Martin pays tribute to Taoiseach
The leader of Fianna Fail, Micheal Martin, has paid tribute to his predecessor Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
Following the Mr Cowen's announcement that he would not contest the upcoming General Election, Mr Martin said:
"I want to extend my best wishes to the Taoiseach and his family this evening as he announces his decision not to contest the next General Election.
"Brian Cowen has been a friend of mine for many years and I will always admire his sincere commitment and the sizeable contribution he has made to Irish public life.
"He has served in almost every major department of state and he leaves behind a legacy of achievement in each of them.
"He has given a high example in public service and he is a politician who has been motivated by the common good.
"He has served as Taoiseach in extraordinarily difficult circumstances and he has done his utmost on behalf of the people of this country. Many of the decisions he has made have put in place a solid foundation upon which our economy recovery is being built.
"I wish Brian, his wife Mary and their children Sinead and Meadhbh every happiness in the future."