
One radio source said the station's switchboard lit up with text messages during and immediately after the interview. Text messages continued to stream in throughout the morning.
While the interview with the Taoiseach was still under way from 8.50am to 9am, people were already commenting online on Twitter and exchanging views on the hoarseness of Mr Cowen's voice, his coherency and articulation, his confusion about legislation and his mistake in referring to the Croke Park Agreement as "the Good Friday Agreement".
As the interview was continuing, one member of the public wrote: "Is it me or does Brian Cowen sound like he had a late night in Galway?"
Another wrote: "Was it just me or did Brian Cowen sound seriously hungover on RTE?"
Shortly after Mr Coveney took to Twitter at 9.15am, RTE's 'John Murray Show', which takes over from 'Morning Ireland' had begun to replay excerpts of the Taoiseach's interview that had just been aired.
Last night, Mr Coveney said Fianna Fail had been trying all day to accuse him of a "Fine Gael plot".
He said: "What I wrote was a gut response. I was really taken aback by the interview, as were so many people before me."
Despite this, Fianna Fail ministers and the Taoiseach sought to claim that Mr Coveney's tweet was where the "whole political controversy arose".