Sunday 22 January 2017

James Downey: Time is running out for our hero, Mighty Merkel

Published 19/11/2011 | 05:00

SOMETHING got lost on Monday night in the frantic pace of the RTE programme on the collapse of Brian Cowen and Fianna Fail: the build-up to the internal party coup that ultimately overthrew Mr Cowen and replaced him with Micheal Martin.

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Maybe that was too much to hope for. That story would have called for at least an hour-long programme to itself. Indeed, it calls for half a dozen books to add to the existing literature on the crash, and no doubt we will see them fairly soon.

In a way, the central figure in the drama was neither Mr Cowen nor Mr Martin but Brian Lenihan. The outline of the finance minister's role is well known: how colleagues urged him to take the challenge, how he hesitated, how he let opportunities pass and how, in the end, he raised his standard too late; and in the ultimate leadership vote, came third to Mr Martin and Eamon O Cuiv.

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